Ford Freestyle vs Maruti Swift – Which one should you buy?

Customers who are in the market to buy a small car in the price range of Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh (ex-showroom) have a wide range of options available on hand. This causes some major confusion in making the final purchase decision. Every product that is launched nowadays has a high potential of satisfying all major customer needs. However, every now and then, there comes a car that is so closely matched to its rivals that buyers have a hard time finalising their purchase. One such recent rivalry is between the Ford Freestyle and Maruti Swift.

Despite being a compact crossover, the Ford Freestyle has found a place in the options list of hatchback buyers, thanks to it essentially being a beefed up Figo. Moreover, the aggressive launch prices of the Ford Freestyle has made it a direct competitor to undoubtedly the most popular hatchback in the Indian market – the Maruti Swift.

So if you are confused between the Freestyle and Swift and are wondering which one would be an ideal choice for your needs, we are at your disposal with a detailed comparison between the two models. Read it in utmost detail and we promise you that by the end of this article, we would have helped you to identify the car that is meant for you.

Ford Freestyle vs Maruti Swift – Detailed Comparison

Design

The Freestyle is essentially a jacked up version of the Figo hatchback. It gets some added body cladding, smoked headlamps, blacked out grille and air dam, raised ground clearance, new front & rear bumpers, and roof rails. All this makes the Ford Freestyle look rugged and more SUV-like. What we don’t like on the Freestyle is the choice of colour options. Currently, the Freestyle is available in 6 colours (Brown, Grey, Silver, White, Gold, and Black). We would have liked some Blue and Red shades as well.

Ford Freestyle

On the other hand, the Swift gets a laid-back design. Though Maruti has recently brought in a new-gen model of the Swift, it still lacks any dynamism or zeal to its looks. Do note that this in no way means that the design is bad. It just lacks the visual flamboyance that is associated with the Freestyle. However, the Swift continues to be a smart hatchback, with the top-end models also getting visual enhancements like projector headlamps, LED daytime running lights (DRLs), and dual tone diamond cut alloy wheels. It is thus a car that will appeal to all and will offend none.

2018 Maruti Swift

Verdict: Like most cars in the market, the Swift as well as the Freestyle are good to look at and can in no way be termed as eyesores. However, each of these two cars are perfectly matched towards a specific range of customers. The Freestyle will appeal to those who like loud designs that can stand out from the crowd and are a fan of the SUV-like design elements. On the other hand, the Swift is for people who want a contemporary looking hatchback but aren’t a fan of over-the-top design elements or the entire concept of budget crossovers. Additionally, the Freestyle is a perfect car for you if you want a hatchback with taller ground clearance, owing to poor road conditions and taller speed breakers in your area.

Features

1. Safety

The Maruti Swift as well as the Ford Freestyle come with a wide range of standard safety features including dual airbags and anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD). However, the Ford Freestyle easily trumps the Maruti Swift in the safety department. The Freestyle Titanium+ comes with 6 airbags, hill launch assist (HLA), traction control (TC) and electronic stability program (ESP). Please note that HLA, TC and ESP are also available in the Titanium trim. The Freestyle’s advantage in the safety department is not just limited to the top variants, as it also comes with more standard safety features like rear parking sensors, auto door locks, rear fog lamps, seat belt reminder, and high-speed alerts.

As a result, the Ford Freestyle is clearly a lot safer than the Maruti Swift.

2. Comfort and Convenience

Both cars come with features like automatic climate control, automatic headlamps, engine start/stop button, and height adjustable driver seat. However, the Freestyle manages to get an upper hand in this department, as it offers rearview camera on all variants except the base spec Ambiente trim, while the Swift only gets it in the top-end Z+ trim. Moreover, the Ford Freestyle gets additional features like automatic rain sensing wipers, 6-speed intermittent wipers, and auto-dimming inside rear view mirror (IRVM). The Ford Freestyle also gets a programmable smart key, which can be used to set a speed limit, seatbelt reminders, and the maximum volume of the infotainment system.

Hence, the Ford Freestyle also offers better comfort and convenience features, as compared to the Maruti Swift.

3. Headlamps

After seeing the Swift lose in two feature departments (safety and convenience), you might think that the Ford Freestyle is clearly a winner. However, this isn’t the case. The Swift makes a vital comeback in our comparison in the headlights department. This is thanks to the LED projectors and daytime running lamps (DRLs) on offer on the top-end Z+ trim. The Ford Freestyle just gets conventional halogen headlamps on all variants and even misses DRLs.

As a result, the Swift looks smarter to look at, especially from the front, while also offering better illumination.

4. Audio System

The Maruti Swift comes with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink. However, this unit is available only in the top-end Z+ trim. The V and Z trims come with a basic 2-DIN music system instead.

Meanwhile, the Ford Freestyle packs a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system on the top-end Titanium+ variant, which also gets Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Ford Sync3 connectivity. This particular unit, despite being smaller in size, offers a better user experience than the one on the Maruti Swift. Moreover, lower variants of the Freestyle, except the base spec Ambiente trim, come with 6.5-inch touchscreen unit, though it misses out on the Android Auto, CarPlay and Ford Sync3.

The sound output of the Maruti Swift is better on the Z and Z+ variants, as they get 4 speakers and 2 additional tweeters. The Freestyle, on the other hand, just gets 4 speakers on all variants.

Hence, comparing the two models on the basis of the infotainment/sound system is a tricky affair. The head unit of the Freestyle is clearly a step ahead to that of the Swift. However, the sound system (speakers) of the Swift offers a better output than that of its competitor from Ford.

Also Read: Maruti Swift vs Maruti Baleno

Specifications and performance comparison

Petrol

SPECIFICATIONS

FORD FREESTYLE

MARUTI SUZUKI SWIFT

Engine

1.2-litre Ti-VCT

1.2-litre K-Series VVT

Cylinders

3

4

Power Output

96PS @ 6,500rpm

83PS @ 6,000rpm

Torque Output

120Nm @ 4,250rpm

113Nm @ 4,200rpm

Gearbox

5-speed MT

5-speed MT/AMT

Fuel Efficiency

19 km/l

22 km/l

Fuel Tank Capacity

42-litres

37-litres

The above figures clearly suggest that the Ford Freestyle petrol is more powerful than the Swift petrol. However, it is worth noting that the Freestyle is a lot heavier than the Swift. As a result, the power to weight ratio of the Swift Petrol (94.32PS/tonne) is slightly better than that of the Freestyle petrol (91.95PS/tonne). The K-series petrol, being a 4-cylinder engine, is also a lot more refined than the 3-pot unit seen on the Ford Freestyle. We thus prefer the Swift petrol in this comparison.

Diesel

SPECIFICATIONS

FORD FREESTYLE

MARUTI SUZUKI SWIFT

Engine

1.5-litre TDCI

1.3-litre DDiS

Cylinders

4

4

Power Output

100PS @ 3,750rpm

75PS @ 4,000rpm

Torque Output

215Nm @ 1,750-3,000rpm

190Nm @ 2,000rpm

Gearbox

5-speed MT

5-speed MT/AMT

Fuel Efficiency

24.4 km/l

28.4 km/l

Fuel Tank Capacity

40 litres

37 litres

In the diesel comparison, the Ford Freestyle is miles ahead of the Maruti Swift. It gets a larger 1.5-litre turbocharged engine with is undoubtedly one of the best diesel mills available in the hatchback segment. On the other hand, the Swift comes with the ageing Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre DDiS unit, which offers apt power output for day-to-day needs, but lacks any fun characteristics. Despite being the heavier of the two, the Ford Freestyle diesel offers a power to weight ratio of 92.59PS/tonne, which is significantly larger than the Swift’s rating of 76.14PS/tonne. We thus prefer the Freestyle diesel over the Swift.

Dimensions Comparison
DIMENSIONS

FORD FREESTYLE

MARUTI SUZUKI SWIFT

Length

3,954 mm

3,840 mm

Width

1,737 mm

1,735 mm

Height

1,570 mm

1,530 mm

Wheelbase

2,490 mm

2,450 mm

Ground Clearance

190 mm

163 mm

Boot Space

257 litres

268 litres
VERDICT
Who should buy the Ford Freestyle?
  • One who is buying a diesel and is looking for a fun to drive car
  • Someone who needs a higher ground clearance, owing to poor road conditions
  • Better ride quality than the Swift
  • Looking for a safer vehicle
  • Better infotainment system and more comfort features
Who should buy the Maruti Swift
  • After sales service is a high priority
  • Fuel economy is critical
  • Better resale value. This is important for people who will be changing cars in 4-5 years max
  • Looking for an automatic option

Bhavik Sharma

Born with a love for automobiles, Bhavik has been in the field of motoring journalism for over 4 years. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry and is currently supplying his valuable inputs to the budding platform of Autosite India.

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