As far as diesel hatchbacks in India are concerned, this is the ultimate clash of the titans. The Maruti Swift diesel and Ford Figo diesel go head to head in this grueling in-depth analysis.
In terms of appearance, the Swift looks a bit sportier, thanks to its neat edges, crisp contours and well proportioned head and tail lamps. Ford’s diesel hatchback, though pleasant enough on its own merits, seems just a little bland superficially when standing next to the Swift.
Looking at the powerplants, the Swift’s engine scores over the Figo’s; the former’s 1.3 liter, 75 bhp DDiS engine with common rail multi-injection offers a little more than the Figo’s 1.4 liter, 69 bhp. The Swift also boasts better peak torque (190 Nm @ 2000 rpm) than the Figo (160 Nm @ 2000 rpm). In terms of fuel efficiency, Swift again claims the crown. Its engine maintains an awesome 18.1 km per liter in the city, and 22.9 km per liter on the highway. For the Figo, the corresponding figures are 14.5 km per liter and 18.5 km per liter respectively.
The Ford Figo comes with more features than the Maruti Swift if you look at the base models. Power windows, a CD player and central locking are standard on the base Figo but are omitted from the lowest variant of the Swift. Both base models have air conditioning and power steering, but lack antilock braking systems and leather seats. When it comes to the top-of-the-line models of the Swift and Figo though, there is nothing to choose between the two; they both come with the works.
If there’s one thing that separates the two cars, it’s the pricing. While the Figo’s base model is available for Rs 5.17 lac, the Swift is priced much higher at Rs. 5.54 lac. The high-end variants also tell the same story – the Figo comes at Rs. 5.94 lac while the Swift costs a hefty Rs. 6.77 lac. When it comes to maintenance cost, the trend seems to be reversed. Though this varies to some extent with usage and driving conditions from owner to owner, the Swift- coming from the Maruti stable- is generally easier on the pocket when it comes to maintenance and part replacement, while the Ford Figo’s after sales service is a touch pricier.
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Now for the all-important question – Who’s the winner? Well, as it happens, it’s hard to give an unequivocal answer. The “better” car between the two really depends on what the customer is looking for; if it’s long term viability in terms of fuel efficiency and low maintenance, one would be justified in choosing the Swift provided he can look beyond the initial cost, whereas the person looking for more features at a lower price would favor the Figo, if he is okay with driving at slightly lower mileage. It depends almost entirely on what the customer wants – after all, as George Harrison said – It’s all in the mind!
-by Abhishek Neeli