We have been primarily a fuel-efficiency biased car market in India. However, the trend is changing as some car manufacturers are bringing enthusiastic offerings for those who focus more on performance. Conventionally, when it is about performance, petrol cars have been considered as a superior option as they are quicker and also more engaging to drive but then there are certain new-age diesel cars too that offer similar level of driving pleasure. Ford recently launched the 2017 Figo Sports in both petrol and diesel engines with a stiffer suspension set-up that claims to be better and more fun to drive compared to the regular model. Another car manufacturer that recently brought a spruced-up version of its diesel hatch in India is Volkswagen. The company launched the Polo GT TSI and TDI Sport models in the country.
The Ford Figo has always been one of the good-looking hatchbacks on sale in India. With the 2017 Sports version, Ford has made the design even more smarter. It now features a black honeycomb grille and smoked-finish headlights. Then there is the black roof, ORVMs and S decals to make it look reasonably different from the regular model. Additionally, Ford offers new and larger black coloured 15-inch alloys that run 195/55 section tyres, which give it a more menacing stance especially when seen from the rear quarter.
Ford offers dual-tone colours on the Figo Sports. Among the options available, the contrasting black and white looks the best. However, we did expect Ford to bring back its popular blue shade that was seen on the Fiesta 1.6S and that would have been a perfect throwback. The Figo Sports is available in Titanium trim, below the top-end Titanium+ trim. The only extra bit that the hatch gets is red stitching. The Sports range comes with dual front airbags, ABS and EBD as standard.
The Volkswagen Polo has always been about understated yet premium design. From the time it was launched in the country till now, the German hatch has barely received any substantial change in the design. The GT Sport edition gets cosmetic additions over the regular GT models. It gets gloss black roof, black spoilers and GT Sport decals. The Sport too rides on larger 16-inch alloys compared to the 15-inch on the regular GT models. The colour options for the GT Sport are limited to flash red and candy white. Inside, the hatch gets leatherette-finished GT Sport embossed seats. This one alsofeatures dual front airbags, ABS and EBD as standard.
The Figo Sports measures 3,886mm in length, 1,695mm in width and 1,525mm in height. While on the other hand, the Volkswagen Polo GT Sports is longer at 3,971mm, narrower at 1,682mm and shorter at 1,469mm. The GT also has a lower ground clearance of 165mm compared to the 174mm of the Ford Figo Sports.
The Ford Figo Sports diesel makes use of a 100PS/215Nm 1.5-litre unit. While the state of tune has not been changed, the efficiency has gone down considering the gain of 20kg with the new alloys, fatter tyres as well as the spoiler. The claimed fuel efficiency has also comedown by 1kmpl. We have driven the 2017 Ford Figo Sports diesel and you can read about it in detail in our first drive review. On the other hand, the 2017 Volkswagen Polo GT TDI Sport is powered by a 1.5-litre 110PS diesel engine. This unit was first introduced in the Ameo. Expect the GT TDI Sport to have slightly better acceleration numbers than the regular GT. A detailed road test should be able to tell us that soon.
And that brings us to the final aspect, the price of both these offerings. The 2017 Ford Figo Sports diesel is priced at Rs 7.21 lakh, whereas for the 2017 Volkswagen Polo GT TDI Sport, you have to shell out Rs 9.32 lakh, ex-Delhi. On paper that difference is over Rs 2 lakh, making the Polo a considerably expensive buy. Is it justified? Only a real-world comparison can answer that. Till the time we feature one, let us know your pick between the two in the comments below.