Drive: Figo and forge ahead

2010-07-24 07:51

Ford Motors faced excessive ­derision from all corners when they launched the less-than-attractive Ka five years ago.

The US giant obviously took note because last week they launched the Figo for the “young and hip” market – the elusive Holy Grail all marketers love to chase – to take on Volkswagen’s entry-level Vivo. With a price tag of just over R100 000 and standard tweaks, the car is cute enough for the average Jane or rather Jean – Ford’s 22-year-old target ­customer.

With a price tag similar to that of the Vivo, the Figo offers a lot more such as dual airbags, antilock brake system with electronic brake-force distribution, air-conditioning and a radio/CD player. These are extras in the Vivo. In fact, one is expected to part with a cool R8 000 for air-conditioning and another R2 000 to listen to your favourite tunes.

While the Figo particularly targets the young, single and still living at home, the price tag is a bit unrealistic; unless daddy buys it for his precious. Still for the first-time car buyer, Figo is the one.

We loaded the boot with luggage, popped balloons by driving over them and parallel parked into a tight space.

There’s enough space for three friends at the back and the rear seats fold flat for that surfboard, but you have to choose one or the other. Its compact size makes it great to buzz through urban areas and get about in city traffic. As for the inside, it’s pretty standard in a rather drab black with a cheap-looking plastic dashboard.

There are three models in the Figo line-up available only with a 1.4 engine. There are two petrol Duratec models – the entry-level Ambiente and Trend model – and the TDCi model with the turbo- diesel Duratorq engine.

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