This entry Ford is a class act all round

Just a week ago, we wrote how the Ford Ecosport has so improved over the past few months. Now here’s another entry Ford that has broken that staid old mould — this little Figo also punches way above its weight. Not only does this one bring a raft of improvements in quality and finishes inside, but it’s what’s under the bonnet that really makes the difference…

This latest Figo’s biggest advance comes courtesy of Ford’s new 1.5-litre 3-cylinder petrol lump — no, not the little turbo litre, this one's a normally aspirated one-point-five and in my opinion, it’s just as notable an achievement as its little blown brother. Boasting an aluminium block and cylinder head to reduce weight, along with twin 4-valve independent variable camshaft timing, which offered such a fine engine feel during testing and well camouflaging the vibrations typical to 3-pot engines.  

It also gains a dual-stage variable oil pump to help improve consumption and emissions and in this case, its impressive 88kW power and 150Nm torque outputs are also well taken care of by a handy 6-speed automatic transmission offering good engine performance throughout the rev range — with some quite sensible logic for an entry autobox. That makes an easy and friendly drive — take a look at the figures below — pretty competitive in this neck of the woods...

Figo also looks quite the part — among our more esteemed scribes indeed mistook this one for a Fiesta on first acquaintance — this little critter is quite eye-catching and sports a restyled honeycomb grille and new fog lamp surrounds to add to the show, along with neat multi-spoke 14” wheels, while delicate changes at the rear include a new bumper. Easy to mistake for something more upmarket if you are not paying attention!

Step inside and that cabin quality step ahead is clear with improvements around the centre console and upper instrument panel while fabric door inserts are new and the more modern seat fabric add class too. It's well stacked with all the necessary interface, safety and other spec expected at this level from Ford Audio, Bluetooth and a console Device Dock to easily connect to and power smartphones. Add remote central locking, power windows all round, a rear defroster and anti-theft alarm, immobiliser, power steering, driver and passenger airbags and ABS brakes with EBD.

All in all Figo has certainly grown up - enough for some of us to even think it was a new Fiesta — and that’s a pretty decent citation! — Michele Lupini.

ROAD TESTED: Ford Figo hatch 1.5 Trend auto
Engine: 88kW 150Nm 1498cc petrol I3
Drive: 6-speed automatic FWD
0-100km/h:                9.35 sec
0-160km/h:                24.50 sec
400m:                         16.6 sec @ 136km/h             
80-120km/h:              6.71 sec
120-160km/              11.65sec
Vmax:                         175km/h
Fuel:                            6.5 l/100km                            
CO2:                           150 g/km
Warranty/Service:    4y 120K/4y 60Kkm
LIST PRICE:                R213K
RATED:                       85