Words : Amit Chhangani
I was getting married as my colleagues sampled the new Figo in Goa. Of course, I was missing something, knowing that it is one of the most important cars Ford has ever launched in the Indian market. However, it doesn’t take a genius to know that getting married is more important than driving a car, and so I went about circling the fire trying my bit to forget about the new supermini from Ford.
This was a pre-launch event. But when Ford India launched the car officially and put a price tag on the car which managed to undercut the Swift, Maruti’s price warrior, it became imperative for me to get the car for a test drive. More importantly, I found it utterly important to pit it against a car which it was aimed squarely at – the Swift again. It took a bit of time before the shiny new Figo arrived to be evaluated, but we made sure that we had access to a petrol Swift with 1.2-litre petrol to understand the characteristics of the two cars better.
The Figo comes across as a longish looking car. The quarter panel in the rear window further adds to the perception of length. From some angles, it reminds you of the Ford Fusion which is now discontinued – squarish at edges with flared wheel arches. The Figo is an all-new design though, but has been sketched in a rather conservative manner. It boasts nice proportions all round and will not offend anyone for sure, even if it doesn’t make its onlookers emanate appreciative oohs and wows. The upswept headlamp and the big central air-dam try their bit to lend a bit of sportiness to the front, but the Figo is essentially a conformist exercise in design. The low and long overtures of the car, along with that quarter panel in the rear window and those vertically mounted tail-lamps will at times make you think of it as a station wagon, than a usual family hatch. Overall, with its nice European lines and wide track, the Figo creates an impression of a well built, solid and spacious car, which is something that’s going to be a big plus.
On the other hand, the Swift, even after being around for quite some time now, looks sporty, fresh and radical. Even with a whole bunch of new launches in the segment over the past few months, the Swift manages to hold its own against the competition in terms of visuals. It’s a car of the young at heart though. In my personal experience, those above a certain age limit don’t tend to like the Swift’s design too much. Then again, we are talking about a car here which has made the sprint to a million nos. the fastest in the history of Indian cars, so we can safely assume that it’s one of the more loved cars design-wise.
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