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2018 Ford Aspire review

S Ronendra Singh | Updated on October 17, 2018 Published on October 17, 2018

The new Ford Aspire

New Aspire features beige interiors for that air of premiumness and space.

The new Ford Aspire

Touchscreen in Aspire also works as a reverse parking camera screen.

Compact sedan sporting the Blue Oval gets a much-needed facelift and a third powertrain

Ford refreshed the Aspire recently by giving its exterior design and cabin a makeover. It also took the opportunity to add the smaller, more efficient 1.2-litre TiVCT engine that it already offers in the Freestyle. We got to drive the new Aspire around Jodhpur last week.

Ford needed to expand the choice for customers in the tough compact sedan market, which is currently led by the Maruti Suzuki Dzire. The Honda Amaze and even the Tata Motors’ Tigor are slowly inching up, putting Ford in a spot. So, does the new Aspire deliver on the key ‘fun to drive’ attribute that Fords are famous for?

The new Aspire promises a lot with some 'segment first' features such as the 6.5-inch touchscreen borrowed from the EcoSport and the all-new five-speed manual transmission that’s sportier and fun-to-drive. The best part about the new Aspire is that it has got three engines now, giving customers more options and they are all sportier too. It has the all new 1.2L three cylinder petrol engine, and the tried and tested 1.5L TDCi and 1.5L TiVCT engines. The new Aspire also gets bigger 15-inch tyres with premium alloys.

The first look of the car tells you the differences easily as compared to the earlier version -- the honeycomb grille -- makes one identify the new Aspire, apart from the redesigned bumpers both front and at the back, and the bigger alloy wheels.

Cabin

The new Aspire features beige interiors for that air of premiumness and space. Though it is just 9mm wider than previous generation (overall width from 1,695mm to 1,704mm), it still feels roomier. The 6.5-inch touchscreen adds that bit of premiumness to the dashboard, the 2-DIN music system in the earlier avatar of the Aspire is out. The seats also have better support and the light steering wheel has that friendly grip and steering mounted infotainment controls on your left. The new touchscreen also works as a reverse parking camera screen, which looks pretty neat as compared to many in the same segment. It also features Ford’s latest popular in-car infotainment system, SYNC 3 which allows control of entertainment and connected smartphone apps using voice commands. The climate control worked well too. The Aspire also gets two USB slots like many other companies have started, where one can be used for syncing a smartphone for navigation purposes on the touchscreen, while the other could be used for charging another smartphone.

Drivability

We drove the Titanium versions of both -- the newly introduced 1.2L petrol and the 1.5L TDCi engine. The 1.2L engine is very effective and refined enough to not feel like a three-cylinder engine. This small engine in the Aspire generates 96 PS of peak power and 120 Nm of torque, another best-in-class stat. Ford's trusted 1.5L TDCi engine with 100 PS peak power and 215 Nm of torque also has gotten better than the previous Aspire and now matches the Freestyle. But, personally, I liked the new petrol engine much better -- both on the highways and crowded roads --because of its quicker response, much needed for driving in the city. Ford has also worked a lot on reducing NVH on the new Aspire. The suspension in both the variants worked pretty well too.

Bottomline

The Aspire is priced between Rs.5.55 lakh to 8.49 lakh – with a lot of features and safety packed in. Even though the company is half mockingly telling buyers 'don't follow the crowd' in its campaign for the Aspire, it is not going to be easy to attract customers. Since it's launch in August 2015, Ford India has managed to sell around 80,000 odd units of the Aspire. Tata Motors that launched Tigor first in March last year has already sold more than 50,000 units. The new, more improved Tigor has been priced at Rs 5.2 lakh onwards, currently the lowest in the segment.

Published on October 17, 2018
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