New Fiesta comes with fresh style and innovative features
Ford says its award-winning EcoBoost one-litre engine works best in the refreshed and restyled Fiesta. And they are right. It is already a success in the bigger Focus and also planned for the new Mondeo, so powering the Fiesta is child's play for this three-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit.
But to keep it as a top seller across Europe, Fiesta gets much more than styling. Ford engineers deserve great credit for safety features such as their MyKey and SYNC innovations which will become features in all Ford models.
The MyKey function is a big safety development, particularly where younger drivers are concerned. It allows parents to change the dynamics of the car with a secret password. This means top speed can be restricted, the volume of the music can be controlled, the car will not move unless all seatbelts are activated, and there are also audio alerts for speed limits and if the low level is running dangerously low.
Ford says parents can now have confidence in letting their offspring out in their car rather than letting them loose than in an old banger that may not have antilock brakes or airbags.
But while the younger set may bridle at such restrictions, they will love the SYNC voice-activated phone, text and music functions developed in conjunction with Microsoft. These functions will cost extra but for many it will be money well spent.
Active City Stop, where brakes are automatically applied to avoid city-driving fender-bender incidents, is also available and there is an Emergency Assistance programme available that will alert emergency services through a GPS system your exact location if you're involved in an accident. If you are abroad, the language of the region is used to contact operators.
For many, the big interest is in the engine and Ford says fuel consumption can be as low as 4.3l/100km (65.5mpg) on the entry level model with a 65bhp engine. The engine is also available with 80bhp, 100bhp or 125bhp output on special order.
Don't expect a trailblazer performance, but with the economy and C02 emissions of under 100g/km (the second lowest tax band of €180 road tax under the new budget rules) the Fiesta will make a lot of sense to the cost-conscious buyer.
The front end of the Fiesta is all new – lights, bonnet and grille. The facelift is complemented by improvements at the rear and the interior gets more comfortable seats and higher quality furnishings for a more upmarket feel.
The entry-level gets seven airbags and Hill Start Assist, but the mid-range Zetec version, expected to be the big seller, will get the MyKey feature and alloy wheels.
The entry level with the 1.25 petrol engine starts at €15,500 and a new 1.5 litre TDCI diesel. Improved versions of the 1.6 TDCI engine are also available.
The Fiesta is the best selling small car in Europe and held the number one position here for the past two years before slipping to second spot behind the new Toyota Yaris. Ford hopes the new design and technology will help the Fiesta reclaim the top spot.