Ford Figo shows a lot of promise with its big-car feel, impressive driveability and competitive pricing, writes Shapur Kotwal

The Figo may have skipped the bright lights of the Auto expo, but we got our hands on it under the Goan sun. Here are first impressions of what is a hugely impressive car.

The 1.4-litre Duratorq diesel we know well. It behaves very much like it does in the Figo's siblings. By this we mean the Figo's got superb driveability, fantastic low and mid-range response for city driving but feels a bit out of breath on the highway, thanks to its modest 68bhp. We know this engine is fuel-efficient and very smooth, slightly audible by modern diesel standards and it is now Bharat IV compliant.

There's also a new 1.2-litre Duratec petrol that's essentially a scaled down version of the engines that power the Fiesta and the Fusion. It makes a decent 70bhp, is tractable and has good mid-range performance. But, unlike the Fiesta motor, it doesn't feel as happy as the top-end. It starts feeling strained at around 5000rpm, and labours to its 6600rpm redline. Still, the overall, the package is well-tuned for a 1.2 motor. Ford's claimed 0-100kph figures are 15.5 seconds for the petrol variant and 15.8 seconds for diesel models.

The Figo's got great big-car feel. The ride is one of the best in class, good at both low and high speeds. It's very stable at three digit speeds and you can see Ford's ‘driver's car' DNA in it. The steering is light and nicely weighted for city use. Though there's not much feel at speed, it's still nice and accurate.

The Figo is one of the biggest B-segment cars in India. It's longer than the Swift, has a longer wheelbase than the Fusion. Interior space is good, but not great, especially at the rear. Still, the seats make up by being very supportive, and seat height and back support are good as well. Rear seat comfort is especially good and Ford has made good use of the leg room under the front seats.

We're not sure if we like the coral colours used on the dashboard, but the faux aluminium trim does look good and the cabin has sporty overtones with red stitching on the black seats.

Prices haven't been announced yet, but the way the company is stressing on low cost of ownership should mean very competitive pricing and reasonably priced spare parts. And the car comes with a two-year warranty. There's lots of promise here.

Keywords: luxury car