What is it?
This new 2019 Ford Freestyle is a more rugged and crosshatch version of the Figo model from the manufacturer. Alongside the raised ride height, wider tracks, and a customizable electric power steering tuning, the car is much more than just a Figo on steroids. In addition, it will also debut the new 1.2-liter, three-cylinder petrol engine by Ford, as well as a brand new five-speed manual gearbox.
What is the new Ford Freestyle like on the outside?
At 190mm, the new and raised ride height makes it look more substantial than a regular Figo hatchback. What is more, the overall look gives it more personality. Scuff plates are situated at the front and rear ends, there is cladding that wraps the wheel arches and the lower body, while the roof rails support up to 50 kilograms of cargo. The wheels are 15-inch alloys and they have a split four-spoke design which is very attractive. Ford Freestyle also gives us a look of the facelifted Figo hatchback, and the Aspire compact sedan soon to come. The ‘V’ shape on the bonnet is clearer, and there is still a familiar hexagonal grille present. The car has more attitude in the front end, complete with a bumper that has angular C-shaped fog lamp enclosures. The look is further enhanced with smoked-effect headlights, sporty mesh grille, and a contrast effect for the wing mirrors. When it comes to the stickers on the lower part of the doors, they look nice. On the other hand, faux vents on the rear bumper are a bit too much. The tail lamps are new though, which helps to distinguish Ford Freestyle from the Figo at the back.
What is it like on the inside?
There are differences between the Figo and the Aspire here. The combination of chocolate and black colors give the cabin a new and different vibe, while a touchscreen infotainment system hugely increases the overall look of the interior. The company redesigned the center console to fit the 6.5-inch screen, but it finally happened. The latest edition of the Sync 3 touchscreen brings the cabin to the present while being among the best systems currently around. The responses are slick, it is super-quick with Bluetooth, and it has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It lacks sat-nav though.
The Freestyle also has keyless entry and go, auto climate control, auto headlamps and the MyKey function by Ford, that allows the owners to pre-set the max volume levels and speed limits. When it comes to safety, the Freestyle has standard dual airbags and ABS. Top versions have six airbags, traction control, electronic stability program, and active rollover protection, which works in conjunction with the ESP brakes individual wheels, or reduces engine power.
2019 Ford Freestyle Review India
The Ford Freestyle sits just a bit higher than the Figo, but you cannot get a better view. The large front seats have a long base which is nice and accommodating, however, the absence of a dead pedal is disappointing, while the steering is slightly large. In addition, the simple instrument cluster looks outdated for the modern day.
There are complaints regarding the storage space though, especially with the front section of the cabin. The front door pockets are massive, there are two cup holders between the front seats, and there is a rubberized phone panel on the center console. What is more, there are two USB slots in the front and a 12V charging socket.
With the rear seat passengers, the feelings are mixed. Legroom is good while the windows are nice and large, but the seat is a bit too soft and there is only one bottle holder for the entire back area. For taller occupants, headroom is just enough, and the fixed rear headrest can be annoying. Boot space is the same as in the Figo, a sizable 257-liter bay.
What is Ford Freestyle like to drive?
Fun is the word to describe it. The 2019 Ford Freestyle is the first model with the new naturally aspirated, 1.2-litre, three-cylinder Ti-VCT engine. It produces 96 horsepower, which means it is the most powerful on the market in India. The engine is amazingly quiet at city speeds, while the build of speed is smooth and there is little of low-speed hesitation. Overall, the engine feels far more alive than the old four-cylinder 1.2 one on the Figo and the Aspire during average city scenarios.
There is also a diesel form with a 1.5-liter engine from the Figo, Aspire and EcoSport. It makes 100hp and 215Nm of torque. During tests, the Freestyle did 0-100kph in 11.7sec.
Whatever you use it for, you will like the new Getrag five-speed gearbox. It is light, crisp and coupled to a well-weighted clutch.