This goes without saying that the Beat hatchback was the car that brought Chevrolet India among the A-listers of the Indian Automotive industry and so did the Ford Figo hatchback. Although a brilliant package at the time of their respective launches, both these cars eventually lost their spark with the changing times and increasing competition. And what can be a better way to compare two cars who technically changed the course of these manufacturers in India. So, here's our review for the Chevrolet Beat vs Ford Figo!
Of the two cars we tested, Beat has a clear edge when it comes to the looks. The Chevrolet Beat, even after being in the market for quite-a-some time now, feels as refreshing as it was during the launch. The huge front headlamps, integrated neatly with the signature Chevy grille makes the front fascia one of the best in its segment. The tall boy look on the side, sporty taillights and prominent wheel arches leaves no bad angle to view.
The Figo design is more subtle, straight and boring. The car has gone a facelift in the recent past, yet the changes were not that appealing to make the car stand out in the crowd. Slick headlamps, trapezoidal signature Ford grille and bright body color try to make it a young car. The rear reignites the memories of Ford Fusion and overall the hatchback looks more mature.
The funky and youth-inspired styling is infused in the interiors of the Chevy Beat too. One look at the instrument cluster will make you feel you are in a Superbike turned car of some kind, which can look immature to many. The dashboard is otherwise attractive with good overall finish and material quality is decent too. The space in front is decent, not generous and the rear can't seat 3 adults comfortably, but the car was never meant for that purpose.
The Ford Figo again carries the old-school design inside the cabin too, and most of the components are old fiesta sourced, be it the steering wheel, air-con vents or be it the control knobs. The central console is silver finished and the cabin is spacious. All-in-all, the Figo is more rational in terms of interiors and space and is a proper family hatchback while the Beat is more funky and compact, more for a family of two.
Engines, Performance and Gearbox
The power to the Chevrolet Beat is provided by a new diesel engine that is essentially a three-cylinder version of the Chevrolet SDE derived from the Fiat JTD engine. But is not that easy to just knock off one cylinder and Chevrolet did a tremendous job reducing the vibration. The 936cc engine produces 58.5 PS of maximum while at 4000 rpm while a decent torque of 150 Nm is generated at 1750 rpm. No matter how less the power output is, Beat convert these figures to a decent performance on the road. The Chevy Beat is slow during overtaking in speeds excess of 60-70kmph, but it has some real punch to it once you pass that initial turbo lag. The 5-speed manual gearbox has short throws and you need to change gears every now and then to maintain the ride quality.
The Figo gets a more powerful Ford Fiesta sourced 1.4-litre TDCi DuraTorq engine that displaces 1399cc. The engine produces 69 PS of maximum power at 4000rpm and the maximum torque is 160 Nm at 2000rpm. Now if you observe closely, Beat has more power per cc and that translates on the road in terms of the performance too. That said, the Figo has a better engine overall with less turbo lag, and linear power delivery. The 5-speed manual gearbox is sleek and doesn't demand quick change, meaning more mileage and easy to drive capability in the city.
Ride and Handling
Chevrolet has done wonders when it comes to the handling of Beat. The new electronic power steering makes the car fun to drive around the city and at the same time it increases the steering weight during high speeds for better handling. So be it the city or the highway, you will never face any problem and the Beat will offer you an engaging ride.
But when it comes to a Ford, nothing could beat the dynamic ride quality they offer. We already know how the all-new Fiesta is a benchmark in terms of the handling and ride, and the Figo in itself is a dynamic benchmark. Ford Figo handles well, has a lot less body roll, a better steering feedback and more grip. If you are an enthusiast, nothing could beat the Ford Figo.
Safety and Features
Both the Chevrolet Beat and the Ford Figo come equipped with necessary safety equipment, be it 2-airbags or ABS on the top variant. On the equipment front too, almost similar features are provided in both the cars. The top end variant of the Chevrolet Beat is equipped with automatic climate control, music system with blue lighting and that funky looking instrument cluster. The Ford Figo on the other hand also gets wifi connectivity for the music system. The major downside is not providing an auto climate control even as an option on the top variant.
If only you are a bachelor who likes to drive a funky and cute looking car, Chevrolet Beat is the car for you. With funky interiors, futuristic exteriors, and almost Rs 30000 cheaper than the Ford Figo, this car can be the choice of many. But the Ford Figo is better and balanced product overall. The space is adequate for a small family and engine for long runs. Our bet will be on the Ford Figo for its rational approach.