Auto Today|August 2018
The CUV space has ignited the imagination of car makers and as a result, we have another segment to choose from. Taking a cue from the trend, we test three such CUVs. Read on for results
In the run up for grabbing every inch of space in the Indian automobile market, car manufacturers are consciously taking the innovative route. So from traditional SUVs, a niche of its own has been created to match the needs of the customer. One such niche is the Compact Utility Vehicle (CUV) segment. Both Indian and international car makers have understood the need of the Indian customer, which largely revolves around a family car that has the capacity and space that matches that of an SUV but of course is based on a smaller platform and affordable price. To fulfil this need, the CUVs were born. Though Honda has had the WR-V and Hyundai the i20 Active, Ford’s recently launched Freestyle is vying to fill in the gaps. With the recent launch of the Volvo’s XC40, it’s evident that even the luxury CUV space is slowly but surely recognising the potential of this void. Gone are the days when car makers could slap on some plastic bits and call their rather humble hatchback a mean crossover. Today things have progressed beyond those lines with CUVs built and sold for a purpose. It is for this reason that we decided to pit three such CUVs against one another. So which one is best? We find out in this test.
Let’s begin with the newest kid on the block, the Freestyle. The Freestyle comes as an offshoot of the Figo hatchback. However, Ford has decided to do away with the ‘Figo’ tag when it came to this vehicle. Ford designers in the mean time have spruced up the looks by adding scuff plates both up front and rear. The bumpers are new and so is the cladding which is easily visible in profile. The plus point with the Freestyle is that, it’s not overdone and the additions remain subtle. While the head lamps get a smoked treatment, Ford has missed out on adding daytime running lamps. On the roof, one can spot roof rails that are usable units; perfectly handy to mount a roof box or even bicycles on them. The rear bumper of the Freestyle also seems to be larger but we particularly liked was the boot accessibility due to the low loading height. Adding to the overall stance of the Freestyle is the raised ride height. This also means that the Freestyle offers a substantial ground clearance at 190mm.
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