The Ford Fiesta is a bit of a wily old campaigner these days, having been through six guises and four decades.
It’s a car that’s pretty much been at the top of sales charts in the supermini segment for most of its life, and for good reason – Ford’s Fiesta is generally at the front of the pack and the one to beat.
The latest model is a significant departure in terms of looks, and the Fiesta looks dynamic and even rather futuristic in its latest Kinetic design guise.
The new model is designed to appeal to traditional supermini customers, but also those looking to downsize. It will also be sold around the world, so there are numerous trim levels, body shapes and engines sizes to suit every pocket and lifestyle.
As far as powertrains are concerned, Ford can boast a number of excellent engines, including low-CO2 variants such as the Econetic range, and clean diesels.
For our road test, we took out the 1.6-litre petrol in Zetec S trim, one of the top-of-the-range powertrains and specification levels.
As one of Ford’s premium specifications, the Zetec S model features a chrome surround to the grille and side windows, front fog lamps, leather steering wheel and air conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels and projector headlamps
The new Fiesta sets the benchmark for quality in the sector, with impressive textures and materials inside and an intuitive and stylish dashboard.
The Fiesta will seat five and offers up to 295 litres but it goes up to a large 979 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Driving the new Fiesta is something else, with new speed-weighted power steering getting heavier with speed, meaning it’s easy to drive around town but gives good feedback at higher speeds, an important element of how a car handles.
Suspension offers a great mix of ride comfort and handling ability, with craggy UK roads taken in the Fiesta’s stride.
Around town the Fiesta feels nippy, on back roads it feels agile and on the motorway it feels comfortable. It is an extremely impressive and enjoyable combination.
Pair it with a willing engine, the 1.6-litre petrol for example, and the new Ford supermini is a lot of fun. It offers great response and should be about right for most types of driving as it’s quite flexible.
If you want more economy or more power, or just a different mix there are plenty of petrol and diesel offerings in the FIesta range, and there’s an auto gearbox offering too.
The new Fiesta is Ford doing premium in a small car, something never really tackled before. But in these days of downsizing it’s a smart move, and with options like Bluetooth compatibility, keyless entry, Ford’s Easyfuel system to prevent misfuelling and seven airbags as standard, anyone trading in a larger car for a Fiesta should be pleased.
A car for everyone then, albeit a car that doesn’t compromise as a result. Truly the Fiesta is the benchmark in this sector, and a very high benchmark it is too.