Celebrate life with a Fiesta
THE seventh generation Ford Fiesta has come of age. Jonathan Crouch drives the much improved version.
This Fiesta may still be a small car but these days, it thinks big in almost every way, starting with styling designed to make more of a statement in the supermini segment.
Under the bonnet lies an impressively clean and frugal range of petrol and diesel units, highlighted by the three cylinder 1.0-litre Ecoboost unit already seen in the larger B-Max and Focus models, the world's cleverest conventional petrol powerplant.
There's a deftness to the way this car responds, an agility to the way it nips around the bends.
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The heart of the range is based around the award winning three cylinder 1.0-litre unit offered in a trio of different guises. Most affordable is a normally aspirated 80PS 1.0 Ti-VCT unit but it's only a few hundred pounds less than the version of this 1.0-litre engine I'd really point you towards - the 100PS turbocharged EcoBoost unit.
It will spirit you to sixty in 11.2s to the accompaniment of a buzzy but not unpleasant three cylinder thrum.
As before, it's offered in both three and five-door bodystyles and both are tidy pieces of styling with a look now dominated by this massive Aston Martin-like trapezoidal five-bar chrome front grille that's bracketed by a smarter set of laser-cut headlamps with LED daytime running lights. The bonnet also has a more aggressive 'power dome' shape.
Inside, though a few areas of low rent plastic can still be found, overall, it's now a much smarter cabin, with a high-gloss finish for the upper instrument panel that flows to the lower centre console and is replicated in the door panels.
If you're going to be using the back seats regularly, opt for the five-door version: in the three-door, the windows are small and set high up, so light isn't abundant. Either way though, you might be surprised at the space available: even a couple of six-footers should be reasonably happy here. Lift the tailgate and you'll find that as before, there's 276-litres on offer with the seats up and 960-litres with the seats folded flat.
Like most superminis, this Fiesta sells in the £10,000 to £18,000 bracket - and there's a pretty typical £600 premium if you want to progress from the three-door to the five-door bodystyle.
The line-up is propped up by the old 1.25-litre petrol unit, offered with either 60 or 82PS.
To get one of the clever new 1.0-litre petrol engines or the base 1.5-litre TDCi diesel, you need a slightly plusher trim level. And that means you'll need to have somewhere between £13,000 to £14,000 to spend.
Whichever flavour of Fiesta you choose, equipment runs to a six-speaker stereo with aux-in and USB compatibility, front electric windows, power mirrors, body-coloured bumpers, 60/40 split-folding rear seats and headlamps that stay on at night to guide you to your front door.
One intriguing innovation is MyKey, a segment-first technology feature that allows parents to pre-programme a maximum speed and even the stereo volume if they lend the car to a young driver or a friend. Another interesting innovation is SYNC, an in-car connectivity system that features Emergency Assistance in an accident. Plus there's the optional Active City Stop system that at speeds of under 20mph, uses a radar system mounted in the top of the windscreen to constantly scan the road ahead for potential collision hazards.