Ford’s latest Fiesta looks very different to that which has gone before but it’s probably not as radical under the skin as you might expect.
Still, the introduction of the excellent 1.0-litre three-cylinder Ecoboost engine is extremely welcome.
Certain realities exist in the supermini market. The additional cost of diesel engines rarely makes them big sellers, so this is where the state of the art in petrol engines is often played out.
Right now, Ford’s 1.0-litre Ecoboost three-cylinder unit is looking like it might just be in the box seat. It’s available in both 100 and 125PS guises and it’s already been a big hit in the Focus, winning the 2012 International Engine of the Year award along the way. With less lard to lug around in this installation, it’s pretty vivid, especially in 125PS form, getting the Fiesta to 62mph in just 9.4 seconds.
The Fiesta has long been one of the very best superminis to drive. Expect that still to be the case, even though here, the underbody changes are relatively few. Ford has developed new chassis and suspension components to improve the ride quality and refinement of the car and further refined the Ford Electronic Power Assisted Steering system.
That massive trapezoidal front grille might have a few people looking twice and wondering whether an Aston Martin Cygnet is attempting an overtake. So yes, it’s certainly distinctive – but not an unattractive feature and something that works well with the Fiesta’s shape.
Inside, Ford has relocated electric window switches, heated seat switches and interior door handles in the new Fiesta. A full leather-rim steering wheel is offered for the first time and a smart five inch central colour display supports the model’s first integrated navigation system.
The Ford Fiesta has always been a vehicle that the British public has warmed to.
There’s an unpretentious quality to it and a focus on providing the things that really matter to small car buyers – fun handling, an affordable asking price, low running costs and decent accommodation and space.
Now you can add strong safety provision and low emissions to that list as well.
The latest car has a polish and self belief that we’ve never seen from the Fiesta before.
In short, this blue collar car has made good. Especially with this 1.0 EcoBoost petrol engine fitted.