The small car hatchback segment is a very confusing one. Especially the ones wherein one has to decide entry level diesel hatchbacks.With more and more car launches coming up, it is quite prudent that the buyers would be all the more confused. Now many questions arise as to which is India’s best entry level diesel hatchback? If I were to be personally answering this question, then it would come down to the Ford Figo tdci or the Maruti Ritz DDIS. Go for the base variants. But then the question remains. Which one is better? So here I am to solve this query the Lijo way and that is by getting both these cars face to face. Being safety conscious, I have taken the top end variants which come with Airbags (optional) on one car/ standard on the other and ABS, so now, I have got the Maruti Ritz VDI ABS in India facing off against the Ford Figo TDCI Titanium. If there is something which I need, then it is one more tester and that happens to be the newest inclusion to the Indiandrives team, Jerin. So off we set to compare the Ford Figo and the Maruti Ritz in the quest for finding India’s best entry level diesel hatchback.
Ford Figo : The Ford Figo in India mimics the “Kinetic Design” adopted by Ford the world over. It has got that sharp edge face which is said to be Ford’s corporate grille for almost all their upcoming cars in India and the world. The 2011 Fiesta would also display some of these traits. Ford have always believed in giving India, some India specific cars and the Figo is the result of it. However what many don’t know is that Ford uses existing car platforms and sometimes design cues from their older discontinued models. The design philosophy of the Figo is similar to that of the European Fiesta. The head lamps are real slick with painted and dark surfaces whereas the trapezoidal grille stamps the Kinetic Design theory. From the rear end, the car looks quite similar to the now discontinued Ford Fusion.
Maruti Ritz : The Maruti Ritz in India is no spring chicken. It wouldn’t win any beauty pageants however those who want to buy a Ritz wouldn’t obviously be looking at a Lamborghini style design. Instead they would be looking more for a utility type design. Everything about the Ritz speaks of a person who has got muscles to show but then recently contracted some disease and then lost all weight. The rear end resembles the Honda CR-V too much and that isn’t a bad thing for a small car, is it?
It would be the Ford Figo on this one, though I am saying this with a heavy heart since my heart is all for the Maruti Ritz.
Ford Figo : The Ford Figo in India comes in an optional Coral hue for its interiors. Many would puke over it whilst lot many would love a different color to the interiors than the usual boring beige and black used by many cars. The top end variant of the Ford Figo comes with a factory fitted music system which has got Bluetooth integration to it. I for my life haven’t found it so tough to integrate the audio system’s Bluetooth to my phone. Imagine the 2011 Volkswagen Passat’s audio system has lot more intuitiveness to it than this one. The airconditioner also works perfectly fine with its fully closable flaps and stuff. Front seats are comfortable though the rear ones are placed a bit lower and ingress/egress is a bit of problem. The boot release mechanism was placed on my passenger’s side while the indicator stalks were also on the left side of the steering wheel. This clearly indicates that Ford wants to sell this same car to left hand drive markets as well. Rear passenger seat space however is better than that of the Polo, in which, I had an harrowing time. Boot space is nothing to talk about as it is a small car after all. Unfortunately, coming to the rear, the Figo misses out on one important factor, the rear doors haven’t got power windows and one has to wind them up or down, manually. Moreover, the glass doesn’t come down fully.
Maruti Ritz : The Maruti Ritz in India is as sparsely equipped with features as the other Maruti cars. This car, come to think of it, doesn’t come with a music system. The airconditioner makes a whole lot of effort to keep the cabin cool however it fails in front of the Figo’s AC. The seats however are comfortable both in the front and at the rear, even with the front seats pushed back. head room as also leg room is terrific. The shoulder room however is a bit lacking. The Figo sits squatter than the Ritz and also has more of shoulder room. With its airy cabin, the Ritz however feels more comfortable of the two. Boot space is also comparable with the Figo, though its a bit more deeper. The build quality however is an equal in both with the Figo’s feeling better finished.