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Old 21st May 2018, 10:26   #1
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Ford Freestyle 1.2L Petrol : Official Review

The Ford Freestyle is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 5.09 - 7.89 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• A very well-priced car; offers more than the Figo at comparable prices
• Cosmetic additions have been tastefully applied
• Genuinely fun to drive! Will bring a smile to your face
• Peppy 95 BHP 3-cylinder petrol is much improved over the Figo's lethargic 1.2L
• Powerful & efficient 1.5L diesel available. Good driveability too
• Well-tuned suspension and 190 mm of ground clearance
• Features such as that awesome touchscreen HU, auto headlamps & wipers, reversing camera etc.
• Airbags and ABS + EBD across the range. Titanium+ variant gets 6 airbags, ESP, ARP & HSA

What you won't:

• 1.2L is good for a 3-cylinder engine, but the 4-cylinder 1.2s from Maruti, Hyundai & gang are superior
• Cabin width makes the Freestyle suited to 4 adults, not 5. Rear headroom is limited for tall passengers
• Overall design (including the cabin) does feel old / bland compared to the more modern competition
• Interior quality is strictly average
• Lighter build is a departure from the usual Ford sturdiness
• Some missing essentials (dead pedal, full-size spare tyre etc.)
• Automatic transmission not offered
• Based on a flopped model, the Figo (if that matters to you)

This review has been jointly compiled with .anshuman. Thanks to him for the expert observations & photography!

Last edited by GTO : 27th September 2018 at 17:29. Reason: Now gets proper rear headrests
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Old 21st May 2018, 10:26   #2
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The Ford Freestyle is based on the Figo hatchback. Since the Figo has already been reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on changes made to the Freestyle. To read the full official review, click here.

Last edited by GTO : 21st May 2018 at 10:32.
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Old 21st May 2018, 10:26   #3
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More 'black' than 'chrome' is immediately evident. We prefer this to the shiny silver stuff:

The Figo hatchback bombed in the market, while it's sedan sibling - the Aspire - is managing just average sales numbers. In a bid to make use of its hatchback which otherwise flopped, Ford introduces the Freestyle. It's basically a 'cross' variant of the Figo and similar to the Elite i20 Active in terms of concept.

The Freestyle was unveiled back in February, about a week prior to the 2018 Auto Expo. Just as well, since Ford was not participating in the event! Compared to the Figo hatchback, the Freestyle gets additions like some external cladding, roof rails, higher ground clearance and an updated suspension. An all-black theme is used inside and it gets a 6.5" touchscreen system just like the one in the EcoSport facelift. The safety kit is impressive - the Freestyle comes equipped with 6 airbags, ESP, anti-rollover protection (ARP) and ABS with EBD.

On the engine front, a smaller version of the EcoSport's 1.5-liter Dragon engine is used. This 1.2-liter, 3-cylinder petrol develops 95 BHP @ 6,500 rpm and 120 Nm @ 4,250 rpm. The diesel mill meanwhile is the same doing duty on the Figo, Aspire and EcoSport. The 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder unit makes 99 BHP @ 3,750 rpm and 215 Nm @ 1,750-2,000. This diesel is indisputably the engine of choice with the Freestyle. Both engines are paired with an updated 5-speed gearbox. It is 15% lighter than before and requires 40% lesser gear oil.

Ford Freestyle 1.2L Petrol : Official Review-freestyle.png

Ford says that, in the Freestyle's development process, over 50% of the contribution was from the Indian team. It will be manufactured at the Sanand plant in Gujarat. After getting it rolling for the Indian market, the Freestyle will be exported to South Africa later in 2018, followed by other countries.

So, what's new on the outside?

The Freestyle gets a new bumper, reworked air dam, a silver (fake) skid plate, C-shaped foglamp design elements and a black grille. The headlights get a smoked effect as well; combined with the black elements upfront, the car gets a nice contrast look. Except for a full black car, the other exterior colours are complementary to these black elements:

Changes at the back are lesser. It gets a new dual-tone bumper and tweaked tail lamps. Rear does look smart:

Some of the bits look very after-market'ish. Ford has given it all-around black cladding (including wheel arches), new 15" rims and roof rails. Although the design is still bland, the Freestyle does have better road presence than the plain-Jane Figo:

The company calls it the CUV - Compact Utility Vehicle ; don't let that confuse you - the car is very much a hatchback on stilts. That said, the overall enhancements are tastefully executed:

3,954 mm long, 1,737 mm wide and 1,570 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,490 mm. Weirdly, the listed wheelbase is shorter by 1 mm. We think it's a calculation error or perhaps, just rounded off (Figo = 2,491 mm). The kerb weight has also gone up by 49 & 54 kg on the petrol & diesel variants respectively, while the wheel track is up by 20 mm:

Sweptback headlamps get black inserts instead of the chrome on the Figo. They look somewhat similar to the ones of the Fiat Avventura (link). Projectors / LEDs / DRLs should have been thrown in to spice things up:

Circular foglamps are housed below. The surrounds extend upwards in a C-shape, right below the headlamps. Tow hook cover has also been reshaped:

From this angle, the lack of chrome is apparent. There isn't even a small bit of chrome anywhere at the front (or on the entire car, for that matter). Us enthusiasts will like it, but the aam junta will miss the bling. The honeycomb grille gets a 3D mesh design, while the air dam has horizontal slats. Don't miss the silver skid plate:

Bonnet is identical to the Figo's, however the blue oval now sits on the grille rather than above it. Exposed windshield washers look bad:

Just below, there is a rubber aero flap. It's flexible, so on the off chance that you manage to scrape it, it won't break (the flap will just bend and get back to the original shape). The ground clearance is a healthy 190 mm:

Wipers stay exposed and the spray nozzles in black standout...

...however, they spray a good amount of water. Like the Figo, each nozzle puts out two jets each:

VIN is seen on the lower part of the windshield:

New 15-inch rims finished in a gunmetal shade. Our review car had Goodyear Assurance tyres in a 185/60 profile. Ford should have given it the Figo Sports' thicker 195/55 tyres instead. Thanks to the black cladding, the wheel well gap is minimised (a good thing):

ORVMs are finished in glossy black. They can be electronically adjusted & folded:

Ford should have taken this opportunity to equip the car with passive keyless entry:

The wheel arch cladding extends to the sides. The doors get a decal that rises in height as it moves to the back. We don't like this stickering; it looks very after-market'ish:

Bumper protrudes out at the rear. This way, in case of a minor shunt, the boot lid will be safe:

Silver roof rails (50 kilo load rating with cross bars) are mounted at 3 places on the roof. These add to the looks of the car. The long antenna looks outdated though:

Tail-lamp design is carried forward, but they are slightly tweaked and get reworked internal elements:

This is how they look when lit:

Rear windshield gets wash & wipe:

Bumper has been redesigned. Notice the arrangement of the parking sensors - the outer two are located at a level below the ones in the middle. C-shaped design element is found here as well:

Sides of the bumper get these fake vents in black. Unlike the front, the black plastic doesn't extend onto the C shape:

Tow hook on the left and exhaust on the right. The panel in front of the hook can be removed to attach a shackle or chain (notice the cutout outline). Silver skid plate at the rear too:

Reversing camera is neatly integrated at the top of the number plate housing:

Freestyle logo on the left...

...and variant badging on the right (Freestyle will be offered in 4 variants). Brand 'Figo' is completely absent from the badging. Reason? The Figo is a flop and Ford wants to distance this car from it as much as possible:

Last edited by GTO : 26th May 2018 at 09:10.
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Old 21st May 2018, 10:26   #4
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So, what's new on the inside?

Ford has used a black & brown theme for the interiors. While most Indians would prefer beige, the darker colours would be easy to maintain as well as look good over the years of (ab)use. While the fit and finish of most panels inside is good, there are a lot of budget-grade / scratchy plastics used.

The dashboard gets a poorly selected brown finish. One will remember the first-gen Figo's dash (link). This one isn't as bad (it's still hideous though):

Things inside are obviously almost identical to the Figo. Steering should have been a size smaller and while at it, gotten a fresh new design too:

You might think there is a different material used on the steering, but it’s just a difference in texture:

Left side gets controls for the music, volume and phone. If you connect an iPhone to the car's infotainment system, the voice command button activates Siri on the iPhone. The right side is bare:

Zooming in on the piano black highlights of the steering:

Same old-looking speedo console, except for a revised MID. It now has a better display and houses a bit more information than before. Good to see the temperature gauge return! Subtle changes in the instrument cluster - 30 & 50 km/h points get a red marking. The inner blue lines are of the same shape as the dials, while their black colour is now the same as the rest of the dial (check out Figo's here). The km markings now get a solid notch, while the increments have a double-lined notch (was the opposite in the Figo). Same can be noticed in the revv counter and fuel gauge. ‘Km/h’ moves from the 12 o’clock position to the 4 o’clock:

Here is all the information visible on the MID. It is cycled using the 'trip' button on the right control stalk. There is only one trip meter (long press to reset). The MID also shows the exact door that's open. All are self-explanatory; however, the "1.1L/h" is unique. Shows you the fuel consumed per hour when you are idling it in one place:

Black protruding shade prevents the glare of sunlight on the dials:

Engine start button is located to the left of the steering. Press it without the clutch to enter accessory / 'ignition on' modes:

The car gets "auto headlamps":

Press the inner circle and it pops out. This is the headlight level adjustment knob:

The area at the bottom looks unfinished & untidy:

Doorpads get a combination of hard black plastic, a brown trim piece and a darker panel where the window controls are housed. Elbow area is padded, but only on the side. Ample storage down below. A single speaker is mounted in the middle of the door:

Check out all the different textures and colours:

Chrome door handle doubles up as the lock button. Press it in to lock all the doors:

Freestyle-branded door sill plates at the front:

Freestyle gets a new fabric pattern. Some more lumbar support would be welcome. GTO never complains of back pain while driving, but his lower back did get uncomfortable after spending 4 hours here (incidentally, it was the same for his friend who was riding shotgun). Those with a large build will find them to be narrow due to the lateral padding:

A close-up of the new pattern on the seats:

Contrast stitching is in a different colour now. Large headrests have 3 levels of adjustment:

Height-adjustable seatbelts get a black housing now:

A rare car in this segment to get 6 airbags :

2 locks to secure the driver side mat...

...hold this nice 3D style mat. It’s a high quality, durable rubber mat. Not sure if this is offered as standard or just added onto our media car:

The IRVM looks to be slightly bigger...

...reason being the auto-dimming feature now found on it:

Dashboard colour flows into the center console. This muddy brown is a very poor choice of colour:

6.5" touchscreen system sits at the top (EcoSport gets an 8" touchscreen). It is positioned in the driver's field of view:

Also supports Apple CarPlay (pictured) and Android Auto. Simply put, this is a fantastic touchscreen (we'd said the same about the EcoSport's too). This new touchscreen has removed a lot of the clutter we saw in the Figo (related image):

Thankfully, there are some buttons down below as well for the important controls - volume, tuning, next / previous track, play / pause, settings and one to turn off the display (rightmost button). Using physical buttons & knobs is always safer on the move as the driver doesn't need to take his eyes off the road:

One of the best A/Cs among Indian cars. Even in the scorching Rajasthan heat, it kept us cool. Gets an 11/10 from me for cooling! That said, do note that on a hot day, blower level 4 isn't enough to cool the cabin (unlike other cars). You'll need to set it at level 5, but then things get noisy. Notice the knurled dials:

Just below the A/C controls is a small cubby lined with a removable rubber tray. iPhone 5S for scale:

Square-shaped cubby is a bit different from the Figo's. Reason?

This 'traction control off' button (not that you should ever need it in Indian conditions):

The chunky gear lever feels nice to hold and gets chrome lining at the top. It falls right into your hand:

Glovebox lid is ridiculously thick. Storage space is tight. It gets an illumination lamp now:

Here is the car's manual kept for a reference of size:

Black headliner looks premium, but then, it also gives the cabin a very dark ambience which you may or may not like:

Sunvisors in black too. The driver and passenger get vanity mirrors, while the driver also gets a ticket-holding flap:

Dual airbags & ABS are standard across the variants:

If you get the top variant, remember, don't install seat covers (due to the side airbags):

Rear seats get the same new fabric design as the front. Backrest has a comfortable angle and two 6-footers can sit one behind the other. Even with the front seat all the way behind, it's possible to squeeze yourself at the back, thanks to the scooped & soft front seatbacks:

Rear doorpad gets a similar design as the front, but misses out on storage pockets. The only changes compared to the Figo are the chrome door handles and a brown trim piece:

A close look at the brown insert - we hate it! Don't miss the armrest padding on the side:

Chrome door handle at the back as well. Notice the small grab handle that can double up as a cubbyhole since there aren't any door pockets. Since the top spec variant doesn't come with rear grab handles (lower variants do), passengers will have to hold onto this awkwardly when the driver corners hard. Ford weirdly doesn't give grab handles on its 6-airbag variants (ditto with the EcoSport):

All-black interiors (including the headliner) could make the ambience a bit too dark for your tastes. Rear headroom remains tight:

These humps / headrests are awkward for tall people. If you sit upright, they hit the nape of your neck and to use them, you have to sit crouched down. We wish Ford learnt this from the Figo and offered us better designed or adjustable ones on the Freestyle. This was an opportunity for improvement:

In a car with 6 airbags, the rear middle occupant gets a lap belt. International variants get 3-point seatbelts for all occupants. No ISOFIX child seat anchorages either:

Missing grab handles on the top spec car with the curtain airbags. Other carmakers offer it on their 6-airbag variants, so not sure why Ford isn't able to. Also notice the dark roof fabric:

Parcel tray can be removed easily. 257-liter boot capacity. Splitting rear seat not provided:

Boot gets a nice Freestyle-branded 3D rubber mat in the same design as the floor mats. The reflector is kept in its own pouch:

14-inch space saver spare. 175/65 Apollo Amazer 3G tyre; on our media car, it wasn't the same brand as the other 4 tyres. Space saver sucks (regular tyres are 185 mm thick) because you have to drive at a lower speed while using it. IMHO, this should have been the same size as the regular wheels & tyres:

Damn! Although the overall fit and finish were good, some bits like this were out of alignment. Such inconsistency isn't expected of a car built in 2018:

Last edited by GTO : 21st May 2018 at 10:30.
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Old 21st May 2018, 10:26   #5
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In-Car Entertainment

Except for the base Ambiente trim, all variants get the 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system. However, it is only the top-end Titanium that gets Ford's SYNC 3. Connectivity options include USB & Bluetooth (no AUX). Alongside, there is Wi-Fi for software updates, and the super convenient Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (former with navigation). The screen also serves as a display for the reversing camera. The ICE is overall similar in operation to the larger one found in its sibling, the Ford EcoSport (link (2018 Ford EcoSport Facelift 1.5L Petrol : Official Review)). It is a highly responsive screen with no hint of any lag. The visibility is good under sunlight and the screen resolution + clarity are high. Simply put, this system is top-class! However, even the Titanium variant gets only 4 speakers and hence, audio quality is above average for the price. The speakers aren't as impressive as the head-unit.

This is the default home screen. Time and outside temperature are displayed at the top along with a compass (in a 2WD??) and connected devices (if any). Current song is displayed on the left side. Don't miss the large menu buttons at the bottom:

The font size is large and easy to read. Connected phone's signal strength along with Wi-Fi signal strength are at the top right corner:

Here are the available sound settings. Balance and Fade give a visual representation of how they will be adjusted:

Sound quality is as you'd expect at this price point, although I must mention that distortion is well controlled at all but the highest volume levels:

Volume can also be adjusted for speed sensitivity. It's currently kept at the Medium level. DSP occupancy tweaks the sound either for just the driver or all passengers - there was a slight change in sound, but not a big difference:

The settings menu. The screen is responsive and there is no lag whatsoever. Just like a modern smartphone:

Swipe to see more settings. Also notice the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto settings tab:

A look at some of the general settings. Language, distance and temperature units can be adjusted as per preference:

SYNC system comes with Automatic system updates. Information about the SYNC system as well as all the software licenses is given here. Master reset will restore the system to factory defaults:

Connect your smartphone via the USB port and the compatible apps are displayed here. Seen here is the Pparke app. Some of the other apps include Spotify, Rocket Player, Hungama Drive, InShorts, Maps by MapMyIndia and AccuWeather among others:

Emergency Assistance is a good feature to have. It will automatically call 108 (emergency services) in case of an accident (full details here):

This is how the screen looks in Night mode. The display is set to the auto mode by default and switches based on the ambient light outside:

Pairing with the system is super easy due to its intuitive interface:

Recent calls and contact list are displayed. Siri function is available on paired iPhones. The 'Do Not Disturb' will disable all incoming calls to the system. The system can read out text messages as well:

Call clarity over Bluetooth is good:

Low battery? You can set a notification for the same:

Choose either of the 3 available ringtones or use the phone's default one:

Tone for incoming messages can be selected as well:

Big fonts & icons make the ICE amazing to use:

You can set your phone as the 'favourite' so that it gets a higher priority:

Adjust the volume using the knob below the system and the changes are reflected like this. In the EcoSport, the A/C temperature & blower speed are also seen here:

Wi-Fi can be connected from nearby sources (including your phone's tethering):

The system supports Android Auto...

...and with it comes Google Maps. Lower variants without the SYNC system get embedded maps (not pictured):

Apple CarPlay is also available:

The display also shows the output from the reversing camera. There are no adaptive guidelines like the Freestyle's larger sibling, the EcoSport. Delay function will keep the display on for sometime even after the gear is moved out of R (useful when frequent 1<->R gearshifts are required to move out of a tricky spot):

The camera is good and, along with the alerts from the 4 rear sensors, makes parking easy:

We are pleasantly surprised at the camera's performance in the dark. Easily betters the ones from cars a segment or two above:

The '+' button zooms in when you are in an especially tight spot:

Valet mode will prevent access to the infotainment system:

MyKey makes its way to the Freestyle. In the EcoSport, the key had to be placed in a dedicated spot in the front armrest (link). No such requirement here:

Last edited by GTO : 21st May 2018 at 10:30.
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Old 21st May 2018, 10:27   #6
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Driving the 3-Cylinder 1.2L Petrol MT

95 BHP & 120 Nm are excellent figures for a 1.2L. This one doesn't get a balancer shaft like the EcoSport's triple-cylinder though:

Ford recently launched the 1.5-liter Dragon series engine in the EcoSport. The Freestyle gets a downsized version of the same to fit into the <1,200 cc bracket & take advantage of the resultant lower taxes. Marketing reasons too, to position the EcoSport's 1.5L as a clear segment above. This 1,194 cc, 3-cylinder petrol engine develops 95 BHP @ 6,500 rpm and peak torque of 120 Nm @ 4,250 rpm. The Freestyle is hence down by 303 cc, 26 BHP and 30 Nm when compared to the EcoSport. The excellent 1,498 cc, 4-cylinder diesel mill is retained. It puts out 99 BHP @ 3,750 rpm and 215 Nm @ 1,750 - 3000 rpm. Both engines are paired to 5-speed manual transmissions. An Automatic is conspicuous by its absence; considering how well-priced the Freestyle is, there is easily room to accommodate one in a market that is increasingly loving ATs.

The kerb weight of the car is 1026 kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 93 BHP / ton and a torque-to-weight ratio of 117 Nm / ton. The new 1.2-liter unit is down on one cylinder compared to the Figo's 1.2L, yet it is much, much better. While the Figo's motor was lame, this one actually has some character. It is a very welcome replacement. Ford sure knows a thing or two about designing small 3-cylinders (we commented on similar lines in the EcoSport review too); simply put, this new 1.2L is very impressive for a triple-cylinder, although the competition's 4-cylinders (especially from Maruti & Hyundai) are indisputably superior.

Press the clutch and push the engine start button to fire her up. At idle, there are some vibrations felt on the steering wheel, floor and a little on the gear lever - it is not a deal breaker though & these are well controlled. Open up the door and you will see it mildly shaking when the engine is cold (it's okay when warmed up). We also noticed that whenever the A/C compressor kicked in and out, there was a small bit of shake in the cabin. That said, it is noticed only at idle rpms - e.g. when waiting at a traffic light. Other than these irritants, the motor is acceptably refined at lower speeds and it is difficult to make it out as a 3-cylinder engine. Regular folk won't even know and things are far better than other 3-cylinder petrols from the hatchback segment. We found it interesting that the engine idles a bit higher than we're used to - we even saw it idling at 1,000 rpm (petrols are usually in the ~800 rpm range). Guessing this has been done to lessen vibrations at idle.

The Freestyle moves off the line without any effort. The low-end brings decent driveability, making the Freestyle easy to drive around in the city. Even with a full load, the car never felt underpowered. Overall power delivery is linear, the low end is peppy and the car responds decently to throttle input. In fact, the low end is better than the mid-range and you won't be using the gear-shifter excessively in the city. 2nd gear over a speed-breaker? No sweat, but if the speed drops too low, slip the clutch a little bit with additional accelerator input, else the engine will stall. The accelerator pedal's travel length seems to be a bit more than we see on such small cars. While I am not complaining, some folk might (at least the ones who notice it).

The mid-range is decent, but it does feel flat at times (it's a small 1.2L at the end of the day). The Freestyle revs to 6,800 rpm (we saw 6,900 on occasion too) and the top-end is adequate. You'll enjoy revving the engine on the open road; just as well since the motor does need to be worked hard to perform. Power delivery doesn't come effortlessly. The car is quick when driven hard and yes, the engine note never lets you forget that there is a 3-cylinder unit under the hood (classic 3-cylinder thrum is very much present). We like the sound tuning and found the engine note to be on the sportier side (note: aam junta might find it noisy). This, the well-weighted steering & the suspension tune actually make the Freestyle fun to drive on the expressway! Vibrations? Most people won't even notice them on the move.

It is not a manic motor though & we distinctly remember the EcoSport's 1.5-liter unit to be rev-happier. This one also likes to rev, but the rpm needle doesn't climb up as fast. It's busy too - 100 km/h comes up at 2,950 rpm and 120 km/h at 3,500 rpm in 5th gear. The gearing is shorter than most of its competitors. What this means is that you'll hear the engine more than in its rivals at cruising speeds.

The gearshift's action is nice with well-defined gates, although it has a little notchiness. The gearbox has a medium-length throw; in such a fun to drive car, I'd have expected a shorter throw gearbox. The other car we drove just before this was the Yaris MT, and the Toyota's gearbox felt far more rubbery compared to the Freestyle! The clutch pedal's weight is average and it is well calibrated. The pedal isn't as light as say a Grand i10 though and its weight could bother you in bumper-to-bumper traffic. One issue we did notice - when you are revving the car and making aggressive upshifts, there is a noticeable jerk. It's not easy to drive this car hard in a smooth & seamless manner.

While overall NVH levels are satisfactory, the engine does get audible past 3,000 rpm. There is that classic 3-cylinder thrum that we all recognise from the Maruti 800 days. The engine is heard on the back seat too, although it’s not harsh. Post 5,000 rpm, the 1.2L gets loud. Enthusiasts will like the sporty sound, but their family members won't.

In terms of fuel economy, the Freestyle carries an ARAI rating of 19 km/l (Figo with the 4-cylinder unit = 18.16 km/l). 3-cylinder engines are inherently more fuel-efficient, thus owners should be satisfied with the real-world economy figures.

Ride & Handling

Ford needed to tweak the suspension due to the increased ride height of the Freestyle. In terms of tune, you could draw similarities between the Freestyle & the Figo Sports. Ride quality is overall compliant and no owner will complain. There is some firmness felt on low speed bumps though. As the speedometer needle climbs, ride quality only improves and the suspension absorbs bad patches well. Highway comfort is excellent & no bumps except for the larger ones will bother you. On imperfect roads, there is some bounciness felt from the rear though (so unlike the 1st-gen Figo!!).

We're happy to report that the Freestyle has got Ford's DNA running through its veins, and the car is a lot of fun to drive on the open road. The handling is good, and the Freestyle feels very chuckable (despite the increased height). The front, especially, has terrific bite. GTO thoroughly enjoyed throwing the car into corners while flying down the Lonavala ghat. When understeer starts coming in, it does so in a predictive & gradual manner. Grip levels are satisfactory with these OEM tyres; upgrading them to better quality 195s will further enhance the driving experience (we strongly recommend it). Body roll is properly controlled too. High-speed stability is safe enough - however, again, it's not rock solid like the old Fords. A key advantage of the Ford are the electronic safety aids it gets such as ESP & ARP (active rollover prevention); these can be lifesavers in an emergency situation. The car is further equipped with Hill Launch Assist which can be convenient when driving on inclines (it holds the car in place for a bit while your foot moves from the brake pedal to the accelerator, thereby preventing rollback).

The electric power steering is light enough at parking speeds and weighs up adequately on the highway. The steering has good weight and the return-to-center action is eager, just the way us enthusiasts like it. Even at regular speeds like 25 km/h, you can feel the steering's center back action. By EPS standards, the steering is nice to use. As I mentioned earlier in the interior post, I wish the steering was a size smaller though.

The 190 mm of ground clearance is 16 mm more than the regular Figo's. We never faced any situations where we thought that the car would scrape its underbelly, and neither will you. Even the largest of speed breakers should not be a problem for this car.

The Freestyle gets the ubiquitous front disc + rear drum braking setup. The brakes are good and work as expected. ABS + EBD are a part of standard equipment on all variants.

The bonnet gets a full insulation sheet (many petrols in this price band skip it):

The engine bay looks cramped and messy, partly due to the lack of an engine cover. By simply adding a piece of plastic, Ford could have made the engine bay look cooler:

Look how the air intake is routed - this way, it gets cool air right from the front of the car:

Healthy firewall insulation, further wrapped up in a heat (and probably noise) reflecting sheet:

Small air box sends in filtered air to the engine:

You might be mistaken for thinking this is the fuse box...

...opening it reveals a pair of connectors with bunched up wires:

Good thing about the gearshift suggesting tool is that it is adaptive. Once, it was suggesting an upshift to 4th, but it went away after I floored the accelerator because it probably realised that I wanted to zoom:

Last edited by GTO : 21st May 2018 at 10:57.
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Old 21st May 2018, 10:27   #7
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Other Points

• Why is the Freestyle so well-priced? Well, for one reason, Ford needs to move some 'Figos'. A flopped product affects the manufacturer's investments, yes, but it affects part suppliers even more. Prior to a car's launch, volume commitments are made and the manufacturer & part vendors make huge investments in production (assembly lines, raw material sources, labour, land etc.). If the car flops, there is a lot of excess capacity on hand. Even if the Freestyle adds another 500 units to the monthly tally, it helps to salvage whatever they can from a market dud.

• We're happy to see an excellent range of official accessories. Check out this link and you'll see interesting options such as an engine guard (underbody), auto-headlamps (for lower variants), roof cross bars, roof wrap and sun blinds (windows).

• As things stand today, the Freestyle makes the Figo irrelevant. The former offers a lower price (base) or not much more (other variants)! If the Figo was on ventilator support already, with the Freestyle's pricing, its funeral procession has begun.

• Take a look at the Titanium variant here. Big shoutout to BHPian RavenAvi for sharing!

• Only a matter of time before this 1.2L engine makes its way to the Figo & Aspire.

• Seatbelt reminder will chime even if the passenger hasn't buckled up .

• Uncool (pun intended) - driving hard on a hot day can make you uncomfortable. Reason? The air-con compressor switches off when you bury the pedal into the floor (for more power). This wasn't required though, as the engine has more than enough power on tap.

• Unlocking the car turns on the headlamps; useful when approaching it in a dark area. The Freestyle has the follow-me-home function as well.

• Turning radius of 5 meters, versus 4.9 for the Figo.

• Top variant gets automatic rain-sensing wipers too.

• Available in 6 shades - Canyon Ridge, Smoke Grey, Moondust Silver, White Gold (our review car), Oxford White and Absolute Black. We are happy to see the car offered in Black. Equally, we might add, the colour palette is rather boring (save for Canyon Ridge). Where are the reds, blues & greens?

• Standard warranty is for 1,00,000 km / 2 years. It should be extendable to a total period of 5 years like the Figo / Aspire. As always, we strongly recommend taking the maximum coverage available.

• Middle variants with the touchscreen ICE get embedded maps.

• ARP works with the ESP to reduce the chances of a rollover. It can modulate the braking of individual wheels as well as reduce engine power delivery as required.

• New smart key feels good to hold. It gets a boot release as well! Even its larger sibling - the EcoSport - misses out on this (reference image):

• Disclaimer: Ford invited Team-BHP for the Freestyle test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 21st May 2018 at 10:28.
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Old 21st May 2018, 10:46   #8
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Re: Ford Freestyle 1.2L Petrol : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Official Reviews Section. Thanks for sharing, rating thread 5 stars!

It's refreshing (pun intended) to see a meaningful midlife update on a car. Have never been a fan of the X / Active variants, but this one is so much better than the Figo petrol. I found the Figo petrol to be terribly boring and wasn't really looking forward to driving the Freestyle. Man, it left me pleasantly surprised - the Freestyle is good fun to drive! Rightly said that it has some of Ford's DNA in it. The Americans sure know how to build a 3-cylinder & inject a little fun into a mass-market car. I had a smile plastered on my face all the way from Bombay to Lonavla & back.

That said, I'd still pick that all-rounded 1.5L diesel over the petrol. This Dragon engine is competent by triple-cylinder standards; no match to some sweet 4-cylinders available in other cars.

It's not going to make any sort of difference to the market though. At best, it'll help Ford squeeze out a handful more sales out of the flopped Figo.

Last edited by GTO : 21st May 2018 at 10:51.
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Old 21st May 2018, 11:25   #9
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Re: Ford Freestyle 1.2L Petrol : Official Review

Detailed Look at Various Variants in Ford Freestyle.



Titanium+ has been covered in detail in the Official Review.

Source - Team Car Delight
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Old 21st May 2018, 11:31   #10
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Re: Ford Freestyle 1.2L Petrol : Official Review

That's a well detailed & beautifully done review blackwasp. Rating it a full 5 *.

Just yesterday afternoon that I had a chance to check out the Freestyle at a nearby Ford dealership, although didn't test drive. Jotting down some of my observations:
  • Ford has done an excellent job with pricing it well.
  • Top end Titanium+ has six airbags on offer and still priced at 7.92L on road petrol (Gurgaon).
  • IMO, Freestyle is meant to target those who want a look & feel of an SUV but aren't willing to afford Eco Sport.
  • The built quality is rugged - A typical Ford DNA.
  • Although I didn't like the way doors closed with a 'thunk'. Could feel a bounce back.
  • Interior quality is well above the competition in this segment.
  • What's not so good is, unimpressive boot-space.
  • Missing rear door pockets even on the Titanium+ variant.
  • In the era of sub-4m bumper-less vehicles out there, Freestyle offers a well protruded ~5"+ rear bumper. I could literally rest my entire palm over it. May be a part of could have been utilized to enhance the boot space IMO.
  • The spare wheel(non-alloy) is an inch smaller with speed limit marking of 80kmph on it.

Overall, a very well proposition.


Last edited by Nohonking : 21st May 2018 at 11:33. Reason: enriching content
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Old 21st May 2018, 11:37   #11
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Re: Ford Freestyle 1.2L Petrol : Official Review

Brilliant review guys!

The freestyle has everything going for it at this price point. Now all Ford needs to do is to plonk the 1.5 L petrol in the middle and top variants, and offer the auto as an option. It would be the indisputable pick for anyone looking for an automatic petrol under 8 odd lakh bucks.
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Old 21st May 2018, 12:22   #12
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Re: Ford Freestyle 1.2L Petrol : Official Review

Thanks for the excellent review blackwasp. Superb pricing by Ford. Yes, they should have offered an automatic varient. I hope the new Figo hatchback automatic will get the 3 cyl 1.5 L dragon petrol engine, and an all black interior (i didn't like the mud brown). Very satisfying to hear about your impressions on the performance of the 3 cylinder engine and good to know that Ford is still fun to drive.
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Old 21st May 2018, 13:02   #13
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Re: Ford Freestyle 1.2L Petrol : Official Review

Very nice review. Thanks
I too had a close look at it and found these three things most irritating:
1. Lack of height adjusting rear headrests.
2. Lack of head room for persons 5.10" + height at rear seat.
3. Boot too small when Ford had the opportunity to have a bigger one by increasing length (within sub-4meter), reducing popping out of rear bumper, etc. Specially required when they are marking it as a CUV !

Nonetheless, an excellent offering overall with these safety features and this price tag.PS: When is the official review for 1.5 D expected !

Last edited by LongDrive lover : 21st May 2018 at 13:04. Reason: Added a query
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Old 21st May 2018, 13:07   #14
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Re: Ford Freestyle 1.2L Petrol : Official Review

A very well written review blackwasp.

I was pleasantly surprised by the pricing. Hovering around 8 lacs, the top end looks a real VFM option. What with the competition's offerings at this price point, Freestyle is a statement of intent by Ford. I've no doubt this car would have costed more had it emerged from Maruti or Hyundai stable.

An AT will make it even more attractive. Presently that is the only thing missing. Otherwise it looks and drives like a typical Ford and that's a compliment.

Last edited by strawhat : 21st May 2018 at 13:10.
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Old 21st May 2018, 13:56   #15
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Re: Ford Freestyle 1.2L Petrol : Official Review

Excellent review, Blackwasp Sir.

Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
175/65 Apollo Amazer 3G tyre; on our media car, it wasn't the same brand as the other 4 tyres.
The test drive car at JSP Ford, Bangalore had different brands for the spare tyre and the other 4 tyres, too!

Ford Freestyle 1.2L Petrol : Official Review-1756710d1525097445tfordfreestyleeditlaunchedrs509lakhs0592b427018741c0b21f8ec81942c4cf.jpeg

Ford Freestyle 1.2L Petrol : Official Review-1756714d1525097566tfordfreestyleeditlaunchedrs509lakhs3761b2de9dc847bd80273843934c17af.jpeg

For those interested, attaching the price list for Bangalore :

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Last edited by Aditya : 5th September 2018 at 22:36. Reason: Uploading attachment as JPG file
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