We test the Ford Fiesta – Britain’s top selling car
In the mid-nineties, under the leadership of the highly regarded Richard Parry-Jones, Ford won and retained a reputation for producing highly refined motor cars that in terms of ride quality and refinement, matched the premium brands.
Parry-Jones became well known for his ‘50 metre test’, claiming that you can pick up the subtleties of a vehicle’s dynamics whilst driving very slowly within the first 50 metres of the drive. Thankfully, as all sensible manufacturers should, Ford ensured the refinement quality was sustained throughout the brand, and wrapped them all up in affordable packages.
Parry-Jones also suggested that “building a supercar is much easier than creating excellence for the millions” and Ford’s success must be attributable to their success in exactly that. Hence the Ford Fiesta is a hoot to drive, and seats four with comfort. Fleet buyers and families previously inclined towards the larger Mondeo-sized saloon now have all their needs met in the smarter packaged and nicer to drive Ford Fiesta. It’s not an uncommon trend; the Vauxhall Corsa coming second in the sales charts is confirmation that down-sizing is the smarter future.
This 1.0 litre 3 cylinder EcoBoost Fiesta is a marvel of engineering. The 3 cylinder engine’s performance is quite remarkable lacking only in low speed urge; climbing from about 2,000 rpm onwards it’s a performing jewel, lacking little noticeable performance over a 4 cylinder petrol car.
On a day to day basis you’ll love the chuckable, accurate and safe driving character of the car. After a week negotiating busy London traffic we found the in-car navigation system particularly good; easy to use and accurate in forecasting predictive arrival times. Less can be said for the rather cluttered and outdated centre dash switchgear, there are too many small fiddly buttons requiring you to divert your eyes from the road for longer than safety considerations allow, especially at night. The Stop/Start system fitted to our top of the range Titanium model is one of the better ones – not in the slightest obtrusive to driving in busy traffic and an obvious fuel saver.
With this particular model, ‘performance’ is best measured in fuel economy and CO2 figures achieving an impressive average fuel consumption figure of 65.7 mpg with CO2 as low as 99g/km. Combine that with a lowly 15E insurance grouping and you soon see how well Ford have sussed the ‘excellence for the millions’ formula.
Yet sluggish it is not, 9.4 secs to 62 mph and 122 mph top speed from an all-purpose no compromise 3 cylinder car is quite remarkable for this multi-award winning engine. You can walk away with this ‘have your cake and eat it’ motor for £16,295, whilst our test car added another £2,000 to the list price with deep impact blue metallic paint, a Sony Navigation system with DAB, electric rear windows, 17” 8 spoke alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and Active City Stop emergency braking. If you’re going to have the cake, why not have the icing? Eighteen and a half grand is still good value for a car as good as this.
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