Ford Figo Sports vs Volkswagen Polo GT TDI Comparison Review

Ford Figo Sports vs Volkswagen Polo GT TDI:


"Both the hatchbacks provide thrilling performance and are very entertaining to drive. Polo GT TDI will be better suited for longer distances and high speed travel, while the Figo Sports will be effortless and enjoyable in the city limits."


Pricing and Features:
The Polo GT TDI is the top-of-the-line variant from German carmaker Volkswagen targeted towards the performance-hungry audience. Despite being priced at 10.58 Lakh (on-road Delhi), the Polo GT TDI has immense following because of its explosive diesel engine and a slick shifting manual transmission. Ford Figo, on the other hand, was initially launched as a regular premium hatchback with a powerful 1.5L diesel engine. Ford realised the performance potential of this engine and launched it in a sportier avatar in the form of Figo Sports. Priced at 8.29 Lakh (on-road Delhi), the Sports edition comes with tuned suspension and improved mechanicals as well in addition to cosmetic changes. The price difference of 2.29 Lakh between the two is essentially because of more advanced technology and better quality construction of the Polo GT TDI. Quite understandably, Polo GT TDI is more feature loaded than Figo Sports but when it comes to commonly used features (power windows, adjustable steering, etc.), both are similarly equipped.

Common features of Figo Sports and Polo GT TDI:
ABS, Dual airbags, Central locking, Child safety locks, Engine immobilizer, Adjustable steering, Leather wrapped steering wheel, Height adjustable driver seat, Fog lights, Power folding mirrors, Alloy wheels, Rear wiper, Rear spoiler, Power windows, Climate control AC, 2DIN audio system

Extra features in Figo Sports:
EBD, Trunk light

Extra features in Polo GT TDI:
Tinted glass, Cruise control, Rear parking sensors, Cooled glovebox, CD player

Performance and Drivability:
Both the cars are powered by 1.5L diesel engines under the hood. While the Polo GT TDI develops 108.5 BHP of power and an impressive 250 NM of torque, Figo Sports is not far behind in comparison with 99 BHP of power and 215 NM of torque. Thanks to the low kerb weight, Figo Sports gets better power-to-weight ratio but Polo GT TDI maintains the lead in torque-to-weight ratio due to additional torque. As a result, Figo S feels more peppy at low-medium speeds as peak power is developed much early in the RPM range. In-gear acceleration is exceptional and the Figo attains triple digit speeds really quick. Only fly in the ointment is the lack of refinement of Figo's engine. The engine sounds strained and coarse like a typical diesel engine at high RPMs. The exhaust note is not pleasant to listen as well, which limits the driver from hitting the true potential of the engine. The heavier Polo GT TDI is slower off the line but engine refinement and smoothness is leagues ahead of the Ford. Polo GT TDI really shines in the high revs where the engine feels as smooth as a petrol engine and progress is pretty quick due to the torque wave. Polo's engine keeps on pulling well beyond the 100 km/hr mark and feels right at home while doing such high-speed runs. Figo Sports feels milder during acceleration as compared to the Polo GT TDI due to its linear and short torque wave. Turbo lag is more prominent in the Polo but the need for downshifting is limited due to ample torque availability. Both the cars get manual shifters and the Polo GT TDI's unit is definitely the pick of an enthusiast. Gates are well defined and gear slot in smoothly in the Polo, while Figo's gearbox feels notchy and rubbery. Clutch travel is longer in the Polo, which makes it tiring to drive in stop-go traffic. Both these cars are much faster than regular commuter cars on the road, but in comparison to Figo Sports, Polo GT TDI has an edge in terms of outright acceleration and engine refinement as well. Overall, it is the Polo's engine plus gearbox combination which feels better to drive.

Engine displacement (cc): Figo Sports - 1498 ; Polo GT TDI - 1498

Maximum power: Figo Sports - 99 BHP @ 3750 RPM ; Polo GT TDI - 108.5 BHP @ 4400 RPM

Maximum torque: Figo Sports - 215 NM @ 1750-3000 RPM ; Polo GT TDI - 250 NM @ 1500-2500 RPM

Kerb Weight (kg): Figo Sports - 1008 ; Polo GT TDI - 1148

Power To Weight Ratio: Figo Sports - 98.2 ; Polo GT TDI - 94.5

Torque To Weight Ratio: Figo Sports - 213.2 ; Polo GT TDI - 217.7

Fuel Efficiency:
Performance hatchbacks buyers don't generally bother about the fuel efficiency but in this comparison, we are considering diesel powered vehicles which are well-suited for daily use as well. This makes fuel efficiency an important consideration, though not a deal breaker. Ford Figo Sports delivers marginally better (around 3 km/l more) mileage than Polo GT TDI but real world figures would be very close as these two cars will mostly go through spirited driving, which will bring down the quoted figures considerably.

Mileage (kms):
Figo Sports: City - 20.29 ; Highway - 24.29
Polo GT TDI: City - 17.9 ; Highway - 21.49

Fuel cost for 75,000 km:
Figo Sports - 1.86 Lakhs (approx.)
Polo GT TDI - 2.11 Lakhs (approx.)

Space and Comfort:
Being a wider and taller hatchback with more wheelbase, Figo Sports offers more legroom, shoulder room and headroom in comparison to Polo GT TDI. Regular Polo has been criticized a lot for its lack of rear legroom and the GT TDI also feels lacking in this department. Due to the sloping roofline, ingress into the rear seat of the Polo GT TDI will be difficult for tall passengers. Despite being equipped with height adjustable driver's seat, Polo GT TDI's frontal visibility will be mediocre for short drivers because of the position of the dashboard. Figo Sports feels much better in this regard as the frontal visibility is good for short drivers as well. The rear space is further compromised in the Polo due to the large floor hump which hampers comfort for the passenger sitting in the middle. Figo Sports is the winner when it comes to cabin space, but not by a big margin. Spacious hatchbacks like Elite i20 and Jazz are priced very close and will be a better choice if space is a priority. Ford Figo Sports rides on shorter springs which make the ride flatter and harsh (over bad roads) while Polo GT TDI uses similar suspension setup as the regular Polo, which means the ride is a bit more plush and comfort oriented. When tackling bad roads at low speeds, the Polo GT TDI will be better for rear seat occupants while high speeds won't make much of a difference as compared to Figo Sports.

Length (mm): Figo Sports - 3886 ; Polo GT TDI - 3971

Width (mm): Figo Sports - 1695 ; Polo GT TDI - 1682

Height (mm): Figo Sports - 1525 ; Polo GT TDI - 1469

Ride Quality and Handling:
The Figo Sports rides on lowered springs along with wider rubber. This gives it a lead when it comes to taking corners or maintaining high speeds on highways. On the other hand, Polo GT TDI gets regular springs which means the suspension isn't as stiff as the Figo Sports. Rear end of the Polo gets unsettled while taking corners and there is a hint of understeer as well. At high speeds also, the Polo doesn't feel as composed as the Figo Sports. Driving the Figo Sports is more engaging as body roll is well controlled even at high speed corners. An enthusiast will pick the Figo over Polo for its poise and stability. Both these cars are equipped with EPS but Figo's unit feels more connected due to the nose-heavy nature of the car and wider tyres. However, Polo's tyres can be upgraded to better and wider options available, which will bring steering feedback to the same level as the Figo Sports.

Wheelbase (mm): Figo Sports - 2491 ; Polo GT TDI - 2469

Ground Clearance (mm): Figo Sports - 170 ; Polo GT TDI - 165

Tyre Size: Figo Sports - 195/55R15 ; Polo GT TDI - 185/60R15

Reliability and After Sales Service:
Ford's current lineup is more reliable than before and the new Figo's 1.5L diesel mill has proved quite frugal in the Aspire as well as regular Figo. Polo GT TDI also skips the infamous DSG transmission of the petrol counterpart and will prove more reliable in the long run. There are no reliability concerns with the engine or transmission in either of the two but the Polo feels better put together than the Figo and will definitely age better. Both Ford and Volkswagen are known to provide mediocre service to customers and customer reviews are often a mixed bag. While Volkswagen's customer satisfaction levels are higher, the part prices are often exorbitant which leads to high service bills. Ford, on the other hand, is now focussing on providing cheaper spares and their service bills are a lot more affordable. Customer satisfaction still remains a hit or a miss. Limited dealer network is a disadvantage with both the brands.

Resale and Cost of Ownership:
Resale value of both Ford and Volkswagen is not strong in the Indian market. Both the cars will take a huge depreciation hit in 5 to 7 years but Polo would be able to find buyers easily because it has sold in good numbers and has a good brand image associated with it. But, cost of ownership of Figo Sports runs lower than the Polo GT TDI due to its better fuel economy (even lower service costs are not included here) making it a financially better buy.

Resale after 5-7 years est.:
Figo Sports - 3 to 3.5 Lakh
Polo GT TDI - 4 to 4.5 Lakh

Total Cost of Ownership (Vehicle cost + Fuel cost - Resale value) est.:
Figo Sports - 6.90 Lakhs
Polo GT TDI - 8.44 Lakhs

Verdict:
Both the hatchbacks provide thrilling performance and are very entertaining to drive. Polo GT TDI will be better suited for longer distances and high speed travel, while the Figo Sports will be effortless and enjoyable in the city limits. The Figo Sports fits well as the only family car while Polo GT TDI will be better suited to those who have another car for daily runs. Available at a cheaper price, Figo Sports is definitely more value for money and is our pick from the two but if one has the money to splurge on purchase and maintenance, the Polo GT TDI is also worth the premium.

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