Ford is back with the latest edition of the UK’s best-ever selling commercially available car, the much-loved Ford Fiesta. A firm favourite for families and young drivers, the Fiesta has now graced our roads in seven distinctive shapes since the model was first released back in 1976.
And, while the 2016 model doesn’t exactly break the mould, there are plenty of new features that bring the Fiesta in-line with even the most tech-savvy of its competitors. Read on to find out why the Fiesta’s unique blend of sporty credentials, advanced technology and design that delivers over and above costs has proven such a winner, and see whether the new model lives up to its illustrious predecessors.
Boosted with a comprehensive facelift and new grille when re-released back in 2014, the latest edition doesn’t deviate too far from Fiestas past. But, Ford has made some bold design choices, added some extra paint job options and tightened up a few changes that were trialled previously.
One unexpected aspect to Ford’s latest offering is that the sensible, five-door, family-friendly hatchback is somehow the sportiest of the range to look at. There’s also a slimmed down four-door variant that provides drivers with more conventional boot access.
Ford has chosen to go with its usual range of trim models, moving from the entry-level Fiesta S model up to the classy Titanium and dynamic ST, with the latter available exclusively as a five-door model. If you’re on a budget, you can cut back on little extras like electric windows and steel wheels with the S model, but Ford will let you keep the air conditioning, sporty visage and dynamic drive qualities.
So, if Ford seems to have been a little restrained with its latest update, what’s all the fuss about? Well, as the car with the highest sales figures in all-but-one of the countries that comprise the UK, people tend to sit up and take notice when a key new feature is released.
In this case, the big news is the inclusion of Ford’s new Sync 3 infotainment system, which supersedes the occasional patch MyFord Touch interface. A standard feature of the Titanium spec and available on both the ST and SE models, this system allows for Bluetooth-based audio controls, connectivity, navigational functionality and voice commands. The Titanium model also comes with a souped-up Sony stereo.
Looks-wise, the interior of the Fiesta is undoubtedly designed for the nuances of the European market, with coordinated colours and materials that give the car more of a premium look than the price tag. Functionality increases significantly throughout the range, with higher-spec versions providing additional options in terms of seat positioning and cargo haulage. Ford’s ST variant has a novel little feature for petrolheads; a ‘Sound Symposer’ tube that pumps the engine noise back into the cabin for the ultimate in road music.
For a small car, the driving position is ideal and surprisingly spacious in terms of both overall space and headroom. The ST also includes Recaro racing seats that make anything from a quick sprint to an all-day cruise an absolute joy.
On the road
You don’t become a staple of the family car market without providing a means to spice up the school run. Ford’s new Fiesta handles impressively and can navigate nimbly through even the toughest of urban roads. It’s quick too; combining a mid-range 120bhp engine with a resting weight of just under 1,180kg. If speed and responsiveness is your thing, stick with the manual transmission options and you can’t go far wrong.
Ford has provided two other options to make sure you can get the performance that you’re after. There’s a lightweight turbocharged 1.0-litre SFE version that features Ford’s first ever three-cylinder engine and generates 123bhp with 148lb-ft torque. Not only is it a more exciting offering than the base-level four-cylinder model, with an official fuel efficiency of 36mpg (and unofficial rate of 40mpg), it’s also got some serious eco-credentials.
Unsurprisingly, the top performer on the road is the spicy ST version. Linked to the six-speed manual gearbox, the ST gets upgraded suspension, brakes, steering – even tyres – while pumping out up to 197bhp at 214lb-ft of torque (in overboost mode) from the 1.6-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. For the performance purist, this option is one that shouldn’t be missed.
So, there you have it. Ford has maintained the same class-leading standards on the new Fiesta and added just the right amount of fresh features to spark the interest of new buyers and current owners alike. You don’t get to be named The Telegraph’s ‘Car of the Year’ for no reason, and Ford has once again done enough to not only to stay ahead of the pack but also to blaze a trail that others are likely to be following for years to come.
For more information on the Ford Fiesta or any of our other new cars, contact the experts at your local Perrys car dealership today.