Hailey Philander was super glad to get the chance to review the 1.4 Duratorq TDCI – one of three powertrains that have been made available for South Africa.
A well performing little diesel
Using an all-aluminium construction and common rail injection, the little turbodiesel is a real livewire. It is a bit rough at idle and, although bystanders commented that it sounds like a “baby diesel truck”, it performs really well. h3>Claims a great fuel consumption h3> It’s torquey, pulls wonderfully from the lower ranges, but also revs very freely. Outputs of 50 kW at 4 000 r/min and 160 Nm at 2 000 r/min ensure it won’t necessarily earn a front-row berth at a firepower contest, but Ford claims it consumes a mere 5.5l/100 km of diesel.
Also, considering that some found it loud, very little of this noise was transferred to the cabin, something I found particularly pleasing considering the apparent lack of insulation in the boot area. The boot space is quite generous too, swallowing up to 460 litres of luggage.
Functional with a Fiesta face
And don’t be fooled by its “Made in India” heritage. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the car’s build quality, materials used and overall fit-and-finish. It feels robust and hardy, but it also bears the very cute (even after facelift) Fiesta face – what could be wrong with that? The facia has been lifted from the Fiesta and, typically Ford is sombre and bland, but functional. Buttons and dials are clearly marked, and the number of goodies tossed in to confuse you kept to a minimum. I also loved the soft-touch plastic on the dashboard – very upmarket, indeed.
What I did find a bit confusing, however, is the use of a creamy-beige upholstery for the seat covers and interior trim in what is meant to be a small family car that will probably be used to cart young kids around. Weird, I know.
A budget sedan dream
But, typically Ford, this car handles like a budget sedan dream. It shares a platform with the immensely popular Fiesta and it was expected that handling would be similar, despite the addition of a lumpy rear end, albeit with a rather classy taillight cluster. However, the Ikon impressed again with extremely direct steering and suspension that is comfortably firm for a car in this segment.
The five-speed gearbox is wonderful to operate too, effortlessly breezing between the cogs.
As far as safety is concerned, the car is fitted with driver and front passenger airbags and ABS brakes. Pre-tensioned seatbelts are also offered across the range, although the centre passenger on the rear bench gets a lap seatbelt only.
The turbodiesel is only offered with the Trend specification package and the model tested also came central locking linked to an immobiliser and illuminated entry.
A service plan and a good price too
One less thing to worry about, for the first few years at least, is servicing. The Ikon range is sold with a four-year/60 000 km service plan (services are at 15 000 km intervals) and roadside assistance for three years is thrown in for good measure.
Not a bad package for R138 990. The test unit was unfortunately finished in rental-friendly white paintwork, but metallic paint is an option at R710.