The MH Motoring Minute: Ford Figo 1.5 Trend AT

The Ford Figo is a budget hatchback that’s low on fuel but high on appeal. If you’re looking for a cheap runaround, this is a strong contender.

Arthur Jones |

Review: 5 day test

Engine: 1.5 litre naturally aspirated 3 cylinder petrol

Power: 88kW, 150Nm

Price: R207 900. 

Ford can be proud of a few different qualities, but in my opinion, it’s the drivability of their cars that’s their trump card. And true to form, this little Figo is a hoot to drive, especially considering the cut-price category it is in – the very competitive budget B-Segment. It’s a little scrapper with an excellent engine and plenty of character – which is good, considering it has some really tough competition in the Suzuki Swift, Toyota Etios and VW Polo Vivo.

However, it’s a competent little package, offering a good standard of tech and spec – especially if you choose the Titanium option in the range. Even though this is a budget car, the drive and steering are rewarding; better than those of its peers. The auto box is fantastic, much better than we expected from this budget segment. The suspension set-up is decent; the Figo is smooth on less-than-perfect roads. The punchy 3 cylinder engine is highlight, and it offers a drive that for us, is the best in its segment.

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Looks-wise, it’s a big, youthful step forward from the previous model, with a neat, new front-end with five different colour options and three different trim options. It’s a good-looking little car, and we prefer the hatchback to the sedan option. However, the interior is a little less impressive, and loses ground to its peers – especially the Polo Vivo. There are no controls on the steering wheel and the cabin feels a little too spare and slightly outdated.

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But if you are looking for a budget all-rounder, this is a smart choice with plenty of strong points, including a great warranty and service plan (4 years / 120 000km), a brilliant ride quality, and real versatility. We could drive this little hatchback every single day and be happy, however, the interior quality, and the fact that it’s thirstier than its competitors does let it down.

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PROS: Best drivability and ride quality in class; Great steering and handling; Good service plan and warranty; Good looks; Clever smartphone holder / display with USB charger.

CONS: Slight price increase over competitors (especially this model); Ho-hum, dated interior; Thirstier than we expected, No steering wheel controls, Small 14 inch wheels.

WHAT WE LOVE: The Figo offers a high-quality ride quality and drive for a low price tag.

RATING: 7 /10

COMPETITORS: VW Polo Vivo (R189 400), Toyota Etios 1.5 Sprint SD (R193 300), Suzuki Swift 1.2GL AMT (R191 900)

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