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Ford Fiesta Review

Find out more about the Ford Fiesta in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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8
Out of 10
Average Price £8,525
History

The Fiesta has been Ford’s best-selling supermini since it was launched in 1976.

With more than four million models sold, it is now in its sixth generation – which has held the title of Britain’s best-selling model since its launch in 2008 – and is set for a revamp for 2017.

As one of the UK’s most popular small cars, the Fiesta is immediately recognisable. Boasting a sleek, stylish appearance and measuring just under four metres long by 1.7 metres wide, it is the compact city car to have.

Ford regularly occupies the upper echelons of car sales, and 2016 has been no exception. The Fiesta was the highest-selling used car, followed by its sibling the Focus.

The Fiesta is a great all-rounder, offering versatility, style, economy and driving fun.

Latest Model

The latest guise of the Fiesta was launched in 2008, with a mid-life update following in 2014. This introduced a redesigned front and rear, and updated tech and engines. The performance-orientated Fiesta ST model joined the line-up that year, with the ST200 making its debut in 2016.

Ford has now unveiled details of the all-new 2017 Fiesta – the seventh-generation model. This new Fiesta would be plusher and more upmarket than ever before, the brand had promised during development, and it certainly hasn’t disappointed.

This spec shift has been made possible with the introduction of the KA+. This new model has replaced the previous KA, but is larger and much more capable than its predecessor, and shares many of the Fiesta’s components. As such, the need for a basic-spec Fiesta has diminished, and so Ford has made the decision to ditch these lower trims and focus on the more expensive models.

The new Fiesta will come in four distinct guises: the stylish Fiesta Titanium, the Ford Performance-inspired Fiesta ST-Line, the upscale Fiesta Vignale and the Fiesta Active crossover.

A sleek redesigned exterior will be matched by an elegant, ergonomic cabin, which will feature Ford’s sophisticated SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system. A floating high-definition touchscreen will take pride of place on the centre console, while the Fiesta will be the first Ford to offer a premium B&O Play sound system.

While the spec is high, so are the personalisation options. Ford has promised that the new Fiesta will be more customisable than ever.

Value for money

Currently, the go-to Fiesta is the Zetec trim. Sitting at the bottom of the range, it is the cheapest. However it is far from basic, with an extensive array of spec as standard. Costing from £13,545 on the road, a new Fiesta Zetec features 15-inch 5x2 spoke alloy wheels, front fog lights with chrome surround, a quick-clear heated windscreen and chrome finish on the upper door line. However, on previous generations, the most basic trim was known as the ‘Studio’, with the Zetec sitting above this.

The mid-range Titanium trio, which comprises the Titanium, Titanium ECOnectic and Titanium X costs from £15,045. The Titanium adds 16-inch 15-spoke alloy wheels, power foldable door mirrors with puddle lights, LED day running lights, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers and rear privacy glass over the Zetec. The Titanium ECOnectic, meanwhile, boasts an economical diesel engine and includes features such as stop/start, lowered suspension to improve aerodynamic efficiency, cruise control and Sony DAB audio with sync.

The X adds 16" 12-spoke alloy wheels, rear parking distance sensors and Ford’s KeyFree System. Pricing for this model begins at £17,045.

Finally, the range-topping ST200 is the most expensive of Fiestas. Costing from £22,895, it offers an exciting drive, thanks to its 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and ST suspension with a lowered ride height. This potent powertrain allows the ST to reach  60mph in 6.7 seconds and achieve a top speed of 143mph. Front and rear disc brakes provide excellent stopping power, while a full body-styling kit, unique colour of Storm Grey and a rear spoiler means the ST200 certainly looks the part, too.

In the cabin Unique Recaro partial leather front seats and silver-striped seatbelts feature.  A steering wheel with audio controls is also provided, along with air conditioning. The Fiesta ST is the model for passionate drivers. With more power than the rest of the range, the ST is definitely fast enough to put a grin on the faces of even the most serious of racers. Of course, with a price of £22,545 it commands a premium over the rest of the range, but given the performance on offer, it’s hard to find fault.

Looks and image

There’s no denying that the Fiesta is stylish – it’s got to be to maintain its top spot in the sales figures – and the midlife facelift made it even more so.

A large grille fronts the later model, with raked headlights leading into sleek lines, which continue to the boot.

So successful has this look been that Ford has since copied it on the Focus and Mondeo.

All Fiestas – bar the STs – come in both three- and five-door guises, the latter of which is obviously more practical, while the former looks better.

Inside the cabin, the Fiesta is comfortable and quiet – thanks to clever design it has much less wind noise than some of its rivals.

The dash has been criticised for being too complicated, with a button for everything rather than a touchscreen housing a multitude of controls. But after you’ve got used to this, the dash is relatively user-friendly.

However, the car’s deepset LED display appears outdated when compared with some of its rivals, and the stereo on cheaper models is also well overdue an upgrade.

Interior spec varies across the models, with the sportier options featuring performance and styling additions. Quality is good throughout the range. However, some of the plastics used in less visible areas tend to be a little solid and scratchy.

Space and practicality

The Fiesta has never been a winner when it comes to spaciousness. Its neat dimensions mean that it can’t compete with the likes of taller MPV-type superminis such as the Nissan Note and Honda Jazz.

However, head and leg room both front and back are adequate for an average-size adult, while wide opening doors and easily adjustable seats make access to the rear of the three-door models easy.

A 290-litre boot is seen in the latest model Fiesta, which drops to 276 litres if the buyer specifies the £100 space saver wheel. With the rear seats – which are in a 20:40:20 configuration folded down – there is 974 litres of useable space.

The Fiesta boasts a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, with all models featuring electronic stability control, seven airbags and anti-lock brakes as standard.

Ford’s MyKey, which allows the vehicle’s speed and stereo volume to be restricted, and Active City Stop are optional extras.

What’s under the bonnet? 

A host of diesel and petrol powertrains are offered in the current Fiesta. These include the 1.5 TDCi 75PS 5 Speed, 1.0 Petrol 80PS 5 Speed, 1.0T EcoBoost 100PS 5 Speed, 1.0T EcoBoost 100PS Powershift, 1.25 Petrol 82PS 5 Speed.

1.5 TDCi 95PS 5 Speed, 1.6 Petrol 105PS Powershift and the 1.6T EcoBoost 200PS 6 Speed.

The 99bhp 1.0-litre EcoBoost, which was new for 2013, has now been upgraded for 2017, becoming the first three-cylinder unit in the world to feature cylinder deactivation technology. This technology can disengage or re-engage the cylinder in 14 milliseconds – 20 times faster than the blink of an eye – and promises to improve fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.

The engine also boasts advanced solutions to counteract vibrations.

Running costs

Thanks to its small-capacity engines and clever turbocharging, the Fiesta is generally a cheap and economical car to run.

The ECOnetic with the 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine, for example, boasts CO2 emissions of just 82g/km and combined fuel economy of more than 85mpg, and the standard diesel engines achieve more than 75mpg claims Ford.

A Fiesta ST produces a larger 138g/km CO2 and can realistically achieve 35-40mpg.

Things to look out for

Potential Fiesta buyers should keep an eye out for electrical faults and clutch issues.

Consumer reviews on the Fiesta are overwhelmingly positive. Many owners say that they love driving the car, calling it a ‘pleasure’. However, many also mentioned that they had found either one or the other being problematic.

These problems would appear to be the most common on the Zetec. However, this is possible because it is the cheapest, ‘go-to model’, with the most owner experiences to be found online.

Owners of higher spec models such as the Titanium and ST were found to have experienced similar electrical faults, although they noted that Ford was quick to sort the issues.

Rivals

There are a lot of long-running rivals to the Fiesta in the B-segment. These include the Peugeot 208, Mazda 2, Honda Jazz, VW Polo and Citroen C3. The Alfa Romeo Mito, Dacia Sandero, Hyundai i20 and Suzuki Swift have also entered the market more recently.

The Fiesta sits in the middle of the range when it comes to pricing, but its impressive spec makes it stand out.

All versions feature alloy wheels, a six-speaker CD/radio, remote locking, electric windows and mirrors plus air conditioning as standard.

Depreciation warning

The Ford Fiesta tends to hold on to its value reasonably well, with depreciation of around 50 to 60 per cent generally seen after three years on basic models. The sportier STs hold their value slightly better thanks to their desirability.

Which Fiesta to Pick

Trims Explained

Ford has previously been criticised for its confusing trim options, and while it decluttered the range in response, there are still a lot of options. But one good thing about the 12 different trims is that it means there’s probably a Fiesta to suit every driver.

Zetec

The Zetec is the basic, go-to model, while customers looking for a little more sporty style for a low price opt for the ST-Line models.

This has long been a consumer favourite.

ST200

Drivers looking for a performance-orientated Fiesta could be tempted by the ST models.

What to look out for

  1. Depending on the vehicle’s spec, the LED screen can be outdated
  2. The Fiesta is not as spacious as other models in its class
  3. While the ECOnetic engine is economical, the ST200 is not
  4. Keen drivers are well catered for in ST models
  5. Fiesta offers good value for money when compared with rivals
  6. They don’t get hit too hard by depreciation
  7. Sync infotainment system is receiving much-needed update
  8. 1.0-litre engine is the best choice, offering cylinder deactivation to reduce emissions

Review Rating

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