Looks really interesting (agressiveness combined with elegance) as it has a unique grill (reminds me of good old Ambi) and swept back headlight cluster make it stand of the crowd. Although it is a sub-four meter car, the proportions are best in-class. The side profile looks very sober (chrome door cladding can liven it up) - this is where the 14 inch wheels look smaller - 15 inch (195mm) would look and also ride a lot better. The rear looks bit odd (common issue in CS segment) and has been kept simple with horizontal chrome cladding - it has enough space for a small family.
Interior (Features, Space & Comfort)
The build quality of the cabin is one of the best if not the best in the segment. The moment you step into the car, you can realize the amount of space it has to offer, just fantastic. During Indian summer, you can keep yourself and family very comfortable as this car has a very powerful AC - also the Ford technician told me that AC load is distributed to battery (80%) and engine (20%) so driving performance is not compromised. The instrument cluster is small but looks nice and clear with light blue/cyan color - other systems (engine warning, overheating, seatbelt, high/low beam, fogs etc) have different colors. Another major feature is the docking station, which can hold your phone/GPS device for ease of use. The USB and Aux are built into the rare of docking station. The steering mounted audio/media controls are nice easy to use.
There are lot of cubby holes and bottle holders - but none at the rare. The front seats are wide and very comfortable for long trips - recommed to get seat covers for longivity. Both front and rare seat headrests are adjustable.The center console is similar to that of Eco-sport and Fiesta - looks smart and elegant. It has multiple connectivity options - Aux, Bluetooth, USB, Phone book sync/dial feature etc (Ford MyKey and Sync features are available in top end variant). The USB requires FAT32 format or it may throw an error :(. The lights are managed interestingly and has been put seperately on the right side below the steering. The rare windows do not go down completely - 10% remains visible. Rare seats get central arm-rest adding to the comfort factor.
Overall I like the way everything falls to hand so nicely.
Engine Performance, Fuel Economy and Gearbox
Most importantly, how does it performe on the road?
To answer it straight, You will simply fall in Love with the 1.5 TDCi :) It is not a brand new engine - it has been delivering power to Feista, Eco-sport but has been fine tuned for more power (100 PS) and better mileage. The dirivability and refinement levels are fantastic. It does not hesitate and can easily pick-up in 3rd gear from low as 15 kmph. The amount of torque (215 Nm) available across the rev-range is briliant. The fixed geometry turbo kicks in early (1400 RPM approx) making driving in trafic effortless (giving quick reaction). I have noticed that even you are in 2 or 3 gear and do not press the accelarator, the car accelarates on its own (torque talks here) :). You can only hear the engine when its idling (standstill) or when pushed over 3K RPM - that means good NVH level inside cabin. This engine is matted to a 5 speed tranmission and has short and precise throws - making things more exciting for the driver. In city runs (office - home) with AC on full time, it should return 19-21 kmpl (with light foot) - which is Great :) The steering is light and chunky to hold. It weighs nicely up as you pick up speed.
Ride Quality & Handling
Ford cars have been known for their ride and handling qualities and this one is no different :) It has been further optimized for Indian roads and makes the car glide over pot-holes or bumpy roads. On highways it behaves like a well oiled machine - stable, composed and poised at high speeds - giving a lot of confidence to driver and passengers.
The unique thing about Aspire is that it comes with 2 front airbags as standard across all variants (top end gets 6 airbags) - this is the class leading feature in this segment.
If you are looking for safe, comfortable, efficient and exciting to drive car? Well, Aspire is just for you.
It is so much fun to drive that you may want to drive it on and on and on... :). Although Ford is late to the party (segment already has Maruti Swift Desire, Hyundai Xcent, Honda Amaze and Tata Zest), but after driving the Ford Figo Aspire, I am confident that it has potential to top the list.
Areas of improvement
I found the outer body/pannel light weight - it virbrates if car audio volume is high (80+%) - this can be attributed to the lightness of this vehicle - just over a 1 ton. The pannel gaps are wide - they could have been reduced. The rare bumper is almost flat and does not provide any cover/protection to boot lid - any rare impact may cause body damage. There is no engine cover (as in Fiesta or Eco-sport) although it has provision for a cover.