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The Indian automotive industry has seen several brands come and go. But only a few names have managed to become more than just a namesake. And one such name is Ford. With a tagline that emotionally connected millions of Indians, ford cars in India truly left a mark with their Family Wali Feeling. 

With a glorious legacy that spans over 26 years, Ford entered the Indian soli back in 1995. Since then, Ford vehicles in India have managed to take the brand from an ordinary newcomer to one of the greatest OEMs in India. While the journey was surely filled with ups and down, now that Ford has bidden adieu to the Indian market, it’s time to remember some of the most legendary vehicles that Ford ever offered in India, some of which can still be owned!

1. Ford Ecosport – The OG Compact SUV

With compact SUVs now taking the Indian automotive market by storm, a decade back, there was a time when compact SUV was just a fancy term. And that is precisely when Ford decided to change the game with the EcoSport 2013. Hailed as one of the greatest compact SUVs of all time, the EcoSport is still remembered as one of the best Ford cars in India under 6 Lakhs to ever hit the Indian market. Amongst one of the first cars to reap the benefit of a sub-4-metre bodyline, the classic 1st Generation EcoSport brought in three capable engines which included the 1.0 litre EcoBoost, 1.5 litre NA Petrol and the 1.5 litres punchy Diesel. While all three engines performed extremely well, the EcoBoost took the spotlight and won the prestigious Engine of the year award five times! Still hailed as one of the best engines onboard a compact SUV, the EcoBoost was the best engine onboard any Ford vehicle in India.

Ford Ecosport – The OG Compact SUV

Ever since the Ford EcoSport was launched, the vehicle’s aggressive SUV looks, power-packed engine, ample classy features and superior build quality impressed both fans as well as critics alike. As time passed, the EcoSport evolved as per the consumer demands and managed to sell over 2 lakh units in merely two years, with India-made units being exported even to the USA.

The next phase in the EcoSport’s story came in 2018 when the vehicle received its long-pending facelift, which made it even more appealing and contemporary in the face of tough competition in the segment which was now filled with several contenders. While the plug was pulled on the leading EcoBoost engine, the 1.5-litre dragon petrol and diesel engine tastefully mated to manual as well as DCT auto still made the EcoSport worthy enough to compete. With a new grille, alloys, headlamp cluster and bumpers, the facelift of the EcoSport brought some exciting changes on the inside as well.  With a new MID cluster, ten speaker set-up, smartphone integration, floating touch infotainment, SYNC 3 system and much more, the EcoSport once again proved why it was one of the best Ford cars in India.

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2. Ford Endeavour – The Beast 

In 2003, when the Indian automobile market wasn’t ready for a full-sized SUV, Ford took the biggest risk in the shape of the Ford Endeavour. Nobody knew back then that the newly launched Endeavour would go down in history as a cult SUV so iconic that it would change the game for Ford. The Endeavour was big, bold, muscular, aggressive and everything a full-size SUV demands. Launched with a big 2.5 litre Diesel engine, the Endeavour’s performance was unmatched. And as an added USP, the Endeavour also came with a 4WD option, which made it one of the best Ford 4X4 cars in India.

Ford Endeavour

Since the Endeavour created quite a buzz, the competition quickly followed, as a result of which the Endeavour received its facelift in 2007 that was sold up until 2010. Like a true leader, Ford identified the shortcomings and improved upon them. The second generation then arrived in 2011 and remained prevalent until 2015. This was when the Endeavour 

Then in 2011, the second generation was launched that was sold up until 2015. This was the time when the Endeavour was given three glorious diesel mills, that were a joy to drive for any car enthusiast. This was also the version that, for the very first time, brought in features like touch infotainment, parking sensors, cameras etc., onboard the SUV. Even today, the Ford Endeavour has magic that can make new-age SUVs sob in the corner.

Nonetheless, the Endeavour’s saga entered its final chapter in 2016, when the third generation of the Endeavour was launched, which was also it’s last. The 2016 Endeavour, however, brought in the most advanced onboard such as new 8-inch touch infotainment, SYNC 3 set-up, active noise cancellation, SYNC 3 connectivity and the most praised semi-autonomous parallel park assist. With its immortal design, premium features, robust safety and superb build quality, the Ford Endeavour still competes with the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, despite the brand gone from the Indian market.

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3. Ford Figo – The Enthusiast’s Hatchback

Many hatchbacks entered the Indian market over the years, with only a few truly managing to leave a mark. One such name was the Ford Figo; a hatch that offered one of the best driving dynamics along with safety, build quality, practicality and even mileage. Debuting in 2010, the Ford Figo saw its own journey amidst intense competition in the segment. Carved upon the international Fiesel B platform, Figo’s biggest USP was its brilliant driving dynamics coupled with a lower Kerb weight. It was also one of the best Ford cars in India, under six lakhs to ever hit the market.

Ford Figo

Initially offering a 1.4-litre TDCI diesel and 1.2-litre petrol, the Figo was far beyond the competition in terms of how it drove. In fact, the punch of the 1.4-litre diesel burner is still unmatched by modern-day hatches. With a facelift coming out in 2012, the Figo was also quick to receive its second generation in 2015, which made the Figo abreast with its competitors in terms of looks. The second generation Figo also introduced new powertrain options with the 1.5-litre TDCI diesel retained along with the introduction of two petrol (1.2 and 1.5 litres)  options. This was also the time when the Figo also got a 6-speed DCT auto.

The magic created by the first generation was well replicated by the second one as millions of Ford fans and critics loved Figo’s performance yet again. The inclusion of up to 6 airbags, peppy driving dynamics, improved TDCI diesel engine and much more together created the perfect recipe for success for the Figo. Impressing many on the way, the Figo received its 2018 facelift that gave the hatchback an aggressive, sporty and muscular look along with modern-day creature comforts such as the latest SYNC 3 system, touch infotainment, auto AC, voice commands and much more. Finally, in 2018, the Figo entered its final chapter with a BS6 engine upgrade that sadly killed the 1.5-litre petrol while still retaining the smaller unit. However, even though Ford is no longer a part of the hatchback competition, the Figo still remains one of the most well-performing Ford cars in India.

Also Checkout Top Reasons Why People Love Sedan Cars In India

4. Ford Escort – The First Ford

When Ford entered India back in 1995, it did so with a joint venture with Mahindra, and the Ford Escort was the first product that was born out of this joint venture where Ford had a bigger share. While the Escort was already popular across Europe, for us Indians, the 6th generation of the global Escort was our very first. As the first entrant from the house of Ford, the Escort had the biggest expectations, which it proudly delivered upon. Despite the market’s highly focused on budgeted products like the Maruti 800, the Escort still managed to connect with sedan buyers.

Ford Escort new

In terms of power, the Ford Escort brought in a lot, including two power-rich engines that included a 1.6-litre petrol unit offered on the Alpha trims and a bigger 1.8-litre diesel that came with the Orion trims. Being a sedan, the Escort also brought in several features, including powered ORVMs, music system, power steering, power windows, Ac etc, which was nothing short of sheer luxury for that time. However, despite coming across as an elegant, modern and futuristic sedan, the Escort failed to garner massive success as the market was horse-headedly focused on budgeted options.

While the Escort was a sedan that was launched at a time when the market wasn’t ready for it, its story is still special as it established and showed the Indian market what Ford was capable of. Quick to leave the market in 2001, the Ford Escort paved the way for Mahindra Ford to become Ford Motor India Ltd. And with so many luxury features, awesome driving dynamics and great safety inclusion, the Escort still was one of the best sedans of its era.

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5. Ford Ikon – The Josh Machine

While it is common for cars to have a decade-long run nowadays, back in the 90s, this wasn’t the custom. That was a time only legends could have had a decade-long run, and the Ikon was one of them. A true Icon in every sense, the Ikon debuted in 1999, when it shook the market with its refreshing package that helped Ford reach the deepest corners of people’s hearts.

Ford Ikon new

Still remembered as one of the best Ford vehicles in India, the Ikon’s strongest suit was its superior driving dynamics that were cherished by not just the consumers but also by enthusiasts and even rally drivers! Based on the world-renowned Ford Fiesta, the Indian Ikon brought in a 1.3-litre petrol engine that was paired with a 5-speed manual. Moving beyond performance, the Ikon being a sedan, also offered premium features such as power steering, anti-theft alarm, Ac, central locking, day-night rear view mirrors and much more. With success at its doorstep, the Ikon 2008 received a 1.6-litre diesel engine that gave the Ikon its alternative name which was “Josh Machine”.

This was also the time when the Ikon got its facelift that brought along the Duratorq turbocharged Engine legacy. Along with all the power changes came design cues that made the Ikon look bolder. Not to forget, the 2008 Ikon also brought in class-leading features such as premium seat covers, rear spoiler, LCD Odometer, MP3/CD player and much more. While the facelift did manage to give the Ikon some traction, tough competition from the likes of SX4 made survival difficult for the Ikon, which was a rather pricey product. Finally, in 2011, the Ikon said its goodbyes leaving behind a legacy full of Josh.

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6. Ford Fiesta – The Leading Sedan

With the Ikon tapping the sedan sentiment, the Fiesta was meant to take it to the next level. Launched in 2005, after the Ikon’s exit, the Fiesta offered as many as three capable engines that included a well-refined 1.4 litre Duratorq diesel, a peppy 1.4 litre Duratec petrol and the high-performance 1.6 litres Duratec petrol. Despite three engines onboard, the Diesel engine quickly became the choice of the people thanks to rising petrol prices. While the diesel unit did quite well, the most thrilling performance of the Fiesta came out of the 1.6-litre petrol unit that produced 106 PS of power along with rev bands and power ratio so good, that it can put many performance sedans to shame even today. Legend has it that the Fiesta 1.6 could actually hit the 7000 RPM mark which still excited enthusiasts to date.

Ford Fiesta

Since the Fiesta clearly wooed the enthusiasts, Ford capitalised and launched a sportier special edition of the sedan called the Fiesta 1.6S. The sedan also saw a second generation that came in 2011 with completely redesigned exteriors. The amusing fact, however, was that despite the new second generation, the first did continue to sell alongside the “Classic: moniker. But with sales slowing down, Ford tried another move and brought in the facelift in 2014, which offered Ford’s latest design language for the Fiesta, along with several improvements and additional features. But despite everything Ford did, the Fiesta’s run finally came to an end with the sedan bidding adieu in 2015.

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7. Ford Fusion – The First Crossover 

In the current market scenario, crossovers have gained quite a lot of traction. But back in 2004, when the crossover was only a dream for the Indian market, Ford did something that went down in history. It launched the Ford Fusion, which marked the beginning of the  MPV-Hatchback crossover segment in India. As a tall body, high-roofed crossbreed, the Fusion turned heads every time it went out for a spin. Offered with a 1,6-litre petrol engine, the Fusion was even mechanically sound. The biggest advantage of the Fusion, however, was its value for money and affordable package. The Ford Fusion not only started a new segment but also brought in features the market experienced for the first time. These include auto headlamps, wipers, electronic folding ORVMs, leather-wrapped steering etc.

Ford Fusion

Despite having the dominant looks of a hatchback, the overall performance, features, comfort and practicality of the Fusion made it resemble an SUV. But since the Fusion was only offered with a petrol engine, the rising fuel prices came in as an eclipse to the Fusion’s success. To tackle the situation, Ford introduced a new 1.4-litre diesel burner onboard that helped Fusion survive a little longer. Nonetheless, the Ford Fusion was a true family car that offered maximum practicality, first-in-segment features and an evolutionary crossover design. In fact, it was the Fusion that paved the way for the Ford EcoSport to enter India, thereby completing the life circle of the 7 most iconic Ford cars in India.

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Exiting the Indian market in 2019, Ford’s 27-year-old legacy is filled with several iconic vehicles that made history. From the Escort to the EcoSport, Ford’s run in the market has shown how a brand can truly create a legacy by offering products that tap into the emotions and expectations of the consumers. As we remember 7 of the most legendary Ford cars in India, we salute the legacy Ford created.

Have a look at some more interesting articles on the Carorbis blog such as the Top 10 Automobile Companies In India 2022 and Top Car Brands in India: Updated 2022!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is Ford Closed in India?

Ans: On September 9, 2021, Ford India revealed that it is ‘restructuring’ its domestic operations. This meant the discontinuation of all models, along with the closure of manufacturing plants, and for all practical purposes a clear exit from the Indian automobile market. To know more about Ford’s Exit read here.

Q2. Can we buy ford cars in India?

Ans: Despite Ford’s exit from the Indian market, Ford Cars can still be enjoyed in their pre-owned glory in the used car market.

Q3. Are Ford Cars Reliable in India?

Ans: With an inventory that comprises iconic vehicles such as the EcoSport and the Endeavour there is no doubt that Ford cars are known to be robust, reliable and practical.

Q4. Is Ford an Indian Company?

Ans: No, Ford’s county of Origin is the United States of America.

Q5. Is Ford Cars Available in India?

Ans: Yes Ford cars are still available in India but in their pre-owned glory and can be purchased from the used car market.

Q6. Why Ford Cars Are Not Popular in India?

Ans: While some Ford cars failed to impress the masses, many of the Ford cars are still cherished as some of the best vehicles in India.

Q7. Is It Safe to Buy Ford Cars in India?

Ans: Despite the exit of Ford from India, the service and maintenance of Ford cars are still very easy. Thus, it is safe to purchase a Ford car provided you have thoroughly checked it.

Q8. How Many Ford Cars Are Made a Day

Ans: Approximately 500 cars were produced daily from the Ford plant in Chennai.

Q9. Does Ford Have a 7-passenger Vehicle?

Ans: Yes Ford offers a 7-seater car called the Ford Endeavour, which can be purchased from the pre-owned market.

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