Ford Fiesta Review: Britain’s Bestselling All-New

Ford Fiesta Review: Britain's Bestselling All-New

It’s all change for Britain’s best-selling car, the ubiquitous Ford Fiesta. Here comes a new one that stays at the top of its game.

A car is a very complicated piece of kit. Typically, it comprises between 2,500 and 3,000 individual components. So when a ‘new’ version of an existing model appears, it’s quite revealing to discover how many of the individual bits of it have changed.

It’s especially interesting when the car concerned is as important an arrival as the new Ford Fiesta, successor to a model that has been Britain’s best seller for the past eight years. The newcomer is the seventh generation of a vehicle that has been around in its various forms for more than four decades, since 1976.

So what’s different, compared with the sixth generation Fiesta, launched back in 2008? A very great deal. Around 2,500 components have changed, with only some 200 remaining unaltered from the outgoing model. That speaks volumes for what a comprehensively updated car this is.

Smooth-riding

The Fiesta has long been the benchmark model amongst its similar size peers for driver engagement, and that hasn’t changed, although Ford has moved the goalposts again. The new Fiesta is a class act. The ride and handling is high calibre, grippy on the bends and with an absorbent ride that is very effective at ironing out the bumps.

The peach of the pack, from a keen driver’s viewpoint, is this ST-Line. Its ride height is set 10 mm lower and it rides a just little firmer. What you particularly notice is that the pert steering, for which the Fiesta has long been known, is still evident. That’s less so across other versions, which seems a little dulled and less tactile in steering feel than their predecessor.

I’m nitpicking, but the difference will be evident to existing Fiesta owners who appreciate the precision of steering feel that makes the Fiesta such a fun drive.

Tops for tech

Ford is calling this new Fiesta the most technologically advanced small car on sale in Europe, and they have a point. It has electronic torque vectoring as an aid to better cornering grip, improved by ten per cent, and with braking distanced reduced by eight per cent over the previous model.

This is the first Ford with pedestrian detection that can help prevent collisions at night. It is also offered with an active park assist system, combined with brake interventions to prevent any low-speed bumps during hands-free parking.

It also feature the new generation of Ford’s connectivity system, Sync 3. This was a revelation when I wanted to pair my iPhone to the car, and it linked immediately, far faster than in any other car I’ve yet experienced.

Expanded choice

With this substantially updated new generation car, the Fiesta has grown into a bigger range. There are three and five-door versions, and a choice between Trend, Titanium, sportier ST-Line and – introduced for the first time – upscale Fiesta Vignale models. Coming later are a Fiesta Active crossover model and a high-performance ‘hot hatch’ Fiesta ST.

The engine range starts with two 1.1 litre petrol engines with 69 or 84 bhp power outputs. There are three one-litre EcoBoost petrol engines with power outputs from 99 to 138 bhp, and two 1.5 litre TDCI diesel engines with 84 or 118 bhp.

New Fiesta pricing starts from £16,145, and rises to £21,225 for the top-spec Vignale.

Ford Fiesta Stats Review

Model tested: Fiesta ST-Line 1.0T Ecoboost 140 manual 3-door

Top speed:  125 mph

0-62 mph:  9.0 secs

Economy:  62.8 mpg

CO2:  102 g/km

Price:   £16,945

 

Images: Sue Baker

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Sue Baker is a seasoned motoring journalist with a love of all things automotive.

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