Driven by passion


Having made the acquaintance of the Ford Figo Aspire the previous night, during a ‘deep drive’ session by senior Ford officials, who presented and briefed us on their latest compact sedan, I was naturally excited to get behind the wheel. The plan was to flag off after breakfast from Hotel Trident, Udaipur, drive through the city of lakes, hit the highway for a nice long stretch and return to The Leela Palace in time for lunch.   Forf

The convoy of all red Ford Figo Aspire lined up on the front porch made for an impressive sight. That’s because the Ford Figo Aspire commands attention and is certainly the best looking compact sedan in the competition. I say that because the styling is smart for its size and the front is dominated by an Aston Martin like grille and impressive backward sweeping headlights. The side lines and contours give it a muscular edge with neat alloy wheels and the rear reflects attention to stylish detail with a generous chrome strip and attractive tail lamps.

The interiors feel spacious with ample headroom. The beige and black interiors are stylishly contrasted and the dashboard is dominated by the central console that hosts the instruments.

The steering wheel comes with mounted controls but could have had a larger radius.  The air-conditioning is powerful though there are no separate air conditioning vents for the rear passengers. The seats are firm and comfortable giving support to your back and under thighs which makes it a great car for long drives. Storage spaces within the cabin are generous with a nice sized glove compartment and tastefully carved out bottle and cup holders. The back seat offers ample leg room for passengers but frankly three in the rear would be a little uncomfortable.

As we flagged off, I was a little nervous as it was the first time I would be driving on Indian roads and in the city I had never been

before. However, the route and logistics were well planned by the Ford team and I was given the diesel version to test. As we streamed out into the city traffic, the Aspire just kept on inspiring me with its performance. The handling was perfect and as I swerved between vehicles in an effort to keep up with the pilot car, it won my admiration for the ease with which it steered

and moved between stop and go traffic. The cabin is amazingly silent without any sound from the engine or road. I enjoyed its powerful, smooth performance and the fact that I did not have to drop gears every time I slowed down. The suspension is firm

and soon I was enjoying myself behind the wheel.

On the highway this baby outdid itself. With my co-driver taking over on the broad Indian highway, the Aspire clocked 140 kms per hour effortlessly, giving us the feeling that it was born for this, yet staying ever in control and removing any apprehensions we might still have had. On the return drive, I did get my hands on the petrol version which performed superbly as well.

However, my advice would be, aspire for the diesel version, which packs a punch that its rivals will find tough to compete with.

The Aspire fulfills everything you could desire in a compact sedan — fantastic features, powerful performance and superb storage space. However, the other most important factor — price is yet to be revealed. Ford says it will be very competitive.

If that is so, this is certainly something to aspire for.