Let’s go into this triple-test comparison with a Which Car? question. One very senior member of Business Standard Ltd wanted to know how good the Volkswagen Polo was when compared to the Ford Figo. I should have had an answer ready yet I paused… and this pause was enough for the prospective buyer to defer his buying process. While I could list the positives and negatives of each car, it would be a better idea to do a proper comparison test and bring along the other European, the Fiat Punto, into the equation.
We chose a hot day (32-34 degrees) in March for our test that saw the cars go through city streets and traffic, the fast Expressway, back roads and hills, rough roads and rally stages to come up with this story.
The best looking car of the lot is the Italian – no doubt about that. So what if the Punto has gone through a minor facelift in Europe already. The Maserati inspired snout, the ‘race car for streets’ profile work well and it can easily carry ‘go-faster’ stickers and racing stripes. And it can carry off colours well too – Ferrari red? Splash it on. Seriously, you cannot call the Polo and the Figo beautiful (smart and handsome perhaps) – but a Punto in red is just that, a beautiful car. The Polo looks the most contemporary of the lot though – with crisp lines, Audi inspired ‘aero’ detailing on the bumper and clean profile, the Polo is the most future-proof car of the lot here. The Ford Figo does have an identity crisis of sorts with design elements from various Ford models making up this car. The biggest influence seems to be the last generation Fiesta on which the car is loosely based on. Bright colours, did you say? Ford has some shades that can make an octogenarian feel 21 and just out of college.
On the interior front, none of these cars tread the unexplored – except for the Figo which is available with coloured dash-boards (great if you can live with it – I cannot). Otherwise you find the usual – acres of grey and black plastics with chrome or buffed aluminium inserts thrown in. Of the three, it is the Polo interior that looks neat and tidy though space is premium. The Punto does feel spacious – especially when it comes to headroom for the rear passengers. All three cars offer similar space at the back with the front seat pushed forward – so if you plan to use a chauffeur, breathe easy. The Figo felt most claustrophobic of the lot thanks to dark upholstery and tall window sills – and when seated at the rear your head just about grazes the roof (and I am just 5, 10)!