• New Figo Freestyle recently launched in SA.
• Figo Freestyle competes against Sandero Stepway and Etios Cross.
• Powered by 1.5-litre petrol engine.
Here's some real talk: Ford doesn't shift nearly enough of its entry-level hatch in Mzansi, and that's a crying shame. Fiesta sells well, but Figo lags probably because of the styling – although Toyota does well with the fugly Etios.
So what does the Blue Oval badge do when the Renault Sandero Stepway and Etios Cross is eating your lunch? You take the fight to them. The new to SA Ford Figo Freestyle 1.5 Titanium packs a lot of car into its R247 500 sticker price.
Keyless start, Sync 3 with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, remote boot unlock, automatic headlamps, reverse camera and automatic anti-dazzle rear-view mirror. Those are only a couple of the added extras that handily put it at the top of the subcompact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) pile with regards to extras.
Snappy manual transmission
Now add a very capable 1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated petrol that's good for sending 91kW and 150Nm to the front wheels in a useful rev range and the Freestyle can more than hold its own on the highways and urban roads of the Highveld. That tried and tested engine is mated to a tried and tested, snappy five-speed manual transmission.
There's plenty of room for four adults with shoulder room to spare thanks to the Figo's excellent use of interior space. A generous 190mm of ground clearance and plenty of prominent 4x4 cladding completes the practical styling and solves many of the image problems that may scare a couple of potential buyers off.
Figo Freestyle is an adequate package that should fit right into the complex life of suburban South Africa and put a couple of smiles on faces.
2020 Ford Figo Freestyle (QuickPic)
Lindsey Schutters is the editor of That Opinion Guy.