REVIEW | The refreshed Ford Figo is frugality at its finest

The Ford Figo has grown in leaps and bounds since its local launch almost ten years ago.

It might currently only be in its second generation but it has already made a big impression on consumers looking to buy something different on the market in the entry-level segment.

Dynamite and small packages

The model being tested here is the 1.5 Titanium and I was excited to have my second go in a Figo, which means 'cool' in Italian. I'd previously driven the pre-facelifted sedan version, and there are numerous changes compared to the predecessor.

GALLERY | Ford Figo 1.5 Titanium

Before you even turn the key, the 6.5 inch touch screen is the first noticeable feature from older models staring you right in the face, while there are also two USB points with iPod functionality tucked in the centre console. Phone to car connectivity via Bluetooth is quick and simple, while the steering mounted audio controls never let you take your eyes off the road.

Ford Figo

                                                                           Image: Robin Classen

You wouldn't think this car is powered by a 3-cylinder engine when you initially start driving and playing with the throttle. On the contrary, it feels as though it could be turbocharged, so swift is the throttle response. The 1.5-litre engine is good for 88kW and does the job whether you're challenging Franschhoek Pass' bends or even simply cruising on the highway.

The rear view camera and drive-away locking features are nifty while I also noticed the key has changed from its rounded shape to a more conventional looking one.

Subtle but noticeable

In terms of fuel economy, there is not a blemish on its report. It's claimed 5.7 l/100km fuel consumption is spot on and immediately noticeable the more you drive when its efficiency in range takes quite some time to dwindle down.

Design cues remain pretty much the same bar a few minor touch ups. One of them is the black integrated section on the rear bumper, a shape that comically reminds me of the beard of the character Arliss Loveless in the movie 'Wild Wild West'. The front features a number of chrome finishes including the grille and foglight sections, packaging the look well.

Ford Figo

                                                                       Image: Robin Classen

The 15-inch alloys also look the part, an item that comes standard on all Titanium models.

Boot space is fairly limited, as is the case with most hatches but is more than capable to swallow up more than five good-sized grocery bags.

I am a tall in stature and initially thought that space would be a hindrance for me as well as passengers in the rear. I tested this by asking my parents, who are both quite tall as well, to get into the back with both front seats shifted in line with the central pillars. After about a 10-minute drive on stop-start residential roads, they were seated just fine even with a bit of leg room reduced. That is mighty impressive for a little hatchback.

ford figo

                                                                           Image: Robin Classen

Earlier models gave buyers the choice of a Novelsport package from the factory, this time round there is a special Figo Blu model that fills that void.

Pricing starts from R191 300 and buyers can choose between hatchback or sedan body shapes. This model comes with a 4 year or 60 000km service plan, with service intervals are at every 15 000km.

Ford has definitely moved up a level with the new Figo. It now looks and feels more premium both inside and out.