Ford Introduced Ford Freestyle, a crossover, to be in competition with the crossover cars segment that is recently been gaining popularity in India. The Hatchback segment is quite popular in country like India, maybe because of the fact that they are easy to manoeuvre in the city & are affordable.
But with time as the Indian economy grew the prices of the hatchback cars started to touch 7-8 lakh price mark. So, people started to expect more out of these cars plus due to the rough road conditions in India most people prefer to go for SUVs, and that’s where the sub-4-meter SUV segment with cars like Brezza, Nexon, Ecosport and other cars, became famous in no time.
But for people who want easy manoeuvrability with SUV like feel carmakers introduced a Crossover segment i.e. the hatchback with some off-roading characteristics, here’s where the cars like Ford Freestyle, S-cross, Etios cross, i20 active etc. come in.
Now, the Ford Freestyle is, crossover-hatch version of the Figo. The Ford Freestyle is not just a makeover, it’s much more. It has increased ground clearance, wider tiers and bespoke electric power steering and not only that, this all New Freestyle houses the Ford’s brand new 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a new 5-speed manual gearbox. With all this is the Ford Freestyle worth buying? Let’s, check it out.
Ford Freestyle Design & Exteriors
The new Ford Freestyle gives us hint of upcoming facelifted Figo and Aspire. It gets up a beefy ‘V’ bonnet and looks grown up with sharper creases and cuts with hexagonal grille. Overall the front looks very aggressive in nature with angular C-shaped fog lamp housings.
It gets sporty Smoked headlights, with contrast coloured rear view mirrors. Adding to the looks it also gets Decals on the lower portion of the doors, which in turn enhances the sporty looks of the new Ford Freestyle. Also, it gets distinguished and reprofiled Led Tail lights.
The new Ford Freestyle is 190mm in Ground Clearance and its overall height is increased by 16mm than the Figo to help it manoeuvre easily on rough roads. It looks like an off roader from outside. There are a lot of style bits like scuff plates at the front and rear, plastic cladding on wheel arches at the lower portion of the body, Re-done bumper with small plastic style elements plus the roof rails can support up to 50kg of load that add to the off-road characteristics of Ford Freestyle. Talking about the wheels, Ford has upgraded the wheels to 15-inch alloys with an attractive split four-spoke design but under the large wheel arches they still look a bit small. But these alloys are perfect for good ride quality as said by ford Engineers.
Ford Freestyle Interiors & Features
The Interiors of the Ford Freestyle are same as the Figo and Aspire but welcomes you with a Chocolate-on-black colour theme with updated features. In the centre Console ford has finally included a 6.5-inch touchscreen Display with apple car play & Android Auto. It is the same unit as found in the Ford Ecosport. The Touchscreen system can also be linked with the smartphone via Bluetooth but the satellite navigation is still missing.
Besides the new infotainment system, the Ford Freestyle also gets keyless entry, Engine Start Stop Button, Automatic climate control, auto headlamps USB, AUX ports and 12V Power sockets. And there’s an ample storage space with two cup holders between the front seats, large water bottle holders in Door pockets, a rubberish panel to hold smartphone in place.
But there are some downsides also in the Ford Freestyle as the plastics used in the panels in the cabin are made of hard plastics, which does not give a quality feel. Though the freestyle sits higher than the Figo but still the driver seats are not in a commanding position. The instrument cluster is a bit simple and feels a bit outdated.
Talking about the seat comfort, the seats are well cushioned and have good under thigh support, good backrest angle, and better side support. However at the rear section the seats are a bit softer than front, you get nice amount of legroom and the windows are also adequately large enough and feels more airy but the headroom is just about ok and the headrests are also fixed so taller passengers might knock their head at a sharp bumps.
PRICE BRACKET OF Ford Freestyle IN INDIA
Now the Ford Freestyle is priced between Rs. 5.09 lakh for the base model and goes upto to Rs. 7.89 lakh for Top Spec. model.
|New Ford Freestyle Model||Expected Ex-showroom Price Bracket|
|Base Petrol||Rs. 5.09 Lakh|
|Top Petrol||Rs. 6.94 Lakh|
|Base Diesel||Rs. 6.09 Lakh|
|Top Diesel||Rs. 7.89 Lakh|
Ford Freestyle Safety Features
In terms of Safety features Ford never disappoints. The Ford Freestyle comes with dual airbags and ABS as standard and the Top spec variant gets six airbags, traction control, electronic stability program (ESP) as well as the unique active rollover protection or ARP feature that works with ESP to reduce engine power and brake individual wheels to prevent Rollover. Apart from that a smart feature Ford offers is the My Key function that allows you to pre-set max volume levels and speed limits to keep you and your children safe while over speeding.
Ford Freestyle Boot Space
Boot space of the Freestyle is identical to the Figo and is about 257-litres. And there’s a plenty of space but has a High Loading lip so you have to lift those heavy bags a bit more to store them.
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Ford Freestyle Engine & Performance
The Ford Freestyle comes with a Ford’s new naturally aspirated, 1.2-litre, three-cylinder Ti-VCT petrol engine, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox which has crisp gearshifts with lighter clutch. It churns out 96 horsepower, which makes this engine the most powerful in its class. This engine is really fun to drive and feels butter smooth, also it is a refined unit which functions quietly in city driving conditions. The engine never feels out of power and just pulls & pulls cleanly from 3000rpm to the speed limiter at 6800rpm mark. Tough the engine is not the peppiest in its class but it feels alive and more responsive than the older 4-cylinder 1.2L unit on the Figo and the Aspire.
The Ford Freestyle is also offered with 1.5-litre engine borrowed up from the Figo, Aspire and EcoSport & is mated to newer 5-speed gearbox. This 1.5L mill makes 100hp and 215Nm of torque and is also a great performer but gearshifts is a bit of a exercise maybe because of a heavier clutch. It Responses well to the accelerator right over the idle and gives a linear power output. But as the revs cross 3,500rpm the engine gets quite vocal but still it offers good response and fuel efficiency.
Ford Freestyle Mileage/ Average
|Fuel Type||Transmission||Mileage/ Average|
Ford Freestyle Ride Quality & Handling
Well like the performance of both the engines Freestyle also impresses us on the Ride quality. It handles all the sharp bumps, potholes and rough road sections really well. The Ford Freestyle runs on 15-inch rims with 185/60 section tyres also the job done on the suspension is really great, plus it gets a whopping 190 mm of ground clearance, all these factors work together and makes the ride quality of the new Ford Freestyle amazing.
Talking about the stability, the car feels stable even at high speeds, courtesy to the anti-roll bars that do their job pretty well. It absorbs all the bumps that come into its way with a soft suspension. It filters out almost all the noise from the road and cabin feels well insulated at low speeds and is a peaceful Place to be in but at higher speeds some amount of wind noise does filter through. Though It’s not an SUV, but still feels like one under the skin of a crossover.
The Ford Freestyle comes with an electric power steering which is a great news for all those enthusiasts out there. It feels planted while riding and manoeuvring the vehicle on those sharp corners gets a bit easier with a communicative steering, strong grip from tires and strong braking power that builds up your confidence while driving.
Now after all the testing the question that arises is that should you buy one? Well with some style bits on the exteriors, updated interiors, strong and peppy engines and amazing ride quality the Freestyle is a complete package. Tough it also has its downsides in terms of low quality hard plastic panels and it might not have the most premium and Most spacious cabin in its class, but if you are a person who loves to drive, then this hot crosshatch is for you.
The pricing of the Freestyle is in the range of Rs 5.09-7.89 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), a Rs 42,000 decrease over the base standard Figo.
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