Ford calls its upcoming Figo-based crossover -- which takes on the likes of the Hyundai i20 Active, Toyota Etios Cross and the Fiat Urban Cross -- a CUV (compact utility vehicle). However, the Freestyle’s expected price tag also puts it up against some compact SUVs as well. That’s why we are pitting it against the most value-for-money sub-4-metre SUV, the Tata Nexon.
Visually, the Tata Nexon is the bulkier looking of the two. It is 40mm longer, 74mm wider and 37mm taller than the Freestyle. We also expect the cabin space of the Ford Freestyle to be less than the Nexon’s, although the wheelbase of the former is shorter only by 8mm. The Freestyle’s luggage bay is 93 litres smaller in volume than the Nexon. If you thought the Ford Freestyle will have the edge in ground clearance, you’d be wrong. The Nexon rides 19mm higher than the Ford.
Going by the numbers above, the Freestyle may appear to be no match to the Nexon. And that's because it really isn't, since the two cars belong to different segments. That said, the Freestyle’s relatively smaller dimensions will make it more suitable for those looking for a personal vehicle with limited parking space. Let us move to engine specifications now.
The petrol motors on both the Nexon and Freestyle are 3-pot units. It is the Tata that trumps the Ford in all departments here except the most important one for some: fuel economy. However, pay close attention and you’ll see that the Freestyle has the better power-to-weight ratio compared to the Nexon, and this should make it the more agile of the two.
The diesel version of both cars are powered by 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder units. It is the Nexon that leads the power and torque game here again. But once again, the Freestyle’s lower weight ensures that it has the better power-to-weight ratio, which could result in the Ford being quicker and more fuel efficient between the two.
We expect the Ford Freestyle to cost between Rs 5.99 lakh and Rs 8.59 lakh. The Tata Nexon, on the other hand, is priced between Rs 6.16 lakh and Rs 9.90 lakh for the top-spec XZ+ dual-tone variant in Delhi.
The Tata Nexon is equipped with ABS, EBD and dual airbags as standard. Its base XE variant gets power windows only at the front. In comparison, the Freestyle’s base Ambient variant is more loaded. It gets ABS, EBD, dual airbags, rear fog lamps, high speed warning, front power windows and keyless entry as standard across range.
The top-spec Nexon XZ+ gets projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights (DRLs), 16-inch machine-cut alloy wheels, cornering fog lamps and LED tail lamps on the outside. The cabin features a sliding tambour door for the storage space on the centre console, push-button start/stop, 60:40 split rear seats, auto climate control and a 6.5-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, eight speakers and various connectivity options such as voice command, Bluetooth, USB and Aux-in. Additional safety features include a rear defogger, rear parking sensors and a camera.
The Freestyle’s top variant puts greater focus on safety. It is equipped with ESP (electronic stability program), hill assist, six airbags, rear parking sensors and emergency brake assist over the standard equipment. It trumps the Nexon on infotainment as well, with Apple CarPlay on offer alongside Android Auto and Ford’s SYNC 3 system. Convenience features include auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and auto climate control. The top-spec variant of the Freestyle rides on 15-inch alloy wheels.
If Ford manages to price the top-spec Freestyle below the Nexon, it will turn out to be a better value proposition than the Tata, especially when you consider the amount of kit on offer.
Why Buy The Ford Freestyle
It is more engaging to drive than the Nexon
Better fuel economy in both petrol and diesel guises
The Freestyle’s compact dimensions make it well suited for tight spots in cities
Why Buy The Tata Nexon
The Nexon is a bigger car with an imposing stance and more road presence
You can carry more luggage in the Nexon thanks to its bigger boot. So it can be better for those who often go out on road trips
At 209mm, the Nexon has the highest ground clearance among the sub-4 metre SUVs, meaning it can tackle bad roads much better