2018 Ford Freestyle Review
Car Tested: 2018 Ford Freestyle; Road Test No. 927
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 5.91 – 9.26 lakhs
The Freestyle is a tougher Figo in a better package with more equipment
It is no secret that the SUV segment has shown unimaginable growth and every automobile manufacturer is trying hard to bring out multiple products in this segment. When it comes to urban SUVs, customers usually look out for higher ground clearance and a commanding driving position. Keeping this mantra in mind, Ford is out with their latest product, the Freestyle. This Figo based cross-hatch is not just a jacked up Figo but changes are more than skin deep. We sweat it out on a hot summer day in city of Jaipur to find out why the Figo got inspired by the EcoSport and took steroids.
Motor Quest: Hatchback-based crossovers have started becoming a trend in India with so many automakers launching jacked up variants of their hatchbacks. Ford is not one to be left behind and hence they’ve brought in the Freestyle which will be slotted below the EcoSport.
Exteriors – For a layman, the Freestyle might pass off as a jazzed up Figo and that is a good as well as a bad thing. The CUV’s (Compact Utility Vehicle) front fascia gets a restyled front bumper with a distinctive fog lamp housing and a blackened signature Ford 3D mesh grille. While the front and rear bumpers get a silver faux skid plate, the headlights get a smoked effect. The side profile is bolder-looking thanks to the body cladding, flared wheel arches, roof rails and the 15-inch gunmetal finished alloy wheels with wider tyres. The crossover also gets matte black finished ORVMs which look quite cool. The rear, again, is similar to the Figo hatchback save for the Freestyle badging and the revised bumper. The roof rails have a load carrying capacity of 50 kgs while the ground clearance has been raised by 16 mm to 190 mm.
Interiors – Unlike the Figo’s all-black interior, the Freestyle gets a dual-tone black and brown interior. The dashboard layout is identical to the hatchback and features the same 3-spoke steering wheel and instrument console. However, what's new in the Freestyle is the 6.5-inch SYNC3 touchscreen infotainment system that sits flush in the centre console and the new seat upholstery. This unit is borrowed from the EcoSport facelift and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity but misses out on navigation. The system is user-friendly and intuitive to use.
The cabin of the Freestyle is well-appointed and ergonomic
The front seats are comfortable and the driver's seat gets height adjustment. While the rear seat is comfortable with good knee room and under-thigh support, it lacks headroom, especially for taller passengers. The rear doors still miss out on the pockets for storing water bottles. The rear seat gets fixed headrests and is flat foldable. In terms of features, you get automatic climate control, MID (slightly larger than the Figo’s), steering mounted audio controls, chrome door handles, push button start, automatic headlights and electrically adjustable and power folding ORVMs. 257-litres of boot space is generous enough for a crossover of this size and the Freestyle also features an electro-mechanic tailgate opener.