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Ford recently launched its newest incarnation of the popular Figo in South Africa. Reuben van Niekerk reports
When Ford initially launched the Indian-manufactured Figo into the local market it was to provide customers with a cheaper alternative to the then newly released Fiesta.
Economies of scale and an outgoing model made perfect business sense and allowed Ford to attract to the brand new customers in search of affordable transport.
Since its launch in 2010, the Figo has been a remarkable success story in South Africa. Its strong price point, smart features and fuel-efficient engines have made it one of the top contenders in the Sub-B segment.
But now with the introduction of the latest Figo, Ford has taken an alternative tack, choosing to source a different model from India rather than rebadge the current outgoing Fiesta as a Figo. A complication of this decision is, unfortunately, that the latest Figo is not as competitively priced as the model it replaces.
The all new model combines sophisticated contemporary styling, a new range of trend-setting technologies such as Ford’s Sync integrated multimedia and connectivity system, as well as a modern and welcoming cabin that offers more space and improved safety.
The Figo is now also available in two body styles – five-door hatchback as well as four-door sedan – each characterised by a striking, elegant design that is derived from the brand’s Kinetic 2,0 signature as demonstrated by the likes of the Fusion and Focus.
The sophisticated and stylish exterior is matched by a modern interior that delivers an extraordinary experience for a compact car. Intelligent and careful space management creates a roomy cabin with an emphasis on quality and convenience.
Ample legroom gives the front passenger space to stretch out, while enabling taller drivers to achieve their ideal driving position. The interior also boasts 20 strategically located storage spaces.
Up to 445 litres of luggage space is available in the boot of the sedan, with fold down rear seats increasing loading capacity and versatility. The rear seats of the hatch fold down in a 60/40 split fashion.
Whether hatch or sedan, models feature a robust passenger cage created from high-strength steel, bolstered by standard driver and passenger airbags across the range, while the Titanium edition features six airbags.
All models are equipped with ABS brakes, while the Titanium PowerShift Auto incorporates ESP with hill launch assist.
True to Ford’s commitment to delivering a fun-to-drive experience, the Figo has been designed and engineered to offer precise, agile and responsive steering and predictable handling.
There are two engines to choose from. The 1,5-litre, four-cylinder petrol option generates 82kW and 136Nm, delivering a claimed combined fuel consumption figure of 5,6litres/100km.
Diesel models are powered by a 1,5-litre Duratorq TDCi engine that develops 74kW and 215Nm, with torque peaking at the 1 750 revs/min mark to help to endure excellent driveability and frugal fuel consumption – a claimed 4,1litres/100km.
Manual derivatives feature five-speed gearboxes while Ford’s advanced six-speed PowerShift auto transmission is available on Titanium-specified variants. The dual-clutch system is said to combine the performance and efficiency of a manual gearbox with the convenience of an automatic.
The Figo can be specified in three trim and equipment levels, starting off with the affordable Ambiente. The Trend takes the features up a notch further while the top of the range Titanium includes all the bells and whistles.
1.5 Ambiente Hatch R 139 386
1.5 Trend Hatch R 147 281
1.5 Titanium Hatch R 159 561
1.5 Titanium Hatch PowerShift Auto R 178 860
1.5 TDCi Ambiente Hatch R 166 579
1.5 TDCi Trend Hatch R 175 351
1.5 Ambiente Sedan R 141 140
1.5 Trend Sedan R 149 035
1.5 Titanium Sedan PowerShift Auto R 180 614