Friday 22 September 2017

Why I much prefer the 'basic' new Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta - smartly straightforward
Ford Fiesta - smartly straightforward
Ford Fiesta interior
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Sometimes the simple, basic things work better. I definitely think that is the case with the new Ford Fiesta.

At the international launch (recently reported here) we were treated to luxury models on a grand scale.

But in Johnstown, Co Kildare, on Monday I was able to drive the car most people want and are willing to pay for.

And I felt much the better of it. Not all the time and everywhere, but at least the basic tenets of the car were there to be seen and sampled.

Ford Fiesta interior
Ford Fiesta interior

The 5-dr 1.1-litre (non-turbo) petrol (70PS) is the one 50pc of buyers will go for. The 1.1-litre (non-turbo) 85PS will account for a good chunk of the remainder. So I concentrated on driving both.

I will hopefully get to the 1-litre 100PS EcoBoost in the near future for an added dimension.

Surprise, surprise I preferred the lower-powered car in Zetec trim to the Titanium specced stablemate.

It's smartly straightforward; simple as that.

Of course, I have a couple of criticisms. The on-stalk switch-gear (for rear wiper and lights) had a cheap, plastic feel and sound to them. These are switches you use every day. A bit disappointing.

In the case of the 85PS version, the tyres were too deep/heavy/whatever - the road noise from them was acute.

They represent a lesson for us all: DRIVE the car (not just the Fiesta but any vehicle you are thinking of buying) over all sorts of surfaces and under as many conditions as possible.

As soon as I traversed a bit of rough surface, the cabin filled with boom. Back on smoother surfaces, it was fine. The 70PS version was grand; little or no road/tyre noise any time. That aside, the car drove really well; the cabin is smart and even basic trim looked and felt good.

The starting price of €17,150 for the 5dr (97pc of sales) looks strong compared with what we're told the new Polo will cost (mid/late €15,000s). There will be a heavy focus on equipment levels for both.

It's a late arrival for the 172-reg but they expect more than 3,000 to buy one next year. I'm not surprised.

The Fiesta means a lot to people of all ages. Even the 'old' version managed to make it to sixth spot in the best-selling cars' league this year.

Which bodes well for the new one they claim is the most technologically advanced small car in Europe.

Indo Motoring

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