Top Five Cars Sold By Ford In India Over The Years
- Ford made fun to drive cars for the India market
- The Ford Ikon still remains one of the most fun to drive cars
- The Ecosport began the compact SUV rage in India
Recently, Ford Motors India gave us the sad news regarding their plans to stop manufacturing cars in India due to recurring losses. This was disturbing news especially for us car enthusiasts as Ford was one company that gave us some brilliant, affordable and fun to drive cars over the years. Hence, as a quick tribute let us take a look at five memorable Ford cars sold in India !
Ford Ikon :-
Ford came to India in the year 1995 in collaboration with Mahindra and Mahindra and launched the Ford Escort. The Escort however, did not take off in terms of sales and was discontinued within a few years. Ford's first breakthrough vehicle in India was the Ikon. Based on the international Ford Fiesta Mark IV, the Ikon was introduced in the year 1999, at a time when the Indian Car Market was a hot bed for new cars. The Ikon was a pleasant looking car thanks to its squat muscular design and was built to last. Ford initially gave three engine options for it- a 1.3 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine for the sober drivers, a 1.8 litre 4 cylinder diesel engine which was for the mile munchers and a 1.6 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine which was for the enthusiasts! The 1.6 litre petrol engine known as the ROCAM engine was the engine responsible for making the Ikon the ‘Josh Machine' . It loved to rev and accelerated effortlessly to the redline. The Ikon was also a very sweet handler and became the darling of several owners and enthusiasts, although maintenance was not cheap and neither was it a very economical car to own. Thanks to which, the sales of the Ikon began to fade into the darkness over the years and although Ford introduced a facelift in 2009 with the addition of a 1.4 Duratoq Diesel engine, the Ikon was on its way back to the shelf. It was finally killed off in 2011. Despite the negatives, the Ikon remains one of the best driver's cars India has seen to date.
Ford Fiesta :-
The Ford Ikon's younger brother, the Fiesta made its way into the Indian Car Market in 2005 and felt a lot more mature as compared to its hooligan sibling. However, the fun to drive element did not suffer as a result. Not only was the 100 bhp Fiesta 1.6 a pleasurable car to drive and caress to the redline , but it also felt more substantial than the Ikon and thankfully had better brakes. Handling was on point with this one too. In addition, the Fiesta also got a 1.4 Duratoq Diesel engine which was refined and loved to munch miles. In 2009, Ford rolled out the Fiesta 1.6S, a delicious looking car with a bodykit and spoiler available in an exclusive Aquarius Blue colour which had stiffer suspension and a remapped ECU , making it all the more ballistic.
In 2011, Ford launched the new Fiesta in India, while the old one was kept alive till 2015 under the name of Fiesta Classic. The new Fiesta however, looked and felt nothing like its predecessors.
Ford Ecosport :-
Ford was one of the first manufacturers to play the compact SUV card with their Ecosport, back in 2013. Although it wasn't the first compact SUV India got, it can surely be regarded the car which laid the foundation for the now extremely popular segment. With the Ecosport one could choose from 3 engines. A 1.5 litre 4 cylinder Petrol engine, a 1.0 litre turbocharged 3 cylinder Ecoboost Petrol engine and a 1.5 litre 4 cylinder Diesel engine, giving customers a good variety. Ride and handling was superb, as was the case with most Ford cars. Competitive pricing and a fair amount of equipment ensured that the Ecosport remained a good seller till the end. The 2021 Ecosport facelift which was expected , was cancelled by Ford as a result of their withdrawal from India.
Ford Figo :-
Ford had tried to offer the Indian customers a premium hatchback in the form of the Fusion in 2004. However, Indians did not open up to paying big money for a hatchback and a year later, the Swift took the market by storm ensuring that the Fusion didn't have much power at all. Ford's second attempt at giving us a hatchback came in 2009 with the Figo. Although, it wasn't supposed to be premium like the Fusion, it was a brilliant all round package and felt substantially built. The Figo came with two engine options, a 1.2 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine and the 1.4 litre Duratoq Diesel engine were available. While the petrol engine was a slug, the Diesel was a refined runner and had a good amount of punch as well. People who owned the Figo diesel loved their cars for the sheer punch of the TDCI motor and for its ride and handling. Making it one of the best diesel hatchbacks to own in India. Ford released the new Figo in 2015, with 1.2 litre petrol and 1.5 litre diesel options respectively. In the new Figo too, the diesel was praised for its performance.
Ford Mondeo :-
Ford introduced its internationally renowned model, the Mondeo in India way back in 2002. The Mondeo however, could not find a favourable place in the Indian car market. In spite of being a brilliant car, it was way ahead of its time for India. It wore a hefty price tag of 13-16 Lakhs which was high for 2002 standards. Being a CBU, ensured that maintenance cost an arm and a leg and parts were difficult to come by. A 2.0 litre petrol engine making 142 Bhp and a 2.0 litre diesel engine producing 128 Bhp both mated to 5-speed manual and automatic transmissions were available. Fuel economy, however was on the lower side. Features included were ABS, Airbags, Electronic Power Steering, and a lot more that we Indians still needed time to get used to. Both engines were great performers, ensuring the Mondeo was a brilliant runner too. Sadly though, its life span in India was very short and it sold in very few numbers. Owning it wasn't easy, unless you were Amitabh Bachchan who owned two! Ford discontinued the Mondeo inside 5 years. Although a flop in India, it surely deserves a spot on this list due to its class and features which we had never seen before!