Ford India plans to grow its market share by expanding its small vehicle lineup, and what better way to do this than to add a trendy high-riding model below the popular EcoSport. Its latest baby is a new crossover based on the affordable Figo hatchback, the Freestyle.
Design-wise, the Freestyle flaunts an all-black honeycomb trapezoidal grille flanked by sporty smoked headlights, and unique foglamps surround with slim corner extensions. At the sides, there's black cladding which gives it a tougher look, while lower door decals provide a retro-inspired vibe. Capping things off are silver roofrails and a slightly raised ride height.
Its interior is identical to the current Figo and Ka Plus, but it does get important updates like Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment system which comes with a 6.5-inch floating touchscreen, similar to the one in the 2018 EcoSport and new Euro-spec Fiesta. This system is, of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible. In terms of safety, it comes with Active Rollover Prevention and electronic stability control.
The Freestyle is powered by a new gasoline engine from the three-cylinder Dragon family. The naturally aspirated 1.2-liter Ti-VCT mill produces an impressive 95hp and 120Nm of torque. According to a report by IndianAutosBlog, a 99hp 1.5-liter TDCi diesel option will also be offered—a must-have for the Indian market. Both powerplants are mated to a five-speed manual transmission.
Ford has yet to announce its official prices. IAB also reports that the Freestyle will be launched in India by the second quarter of 2018, and will be exported to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. This bit of info also confirms that there will be a left-hand drive version.
Hopefully Ford Philippines considers bringing this over. We think there’s room in its local lineup for an affordable CUV to slot below the base P848,000 EcoSport. With the right price, the Dearborn-based carmaker could have another winner on its hands.