Long-term update: Ford Figo 1.5 Titanium

Johannesburg - Our Ford Figo 1.5 Titanium long-term test car has been with us for four months now and it’s been smooth sailing all the way, but what still stands out for me is this compact hatchback’s driving characteristics.

Kitted with the normally aspirated version of Ford’s relatively new 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, it offers better performance and all-round driveability than its rivals. With its outputs of 88kW at 6300rpm and 150Nm at 4250 revs, and factoring in the kerb weight of just 1047kg, this car does perfectly fine without a turbocharger, even at Reef altitudes. That said, many a performance hatch fan would surely welcome a force-fed ST version of the Figo, which is sadly not anywhere in Ford’s product pipeline.

Not only is it perky for its size, but the Figo’s three-cylinder motor really sounds the part and just loves to be revved, but it also delivers its power smoothly when you’re just cruising in traffic. Although there are a few cars in the Figo’s price range that offer decent performance, such as the Renault Sandero and Toyota Etios, in our view the Ford still offers the best all-round driveability. 

It’s rare these days to find a compact car that still panders to those who enjoy driving, but as far as we’re concerned the Figo is certainly one of them.

As for efficiency, our vehicle has averaged 7.4 litres per 100km in a mixture of urban and highway driving, which is not the best we’ve encountered in a car of this size, but certainly not bad either.

Our long-term test has shown that the Figo covers most of the other rational aspects rather well too. The test unit has proven durable, with no faults to report thus far, and we’ve had no reason to fault the overall comfort and practicality. Granted, it would be nice to have a boot with a bigger capacity than 256 litres, but it’s still good for a weekend’s worth of luggage if you don’t go too overboard with the packing, and it’ll happily swallow a large shopping spree. Those with kids will also appreciate the generous rear legroom offered by the Figo.

From a comfort perspective, our range-topping Titanum test car has it all, from a CarPlay and Android Auto compatible Sync3 touchscreen infotainment system that’s conveniently located at the top of the dashboard, to automatic climate control, auto headlights and wipers and a multi-function steering wheel. The Titanium also gets a safety upgrade, with side and curtain-level airbags joining the dual front bags fitted to the rest of the range.

Although the Titanium is hardly entry-level at R228 300, it’s still a worthy package if you consider that the larger B-segment cars on the market have moved quite far up the price ladder. Today you’re looking at just under R290 000 for a new Fiesta and 260 grand for a lesser-specced Toyota Yaris, just to put things into perspective.

However, if you are looking for a more affordable Figo and you’re happy to stick to the basic comfort features, the 1.5 Ambiente model can be bought from as little as R195 200. Or if you’re happy to part with the R228 300 but you don’t want to change gears yourself, Ford also offers the 1.5 Trend model with a six-speed automatic gearbox. If you want something a bit more striking, there’s the special edition Figo Blu, which Ford is aiming at the youth market. Bottom line is that there's a decent spread of models on offer here, including a sedan body style for those wanting more boot space.

IOL Motoring