Cheaper and refreshed Ford Classic officially launched

Last week we told you about the launch of the refreshed, cheaper Ford Classic (formerly Ford Fiesta Classic) – and the car has been officially launched today, July 16, 2012. Prices range from Rs. 5.53 lakh to Rs. 7.82 lakh across six variants. The Classic now gets three variants each in petrol and diesel.

Like we told you, the biggest change is to the top-end variant which is now called the Ford Classic Titanium. The diesel Titanium is priced at Rs. 7.82 lakh ex-showroom Delhi (a drop of Rs. 60,000 from its earlier price), and the petrol Titanium is priced at Rs. 6.86 lakh. The lower variant prices remain unchanged. Also read: Exclusive:  Ford Classic gets a makeover and lower price tag

 

new ford classic
Photo: The New Ford Classic looks much more attractive after the price cut

Extended lifespan

One fear many buyers of the Classic have had so far has been that the car may be nearing the end of its lifecycle (it was launched in 2005). But Anurag Mehrotra, VP-marketing Ford India, during the launch of the Classic said the car is not going to be discontinued anytime soon.

“It’s an integral part of my product portfolio and gives me a gliding path for customers who want to upgrade within the Ford family,” Mehrotra told CarToq. “The car will definitely remain a part of our expanding product portfolio, as it gives Figo customers a car to step up to.”

The other change that he highlighted was the reduced cost of spare parts now for the Classic and Figo (which share plenty of parts), and he claims easier availability of parts for the car because of the company’s parts distribution center that it opened in Gurgaon last year.

So what else is new with the Classic?

Refreshed looks

The Titanium variant of the Classic gets a new design of alloy wheels, a boot spoiler and the Fiesta badge is now completely dropped from this car. There is more chrome on the car – a chrome grille, chrome rimmed headlamps and chrome mirrors with integrated turn indicators.

On the interiors, the fake wood paneling has been replaced with aluminium inserts. The boot release is now electric like the Figo. The music system with Bluetooth also comes from the Figo. The rear seat gets an armrest with integrated cupholders, but just like the new-generation Fiesta, this too has exposed hinges. Plastic quality is decent, although some bits were better in the older car.

Value for money

The Classic now gives buyers even better value for money as it is Rs. 45,000 cheaper than the Etios and just Rs. 45,000 more than the Dzire.

The petrol Classic is powered by a 1.6 litre engine that puts out 100 bhp of power, making it one of the most powerful in its segment (compared to other entry-level sedans), while the diesel Classic has a 1.4 litre Duratorq engine that has proven fuel economy of over 20 kmpl (and it had set a record 32 kmpl earlier). The car’s best traits such as excellent ride and handling remain.

The Ford Classic is Ford’s best-selling sedan in India right now, having sold nearly 1,100 units last month, compared to just over 200 units for the newer generation Fiesta. The Figo is the company’s best-selling product, selling over 4,800 units last month and an average of over 6,000 units monthly in the past six months.

Still, the Classic has a lot of catching up to do, as it competes with the Maruti Dzire that sells an average of 14,500 units a month and the Toyota Etios, which sells about 4,300 units a month, looking at the last six-month’s sales data.

Can the cut-price Classic, which is now significantly cheaper than the Toyota Etios overtake the latter? Or will it put a dent in Dzire sales? Tell us what you think of this refreshed Ford Classic.