Hatchback car segment in India is one of the most popular and here we have two of the hottest selling hatchbacks in India today in their diesel variants. Figo has been a stronger performer in this segment ever since its launch and now Chevrolet Beat has launched their Beat diesel variant to give the buyers in the hatchback segment a tough choice. The comparison will help you decide what you want to buy within your budget. Ford and Chevrolet are steadily trying to increase their sales by providing better products and here’s how they are trying to do it.
Looks and design:
Ford Figo diesel is identical to its petrol engine counterpart and offers a clean and neutral design with a nicely designed front with curvy large headlamps that quickly grab your attention. Its side profile is stylish, you will instantly notice and like the integrated wheel arches. It is combined with the mildly aggressive front design and the roof sliding steeply towards the rear lends it a slightly aggressive look and an overall muscular profile. It lacks the “WOW” factor when compared to the Beat’s design cues but makes up for the lack of contemporary styling by being well-proportionate. The rear styling has a resemblance to the Ford Fusion. Figo has excellent build quality and has been well constructed.
Chevrolet Beat diesel is again identical to its petrol engine variant and retains the distinctly styled exterior has the front marked with the trademark Chevy split grille and bow tie. The flared wheels-arches add a muscular side profile and roof rails lend it a sportier look. Aggressively styled headlamps nearly extend to the A-pillar and the bold looking front fog lamps give this radical looking little hatchback a macho character. The Beat diesel continues to make a bold statement with its design.
Looks overall – Ford Figo 7/10
Looks overall – Chevrolet Beat 9/10
Interiors – design, space and features:
Figo diesel sports identical interior features present in the petrol variant. Its instrument console feels functional but old, purely built-to-cost. The plastics seem to be of good quality while the seat fabric in the top variant has a classy feel to it. The fit and finish inside the car is acceptable. Rest of the interiors is mostly black in color with some silver thrown in. Figo has ample leg-room at the front and rear and a height adjustable driver seat. It has airy interiors and seats its passengers comfortably. Figo has a 4 speaker sound system with MP3, Aux-in with Bluetooth and cell phone compatibilities. It has compartments for storing knick knacks and class-leading 284 liter boot space. Figo comes with only front powered-windows (even in top variant). Other features include remote boot opener, electrically adjustable OSRVMS and cup holders.
Chevy Beat diesel carries over the list of features present in its petrol variant and has a beautifully designed dashboard with blue-light-lit integrated central control panel and dash with HVAC controls. It has a unique instrument cluster sporting a sportsbike-styled LED backlit speedometer and LCD digital tachometer. Other features include automatic climate control, tilt adjustable steering, tubeless tyres, CD player with MP3, USB and Aux-in capabilities. It has a wider range of adjustments in its music system compared to the petrol variant. It has ample space for 2 adults at the rear. Narrow interiors give back seating area a claustrophobic feel. The rear passenger has been given ample leg room by compromising on the boot space, which is quite disappointing. There’s not enough room for a 5th passenger. Beat comes with storage compartments for bottles, sunglasses and CDs and it also features 2 front air bags in the top variant.
Interiors overall – Ford Figo 6.5/10
Interiors overall – Chevrolet Beat 8.5/10
Engine – performance, power, torque, fuel economy, smoothness:
Ford Figo diesel has a 1.4 liter Duratorq engine developing 68 BHP at 4000 rpm and 160 NM of torque at 2000 rpm. The advantage of this engine is that it has hardly any turbo-lag present in it. Figo diesel has excellent drivability owing its very tractable power-band allowing one to drive easily in bumper to bumper traffic conditions. It also had excellent mid-range performance required for the sprint towards. It has low vibrations when compared to its counterparts in the segment. Figo delivers excellent fuel economy and ARAI has certified it at 20 kmpl.
Chevrolet Beat delivers adequate performance from its 936cc three cylinder engine which develops about 57 BHP and 150 NM of torque. The engine is probably the smallest common-rail diesel engine in a passenger car in the world. Diesel hatchback Beat has minimal turbo lag making it a joy to drive in the city at lower rpm. It is has a very tractable 2nd and 3rd gear ratios and satisfactory midrange and excellent performance to the triple digit mark when required. Although the engine isn’t built for the enthusiast it will certainly please the buyer by delivering a staggering high fuel economy of 24 kmpl as certified by ARAI.
Engine overall – Ford Figo 8/10
Engine overall – Chevrolet Beat 8/10
Suspension – Ride, comfort and handling:
Ford Figo shines here the most with its amazing handling combined with good ride quality which outruns the Chevy Beat by a mile. The car is capable of handling most of the undulations in the road and an enthusiast driving in a spirited manner. The slightly heavier diesel engine does not negatively impact or hamper its driving in anyway. The firm suspension combined with hydraulic steering unit which gives you excellent feedback and makes it a great car for the enthusiasts. At high speeds the chassis is well capable of negotiating tighter turns and fast lane changes. The ABS + EBD braking unit are good and do their job perfectly without any complaints.
Chevrolet Beat handles crisply within city limits and sedate at high speeds on the highway. It has a quality ride which is mildly bouncy and not as firm as the Figo but surprisingly the drive is comfortably good. Chevy has upgraded the tyre size and Beat diesel comes with 165/70 R14 tyres which feel almost adequate enough to handle high speed lane changes. Beat still has significant body roll and there is not the car for an enthusiast. It doesn’t handle like the Figo but as a city car it will perform absolutely great. ABS does its job but the car is under-tyred which hampers its braking capabilities. The diesel variant has higher ground clearance compared to its petrol variant. NVH levels are well controlled at moderate speeds.
Suspension overall – Ford Figo – 8.5/10
Suspension overall – Chevrolet Beat – 6.5/10
Value for money – sticker price, standard features:
Ford has built Figo with a solid build quality, comfortable and spacious interiors and features, a fuel efficient engine with proven drivability, ride quality that matches that of a bigger car, excellent handling capabilities complimented by a quick steering and a very spacious 284 liter boot give Figo a lot of Value. Figo Diesel is available at a price of (ex-showroom Delhi) 3.49 lakhs for the base model LXI, 3.82 lakhs Figo EXI, Figo ZXI is priced at 4.0 lakhs and 4.42 lakhs for the top variant Titanium makes it a value-for-money proposition.
Chevy Beat comes with well designed interiors with good interior features. Ex-showroom Delhi price for Chevrolet Beat Diesel ranges between 4.29 lakhs to 5.45 lakhs. Beat diesel PS is the low end model priced at Rs 4.29 lakhs, Beat diesel LS is at the middle ground and priced at Rs 4.59 lakhs, Beat diesel LT which is a higher model is priced at Rs 4.99 lakhs and finally the top of the line variant of Beat diesel LT (ABS & Alloys) is priced at Rs 5.45 lakhs. The fully loaded Beat comes with a lot of features which generally makes it a very good, value-for-money purchase.
Value for money overall – Ford Figo – 8/10
Value for money overall – Chevrolet Beat – 8/10
Chevy Beat diesel is an excellent value for money city car and gives its owner an excellent list of features to look forward to. It has very good fuel efficiency and comes with the 3 year or 100,000 km warranty. It has unique styling and good service backup. It is a good car to buy no doubt.
Figo styling is not as contemporary compared to the rest of the offering but is well accepted by the market. Figo offers great overall features, impeccable handling, spacious interiors and price combined, it’s indeed an excellent hatchback to buy in the market today.
|Car version||1.4 Duratorq Diesel Titanium||LT 1.0 Opt|
|Max. Power||69@4000(PS@rpm)||58.5PS @4000rpm|
|Max. Torque||16.3@2000 (kgm@rpm)||150Nm @1750rpm|
|Tyre||175/65 R 14||165/65 R14|
|Front||Independent McPherson strut with dual path mounts||McPherson Strut type with anti roll bar|
|Rear||Semi-Independent twist beam & coil springs||Compound Crank Type|