By Theodore Opara
Coscharis Motors, Ford Motors representative in Nigeria has finally launched the new Ford Figo into the market. The official launch of the Figo which was followed by a test drive of the car by selected members of the Nigerian Motoring Press over the weekend, revealed the unique attributes of the compact hatchback which has dominated the Indian auto market in the last two years, garnering over 20 prestigious awards within the period.
These awards and record by the Figo has remained unprecedented in the Indian automobile industry history where the Figo is produced. The Figo has dusted established models in the highly competitive Indian auto market and Mr. Raju Sawlani, Coscharis Motors Executive Director, Sales and After sales, revealed that the Figo is poised to re-enact its achievement in India in the Nigerian market.
Said he “Ford Figo has best in class ride and handling with amazing interior space what has made its “Most awarded car in the year” in India auto industry.
The Figo according to him, “is compact, yet roomy, fuel efficient, yet fun to drive and bustling with substance for an incredible value. It is easy to see why Figo was voted the 2011 India car of the year, 2011 small car of the year, 2011 compact car of the year, 2011 Design of the year as well as named among the leaders in customers satisfaction in the upper premium segment by a jury of automobile editors.
Figo comes in choice of two engines including a 1.4 litre Duratec engine with manual transmission and a 1.6 litre duratec engine with automatic transmission.
But the executive director disclosed that the automatic version of the Figo will be arriving the country later in the year with higher features.
An exceptionally fuel efficient car, the Figo looks compact outside but very roomy inside. Designed with the wheels pushed out to the corner to further enhance interior space and maximise the wheelbase for a smooth ride, the Figo boasts one of the largest interior space in its segment.
The interior of the Figo is well laid with array of storage features in place. The occupants will appreciate the comfort level of the Figo. Controls are easy to engage.
Cup holders, CD player with MP3, 12 volt accessory power outlet, air conditioning system and a whole lot of features guarantees you a cool ride in the Figo. Though a compact hatchback, the Ford Figo has a large luggage compartment at the rear. This can be increased if need be by removing the rear package shelf and collapsing the rear seat to expand the cargo space from 10 cubic trunk space to 33 cubic.
The test drive of the new Figo which lasted for hours started from Coscharis Ford office along Akin Adesola Street Victoria Island to Coscharis Motor new showroom in Lekki which is about 85 per cent completion. The Figo was a delight to drive on the expressway, holding the road like a big Sedan. At even 120 kilometre per hour, the Figo was quite stable while the seats cuddles the occupants like a little baby in her mother’s hands.
Riding with a colleague, Mr. Moses Akigwe of the Sun newspaper who happens to be one of the most experienced hands on the motoring beat, the veteran journalist confessed to the excellent road holding of the car.
“In the recent time, this is one of the most stable small cars I have driven” he said. According to him driving the Figo is like driving a big Sedan. It is powerful, quiet and comfortable, he said.
He however compared the car to another brand he drove in South Africa last month which he said share almost the same road handling attributes.
Another good attribute of the car is its ability to manoeuvre on the road, no matter the space constraint , adding that throughout the long stretch of road, the fuel gauge hardly moved which confirms Ford’s claims that the Figo is economical with fuel.
Also speaking at the presentation, the Group General Manager, Coscharis Motors, Mr. Sola Adigun stated that Ford maintains the same quality all over the world adding that they have done every well with the brand. Although the Figo comes from India, he said that it is exported to many countries of the world just like other Ford cars made in Europe, United States, South Africa.
In his remark however, the Divisional General Manager Coscharis Ford, Mr. Adenuga Olalekan said that they were providing a brand new Ford car at the cost of used car.
“Our strategy is to present it as a winner. It may look small outside but it is extremely big inside. It has all the attributes of a modern day Ford and it is the best in its segment,” he said, adding that he has not seen any other car that is as roomy as the Figo in its class.