Ford Freestyle Ownership Review: Live The Free Life


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We love some things in life to the moon and back. Driving a four wheeler is one such love for me

What started as a hobby of sitting in the passenger seat when my Dad drove an Ambassador grew in me to become a passion for automobiles. A Maruthi replaced the Ambassador and I continued to accompany my dad over weekly trips across scenic locations around Visakhapatnam. I grew up with the car and fell in love with it. When I learnt to drive and started driving on my own, It gave a feeling I can’t express in words !

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep – Robert Frost

Then the most challenging, interesting and sometimes frustrating period of a Middle class born 20 something boy came into play. I graduated from College ( 2012 ) moved to Bangalore to earn my bread and butter little did I know I earn enough money to survive till the 30th of every month, forget about even driving a car even with ZoomCar
Done, boring you guys !! Fast forward to 4 years of Job and 2 years of MBA, I earned just enough to think about a car. Thanks to the Big hearted Banks who are willing to lend you any number of loans and sink you in debt, I decided to get one for myself ( I still sometimes can’t believe that I own a car )

  • Budget – Started with 3 Lakhs and ended at 7.3 Lakhs ( I know many of you were in the same boat ), shifted between petrol/ diesel, switched between Old/ New.
  • The range of cars stretched across Alto, Kwid, Swift, Polo, TUV 300 ( Dad’s choice
  • Petrol/ Diesel – After driving my dad’s Swift diesel for a couple of years, I kind of got addicted to the diesel’s driving dynamics. To be continued....
  • Old / New – Since I was inclined towards Diesel, a second Hand car did not seem very attractive ( the swifts were too pricey, the Figos/ Fiesta’s were cheap but the maintenance were not very pocket friendly ) So finally decided to get a new one
  • At this point there was again the dilemma of petrol vs diesel ( Don’t blame me, but the base models of Ignis Petrol and Freestyle Diesel were 1.5 lakhs apart – both similar hatchbacks) . But the test drive cleared out the doubt – Heart always wins over the head :)
  • Now, in my narrow budget I had very few options that I liked – New Swift, Freestyle, Polo I ended up buying the Freestyle Ambient Diesel reasons below
Why Not Swift
  • Driving dynamics were not really great compared to my dad’s 2011 swift.
  • The Steering wont come back to centre position upon taking a u turn, this was a big turn off for me
  • Too many swifts on the road
  • Build quality, some might argue against it, but the panels were too thin for my comfort and considering the traffic in Chennai, any vehicle is bound to take a hit. I dint want to keep doing patch work for any small hits here and there
Why Not Polo :
  • Service costs were not very friendly
  • Somehow the felt the clutch being too hard especially after TDing the Freestyle. And to drive with that in B2B traffic could be a nightmare
  • Price was a bit too high ( Agree it’s a premium product and great safety rated car )

So it was the Freestyle Ambiente Diesel !


Why diesel ( Again ) :
  • It was so much fun to drive in the highways and equally in the city, literally no turbo lag at all
  • Mileage is great ( Highway 24 - 30 @ 80 – 100 KMPH )
Why Ambiente :
  • It ticked all the boxes in terms of function over form, the one thing I miss is the Temperature gauge ( from a safety point of view )
  • It has 2 Air bags, ABS, Rear Parking sensors, Day/ Night IRVM , Floor mats as standard – Perfect VFM for first car buyer like me

The Buying Experience :
The whole world was going towards E shopping and so is car shopping. I tried a portal called trycarpal.com who operate at Chennai and Bangalore as of now, run by a very energetic Vignesh ! I liked the fact that I had to visit the showroom only for delivery, the negotiating, follow-ups everything was taken care by Vignesh’s team

October 11th was the D Day and the Car rolled off :)


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The car has covered over 10500 kms till date, here are my few observations:
  • Never underestimate your running when you compare between petrol/ diesel when purchasing your car
  • This diesel motor is India’s best one till date at least in the sub 1500 CC category for a reason. It is a breeze to drive in the city and loads of fun in the highways
  • Mileage is a great benefit apart from the pure driving dynamics of this beauty , the steering feedback is just right
  • There was left pulling issue twice, once canter angle was fixed and the second time steering software had to be updated
  • Being the base model, the interiors are dull and bare minimum, but very functional , thanks to Tons of storage spaces in the front
  • I swear I will buy another Ford as my next car if at all they continue to exist after another 10 years

Few memorable trips :
  • Chennai – Vizag solo drive ( 850 kms )
  • Chennai – Trichy – Madurai – Chennai – 1100kms
This is my first ownership review, please pardon if there are any mistakes and provide feedback to make it better
Few Pics :


Somewhere near nellore during my solo drive from Chennai to Vizag

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With my father's swift somewhere near Rajahmundry

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At home with my toys :

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Congrats. This is a great car and I wanted to purchase it but the diesel was out of my budget. With Ford, I wanted only the diesel one, but I settled instead for KUV 100 petrol (mostly because of the interior space in this car compared to others in the segment and also the front bench type seating)
 
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Many congrats on your purchase! I was also considering Freestyle for some time. I took a TD and the new dragon engine (P) felt juicy. I liked the ride quality and overall appearance of the car. Sync 3 was fantastic. However was not happy with the boot space though not a deal braker for all. Also the auto variant which I was mainly looking for was not announced that time, nor as of today. [;)]

Anyway, it's a nice car for for people who wants something bigger than hatch and SUVish stance. Great choice. Wish you many happy miles. [thumbsup]
 
Thread Starter #4
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Congrats. This is a great car and I wanted to purchase it but the diesel was out of my budget. With Ford, I wanted only the diesel one, but I settled instead for KUV 100 petrol (mostly because of the interior space in this car compared to others in the segment and also the front bench type seating)
Very sensible decision there, If not for Diesel I would have considered Ignis - Another great VFM car.. Just curious, you did not consider Ignis ???
I got a quote of 5,55,000 for Ignis Base petrol with company fitted accessory for Music player :) , I loved the VFM product except that I wanted a Diesel

Many congrats on your purchase! I was also considering Freestyle for some time. I took a TD and the new dragon engine (P) felt juicy. I liked the ride quality and overall appearance of the car. Sync 3 was fantastic. However was not happy with the boot space though not a deal braker for all. Also the auto variant which I was mainly looking for was not announced that time, nor as of today. [;)]

Anyway, it's a nice car for for people who wants something bigger than hatch and SUVish stance. Great choice. Wish you many happy miles. [thumbsup]
Thanks much :)
Very true that, boot space and Auto variant are two not so great things of the car, But luckily for me those were not Deal breakers :)
So which car did you end up buying anyway ?
 
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Thanks much :)
Very true that, boot space and Auto variant are two not so great things of the car, But luckily for me those were not Deal breakers :)
So which car did you end up buying anyway ?
I bought Tigor AMT. The VFM factor prevailed for me too. Was really torn between Tigor, Freestyle and Nexon. [:)]
Here's my ownership thread - Tata Tigor XZA (P): My New Grey Beauty

So does the ambient varient also comes with touch-screen infotainment system? or a basic one?
 
Thread Starter #6
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I bought Tigor AMT. The VFM factor prevailed for me too. Was really torn between Tigor, Freestyle and Nexon. [:)]
Here's my ownership thread - Tata Tigor XZA (P): My New Grey Beauty

So does the ambient varient also comes with touch-screen infotainment system? or a basic one?
That's a great vehicle and a well written review :) !!
The Ambiente variant comes barebones without any media player, I got it done outside !
 
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Very sensible decision there, If not for Diesel I would have considered Ignis - Another great VFM car.. Just curious, you did not consider Ignis ???
I got a quote of 5,55,000 for Ignis Base petrol with company fitted accessory for Music player :) , I loved the VFM product except that I wanted a Diesel
I did not want to go for another Maruti, I had just exchanged the Celerio for this. I wanted a vehicle which has build strength/better safety than Maruti and not a sub-1000 kg (kerb weight) car.
 
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Congrats. I can realte to what you are saying. It was same for me. I had to buy car ASAP. But soon you will realize to maintain a car is quite expensive with fuel cost, annual insurance, service and other expenses as well if you want to upgrade music system, tyres etc ...
 
Thread Starter #10
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It's a great car, I also considered for buying but in Petrol only.
I have heard good reviews about the Petrol Dragon series motor as well, also after the recent price drop, this car is a steal..

Congrats. I can realte to what you are saying. It was same for me. I had to buy car ASAP. But soon you will realize to maintain a car is quite expensive with fuel cost, annual insurance, service and other expenses as well if you want to upgrade music system, tyres etc ...
But what to do sir, when it's Head vs Heart, Heart always wins :)
 
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Hey @Britto

Congrats on the wonderful car. Happy mile crunching! I own the face-lifted Ecosport 1.5D and I can imagine how the gem of 1.5D engine would do wonders in the nifty Freestyle.

The service bills have been very low and the overall experience with Chennai Ford, guessing from your delivery pics, has been outstanding so far. I might be even go the extra inch to claim that the service cost of Fords have become cheaper than that of Maruti. I suggest that you stick only to Chennai Ford for any servicing/repairs. Have a wonderful journey with the gem of a car. Kudos again for your buy!

Cheers!
 
Thread Starter #12
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Hey @Britto

Congrats on the wonderful car. Happy mile crunching! I own the face-lifted Ecosport 1.5D and I can imagine how the gem of 1.5D engine would do wonders in the nifty Freestyle.

The service bills have been very low and the overall experience with Chennai Ford, guessing from your delivery pics, has been outstanding so far. I might be even go the extra inch to claim that the service cost of Fords have become cheaper than that of Maruti. I suggest that you stick only to Chennai Ford for any servicing/repairs. Have a wonderful journey with the gem of a car. Kudos again for your buy!

Cheers!
Thanks @GandalfTheGrey , Oh yes it's a gem !! And I should say the EcoSport if the big daddy of Freestyle :)

I will agree to that, Chennai Ford have been great so far both with the delivery and the service/ repairs as well. Hope it continues the way it is...

Many miles to you too, cheers :)
 
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