Ford Freestyle Highlights
The Freestyle is Ford’s way of trying to get more out of the Figo platform. But rather than just making it the Figo with added cladding, the Freestyle gets mechanical changes and additional features along with genuinely interesting visual changes to help it stand out among the faux-SUVs in the segment. Ford calls the Freestyle ‘India’s first CUV’ (compact utility vehicle) and stuff like the 190mm ground clearance (10mm lower than the EcoSport!), 30mm wider track, stiffened anti-roll bars and 15-inch alloy wheels make it feel like it can actually take on the rough stuff. An all-new petrol engine with improved power and mileage, new touchscreen infotainment system and an eye-popping interior theme should make the Freestyle more popular too.
Ford Freestyle Exterior and Interior
There is no denying that the Freestyle began life as the Figo hatchback, but Ford has put in a lot of effort to give it a unique look. There are a host of changes that give the Freestyle that unique, rugged persona. This includes a tough-looking cladding, faux matte-silver bash plates, and stickering that runs along the side. It’s got a set of functional roof rails too. Minor tweaks include smoked headlamps, more prominent creases on the bonnet, and revised detailing for the tail lamp. Ford’s signature grille ditches the horizontal chrome slats for a mesh-like pattern that looks sharp in gloss black. Rounding things off are bigger 15-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 185/65 section rubber.
The cabin is very similar to the Figo/Aspire save for the polarising brown interior theme and, very importantly, a touch screen infotainment screen on the dashboard. All variants of the Freestyle, save for the base-spec Ambiente, get a 6.5-inch touchscreen. But, it’s only the top-spec Titanium+ variant that features Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Ford’s SYNC 3 tech. Other feature additions include a start-stop button, an updated MID, auto-dimming rear view mirror, automatic headlamps and rain-sensing wipers. Many of the issues with the Figo/Aspire have been carried over to the Freestyle, unfortunately; the low quality plastics, old-school instrument cluster design, cramped rear cabin space, no rear door pockets, etc. have not been rectified.
Ford Freestyle Specifications
The Ford Freestyle can be had with two engines – a petrol and a diesel – both paired to a new 5-speed manual gearbox. There are no automatic transmissions on offer, yet. The 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol develops 96PS of maximum power and 120Nm of peak torque and Ford claims it has a fuel-efficiency of 19kmpl. The 1.5-litre, turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine develops 100PS of power and 215Nm of torque, while its claimed fuel-efficiency is 24.4kmpl.
Ford Freestyle Variants
Four variant levels are offered with each engine – Ambiente, Trend, Titanium and Titanium+. Prices for these variants are awaited.
Ford Freestyle Competitors
Hyundai i20 Active: Hyundai’s take on the faux-SUV hatchback formula, the i20 Active gets body cladding to differentiate it from the Elite i20. Now that the Elite i20 facelift gets new headlights, interior trim and an improved infotainment system, the Active seems old all of a sudden.
Honda WR-V: There’s more to the WR-V than being a Jazz on steroids. While it retains the hatchback’s basics of space and functionality, it brings in the added advantage of a high ground clearance. It also gets a sunroof. Doesn’t everyone want a sunroof in their lives?
Fiat Urban Cross: Fiat has removed the complicated boot-mounted spare wheel, improved the interior of the Avventura and called it the Urban Cross. Everything else remains the same, though.
Toyota Etios Cross: The Toyota Etios Cross is a beefed up version of the Liva hatchback and is targeted at other faux-crossovers or sub 4-metre SUVs like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Honda WR-V, Tata Nexon and others. First launched in May 2014, the Etios Cross was then given a limited-run cosmetic update in September 2017 with the launch of the X Edition variant.
Via Zig Wheels