ROAD TEST REPORT AND REVIEW: New Ford Fiesta range
More than just a facelift, MARTYN COLLINS reviews the new Ford Fiesta range which now comes with some clever technology which should appeal to parents.
The importance of the Fiesta to both Ford and buyers since its launch in 2008 cannot be underestimated. So to make sure that one in four superminis continue to have the blue oval badge against strengthening competition, Ford has launched face-lifted versions.
Changes for the restyled Fiesta focus on revised metalwork, trim changes and some clever new technology.
The Fiesta’s face-lift centres on a different nose with a bolder, chrome-trimmed five-bar grille. Part of the new Ford family look, shared with the forthcoming all-new Mondeo, includes a sculpted new ‘powerdome’ bonnet. Narrower, more technical front headlights with LED daytime running lights complete the look.
Other styling changes include tail lights, a sharper rear spoiler and two new colours including Candy Blue.
Inside, apart from some coloured trim, more supportive and adjustable front seats and a mildly revised centre console, it all looks exactly the same as the last. This is no bad thing, as the interior of the current Fiesta looks modern and attractive.
Still, the driving position is comfortable, there’s an average amount of rear space and a 295 litre boot. Shame then, that despite feeling durable, some of the plastic trim is hard and will scratch easily.
If the changes to the interior and exterior don’t excite, the clever technology should. SYNC, a clever voice control system is standard fit on Zetec models and above. On top of this, and probably of most interest to parents, there’s a programmable MyKey fitted to all models. It works by controlling some of the car’s functions, such as the top speed and even the volume of the stereo.
Active City Stop is optional, which is designed to reduce the impact of low speed accidents.
Style, Zetec, Zetec S, Titanium and Titanium X trims will be available from launch, with prices starting at £9,795. Sporty ST versions will follow later in the year. I got the chance to try the 73bhp 1.5-litre TDCi diesel and 98bhp version of the Ecoboost petrol 1.0-litre petrol. Other engines available include a 1.25-litre petrol, a 123bhp version of the 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol and the 95bhp 1.6-litre TDCi diesel.
The 1.5-litre diesel engine is expected to be a top seller. Smoother and more refined than the bigger 1.6-litre I tried previously, it boasts 98g/km CO2 emissions and average fuel figures of 76.3mpg. This engine mated with the slick five-speed manual transmission makes for more than adequate progress on the road.
In the short time they’ve been on sale, Ford’s 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol engines have already proved to be giant-killers when slotted in the front of the B-Max and the bigger Focus. The 98bhp 1.0-litre might be the smaller output version, but it is highly capable on the road. For a three-pot engine, it’s the smoothness that surprises first, then how willing and revvy it is. Add in the Fiesta’s already sharp dynamics and I believe there are few other superminis offering this much fun at over 65mpg.
So to sum up, the new engines improve what was dynamically the sharpest car in its class and the new features will only add to the Fiesta’s desirability.
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THE VITAL STATISTICS
Model: Ford Fiesta
Body styles: 3-and 5-door hatchback
Engines: 98bhp 1.0-litre, 123bhp 1.0-litre, 80bhp 1.25-litre, 73bhp 1.5-litre TDCi, 95bhp 1.6-litre TDCi
Trim grades: Zetec, Zetec-S, Titanium, Titanium X
Prices: from £9,795
In the showroom: Now