VALUE for money and a good safety specification have always been major criteria for the selection of our Best Budget Car, but this year’s winner, the Ford Figo 1.4 Ambiente, further offers recently refreshed looks, spaciousness and a fun-to-drive factor for less than R125 000. Whereas the former champion in this segment, Hyundai’s i10 1.25 fluid, has increased in price by R5000 to R119 900 since we cast our votes for the 2012 Top 12 Best Buys, The Figo 1.4 Ambiente has only increased R1 814 to R120 484. For the latter pricetag, a buyer gets B-segment hatchback levels of practicality, performance and handling, in addition to dual front airbags, air-conditioning, an MP3-compatible radio/CD audio system with auxiliary input, power steering, central locking, immobiliser and child-safe rear door locks. A five year/120 000km warranty and a five year corrosion warranty is standard, and whereas a service plan is optional, intervals fair at 20 000km. What’s more, the Figo offers character and desirability in a segment that is otherwise dominated by head-over-heart purchasing propositions.