The Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is expanding its presence in the rapidly growing utility vehicle sector with its first-ever Figo Freestyle defined as a sub-B segment compact utility vehicle (CUV) based on the popular Figo hatchback.
The new addition to the line-up complements Ford’s existing range of active lifestyle-oriented models, which includes the top-selling EcoSport compact sport utility vehicle (SUV), stylish and well-appointed Kuga and the impressively capable Everest seven-seater SUV.
“The All-New Figo Freestyle builds on Ford’s reputation as one of the pioneers of the utility vehicle segment,” says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager Marketing at FMCSA.
“With its SUV-derived design cues, robust stance with increased ground clearance and commanding seating position, it has the credentials of an SUV in a compact package that is ideally suited to city driving during the week and escaping to the countryside on weekends.”
The All-New Figo Freestyle enters the sub-B CUV sector offering superb value for money, an extensive list of standard features, enhanced versatility and a sporty and adventurous cross-over character.
The eye-catching exterior styling is matched to an upmarket interior with sophisticated two-tone treatment and an outstanding array of Ford technologies that are designed to make the driving experience safer and more enjoyable.
There are two models are available in the Figo Freestyle line-up, starting off with the Trend and headlined by the comprehensively appointed Titanium series. Both models are powered by Ford’s eager 1.5-litre three-cylinder Ti-VCT engine used in the rest of the Figo range.
The purposeful and sporty stance is emphasised by the upmarket black painted grille, along with a new sculpted front bumper that not only inspires a sense of confidence but also adds to its rigidity. The distinctive double-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels are unique to the Figo Freestyle.
The wheels are framed by muscular looking black wheel arch mouldings that reinforce its adventurous theme, in conjunction with the creatively styled black foglamp housing accents. Special decals applied to the lower sections of the doors, along with “Freestyle” badging on the rear hatch, add further differentiation and youthful flair to this new model.
A key element of the Figo Freestyle’s design is the raised ride height of 190mm, which is 16mm higher than the standard Figo. This enhances the Figo Freestyle’s all-round capabilities for active, outdoors-oriented customers, while integrated front and rear skid plates provide an enhanced level of underbody protection when driving on rougher road surfaces.
The roof rails are fitted as standard, which builds on the versatility of the Figo Freestyle’s design. They are practical designed, allowing easy fitment of a roof rack to carry bicycles, canoes or other equipment to suit the owner’s sporting and lifestyle activities.
Step inside the Figo Freestyle and it becomes abundantly clear that the creativity applied to the exterior styling is echoed inside the cabin. The neatly laid out dashboard and door accents create an exclusive and sophisticated ambience.
This is matched to an attractive blended seat trim design with distinctive striped elements in the centre which are offset against black trim panels on the sides. Contrasting stitching adds further visual appeal.
A soft-touch gear shift knob complements the Titanium model’s sporty steering wheel with remote audio controls, while practical touches on both derivatives include door scuff plates and durable all-weather floor mats.
Driving convenience is provided with the standard fitment of reverse parking sensors. The Trend is equipped with Ford’s clever Device Dock which includes Bluetooth, USB and Aux connectivity and a handy receptacle to hold a smartphone.
The Titanium series adds a reverse camera linked to the floating 6.5-inch colour display for the SYNC®3 system, which incorporates Bluetooth and voice activation that enables phone and audio functions to be controlled through intuitive, conversational voice commands.
Owners can use their smartphone’s navigation functions and a variety of other apps in conjunction with SYNC®3 when seamlessly paired to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Other features unique to the Titanium derivative include keyless push-start button, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlamp activation and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.
As with the rest of the Figo line-up, the All-New Figo Freestyle is powered by Ford’s lively three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine. This unit produces 91kW of power at 6 300rpm linked to a punchy torque peak of 150Nm at 4 250rpm. Drive is to the front wheels through a five-speed manual transmission.
The standard safety and security package on the Trend model incorporate driver and passenger airbags, ABS brakes, remote central locking with drive-away locking function, electric windows all round, as well as a perimeter anti-theft alarm and engine immobilizer.
Additionally, the Figo Freestyle Titanium comes with side and curtain airbags, along with the innovative Ford MyKey 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.
All Figo and Figo Freestyle models come standard with Ford Protect which includes a service plan covering four-years or 60 000km, three-year unlimited distance roadside assistance and a four-year or 120 000km comprehensive warranty. This is complemented by a five-year or unlimited distance corrosion warranty. Service intervals are every 15 000km.