There’s a new customer in the automotive world, and they’re quite different from the traditional customer. Not only do younger folks looking to buy brand new cars these days want something affordable, but they’re also interested in a vehicle that’s connected and equally capable of navigating tight urban areas and embarking on weekend escapes to the countryside. And now Ford has developed a brand new crossover designed specifically for the adventurous youth – the Ford Figo Freestyle.
Based on the existing Figo hatchback, the Ford Figo Freestyle is really a five-door hatchback with a few rugged, SUV-like elements, including roof rails, 16 mm (0.6 inches) of added ground clearance, a higher driving position, bigger wheels, integrated skid plates, and sportier styling.
The vehicle slots right into the growing B-segment as a compact utility vehicle for the South African market. It’s designed to complement the automaker’s growing list of active-lifestyle vehicles that includes the Ford EcoSport, Ford Kuga, and Ford Everest.
On the outside, this tiny hatchback-turned-crossover sports a black painted grille, a uniquely sculpted front bumper, double-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels, black fender flares and foglamp housing accents, plus “Freestyle” badging on the rear hatch.
The Figo Freestyle is available in two trim levels – Trend and Titanium. Six exterior colors will be offered, including Diamond White, Smoke Grey, Moondust Silver, Ruby Red, White Gold, and Canyon Ridge. The last hue is available exclusively on the Freestyle.
Another major selling point of the Figo Freestyle is its rather upscale interior, which isn’t something one often sees in entry-level vehicles. There are nice design elements like blended seat trim with striped centers, black side trim panels, and contrasting stitching.
The Trend is equipped with Ford’s clever Device Dock that includes Bluetooth, USB, and Aux connectivity, along with a spot designed specifically to hold a smartphone.
Step up to Titanium trim, and you get even more niceties. These include a soft-touch gear shift knob, steering wheel with remote audio controls, a 6.5 inch SYNC 3 display with voice commands, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, keyless push-start button, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlamp activation, and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.
As is the case with the rest of the Figo lineup, the Figo Freestyle is powered by Ford’s 1.5L three-cylinder Ti-VCT engine that produces 91 kW (122 horsepower) of power and 150 Nm (110 pound-feet) of torque. That power is sent to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission.
Pricing for the Figo Freestyle Trend starts at R 226,700 ($13,566 USD, at current conversion rates), while the Titanium is priced at R 247,500 ($14,811).
Those not intricately familiar with Ford’s international vehicle lineup should know that the Figo is sold in other markets as either the Ford Ka (South America, India) or Ka+ (Europe). The entry-level vehicle is derived from the sixth-generation Ford Fiesta and is produced at the Ford Sanand plant in India.
The Figo (or Ka or Ka+) is not expected to go on sale in the U.S. or Canada, and neither will the Figo Freestyle. However, The Blue Oval does offer the Figo in Mexico, and it’s possible that the Freestyle variant will make its way there. Beyond that, we fully expect the Freestyle variant to make its way to South America, where it will do battle with the likes of the Onix Activ.