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Diesel Compact Sedan Comparison Review: Ford Figo Aspire vs Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent


We put the newly launched Ford Figo Aspire up against the Honda Amaze and the Hyundai Xcent to see if it has what it takes to be the new king of the segment.

 

Ford Figo Aspire vs Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent diesel comparison review

 

Till the SUV craze came along and took India by storm recently, the sedan was always king of the castle. In recent times, with larger sedans like the Honda City out of reach for most of the car buying audiences, the compact sedan is the segment to be seen in and has become one of the most popular and highest selling segments in the country. And every manufacturer seems to be cashing in on this, the most recent being Ford with their all-new Figo Aspire.

 

 

Ford Figo Aspire vs Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent rear shot

 

 

Now when we first drove the Aspire a few months ago, we were quite surprised by how competent it felt as a package all by itself. But how about its competition? Does it have enough to take on some of the most established brands in the compact sedan segment? Well, the last time we put together a whole bunch of compact sedans, it all came down to a rather split decision. If you wanted driving pleasure as your primary objective, it is the Honda Amaze that you needed. And if ease of driving and a good interior were your top priority, the Hyundai Xcent was the one for you. So does the Ford Aspire change the status quo? Well, read on...

 

 

Ford Figo Aspire vs Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent grille and headlamp

 

 

Exterior Styling and Design 


Ford Figo Aspire rating_4.0_rating

Hyundai Xcent rating_3.5_rating

Honda Amaze rating_3.5_rating

 

All three of these cars are sub 4-meters to avail of the excise benefits and all three of these cars have a hatchback counterpart too. But thankfully, they all take a rather different approach to design as compared to the other apart from the fact that all of them come loaded with a dollop and more of chrome garnish.

 

 

Ford Figo Aspire vs Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent rear

 

 

Let’s start with the Xcent’s curves then. Although it might not look very impressive, the upright front with its slim grille has managed to captivate the Indian car buying audiences. The rear though is the most simplistic and does not really manage to excite us much although we do appreciate how it looks quite uncluttered and relatively simple. Where the Xcent does score high though are the 15-inch diamond cut wheels which are the largest amongst the three compared here.

 

 

Ford Figo Aspire vs Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent wheels

 

 

On the other hand, the Amaze and the Aspire both have an edgy design in their own right. While the Amaze still gets a slanting nose and a well proportioned profile, the Aspire with its Aston Martin-like grille and stubby boot is certainly our pick when it comes to exterior design. That, coupled with a slightly more sculpted bootlid and a better set of wheels would make the Aspire look much better than it already is.

 

 

 

Ford Figo Aspire vs Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent dashboard
From left to right - Ford Figo Aspire, Honda Amaze, Hyundai Xcent 

 

 

Interior, Space and Features  


Ford Figo Aspire rating_4.0_rating

Hyundai Xcent rating_4.5_rating

Honda Amaze rating_3.5_rating

 

Lets continue with the Aspire on the interior front. We think Ford has done a pretty good job in this department with its edgy design that goes well with the exterior and the gloss black centre console that makes the Aspire look very current and up to date. And if you do opt for the top of the line version we have here, you also get some unique features like a programmable key and segment exclusive leather interiors.

 

 

Ford Figo Aspire features
Ford Aspire Features

 

 

Of course, as expected every car here comes with features like steering mounted controls, Bluetooth telephony and a USB slot where you can plug in your phone or iPod. The Amaze even comes with a large touschreen display with navigation and a video player. But post that it does falter a little mainly with regards to the overall dashboard design and also due to the fact that it does not offer keyless entry or an automatic climate control system even on the top of the line model.

 

 

Honda Amaze features
Honda Amaze Features

 

 

The Hyundai Xcent, though, is the car that wins this battle. Not only does it have a well designed and, more importantly, well-made interior but the list of features that it gets like the reversing camera, start button with keyless entry and parking sensors manage to outgun both the Aspire and Amaze. Our only problem with the Xcent, however, is that it is slightly cramped as compared to the other two.

 

 

Hyundai Xcent Features
Hyundai Xcent Features

 

 

Talking about sheer space, the Amaze trumps the Aspire but only by a very slim margin. Both are really spacious and comfortable at the rear in terms of leg space due to the carved out front seats and shoulder space due to its wide benches. The Aspire though does have the largest boot, the most amount of storage space, and a lot of cubby holes, which, when you use a car everyday, does tend to be quite useful.

 

 

 

 

Ford Figo Aspire vs Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent tracking

 

 

Ride and Handling


Ford Figo Aspire rating_3.5_rating

Hyundai Xcent rating_3.0_rating

Honda Amaze rating_3.5_rating

 

 

Ford Figo Aspire cornering picture

 

 

Now, neither of these three cars are going to be pushed to their limits during everyday use but it is always good to have something that handles well. And when it comes to handling, you can always trust Ford to churn out some of the best chassis setups in their respective segments. If you like the actual act of driving, you will enjoy the Aspire the most as it is by far the most precise car between the three here and gives great feedback through the well weighed steering setup. It also has the best braking feel as compared to the other two cars here.

 

 

Honda Amaze Cornering

 

 

The Amaze isn’t too far behind either and does showcase raw potential, but as we have mentioned earlier, we think a better set of tyres could really go a long way in making it a better car to drive. The Xcent on the other hand does not really like to be pushed hard and prefers instead to offer a lighter steering feel to the driver making it the easiest car to drive here.

 

 

Hyundai Xcent Cornering

 

 

When it comes to ride quality though, the Amaze has the upper hand as compared to the Aspire and the Xcent. The Amaze feels more solid too and there is minimal thudding that passes through the suspension and into the passenger cabin. It also feels the most composed on rougher roads and through potholes. The Aspire is just a little too thuddy over rough roads and the Xcent’s softer suspension does tend to bottom out more often than not. To wrap up, the Aspire has the best handling and braking characteristics, the Amaze has the best ride quality and the Xcent is by far the easiest car to drive in the city due to its lighter steering feel.

 

 

Hyundai Xcent with Ford Aspire and Honda Amaze

Engines & Performance 


Ford Figo Aspire rating_4.0_rating

Hyundai Xcent rating_2.5_rating

Honda Amaze rating_3.5_rating

 

Let us talk about figures first. The Hyundai Xcent gets a 1.1-litre three cylinder diesel engine that makes 72PS of peak power and 180Nm of peak torque. The Honda Amaze gets a 1.5-litre four cylinder engine that makes 100PS of peak power and 200Nm of peak torque. The Ford Figo Aspire has a similar 1.5-litre engine that makes 100Ps of peak power and 215Nm of peak torque.

 

 

Ford Figo Aspire Rear tracking shot

 

 

And it is no surprise then that Aspire is not only the fastest of the three but also the most fun to drive between these three cars. Not only does it have minimal lag, the Aspire’s top end grunt translates to a more rev-happy car, a characteristic that we love.

 

 

Honda Amaze rear tracking image

 

 

The Amaze on the other hand is a little more subdued and power does tend to taper off really quickly as you move up in the rev range. It does have a pretty good gearbox though with well-placed and crisp shifts. The Amaze is also restricted to a top speed of 150kmph, which could be a dampener for some, not that we endorse doing those speeds on public roads in any case.

 

 

Hyundai Xcent rear tracking shot

 

 

The Xcent is of course the most subdued of the lot. But where it does shine is in start-stop traffic situations with its light clutch pedal and good low-end drivability. In fact, it is one of those cars that tend not to tire you out after a long and hard day.

 

 

 

Ford Figo Aspire vs Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent rear picture

 

 

Price and Fuel Efficiency 


Ford Figo Aspire rating_3.5_rating

Hyundai Xcent rating_3.5_rating

Honda Amaze rating_3.5_rating

 

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the Hyundai Xcent, Honda Amaze and the Ford Figo Aspire is pretty level. Where the Xcent is the lowest of the lot at 24.4kmpl, the Honda Amaze gets 25.80kmpl. The Aspire is only marginally better at 25.83kmpl. Of course, in real driving conditions, all of these will get slightly lesser than the ARAI figures.

 

The Hyundai Xcent is the cheapest car to buy here, with prices ranging from Rs 5.87 to 7.75 lakhs. The Ford Figo Aspire is priced at Rs 5.90-8.25 where the Amaze ranges from between Rs 6.24-8.25 lakhs. Of course, from a value perspective, considering the features it offers, the Xcent and the Aspire do seem to bee a much better proposition.

 

 

Ford Figo Aspire vs Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent

 

 

Verdict 


Ford Figo Aspire rating_4.0_rating

Hyundai Xcent rating_3.5_rating

Honda Amaze rating_3.5_rating

 

As we mentioned right in the beginning of this review, the last time we brought together the compact diesel sedans, we had a bit of a split jury. So has the Ford Figo Aspire made life much easier for us? Well, yes. It definitely drives and handles better than the Amaze does and it is almost as well equipped as the Hyundai Xcent is.

 

 

Ford Figo Aspire powerslide

 

 

The Amaze might have the snobby badge and the Xcent might have ease of driving on its side but as a package the Figo Aspire is most certainly superior. It definitely wins this war and is the new crowned king of the diesel compact sedan segment.

Recommended Variant : Figo Aspire 1.5 TDCi Trend