Buying a Ford Figo in 2023: Worth it or better to look for alternates?

The only reason I’m not too keen on the VW Polo is because it is just too common.

BHPian Yash390 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

As cringe as it may sound, I’ve always had the need for speed. In gear acceleration, driving dynamics, 0-100 times are the things I’ve primarily looked for in cars(and bikes) whenever reading reviews. Things like wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, auto headlamps, wipers, and heated/ventilated seats never fascinated me. Don’t get me wrong, these are definitely good to have features but are they a priority for me when making a car purchase? A big NO. The problem is, none of the cars in my family could ever satiate the so-called petrolhead in me. So now that I’ve shared my sob story, let me give you a brief history of the cars my family has owned and I myself have driven extensively.

Honda City GXi (2005-present, 1.3L km and still running strong, the family’s beater) – Been on numerous long-distance road trips in this car, and have a soft spot for it especially because I learnt driving in it.

  • Pros – smooth, tractable engine (77hp iDSI is weak by today’s standards, definitely feels underpowered now), comfortable seats, huge boot, good ergonomics, well laid out cabin, decent interiors
  • Cons – wallowy suspension, completely devoid of torque, not being the iVTEC, you have to keep the A pedal pushed to death if you want it to move quickly

XUV500 W8 AWD (2013-2022, 93k km) – This was an impulsive purchase, just because my mom ‘liked how it looks’ and she wanted a 7 seater for family trips.

  • Pros – impressive engine, very very refined for a diesel SUV although 140hp/320Nm is ordinary by today’s standards, feature-loaded, insane 2nd-row space, value for money, interiors held up well in 8½yrs of rough use. It was my first time driving a diesel and the torque just blew me away, the only car we’ve owned which has given me that ‘kick’.
  • Cons – bouncy suspension, notchy 1st gear, non-existent boot with the third row up, just bulky to drive in a city with narrow roads (not the car’s fault, I know)

Honda City ZX CVT (2021-present) – bought it as a replacement for the XUV as nobody liked driving it, too bulky for narrow city roads, the manual transmission was a pain, and the old City was just, you know, old.

  • Pros – looks elegant, decent interiors, spacious enough, good ergonomics, big boot, decent engine, decent features, smooth CVT, extremely fuel efficient when driven sanely, suspension good for city roads
  • Cons – high-speed ride not confidence inspiring, NA petrol requires one to stay in the top end for extracting performance, weak low and mid-range, mediocre NVH, unpleasant cost cutting like no wheel well cladding, exposed HVAC piping in the glovebox, exposed wiring in the boot, some hard plastics.

Like every other car, my family cars have their own pros and cons but I’ve enjoyed them to the fullest because that’s what driving is to me, an escape. As you can clearly see from the list above, no car has given me the ‘thrills’ of driving yet, what we know as an adrenaline rush. For the adrenaline rush part of it, I bought a 2018 KTM Duke 390 and my god, what an experience. Just imagine the step up in performance after living with such sober cars all these years. Yes, the two-wheeler need for speed is somewhat fulfilled but what still remains is the four-wheeler part of it. I love riding and driving equally and would love to experience a powerful car now. Now that I’m capable of putting some money into that, I’d love to hear your suggestions. I always wanted my first car to be a brand new one but unfortunately, due to other financial commitments, it is a bit tough to make that happen right now so the pre-owned route is the way to go.

  • What my requirements are – preferably diesel, reasonably powerful, good driving dynamics, solid build, mod friendly, good service network/easy to service at an FNG, maintenance and spares not too heavy on the pocket
  • What I don’t care about – resale value, interior/boot space, tech features (I don’t want a 50inch ICE with 360° cameras or ADAS or self-levelling suspension or adaptive laser lights or the car wishing me a happy birthday)

As per my requirements, the car which made the cut is – the Ford Figo. Yes I know Ford is no more, the already existing car wasn’t the complete package, it didn’t sell as well as it should’ve. Purely from reading and watching reviews, I know that the diesel engine is a gem, delivers power in a linear manner and can be a hoot to drive if need be. Looking at the stock figures, ≈100hp/215Nm is quite good. Coming to the mods, there are tuners putting out impressive numbers on the 1.5TDCi, so a remap is a must. Tyres next, suspension, if I feel the need. Alloys and other cosmetic mods will be planned strictly only after performance mods. There are not many options in the market which meet my requirements so it all boils down to just 2 cars.

I know everyone must be thinking of the same thing, do I not know that the Polo exists? The only reason I’m not too keen on the Polo is because it is just too common. It is a wonderful car for sure, I’ve driven one quite a bit and I know how capable of a machine it is. Let’s just say that my heart is stuck on the Figo. The budget including mods will be ₹8-9L. While this thread may alternatively be titled ‘What Car’ or ‘Figo or Polo’, I just want to know whether it makes sense to buy a discontinued model from a shut shop company hence the poll. Let me know what you guys think and if there are any other options I should be looking for!

Here’s what BHPian madhukarmohan had to say on the matter:

Voted YES based on your requirements. You can also try Ford Freestyle which can be considered as the facelift of Ford Figo. Both these (along with Aspire and Ecosport) are powered by the same 1.5 TDCi engine. This engine has good refinement, excellent mileage and at the same time fun to drive. By far, this is the best diesel engine in the segment. VW Polo is also a good one to keep as one of your options.

Here’s what BHPian blackbandit had to say on the matter:

I own a 2016 Figo 1.5 diesel. It is a great car and the engine and performance post-remapping make it a hard car to replace with. While I do intend to keep it till it reaches its end of life, I would not advise anyone to buy the car as of today. The service as of date is decent but I can clearly see it diminish as time is passing by. It is almost becoming a neglected area with dealerships just keeping the service centres for the sake of keeping it alive and I am sure parts availability will soon start to be an issue as well even though it isn’t much of an issue as of date.

Here’s what BHPian bhphog had to say on the matter:

Rightly said above by @blackbandit

I have a stage 2+ Figo, been on the lookout for the last 1.5 years and nothing comes close to the experience and smiles per km. However, I would not advise you to buy one unless you live in a few cities which have garages which are Ford champions. The Ford service is just for name sake, I could do a better job than them but they are the only source for genuine parts except a few distributors across the country.

While for a year or so you may not face any difficulties later than that I’m sure all Ford owners are bound to face issues.

Also, a well-kept diesel which may be 5,6,7 years old is hard to find.

Here’s what BHPian jackofsome had to say on the matter:

Let me chip in too. Objectively. Even though I own a 7+ year old Figo 1.5D.

You will be addicted to how the car drives in the stock form let alone with a remap. The power on tap, the body control when you dip it into a corner, the precise steering, and the feedback of it are all superlative and better than a Polo in my books. Recently I would tell you, I drove modern cars – the Verna, virtus, seltos and the i20 N line. Were wowed by their interiors in general but once I came back, those wow moments faded once I started driving the Figo again. I mean it’s unbelievable what 8-ish lacs gave you in and around 2016.

Sure there are quirks in the car- all the part qualities are not perfect, the boot isn’t big at all and the headlights are a letdown. But these are all things which can be lived just because of the driving pleasure it provides.

In fact, I would like anyone to point me out to any car that is retailed for less than 30 lacs off the showroom floor which drives as good as the Figo.

Also, last time I was in NCR, service was absolutely a non-issue besides the car isn’t that complex I believe.

So you should get a Figo ASAP, the 1.5 TDCi and do the following (only for driving pleasure):

  1. Put in 195/55 R15 sticky rubber.
  2. Put a nice leather steering wrap
  3. Get the engine tuned to at least a Stage 1+ and EGR delete
  4. Get the Ford Figo S specific suspension setup (it’s cheap)
  5. Damp at least the 4 doors and boot of the car.
  6. Enjoy the car and thank me later.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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