India-Made Ford Freestyle Launched In South Africa

Ford Figo Freestyle-3

Ford Freestyle gets raised ground clearance, added skid plates and bigger tyres compared to the regular Figo hatchback

Ford’s South Africa division has announced the expansion of its UV range by adding the Freestyle to its lineup. Based on the Figo hatchback, the Freestyle is essentially the jacked up Figo with higher ground clearance and more practicality and it has been on sale in India since April 2018. It is targetted at young customers who are looking for a more compact and affordable alternative to compact SUVs.

It will strengthen the UV lineup comprising of the EcoSport, Kuga and Everest (Endeavour) in South Africa. The Freestyle with bigger wheels and integrated skid plates compared to the Figo is sold in two variants: Trend and Titanium. They are powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder Ti-VCT engine as in the regular hatchback.

It is good enough to produce a maximum power output of 122 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 150 Nm of peak torque delivered at 4,250 rpm. The powertrain is paired with a five-speed manual transmission only driving the front axle. In South Africa, the Freestyle stands 16 mm higher from the ground compared to the Figo with a ride height of 190 mm.

Ford Figo Freestyle-6

While roof rails are offered as standard fitment, the Freestyle is said to attract “active, outdoors-oriented customers” as well due to its more practical nature as a so-called ‘CUV’. It is made available in six different colour schemes including the new Canyon Ridge shade, exclusive to the Freestyle and the Diamond White solid paint finish.

The metallic options are Smoke Grey, Moondust Silver, Ruby Red and White Gold. The American auto major is also offering the Freestyle with reverse parking sensors as standard, as the Trend variant gets Ford’s Device Dock with receptacle to hold smartphone, Bluetooth, USB and AUX connectivity. The Titanium grades gains more equipment on board.

Ford Figo Freestyle-7

It possesses a floating 6.5-inch colour display system with SYNC3, reverse camera, Bluetooth, voice activation function, keyless push start button, automatic climate control system, auto-dimming rear view mirror, automatic rain sensing wipers. The standard safety package has dual airbags, ABS, electric windows, engine immobilizer, anti-theft alarm, remote central locking, etc.

The prices for the 2020 Ford Figo range starts at R202,100 (Rs. 9.01 lakh) for Figo 1.5 Ambiente Hatch 5MT and it goes all the way up to R247,500 (Rs. 10.95 lakh) for the Figo Freestyle 1.5 Titanium Hatch 5MT. The Trend variant of the Freestyle is priced at R226,700 (Rs. 10.11 lakh). Ford sells only the Figo hatchback with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Across the series, Ford Protect with service plan covering 4 yr/60,000 km, three-year unlimited km roadside assistance and 4 yr /1,20,000 km warranty is offered. The Freestyle is exported from India to several markets in Africa and it plays a key role in the brand being a top level exporter from local plants alongside EcoSport and Figo.