Ford has launched the Freestyle in India at an introductory price of Rs 5.09 lakh. The Figo-based cross-hatch is available in four trims – Ambiente, Trend, Titanium, and Titanium+ – with the option of a petrol and a diesel engine. Prices range between Rs 5.09 lakh and Rs 6.94 lakh for the petrol and Rs 6.09 to 7.89 lakh for the diesel - interestingly, the Freestyle's base price undercuts the Figo hatchback (soon to recieve a facelift), which it is based on, by about Rs 42,000.
The petrol engine is the new 1.2-litre three-cylinder Dragon unit that churns out 96hp and 120Nm of peak torque, making it the most powerful petrol in its segment. The diesel Freestyle carries forward Ford’s tried-and-tested 1.5-litre, four-cylinder TDCi engine that produces 100hp and 215Nm of peak torque.
Both engines are mated to a new Getrag-sourced five-speed manual gearbox, which is more refined and lighter than the unit it replaces. In turn, it also uses 40 percent less gear oil.
Based on the Figo hatch, the Freestyle has its ride height increased by 16mm to 190mm (unladen) and gets larger 15-inch alloys. It also comes with the expected off-road bits like body cladding, skid plates and functional roof rails. Importantly, the Freestyle's new face will also be the face of the upcoming Figo hatchback and the Aspire compact sedan. On the inside, the Figo dash has been redesigned to hold a 6.5-inch touchscreen and has a chocolate brown and black colour theme.
Unlike the competition, Ford isn't looking at taking on compact SUVs with the Freestyle, since it already has the competent EcoSport for that, but instead is keen to address the premium hatchback segment, which, at present, is a white space for the carmaker.
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