CHAPTER 14: RIDE, HANDLING AND BRAKES The car stands at 9000 kms now when the above pic was clicked at Haryana 3 days back. The engine cries for more straightline acceleration when required and for a 6th gear when its at triple digit speeds. The roads in this state interior are full of potholes or nasty surprises. Situated somewhere are those 3G souls (ghostly ghastly grizzly) which show you your true test of driving skills. Cows and buffalos looking like overhunched oxen are added bonus, and so are the himalayan sized speedbreakers. This is one area where the car shines. The PLCs could have been better in more grip compared to XM1, but the ride quality is one shot astonishing over any road its throw over. Its got a heavy duty chassis which smothers any bumps and potholes and does not jostle you around here and there. The raised suspension is a boon for me, contrary to earlier criticisms over 180 plus mm GC. No more scraping of underbelly or thinking twice before going over an unavoidable bump or pothole. But, the raised suspension does come with a penalty-compared to the older punto, the magic of handling is lost somewhat and the car has a wee bit more body roll and though the car's stability at high speeds is top class, the higher centre of gravity does make its presence felt. The steering is direct, precise feedback but I somehow will still rate the figo as the best diesel hatch if only fun-to-drive point and shoot handling is what you look for. Braking is simply outstanding. In fact, of many cars owned and driven recently, this car has plain amazing brakes and stop point and straight without any drama. ABS system cuts in when required at right time and body control is simply superb in this car. I have seen many people complaining about short life of brake pads but I will reserve my comment till I see them when the car will cross 10,000 and will go for balancing and alignment to my reputed tyre shop owned by a friend.