Quiet revolution underlines new Fiesta’s arrival
These days, a new car model is more likely to be an evolution than a revolution.
It’s the case with New Fiesta from Ford, much to the relief of those who bought into Britain’s best-selling car over the last few years. The previous radical change from boxy to swoopy remains in vogue today; however, there was a need for a refresh and that’s what the All-New Fiesta delivers.
But under the skin there has literally been a quiet revolution. Ford has long enjoyed a reputation for fine handling family cars, delivered to drivers who want to enjoy their time at the wheel. Judging by the way Fiesta dominates monthly and annual sales charts over countless years, give or take the odd monthly blip when it awaits the arrival of the updated model as now, a lot of British drivers feel driving time is not a chore.
Any Fiesta buyer will love the new car, which delivers all that the old car promised and then some more. Exterior style goes without question. It will look familiar but examine everything more closely and you’ll see the grille is bigger, more prominently “Aston Martin”, the headlight units are longer, fog lights changed quite radically.
Deeper swage lines enhance the waist and lower panels, while the rear lights are no longer high rise items but rather emphasise the width that brings the interior of the Fiesta a big car feel.
Jump into the Zetec, as we did, and it feels familiar having used the latest Galaxy Titanium X as our daily drive for the last couple of months. There’s the familiar touch screen layout, easy to navigate information in front of you in an instrument binnacle that tells all you need to know. Even the prominent digital speed readout can be selected – so much easier to assimilate in busy traffic. The speed limiter, standard across the entire range, helps avoid the penalty points tally, as does easily connecting your phone through the Ford Sync3 system to go totally hands-free.
For most buyers, the Fiesta is likely to be the sole family car but where it’s bought to run as back-up to a bigger Ford there’s no problem hopping from one to another – and it’s a fair bet that the regular driver of the bigger Ford will find all the excuses possible to steal the keys of the Fiesta. Where the competition to drive comes mainly from younger members of the family, the ability to use MyKey to programme how the car is driven by them – even how loudly they play their music – should help avoid the sleepless nights so many parents fear until their offspring’s key turn in the front door tells of their safe return.
The Zetec test car was powered by the 1.0 litre 100 PS EcoBoost engine, still winning international prizes for being the best of its type six years after its launch. It’s noticeable how much more subdued it sounds and feels in terms of interior intrusion but the driver suffers no ill effects under the accelerator.
Three cylinder engines like these are renowned for their raucous nature but Ford has met the challenge. When you gun it, you get a slight increase in decibels but anyone who drives by being attuned to their car will appreciate this. The important thing is that attention to noise, vibration, and harshness (the NVH acronym the motor industry loves) has ensured you don’t get unpleasant sensations such as vibration through the pedals or an assault on the ears.
Similarly, Ford has paid attention to the suspension of the Fiesta. It hasn’t lost any of its edge over small car rivals when it comes to handling so there’s still a degree of thrill to be had on back routes. But the car rides more smoothly than its predecessor or other superminis and this can be appreciated within a short time of embarking on your first trip.
There’s also a slick six-speed manual gearbox with this engine, one that moves swiftly but smoothly between ratios assisted by a light action on the clutch pedal. Six speeds equal improved economy and getting around 50 mpg from this petrol car in daily driving as opposed to official testing shows it delivers low bills in the real world.
We should also mention, of course, that families will appreciate the double rear top tether ISOFix mounts for safety seats, the boot space, good interior stowage, and light interior that can now be enhanced by a panorama opening glass roof. It’s a real feast of delights.
Maurice and Annette Hardy
Car: Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost 100 PS five door
Does it fit your ego...
0-62 mph: 10.5 secs
Top speed: 113 mph
PS: 100 @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 170 Nm @ 1500 rpm
...and your wallet...
Combined: 65.7 mpg
CO2 emissions: 97 g/km
Best bits: feast of features