Search

Norwich Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 3°C

min temp: -0°C

Ford Fiesta upwardly mobile along with debut dose of new technology

New Ford Fiesta�s styling is evolutionary on the outside but much changed, and improved, inside. Picture: Ford

New Ford Fiesta�s styling is evolutionary on the outside but much changed, and improved, inside. Picture: Ford

Ford

When you’re reinventing Britain’s best-seller, you can’t afford to make any mistakes. Motoring editor Andy Russell checks out if the latest, all-new Ford supermini has that much-loved ‘Fiesta-ness’.

Horizontal rear lights emphasise new Ford Fiesta's width. Picture: Ford Horizontal rear lights emphasise new Ford Fiesta's width. Picture: Ford

Redesigning Britain’s best-selling car, the iconic Ford Fiesta supermini, must be daunting – honing it without losing that ‘Fiesta-ness’, as Ford calls, which customers love.

Now in its seventh generation, with 40 years of heritage, the all-new Fiesta offers models is also moving upmarket – higher-specification Fords account for 65pc of sales – with a new range-topping Vignale flagship and, next year, an Active crossover version.

Looks and image

Smart new fascia as part of revised interior includes a large touchscreen on higher-spec models. Picture: Ford Smart new fascia as part of revised interior includes a large touchscreen on higher-spec models. Picture: Ford

Over four decades, Fiesta has gone from little runabout to small family car and the new model is slightly longer and wider.

The design has evolved to be more contemporary – not the big step change when the previous generation gained that wide, Ford family grille – here the back end’s new horizontal rear lights, emphasising the width, stand out.

Under the bonnet

More kneeroom in the back makes it more comfortable for adult passengers. Picture: Ford More kneeroom in the back makes it more comfortable for adult passengers. Picture: Ford

Entry engines are 70 and 85PS, 1.1-litre, three-cylinder units while there are new 85 and 120PS 1.5-litre turbo diesels but the excellent 100, 125 and 140PS 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbo petrol EcoBoost engines will take a big chunk of sales.

Even the entry unit is a little cracker with flexible, low-down pull, revving freely and cruising quietly at motorway speeds. Driven enthusiastically, aided by a delightfully slick six-speed manual gearbox – the 100PS engine can also be had with automatic transmission, it returned 45 to 50mpg.

How it drives

Boot is slightly bigger but seat backs don't fold totally flat. Picture: Ford Boot is slightly bigger but seat backs don't fold totally flat. Picture: Ford

The new Fiesta was designed to be even more fun to drive with by widening the track, stiffening the body and chassis, new suspension to reduce roll and improving braking and grip.

It’s still the most dynamic supermini, with taut handling and excellent steering feel but the firmish ride on my Titanium test car was not helped by bigger, optional 17in wheels, which also created noticeable tyre noise.

Space and comfort

Floating touchscreen reduces number of button on centre console. Picture: Ford Floating touchscreen reduces number of button on centre console. Picture: Ford

There’s 16mm more kneeroom in the back with sufficient leg and headroom for four adults and it’s extremely comfortable with soft, supportive seating.

The deep, flat-sided boot is a couple of litres bigger than the previous model at 292 litres, rising to a maximum 1,093 litres – a useful improvement over the old model’s 974 litres. Unfortunately the 60/40 split rear seat backs don’t lay totally flat and step up from the boot floor without the optional height-adjustable panel that also cuts down the high lip.

At the wheel

New Ford Fiesta�s styling is evolutionary on the outside but much changed, and improved, inside. Picture: Ford New Ford Fiesta�s styling is evolutionary on the outside but much changed, and improved, inside. Picture: Ford

The biggest styling changes are inside. Higher-spec models get a floating eight-inch, tablet-inspired touchscreen on top of the fascia to control most functions, nearly halving the number of buttons on the centre console but regularly-used heating and ventilation controls remain rotary knobs and buttons.

The highly-adjustable driving position is ideal for short and tall drivers but chunky rear pillars restrict rear visibility so I was glad of the £500 optional pack of front and rear sensors, rear-view camera and advanced auto park assistance.

Despite moving the Fiesta upmarket, hard plastic trim is still very much in evidence but at least it looks better than it feels.

Technology and equipment

Ford calls the new Fiesta the most technologically-advanced small car in Europe with 15 driver assistance features, many on Fiesta for the first time. They include enhanced pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, even at night, and hands-free nose-to-tail and side-by-side parking, getting you in and out of the space and even braking if the driver is distracted.

Most are options but the lane-keeping system is standard across the range.

The latest SYNC3 communications and entertainment system uses simple voice commands to control audio, navigation and connected smartphones while the new B&O Play sound system debuts with 10 speakers, 675 watts and a digital signal processing amplifier.

Final say

The Fiesta is still the supermini to beat and, with this new model debuting new technologies, it emphasises how important this trend-setting little car is to Ford.

SPEC AND TECH

Price: Ford Fiesta Titanium 1.0T EcoBoost £17,045 (range from £12,715)

Engine: 998cc, 100PS, three-cylinder turbo petrol with six speed manual gearbox

Performance: 0-62mph 10.5 seconds; top speed 113mph

MPG: Urban 52.3; extra urban 78.5; combined 65.7

CO2 emissions: 97g/km

Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 18pc

Insurance group: 10 (out of 50)

Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles

Will it fit in the garage? L 4,040mm; W (including door mirrors) 1,941mm; H 1,476mm

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Norwich Evening News visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Norwich Evening News staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Norwich Evening News account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists