- Noticeably improved cabin
- B&O Play music system is impressive
- Good range of specs
- Seats are a bit rigid
- Some of the interior plastics feel cheap
It’s quite amazing to see that the Fiesta, introduced back in 1976, has been so dominant in the small car sector with over 4.5 million of them sold since it was first launched in the UK.
It’s become the small, dependable family car that owners have flocked to, so with a new version released how does it compare to the previous one?
We went on the UK launch to find out.
On The Road
The Ford Fiesta comes with their award-winning 1.0 EcoBoost petrol engine, which is available with 100PS, 125PS and 140PS.
The three-cylinder 100PS is surprisingly really nippy, it has plenty of go from the off and it’s ideal for city driving, it’s our engine of choice for the Fiesta. It emits 97g/km of CO2 and has good fuel economy figures with Ford reckoning it will achieve a combined 65.7mpg.
A 1.1 petrol will be available soon with 70PS or 85PS, these will offer high fuel economy and be available on the Style and Zetec trims.
There is a 1.5 diesel available with either 85PS or 120PS, both come with a six-speed manual transmission and the 85PS emits just 82g/km of CO2 for the 3-door version.
Ford have a good line up of engines to suit owners at all stages of their driving life.
What is really noticeable when you get behind the wheel is how light the steering is, it doesn’t lack in feedback when you turn into a corner which is definitely a good thing as some light steering can do the complete opposite.
This sort of steering is great if you’re using it for manoeuvring around towns and into car parking spaces.
The ride is fairly supple and agile, the engineers have produced a car that soaks up most road surfaces, so overall the Fiesta offers good handling, a great relaxed drive and ride and you can see why so many of them have been purchased.
It’s longer, wider and lower than the outgoing model, it retains that dominant trapezoidal grille but looks a lot sportier. The Ford Fiesta now has an extra four colours to choose from bringing the total to 12. It might not be to everyone’s taste but the Bohai Bay Mint is a really stand out colour, if you’re that way inclined, but Blue Wave and Chrome Copper look just as impressive.
Ford have recently struck a deal with the sound company Harman and have introduced an optional sound system for the car, B&O Play which adds 10 speakers and a subwoofer. With an adjustment of the speaker placement around the car the sound coming at your ears is truly phenomenal, ok that might be too strong a word, but forget the £6,000 sound systems on premium cars, Ford have it nailed with this one and at a fraction of the cost and the Fiesta is the first Ford to feature it.
In The Car
Behind the Wheel
Get behind the wheel and it’s noticeable how firm the seats are, maybe a bit too much if we’re going to be honest.
You do have good visibility even out of the rear, but if you’re looking to reverse park then there is a camera on the rear and a parking aid to help you as the rear window is quite small. No excuses for parking badly.
The instrument panel is well laid out, the turquoise blue gives it a modern look and there’s a driver’s information screen too.
The centre stack is button free, that was where the previous generation got a minus as it overwhelmed the small cabin. It’s not often you get eight inch touchscreen in a small car so it’s a nice touch and this is available on the Zetec B&O Play trim upwards coming with their Sync 3 connectivity system.
The good thing about the Fiesta is that it comes with plenty of equipment across the range including Bluetooth, cruise control, privacy glass, rear view camera and the exclusive Vignale will have a panoramic roof.
Space & Practicality
Ford have made the Fiesta more spacious, it definitely feels that upfront, but in the rear it seems to lack slightly in leg room, six footers will struggle in the back we feel and the uprightness of the bench seat won’t be ideal for long journeys.
There is plenty of storage dotted about the car, in the doors, under the centre stack, bottles can be placed between the two front seats and there are two USB connections, one by the gear stick and the other with the bottle storage.
The three-door Fiesta has a boot holding 292 litres, which can be increased to 1,093 with seats folded, while the five-door has 303 litres of space available increasing to 984 litres. It’s a fairly sizeable boot but still smaller than the rival Seat Ibiza.
So what’s the price of this Ford Fiesta? The entry level Style starts at £12,715 but
the Zetec trim level is the most popular priced from £14,215, along with the petrol engines and 5-door style. ST-Line X has been added to the trims alongside Titanium, with the super sporty ST and luxurious Vignale due in 2018.
With owners paying over £20,000 for a Fiesta because of the wide choice available for the model, it’s no surprise that 5,000 of this version have been pre-sold already.
Will it continue its long term success? Without a doubt as it’s a fun, economical car to drive, it offers plenty of practicality and a good choice of engines. When the ST and Vignale are added to the line up it is sure to boost its popularity even further.
Quality & Reliability
An area which Ford struggle with is interiors, the Mustang had a very cheap looking cabin compared to the dazzling exterior of the muscle car.
The previous generation was overloaded with a very fussy centre stack, there were buttons everywhere. Thankfully designers have seen sense on this Fiesta and gone with the minimal look which works very well.
Some of the plastics, especially on the doors feel a bit cheap, but the material on the seats feels tough and hard wearing.
On the plus side Ford are now in the top 10 of most reliable car brands and the Fiesta has won over 60 awards since 2008, now that’s an impressive statistic.
Safety & Security
Ford are boasting that it’s the ‘most technologically advanced among small cars’ and it does feature an impressive list of safety features on it including a park assist system with perpendicular parking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, driver alert and a forward collision warning system.
It also comes with airbags, ISOFIX points, a rear seatbelt reminder and passenger airbag deactivation which helps if you’re putting a child seat in the front.
A Thatcham Category 1 alarm comes on the Fiesta available on the Zetec trim and upwards.
This version has yet to be given a Euro NCAP test rating, in 2012 it got the full five stars so we can’t imagine this getting any less with the amount of safety technologies it has on it.
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