Ford launches adventurous new 2020 Figo Freestyle
Ford SA on Wednesday revealed its new Figo Freestyle: a trendy little crossover designed to challenge the Toyota Etios Cross, Volkswagen Polo Maxx and Renault Sandero Stepway.
Compared to the regular Ford Figo, the all-new Freestyle sports a raised ride height (190mm versus 174mm), which allows you to drive across slightly more rugged rural terrain.
Aside from increased ground clearance, the Figo Freestyle has also been sexed up with a SUV-inspired body kit that not only offers extra road presence but also added shielding from the elements: black plastic cladding on the wheel arches, rocker panels, as well as the front and rear bumpers have been designed to make your precious metalwork safe(r) from minor off-road hazards.
Bespoke double-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels are fitted as standard, as are front and rear skid plates that apparently enhance underbody protection.
Another eye-catching addition is a pair of silver roof rails. These are actually fully functional on the Figo Freestyle and can – in conjunction with a roof rack – be used by more adventurous owners to carry bicycles, canoes and other outdoor paraphernalia.
Two Figo Freestyle variants are available at launch: the 1.5 Trend and 1.5 Titanium. Both, as you've probably already guessed, are powered by Ford's naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that produces 91kW and 150Nm worth of torque. Both models come with a five-speed manual transmission. Option of an automatic? Maybe in the future, but for the time being you're going to have to get used to swapping those cogs on your own.
In terms of interior specification, the Freestyle Trend comes equipped with Ford’s Device Dock that features Bluetooth, USB and aux-in connectivity, as well as a handy receptacle designed to hold a smartphone. Rear parking sensors are also included as standard.
The flagship Freestyle Titanium adds a reverse camera linked to the 6.5-inch colour display of the standard SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system. Offering both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, this class-leading system also incorporates Bluetooth and voice activation – a feature that enables you to control phone and audio functions via intuitive, conversational voice commands.
Other features unique to the Titanium include keyless push-start button, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlamp activation, plus rain-sensing windscreen wipers.
When it comes safety features, the Freestyle Trend hits the road running with driver and passenger airbags, ABS brakes, remote central locking with drive-away locking function, electric windows, as well as a perimeter anti-theft alarm and engine immobiliser.
The Freestyle Titanium ups the ante with side and curtain airbags. It also comes with the Ford MyKey system that allows owners to programme a key for younger drivers that can inhibit incoming phone calls, restrict top speed, reduce audio system maximum volume and disable the audio system altogether if occupants are not using safety belts.
So what about pricing, then?
Well, the Freestyle Trend comes in at R226,700, while the Freestyle Titanium costs R247,500. Both come standard with Ford Protect, which includes a four-year/60,000km service plan, three years of unlimited distance roadside assistance and a four-year/120,000km comprehensive warranty.