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2018 Ford Aspire – Expert review

2018 Ford Aspire – Expert review

Snapshot: Ford freshens up the Aspire with host of changes, including arrival of all-new engine. Should rivals be worried?

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Talk about a tough gig. A roomy cabin, frugal engines, solid build and a long list of features. . Compact sedan buyers want it all. In a segment, where a new or updated model arrives every six months, the Aspire had clearly fallen below the car buyers radar. Ford is now all set to arrest this with the updated new Aspire. While the car looks very similar to the older model, a new set of colour schemes as well as features should bode well for buyers.

Exteriors

Changes include a smartened up bumper up ahead, which looks more sculpted than before. The big chrome grille also makes the car look upmarket than before. The side profile remains unchanged except a redesigned set of alloy wheels on the top versions. The rear also isn’t much different save for a newer bumper. Overall, the silhouette remains well balanced and the Aspire doesn’t look like a hatchback with a boot but manages to look like a proper sedan, designed with families in mind.

Interiors

The quality of the cabin has gone up a notch for sure. The controls for the infotainment system and stalks for the wipers have a solid built to last feel about them. The biggest addition is the arrival of Ford’s touchscreen with Ford Sync 3 technology on it. This is by far the best system on offer in its segment. It is easy to navigate through, the menus are all well labelled and it’s high on intuition as well.

Other Ford qualities like solid build and a long list of features is also part of the deal. This car is brilliant on safety. Ford offers an option of six airbags on the top version of the car, which makes it one of the best, irrespective of segments. The boot is of a decent size, but the aperture could have been wider to load it up. The rear seats also, though decent of space aren’t as roomy as either the Hyundai Xcent or the Honda Amaze.

Engine, performance and gearbox

The new addition is the 96bhp, 1.2-litre petrol, which has been shared with the Freestyle. It feels flexible, free-revving and refined as well. It is an engine that should reward keen drivers as well. Rev it hard and it pumps out a nice throaty exhaust note. This engine is brilliant for sheer responsiveness as well. In fact Ford can teach a lesson or two to rivals for sheer refinement. You also get a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes.

You also get a new 1.5-litre 123bhp petrol from the Ecosport. Unlike rivals, which offer AMT units, Ford offers a proper torque convertor on the new Aspire with this engine option. There is also the 1.5, diesel, which remains unchanged from before.

Ride and handling

Ford could teach a thing or two to rivals about sheer car control and dynamics. If you call yourself a keen driver then this is a car you should go for. The steering is sharp and accurate, the chassis is brimming with agility and the suspension really helps keep the car planted no matter what speeds you are doing.

Summary

The Aspire’s strength lies in its dynamic abilities and strong safety kit. It also offers solid build quality and makes you feel safe once inside it. Overall, if you are in the market for a compact sedan, then this is definitely a car that should be on your shortlist.

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