Friday, November 20, 2015

Ford Figo 5 years ownership experience

10/10/2010 was the exact date we purchased the Ford Figo Titanium 1.4 Diesel variant. Since I like to keep my vehicles in stock condition, it has not undergone any modification so far, except for non-stock tyres that came in at 50,000 Kms. I shifted from MRF to Yokohama with no upsizing.
This post is intended to share the ownership experience over the last 5 years. After 5 years, this is what I still love about the car -

  1. It is spacious - one of the largest boot space in it's category. It can conveniently fit in a week's luggage (or even a month's) for a family of four. Also, the legroom is ample. With a 6 footer like me in driver's seat, 5 foot 10 inch adult can be comfortable in the rear seat even on long journeys. The cabin also feels quite spacious because of ample use of glass (and also because I have not used tint on them)
  2. Solid build quality - Even after 5 years, the interiors look like new. The plastics are still shiny and every button on the console has a firm click. I would take some of that credit for regular maintenance and cleaning. But the feel and robustness of interiors was one of the key points in our buying decision, even 5 years ago.
  3. Great handling - This car is great to drive on long drives. Mainly because it is very well behaved even at speeds of 140 Kmph. It feels stable and firmly grounded at those speeds. Having dual airbags and ABS also adds to your confidence. 
  4. Amazing comfort - The rear seat comfort is stellar in this vehicle. Unlike the Swift, I found the rear seat to be larger giving good thigh support on longer rides. It easily accommodates 2 adults and a kid on long journeys comfortably.
What I have begun to dislike and the downsides -
  1. Ground Clearance - anyone who owns a first generation Figo will tell you that it can't even take a speed breaker under it. With 4 adults, it scratches it's underbelly in each and every cellar parking, gets a beating on each speed breaker and if you are in Goa, never enter a ferry boat. If it were minor bruises, I would have neglected it. But once on a road trip to Bangalore, on the ultra-awesome Bangalore-Hyderabad expressway, a trucker had left a stone in the middle and it hit the underbelly of my Figo, damaging the cross member. This not only cost me a pair of tyres but also had to replace the cross member. Total loss - 25K
  2. The rear windows open only 50% - they don't open much. I thought this would not be much of an issue but if you have to pass a bag out (e.g. to your laundry guy), it does not pass though- irritating!.  
  3. The rear windows are manually operated - Again, I knew this right from the beginning and thought, since the car is driven with AC on 90% of the time, this should not be much of an issue. The issues are 2 fold. Firstly, the windows open up slightly over a period due to vibration or passengers accidentally bumping their knees into the lever. So you constantly have to be on the lookout. Secondly, if you are driving and you spot that the rear window is open slightly, imagine trying to close it manually....on  a busy road....on a rainy day. 
  4. The ignition wants you to wait - and then wait some more. When you want to start the Figo, the ignition gives out beeps like - beep beep beep, pause, beep beep beep. You should not ideally start your car unless all the beeps are over. Also, before restarting, you need to turn the ignition completely off and then start, else it won't. On a busy junction, if you happen to stall, there are more beeps in people's mouths then in your car's ignition! Oh and wait! If you are on low fuel, the the beeps have low fuel audio indicator in between, so it be like - beep beep beep, pause, ting ting ting, pause, beep beep beep. WTF!
  5. The stock audio is a mess - the Bluetooth does not connect to most devices, CDs get stuck and Ford takes months to repair.
  6. The door lock system is a real mess - The doors do not have a separate 'lock' button. The same lever that opens to door is pushed inside to lock the door. Hence, a kid can accidentally (& easily) unlock any door. And you cannot always use child lock!
On maintenance expenses side, the largest amount I spent till date was 2 months ago to replace the cross member, the clutch assembly and a major servicing at 60 thousand kilometers. Sounds decent to me!
Having said all this, the downsides are still minor irritants and nothing that makes you get rid of the car. Even after 5 years with decent maintenance, my car looks like it is just a year old. This car will certainly go on for another 5 years. 

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