This time last year Ford were celebrating their all new Fiesta being named ‘Carbuyer Car of the Year’ in the UK’s most user-focused new car Awards and that the latest version of Ford’s iconic small hatchback had also scooped the ‘Best Small Car’ award at a ceremony in London’s West End. Not bad for a car recently out of the blocks boasting all new technology under the skin and in the cabin, after all, this was the car that Ford hoped would continue the Fiesta’s excellent relationship with car buyers from around the world. That’s not all, the legacy of Ford’s Fiesta cannot be underestimated as this is a car that celebrated its fortieth anniversary as recently as 2016 and regularly features in the UK’s top 3 best selling cars year on year for reasons that become abundantly clear on the short film below.
But all of that history, that style and those memories would be lost if the all new 2017 Ford Fiesta didn’t respect and then improve upon all of those previous editions, many of which can still be seen driving up and down the roads of this green and pleasant land of ours.
Ford themselves state confidently, regarding their founder Henry Ford, that: Visionary. Ingenious. Remarkable. Every car bears his signature. And if that’s your mantra then you need to make absolute certain that the cars you put Henry’s name too are indeed Visionary. Ingenious. Remarkable. What we need to ask then is simple. Does the Fiesta deserve that universally recognisable blue oval placed so prominently above that superb new grille.
In MotorMartin’s opinion, this all new Fiesta can best be described with one word, premium. It’s surprising how a car that was essentially thought of as being (just) transport for the masses has evolved and grown over the intervening years. Walking around the Ford allows you to be drawn in by the many design decisions taken at it’s birth. Starting with that grille, it looks fantastic. Bold, slightly aggressive and surrounded as it is with deep chrome you could lose yourself in, it takes your breath away. Building upon the front end of the previous edition Fiesta, the new car has matured beautifully, it’s distinctive LED daytime running lights giving it personality whilst the strong creases running along the side accentuate the high waistline and sporting undercurrents. Other highlights for me include the LED Night Signature to rear lights, Power-foldable door mirrors with puddle lights and Rear privacy glass. This is a classy looking car.
Step inside and the Fiesta continues with it’s rather more grown up attitude towards life with the quality of the fixtures and fittings making themselves known straight away with soft touch materials, partial leather seats, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, handbrake handle and gearshift knob, enhanced ambient lighting, plus a centre console with armrest and cup holders. Everything you need for comfort. Technology dominates your view with the centrally mounted 8″ Touchscreen which includes Ford SYNC 3 Navigation, DAB Radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a simple interface which allows access to all settings and applications. And let’s not forget the new 675 watt, 10-speaker audio system from B&O PLAY which has been exclusively designed and fine-tuned for the all new Fiesta by specialist B&O PLAY acoustic engineers, elevating the sound experience of every journey whilst the original speaker design perfectly suits the Fiesta’s interior.
What’s impressive about the Ford is how the technology is integrated into the drive itself with Ford sharing the following information regarding the driver assist systems:
Adaptive Cruise Control which Combines cruise control and distance control: Simply enter the desired speed and distance from the vehicle in front, and Adaptive Cruise Control is designed to automatically maintain the set distance if traffic conditions do not allow travel at the desired cruising speed.
Traffic Sign Recognition: Traffic Sign Recognition is designed to read standard format road-speed signs and display the posted speed limit in the instrument cluster.
Auto High Beam: Auto High Beam can detect oncoming vehicles and will automatically dip your beams for you. Only available with Traffic Sign Recognition and Driver Alert System.
Blind Spot Information System: Blind Spot Information System is designed to alert you via discreet warning lights built into the driver and passenger’s door mirrors, when it detects another vehicle – car, van or lorry – entering your blind spot while driving. Similarly, as you reverse from a perpendicular parking space, Cross Traffic Alert scans left and right. If a moving vehicle or other hazard is detected, visual and audible alert warnings are given.
Driver Alert: Designed to inform you if the system detects driving behaviour that indicates a drop in alertness levels. Initially, a warning icon is displayed in the instrument cluster, asking you to take a rest. If driving alertness further declines, the message is repeated and combined with a chime.
Retractable door edge protectors: Activated when your car doors are opened, the system is designed to help prevent undue damage by providing a protective barrier between your Fiesta’s door edges and neighbouring parked vehicles or other obstacles. All cars should have these!
The thing is, the systems are so simple to use and really make a difference on long journeys without taking anything away from the enjoyment gleaned from driving the Fiesta itself, after all, Ford have a rather longstanding reputation for creating cars that want to be driven with handling more than able to facilitate such activities. There’s no doubt that the Fiesta is extremely competent in and around town where it’s forty year development has helped create a city car that can handle the pot holes, road workings, traffic and parking issues that we all have to contend with on the average commute. But it’s out of town where the Fiesta shines as bright as its Frozen White, Premium Body Colour and you really get to know the 1.0 Ford EcoBoost 98.6bhp petrol engine under the bonnet.
And that engine, as fitted to the Titanium EcoBoost on test, is a quite wonderful powerplant. In the old days we were, as a whole, concerned with capacity as bigger was always better and bhp was king and it didn’t matter that horsepower was achieved at the expense of mpg or emissions. Indeed with technology such as the diamond-like coating on the piston rings to reduce friction, a turbocharger, direct injection and variable valve timing to boost efficiency and what Ford have ended up with is an engine that offers remarkable performance and superb economy. An engine that, (in some capacity (sic)) has been the winner at the International Engine of the Year Awards for five years running and in its latest guise, is capable of an impressive 65.7 mpg, with only 97 g/km of CO2 emissions.
What this means on the road is an engine that offers surprising amounts of go exactly where you need it as the turbo helps create power far beyond that which you would expect from such a lowly capacity. A 0-62mph time of 10.5s is not particularly relevant these days but shows that the Fiesta is more than capable when compared to it’s rivals and a top speed of 113mph means that cruising at 70 is a relaxed affair for the engine whilst also leaving a little something in reserve if the need arises. A-roads, dual carriageways and motorways are where this Fiesta really impresses, set the adaptive cruise control to 70mph and relax, confident in the ability of the Ford to do the hard work for you, revelling in the ride quality offered by the well engineered suspension. Set up the comfortable and premium feeling cabin with it’s ambient lighting, incredible bespoke B&O PLAY stereo, climate control and multifunctional touch screen and you really can feel the miles slip away as you traverse the countryside towards your ultimate destination.
Twisting tarmac offers a chance to push the Fiesta in a manner that quite belies it’s Titanium badging. OK, the ST-Line or ST-Line X might ultimately be quicker but this Titanium edition, with it’s 16″ 10-spoke alloy wheels and responsive engine, still displays the dna of fast Fords past and present in the manner of it’s direction changing and acceleration between the corners. Fun? Definitely. Confidence inspiring? Most definitely.
Let’s not forget a luggage capacity of 292 litres with the seats up, 1093 litres with the rear seats down, room for five adults in comfort, the brilliant retractable door edge protectors and the witchcraft that is Active Park Assist, (Ford’s system that can steer you into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces just 20% longer or wider than the car itself) and you have a car that offers the modern driver everything they could ever need or want. It may have taken forty ‘ish years to create but my word, it’s certainly been worth the wait.
The price? Ford state that the Fiesta starts at £13,165-£19,795.
Where will you go?