Ford launched the Figo Automatic, with the segment-first 6-speed automatic transmission, in India on Thursday. We won’t be exaggerating to call it a desperate attempt of survival by the American giant, which is probably trying its final move to keep its hatchback alive in the country and help it rise up against the current brutal submersion by the competitors.
The Blue Oval has also re-introduced the mid-spec Titanium and Titanium Plus trims with the update, along with a six-speed torque converter. The Figo Automatic has a starting price of ₹7.75 lakh (ex-showroom), and the price for the Titanium Plus trim will go up to ₹8.20 lakh (ex-showroom). The new variants will add to the existing lineup of Figo hatchbacks.
The Figo Automatic is being offered with the existing 1.2-litre three-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine with necessary tweaks. This unit has been paired with the automatic gearbox that is present inside the American automaker’s subcompact SUV, EcoSport.
The powertrain is capable of producing a maximum power of 95 bhp and 119 Nm of peak torque. The Figo Automatic also has a ‘Sports’ mode for a more peppy driving experience. The automatic transmission comes along a SelectShift feature which enables the driver to change gears manually using a toggle switch on the gearshift lever. Blue Oval is claiming a fuel economy of 16 kmpl (ARAI certified) on its new hatch.
Ford is not offering the automatic gearbox on its Figo diesel variants, and they will continue with the regular 5-speed manual gearbox as usual.
The new Figo has also gone through a few very minor design tweaks in its new automatic avatar. There are new dual-tone 15-inch alloy wheels on the 2021 Figo Automatic that have been redesigned to give the hatch a more sporty appeal.
Other welcome additions are the rain-sensing wipers and remote keyless entry. Inside the cabin, the new Figo Automatic gets a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment, automatic climate control, electrochromic IRVM and more. However, the new Figo still does not have Android Auto or Apple CarPlay features (A mistake? Maybe! Time will tell).
What Ford is offering though is the FordPass at no additional cost. In fact, it will also be the only automatic hatchback to offer a globally renowned mobility and connectivity solution which will allow the owners to perform several vehicle operations like starting, stopping, locking or unlocking their Figo AT remotely, via the automaker’s FordPassTM app.
Ford is also offering the new Figo with standard safety features including six airbags, ABS with EBD, traction control and hill launch assist among many others. Blue Oval is offering its new automatic hatch with a 3-year or 100,000 KM standard warranty, longer service intervals of 10,000 KM, compared to 5,000 KM for most other competing models. Furthermore, the company claims that apart from regular wear and tear parts, at its one lakh kilometers service, the cost of servicing the car will come to only Rs 4,097.
The Ford Figo Automatic is available in 5 colours of Diamond White, Ruby Red, Moondust Silver, Smoke Grey and White Gold.
The new Ford Figo Automatic won’t have it easy and has to fight with a crowded market of other premium automatic hatchbacks to make its space in the Indian market. It will compete with rivals like Maruti Suzuki Swift, Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai Grand i10 Nios, Volkswagen Polo and Tata Altroz.
Moreover, the Blue oval’s automatic hatchback will also have to go against many sub-compact SUVs in the market (thanks to the changing customer preference in India) like the Renault Triber, Hyundai Venue and Kia Sonet, given its pricing. So is it time the American automaker should hang its sword and shield for the hatch segment, and go with the flow, doing what it does best, making those rugged muscular American SUVs?