Three Ford ranges received upgrades, and new models were added to the existing ones.
The top-selling Ford EcoSport range was improved with the addition of a six-speed automatic transmission for the most affordable 1.5 Ambiente petrol derivative, which brings the line-up to seven models.
There are also numerous feature enhancements on Trend and Titanium models, including Ford’s Collision Mitigation System, an underbody protection shield and the addition of cruise control with speed limiter on Trend models.
The range starts with the 1.5 Ambiente in five-speed manual or the new six-speed automatic version. The three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine is good for 91 kW and 151 Nm. A 1.5-litre TDCi turbodiesel model is also available in Ambiente trim, producing 74 kW and 205 Nm, linked to a six-speed manual gearbox. The multiple award-winning 1.0 EcoBoost engine, which produces 92 kW and 170 Nm, powers the Trend and Titanium models, which can be specified with six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
The new addition is priced at R297 600 and slots in between the entry level 1.5 Ambiente manual, which starts at R279 700 and the 1.0 EcoBoost Trend six-speed manual at R319 200.
Competitors to this model include the Hyundai Creta and Venue, Kia Seltos, Citroën C3 Aircross, Mahindra XUV300, Mazda CX3, Renault Captur, Toyota Rush, Honda BRV, Suzuki Vitara and the VW T-Cross.
Welcome to the Figo Freestyle
Ford’s latest addition to the Figo range is called the Figo Freestyle.
Based on the popular and value-for-money Figo range, the Freestyle is described as a sub-B Compact Utility Vehicle (CUV) with all the SUV hints of the EcoSport and big brother Kuga. A key element of the Figo Freestyle’s is the raised ride height of 190 mm, which is 16 mm higher than the standard Figo.
The model has integrated front and rear skid plates, and functional roof rails are fitted as standard.
The Freestyle will be available in Trend and Titanium derivates, both powered by the 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which is also used in the rest of the Figo range and the EcoSport range.
The Figo Freestyle Titanium will slot in at the top of the Figo range at R247 500 with the Trend version at R226 700 sliding in just below the Titanium Hatch-model. Both Freestyle versions are only available with a five-speed manual transmission.
Competitors include the Renault Sandero Stepway, Haval H1, Citroën 1.2 Feel, Fiat Panda 0.9 TwinAir 4x4, Mahindra KUV100 #DARE, Toyota Etios Sport and the Suzuki Ignis.
Custom gearbox for people-mover
Ford’s practical Tourneo Custom people-mover is now available for the first time with a six-speed automatic gearbox.
The auto models are exclusively powered by a new-generation 2.0-litre Single Turbo diesel engine in two power versions – 96 kW (385 Nm) on the Trend model and 136 kW (415 Nm) on range-topping Limited model. Both versions come with AdBlue® and a particulate filter to reduce exhaust emissions. The engine is the same one used in Ford Ranger bakkie-range.
Buyers can also look forward to an all-new dashboard layout incorporating SYNC®3 with an integrated eight-inch touchscreen on the Limited, which provides significantly improved features and ease of use for the infotainment system and smartphone functionality.
Both 2-litre models fill the new top spots in the range, priced at R700 200 for the 2.0 SiT Trend and R740 900 6AT for the SiT Limited 6AT. The next closest model in the range is the 2.2TDCI 6MT that costs R695 600.
Competitors include the Volkswagen Kombi, Mercedes-Benz Vito and the Hyundai H1.
Kia’s Picanto underwent a mid-life refreshment and in the process added a new range topper, called the Picanto X-Line, with distinct new crossover styling.
Audi launched its V8 diesel versions in sporty disguise called the SQ7 and the SQ8 in the in the high-performance SUV segment.
The Hyundai Motor Company started the year on a winning streak, announcing its win of four accolades at the 2020 Good Design awards late last year.