The ever popular Fiesta from Ford receives update and we spend some time with this latest model wearing the blue oval to confirm that good things come in small packages.
In a segment that is more overflowing with makes and models than the latest SUV craze, the Fiesta has always faced fair challenge from the likes of the Renault Clio, Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 208, Nissan Micra and Skoda Fabia to name but a few.
Now in its eight-generation, the Fiesta is testament that Ford has been getting it right since 1976 and not only has the Fiesta been a firm favourite for city and family life, but with a few sporty trim levels and potent engines, has been no stranger to the race and rally fraternities.
Mention Fiesta to an enthusiast and they will recall XR2, XR2i, RS Turbo and in more recent years, ST models – all of which will likely be said with a smile – as the Fiesta, even in basic trim, has always been a decent handling little car.
I eagerly await the arrival of the all-new ST model later in the year, featuring a 1.5L, 3cyl turbocharged engine!
Starting these days, from an affordable £13,695, the Fiesta offers more safety, technology and options than ever before, but with a colossal FOURTEEN trim levels on offer, I can’t really see the need for options as surely there is an off-the-shelf model for everyone.
Well technically there are nine, with a few splinter-trim levels added for some spice, with the Fiesta available in either three-door or the more popular and practical five-door guise, the range starts with the ‘Style’ model and finished with the ‘Vignale’.
Fiesta’s ‘Style’ will get you automatic projector headlamps with daytime running lamps; electric, heated door mirrors; AM/FM radio with Bluetooth and device dock; electric front windows; air conditioning and Ford’s MyKey system (think of this as parental set restrictions that can be programmed easily) as well as lane-keep alert and assist.
Next up is the most popular model over the years, starting from £15,195 and is called the ‘Zetec’ which adds 15-inch alloy wheels; exterior chrome detailing; LED daytime running lights with cornering fog lamps; heated windscreen; leather trimmed handbrake, gear knob and multi-function steering wheel as well as 6.5-inch touch-screen with DAB radio and phone app connectivity.
If you want some individuality and great sounding audio, then for just £16,145 you can opt for the ‘B&O Play Zetec’ model, available in just two striking colours, you get colour co-ordinated interior details and a B&O audio system with 8-inch touch-screen with navigation.
Next up, the ‘Titanium’ (as tested and photographed) starts from £17,145 which gets 16-inch alloy wheels; power folding mirrors with puddle lamps; rear privacy glass; the 8-inch navigation touch-screen; automatic high-beam and wipers as well as automatic climate control; traffic sign recognition and driver alert.
For a pricey £18,495 you can then add the B&O Play audio system; reversing camera; heated, half-leather seats and keyless entry as well as rear electric windows on the 5-door model – this model is the ‘Titanium X’.
If you just happen to want a funky colour with matching interior trim and the B&O Play audio system, then the ‘B&O Play Titanium’ is the better option starting from £17,895.
The final three models start with the ‘ST-Line’ which features 17-inch alloy wheels; sports suspension, pedals and seating; black headlining and restyled bumpers, side skirts and rear spoiler along with a start button inside – this sporty model starts from £17,145.
For £18,495 you can have all the luxury with sporty looks with an ‘ST-Line X’ which adds LED rear lights; rear privacy glass; 8-inch touch-screen with navigation and part leather seats along with cruise control; automatic lights and wipers; automatic climate control and traffic sign recognition with driver alert.
‘Vignale’ is the grandfather of the range and starts from a whopping £20,345 and comes with 17-inch alloy wheels; Vignale specific bumpers and grill with satin-aluminium detail; opening panoramic roof and leather heated seats and steering wheel as well as reverse camera with sensors.
Engine wise, there is a pair of petrol units available, starting with an incredibly dull 1.1L with the option of either 70PS or 85PS, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox whilst a more potent 1.0L turbocharged ‘EcoBoost’ produces either 100PS, 125PS or 140PS, all of which come matched to a 6-speed manual ‘box with the 100PS version having the option of a 6-speed auto ‘box.
Just the one diesel engine is available, a 1.5L turbocharged unit with either 85PS or 120PS, which comes with just the 6-speed manual gearbox. For me though, the two higher output EcoBoost engines are hard to look past with sub-10sec zero-62mph sprints and claimed, combined economy of over 60mpg.
Styling wise, this latest Fiesta has become a little softer looking, a little less edgy than the previous model, and the general shape hasn’t changed a great deal but it does look great with a usable sized boot that isn’t as big as some rivals, and on the model tested, opening rams attached to the tailgate, that struggled to open it, without some manual assistance.
Inside the Fiesta is well sculpted and laid out, with some materials that are maybe a little on the plastic side, this is reflected in the affordable pricing of course, with my main annoyance being that of incredibly flimsy feeling rear wiper controls.
Seating is reasonably comfortable and being heated, very welcoming, especially when combined with the heated steering wheel option and a 4.2-inch screen in the cluster displays vital car stats with a feeling of safety thanks to the traffic sign recognition, automatic lights and wipers as well as a driver alert system.
Fitted in this Titanium model is the ‘Ford Sync 3’ infotainment system which provides DAB/FM/Am radio; Bluetooth; 2 x USB input; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as 6-speakers and emergency assist – the system controlled via an 8-inch touch-screen is clear, fast and very easy to use.
Fitted here, with the 125PS EcoBoost, 1.0L turbocharged petrol engine producing 170Nm of torque with a top speed of 121mph and a 0-62mph time of 9.9sec, the Fiesta is far from sluggish – instead, punchy around town and more than capable of long commutes for those not needing a big car.
Real world economy over a week of mixed driving sat around the mid-40’s mpg rather than claimed higher figure mentioned before and while running a little late when collecting the wife one evening, the Fiesta got a ‘good drive’ along mostly winding A-roads and I will attest, the handling was surprising to say the least.
With an amazing tuning circle, aiding city users – the Fiesta does have a ride that some may feel is slightly on the firm side, but with this, you get a car that will take in a spirited drive with absolute ease and without drama – i enjoyed it.
Overall, I most definitely see the attraction of the Fiesta and understand why it has sold in droves over the decades, having recently owned a Peugeot 208, the Fiesta is certainly a better package in my opinion with the model tested, including its options, coming in at £19,315.
Words and Photos: Graham Curry
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The Fiesta model keeps stepping up. Really like the direction Ford is taking with the Fiesta. No surprise why it is such a popular choice.