The Ford Fiesta is Britain’s best-selling car, leading the way in a supermini segment packed with some worthy rivals, like the Seat Ibiza and Renault Clio. The Fiesta range has something for everyone from practicality and low running costs to sporty models. More recently Ford have also added the Active, Active B&O and Active X models that add a more rugged Crossover flavour to the range.
- Drive & handling makes Fiesta one of the most fun cars to drive
- Engine range features the multi-award winning EcoBoost petrol range
- Improved interior cabin quality now competes with best in class
- Exterior Styling is evolution rather than revolution
- New entry-level Trend model replaces outgoing Style and Zetec models
- Active range adds an SUV inspired twist to the Fiesta
Fiesta Drive and Handling
Let’s start with one of the strongest points of the Fiesta, its drive and handling, its one of the most fun cars to drive and the latest model builds on this with further tweaks and improvements.
The front wheels are wider apart for improved stability and handling and other enhancements include electronic torque vectoring and updated brakes meaning the Fiesta is even more stable though corners and delivers greater grip than before. The result is a Fiesta that is even more fun to drive and the manual gearbox paired with the EcoBoost engines is so smooth and responsive, it’s a joy.
Go for a sportier ST-line model with one of the more powerful engines and the fun gets cranked up a notch and then at the top-end of the scale there’s the full hot hatch experience with the Fiesta ST which is just about one of the most thrilling experiences, all packed in a small Fiesta.
The EcoBoost petrol engines are the most popular and for good reason. The entry-level option is a 84bhp EcoBoost with 5-speed manual gearbox. It can feel a little sluggish on motorways or with a full load of passengers. We recommend starting your research with the 99bhp 1.0 EcoBoost engine with is a great around town runner, it feels nippy enough and can take you from 0-62mph in tad over 10.5 seconds.
There’s a more powerful 123bhp EcoBoost engine which offers a bit more performance (0-62mph in a fraction over 10 seconds) but, it doesn’t feel a whole lot quicker in reality. For the most fun without shelling-out on the Fiesta ST full hot-hatch experience there’s a 138bhp EcoBoost engine which offers 0-62mph as quick as 8.7 seconds, couple it with a ST-Line model with its lowered sports suspension and there’s whole lot of fun to be had.
Automatic transmission is offered with some of the EcoBoost engines but fuel economy and performance both take a hit. In all honestly if you’re buying a Fiesta, there aren’t many good reasons if any to choose automatic transmission over a manual gearbox, it will detract from the fun and increase running costs.
At the top of the performance scale are the Fiesta ST-2 ans ST-3 models with the 200bhp 1.5 EcoBoost petrol engine, it can take you from 0-62mph in an exhilarating 6.5 seconds.
Whilst the EcoBoost petrol models are the big seller, that’s not to say that the diesels aren’t any good, far from it on fact.
The most powerful 1.5 diesel can you from 0-62mph in a fraction over 9 seconds and is nearly as much fun as the most powerful EcoBoost petrol models.
For low running costs there’s a 85bhp diesel that offers fuel economy of up to 74mpg and is a great option for those clocking up a lot of miles with practicality at the top of their checklist.
Probably the area where the Fiesta faced most criticism was the interior, but Ford have been working hard over the last few years and the latest Fiesta boasts a superior finish and higher quality materials than the Fiesta of old. The Fiesta is certainly pushing the VW Polo hard for best cabin quality accolade in the supermini segment.
Cabin comfort have been improved too and its quieter thanks to several improvements including an acoustic windscreen and improved suspension, even the sportier options benefit. Rear passengers also get some extra leg room thanks to a longer Fiesta
The tech has taken a huge step forward too, entry-level models benefit hugely from a larger 8-inch touchscreen infotainment where previously a basic 4.2- or 6-inch system was offered. The infotainment system can be operated with familiar gestures like pinch and swipe and Ford’s SYNC 3 platform that powers the infotainment system is a joy to use. Smartphone integration comes as standard across the range with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The changes to the Fiesta’s exterior looks are more subtle than revolutionary, it has grown up you could say. It’s a tad bigger and more sophisticated looking moving it closes to its bigger sibling the Focus. Despite its bigger stature it loses none of its appeal as one of most fun cars to drive.
LED daytime running lights and alloy wheels are standard across the range and a choice of black contrast roof and door mirrors is an option on Active X, ST-Line or ST-Line X models (with selected paint colours).
The model range has been restructured, entry-level Style and Zetec models have been replaced with new Fiesta Trend model which sees a massive upgrade of equipment on previous entry-level Fiestas.
The new Trend features the 8-inch infotainment systems powered by Ford’s SYNC 3 with DAB radio, emergency assistance, 2 USB ports plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Other interior features include air con plus front and rear electric windows (rear only on 5-door models).
Other standard features include electrically adjustable wing mirrors, Ford’s QuickClear heated windscreen, rear privacy glass and front fog lights.
Driver aids and tech include automatic headlights, tyre pressure monitoring, a lane-keeping assistant and adjustable speed limiter.
Next in the line-up is the Titanium and Titanium X models which are very popular. The Fiesta Titanium model adds to the entry-level Trend with LED rear signature lights, power-folding door mirrors, high beam assistant and automatic windscreen wipers.
Additional tech and driver aids include cruise control, keyless start and engine start button. The infotainment system gets upgrade to include native sat nav and FordPass Connect which includes Wi-Fi hotspot and a companion smartphone app that allows you to remotely start the vehicles engine, enable the heating/climate control and remotely lock/unlock the car too.
Additional comfort and enhancements include automatic temperature control inside the cabin, a leather trimmed steering wheel, ambient lighting and auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Additional driver aids include traffic sign recognition and cruise control.
The Titanium model will be a great choice for a lot of people but if you want a little bit more luxury, comfort and tech the Titanium X model adds a premium B&O sound system, part leather and heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and keyless entry.
The plush Fiesta Vignale model builds on the Titanium X with Vignale branding and touches of luxury that include ‘Black Ruby’ leather heated front seats, Vignale front door plates and rear velour floor mats. The exterior gets similar unique Vignale styling including the Vignale upper grille with chrome surround and unique Vignale front and rear bumpers with satin trim. You also get the additional of a rear-view camera and rear parking sensor.
ST-Line and ST-Line X models add lower, sports suspension and sport styling that includes front sports seats (part leather on the ST-Line X models), stainless steel sports pedals, sports steering wheel and a body kit.
ST-Line models get the standard 8-inch infotainment system whilst the ST-Line X get the navigation version with FordPass Connect.
The ST-Line X model also includes some extra equipment and driver tech like auto high beam, cruise control, automatic wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, traffic sign recognition and driver alert.
Pair one of the ST-Line models with the most powerful EcoBoost petrol engine and you get an extremely fun car to drive.
Sitting at the top of the performance range are the ST-2 and ST-3 models with ST sports suspension and performance engines delivering the full hot hatch experience.
The Fiesta ST-2 and ST-3 feature a premium B&O sound system, Recaro heated sports front seats (fabric on the ST-2, leather on the ST-3 model). The ST-2 gets the standard 8-inch infotainment system while the ST-3 get the navigation version with FordPass Connect.
The Fiesta ST-3 gets some additional equipment like a rear view camera, rear parking sensors and keyless entry.
Sitting somewhere in the middle of the range are the Active and Active X models which offer a new Crossover flavour. The Active models feature SUV exterior styling like moulded wheel arches, chunkier bumpers/wheels, roof rails and a higher driving position.
The SUV features are not just superficial as the new Active range includes ‘Rough Road Suspension’ and a ‘Slippery’ drive mode designed for tackling more difficult driving conditions.
We wrote a more in-depth review of the Active and Active X models here, the Active range consisting of the Active 1, the Active B&O (pictured above and right) and the best equipped model, the Active X, which includes the top-end infotainment system with sat nav and FordPass Connect, a rear view camera, parking sensors, keyless entry and keyless engine start.
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