New Ford Aspire – Ready for prime time

Ford has updated its compact sedan, the Aspire, with new a new face, new features, and new engines. Does the new car offer a better purchase proposition than its rivals?

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There was a time I couldn’t understand the idea of compact sedans. Doesn’t a sub-4m hatchback haul people more comfortably? Then I realized that compact sedans served one purpose – democratizing cars. People want sedans, no matter how popular crossovers/SUVs may become. Sedans represent luxury like no other car body style does. However, not everyone can afford an entry-level mid-size sedan. This is why compact sedans like the Ford Aspire exist (unnecessarily complicated? I know!). Now that I have mentioned the Ford Aspire, let’s talk about that. After all, Ford has just updated the car with new looks and features.

Specifications Ford Aspire Petrol Ford Aspire Diesel
Price Rs 5.55 lakh – Rs 8.49 lakh Rs 6.45 lakh – Rs 8.14 lakh
Engine Naturally-aspirated, 1.2-litre, inline three-cylinder Ti-VCT petrol/Naturally-aspirated, 1.5-litre, inline three-cylinder Ti-VCT petrol Turbocharged, 1.5-litre inline four-cylinder TDCi diesel
Power 96HP/123HP 100HP
Torque 120Nm/150Nm 215Nm
Transmission 5-speed manual/6-speed torque converter automatic 5-speed manual
Front Suspension McPherson struts with coil-over dampers McPherson struts with coil-over dampers
Rear Suspension Twist beam with coil-over dampers Twist beam with coil-over dampers
Front Brake Disc brakes Disc brakes
Rear Brake Drum brakes Drum brakes
Length 3,995mm 3,995mm
Width 1,704mm 1,704mm
Height 1,525mm 1,525mm
Wheelbase 2,490mm 2,490mm
Mileage 19.4kmpl/16.3kmpl 26.1kmpl
Fuel Tank Capacity 42 litres 40 litres

What’s new about the Ford Aspire?

Ford needs no introduction. Cars like the Model T and Mustang have made the Dearborn, Michigan-based carmaker legendary. The Aspire doesn’t need an introduction either. After all, it competes against the likes of Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Hyundai Xcent, and Tata Tigor compact sedans. Let’s take a look at the Ford Aspire’s exterior and interior changes.

Ford-Aspire-5

The Aspire gets a new face which is quite similar to that of the Freestyle. The headlights get blacked-out treatment (no projector units though), the multi-slat grille has been swapped out for a cellular grille (Ford speak, not me), and a restyled front bumper.

Ford-Aspire-7

The rear sports a restyled bumper and Ford says it has new taillamps, though I can’t spot any differences between the new and old units. Rounding up the exterior changes are new 8 twin-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels.

Ford-Aspire-2

Inside, the Ford Aspire looks more or less similar to the outgoing car, barring one major difference. It gets an all-new 6.5-inch Ford Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment unit. Gone are the litany of buttons on the centre console, lending the interior a clean (clutter-free even) feel. The SYNC 3 system has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionalities, along with Emergency Assistance feature. Moreover, Ford has switched to fabric seat upholstery from leather.

Ford-Aspire-8

Say hello to SYNC 3 in the new Ford Aspire

The biggest change with the Ford Aspire are the new petrol engines. These engines come from the Dragon family and are three-cylinder units. The lesser of these petrol motors, the one displacing 1.2 litres, does duties in almost every Aspire variant. This engine makes 96HP power and 120Nm torque. Mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, it returns 19.4kmpl mileage.

Ford-Aspire-9

There’s a reverse parking camera too

The bigger petrol engine displaces 1.5 litres, and makes 123HP power and 150Nm torque. It is paired to a six-speed torque converter automatic gearbox (available in Titanium trim only). This engine returns 16.3kmpl mileage. If this powertrain combo feels familiar, then take a look at EcoSport’s spec sheet.

Ford-Aspire-10

Still got 6 airbags!

The diesel engine on the Ford Aspire displaces 1.5 litres and is a four-cylinder turbocharged unit. It makes 100HP power and 215Nm torque, and is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. This engine-gearbox combo of the Aspire returns 26.1kmpl mileage. The Aspire weighs between 1016 – 1103kg. Expect sprightly performance from the car, regardless the powertrain combo.

Ford-Aspire-4

The car has an independent McPherson strut suspension setup at the front and semi-independent twist beam at the rear. It gets disc brakes up ahead and drum brakes at the back. The car measures 3,995mm in length, 1,704mm in width, and 1,525mm in height. Its wheelbase spans 2,490mm.

Is the Ford Aspire worth consideration?

For a few reasons, the Ford Aspire is worth considering. First of those reasons is its price, which starts approximately Rs 7,000 below the Figo’s. Secondly, it packs all the features one can ask for, except some like projector headlamps, LED DRLs, leather upholstery, and telescopic steering adjustment.

Ford-Aspire-1

Thirdly, standard safety features across the model range are aplenty – dual front airbags, ABS+EBD, and front seatbelt reminder (driver + passenger). Coupled with standard comfort features like adjustable front+rear headrests, tilt-adjustable steering wheel, and rear parking sensors, this car is quite packed.

Ford-Aspire-6

Lastly, Ford is offering a 5-year/1,00,000km warranty on the Aspire. That is a big plus for all prospective owners of this car. It puts their minds at ease when considering Ford Aspire’s reliability vis-à-vis Maruti Suzuki DZire. Taking all these reasons together, not considering the Ford Aspire will be a bad idea.

Ford Aspire – Synopsis

  • Prices start from Rs 5.55 lakh, go up to Rs 8.49 lakh for Titanium Automatic
  • Features a new face, restyled bumpers, and new features
  • Comes with a 5-year/1,00,000km warranty
  • Gets Ford SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system and fabric upholstery in the cabin
  • Comes with two new petrol engines from Dragon family
  • 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol makes 96HP power and 120Nm torque, paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox
  • 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine makes 123HP power and 150Nm torque, mated to a 6-speed torque converter automatic
  • 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel makes 100HP power and 215Nm torque, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission
  • Gets auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, 15-inch alloy wheels, and a new grille
  • Gets convenience features like push-button start-stop, and automatic climate control A/c features
  • Dual front airbags, ABS+EBD, front row seatbelt reminder as standard safety features
  • Standard comfort features include adjustable front and rear headrests, tilt-adjustable steering, and rear parking sensors

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