Joining the ever-growing battle in the compact market segment is the new Ford Figo Freestyle SUV (Ford calls it a CUV for compact utility vehicle) that is derived from the Figo Hatch.
Doreen Mashinini, General Manager Marketing at FMCSA says: “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.
“It fulfils the growing demand from younger buyers for a vehicle that is more compact and affordable than the compact SUV offerings, but is equally capable and designed for adventurous, active and free-spirited individuals.
“With bigger wheels, an increased ride height and integrated skid plates that enhance its capabilities on less-than-perfect roads, the Figo Freestyle is designed to meet the aspirations of these young and dynamic customers. It is a cool, connected and very capable package.”
Two models are available in the Figo Freestyle line-up, starting off with the Trend and headlined by the Titanium series. Both models are powered by Ford’s 1,5-litre three-cylinder Ti-VCT engine used in the rest of the Figo range offering 91 kW of power and 150 Nm of torque. Power is delivered to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.
It has a black painted grille, along with a new sculpted front bumper, double-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels that are framed by black wheelarch mouldings and 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.
Ride height is raised to 190 mm, which is 16 mm higher than the standard Figo and it has integrated front and rear skid plates along with roof rails fitted as standard.
Figo Freestyle is available in six colour choices, including ‘Canyon Ridge’ that is unique to this model, along with Diamond white – both of which are solid paint finishes. Metallic paint options comprise Smoke Grey, Moondust Silver, Ruby Red and White Gold.
Inside is a 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 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 SYNC3 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 SYNC3 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.
The standard safety and security package on the Trend model incorporates driver and passenger crash bags, anti-lock brakes, remote central locking with drive-away locking function, power windows all round, as well as a perimeter anti-theft alarm and engine immobiliser.
Additionally, the Figo Freestyle Titanium is equipped with side and curtain bags, along with the 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.
Model Range and Recommended Retail Prices:
Figo 1.5 Ambiente Hatch 5MT R202 100
Figo 1.5 Trend Hatch 5MT R 211 900
Figo 1.5 Trend Hatch 6AT R 235 900
Figo 1.5 Titanium Hatch 5MT R 235 700
Figo 1.5 Ambiente Sedan 5MT R 208 500
Figo 1.5 Trend Sedan 5MT R 217 300
Figo Freestyle 1.5 Trend Hatch 5MT R226 700
Figo Freestyle 1.5 Titanium Hatch 5MT R247 500
All Figo and Figo Freestyle models come standard with Ford Protect which includes a service plan covering four-years/60 000 km, three-year unlimited distance roadside assistance and four-year/120 000 km comprehensive warranty. This is complemented by a five-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty. Service intervals are every 15 000 km.