Launched on August 12, 2015, Ford’s first-ever compact sedan – the Aspire – is one of the most practical and efficient cars in its segment. The compact sedan is available in four trim levels – Ambiente, Trend, Titanium and Titanium+ – and three engine options – a 1.2-litre Ti-VCT petrol, a 1.5-litre Ti-VCT petrol, and a 1.5-litre TDCi diesel. It comes equipped with several segment first features and advanced safety fitments, combined with the efficient engine lineup. The production of the compact sedan takes place at Ford’s Gujarat-based production plant.
Based on Ford’s latest Kinetic design theme, the Aspire looks very premium. On the front end, the car features Aston-Martin inspired four-slat chromed grille, large swept-back headlights, prominent bonnet and fog lamps. The side profile gets a pair of 14-inches, 7-spoke alloy wheels, integrated ORVMs and doors with sufficient glass area. The rear end, too, is neatly designed with silver chromed diffuser on rear bumper and large tail-lamp cluster. The Aspire is available with a choice of 6 colors – Sparkling Gold, Ruby Red, Oxford White, Absolute Black, Deep Impact Blue, Smoke Grey and Moondust Silver.
The compact sedan takes its interior design inspiration from the Fiesta and EcoSport. Though, the new dashboard and extensive use of beige shade mark a difference. The car hosts a wide array of comfort and connectivity features such as Ford’s SYNC technology and Applink entertainment system with voice commands, electric power steering with pull drift compensation, automatic climate control, MyFord Dock (on base trim), MyKey customizable driving key, etc.
Engine & Transmission
The Aspire is available in two petrol – a 1.2-litre Ti-VCT and a 1.5-litre Ti-VCT – and a diesel – 1.5-litreTDCi – engine options. The 1.2-litre Ti-VCT petrol engine develops a maximum power of 88bhp at 6,300rpm and 112Nm at 4,000rpm. The other petrol unit – 1.5-litre Ti-VCT – is borrowed from the EcoSport and Fiesta facelift. This engine churns out a maximum power of 110.4bhp at 6,300rp and 136Nm between 1,750rpm – 3,000rpm. Whereas, the 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine is good for 99bhp and 215Nm of torque. Transmissions on offer are a 5-speed manual (with the 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel models) and a 6-speed ‘Powershift’ dual clutch automatic (only with the 1.5-litre petrol variants).
Performance & Handling
The Aspire is a fun-to-drive city car. The suspension is slightly on the stiffer side, but it helps maintaining stability at high revs. The handling is composed, thanks to the aerodynamic design, light clutch and steering. The 1.2-litre petrol engine offers an impressive low-end performance, and city drivability. Though, it feels dull on highways, and gets loud above 6,500rpm. Whereas, the 1.5-litre petrol engine is more powerful and fuel efficient than the former one. Its mid range performance is very strong.
The compact sedan has very strong braking capabilities. It stops instantly at safe distance even when standing on the brake pedal. It comes equipped with the ventilated front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. Features like ABS (anti-lock braking system), EBD (electronic brake-force distribution), TCS (traction control system), ESP (electronic stability control) and hill launch assist further aid to its braking performance.
The 1498 cc Diesel – powered variant delivers a fuel economy of 23 kmpl in city and 25 kmpl on highways, while the Petrol variant offers a mileage of 16 kmpl on urban roads and 18 kmpl on freeways, respectively.
The Aspire is one of the well-equipped and safest cars in its segment. The Trend and Ambiente variants come equipped with dual front airbags, front and rear seatbelts, engine immobilizer, auto door lock function, keyless entry and door ajar warning. While features like Ford MyKey and Emergency Assistance, 6 airbags (dual front, side and curtain), ABS (anti-lock braking system), EBD (electronic brake-force distribution), TCS (traction control system), ESP (electronic stability control), hill launch assist (only on the AT version), perimeter alarm, height adjustable front seat belts and driver seatbelt reminder, ORVM integrated turn indicators, a rear defogger are offered only on the top-end Titanium+ variant.
The Ford Aspire is a great value for money car. It comes equipped with lots of features, and efficient engine lineup. It drives well and offers composed handling.