The Ford Fiesta is consistently one of Ireland’s bestselling cars and this summer an all-new model will arrive here. I went to Valladolid, Spain to check out the new 2017 model.
The new Ford Fiesta has been subtly restyled and the shape will be very recognisable to any current Fiesta owners. The most obvious change is at the back where the rear light clusters are fixed horizontally and integrated into the boot lid. There are a total of twelve colours including old favourites like Race Red, Moondust Silver and Deep Impact Blue, and new ones like Blue Wave and Chrome Copper, and Milano Grigio exclusive to upscale Vignale versions.
Ford has paid particular attention to overhauling the interior of the new Fiesta and has switched to a more modern layout with a touchscreen coming as standard on all but the entry level Zetec model. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now a feature. The layout is much simpler and cleaner than the old car, while the new steering wheel is a grown-up affair like the one in the Focus. The interior quality compares well to the competition with a good mix of materials, but there are some harder, scratchier plastics in the lower half of the dash. Top spec Vignale models have hexagonal-quilted, tuxedo-stitched leather seats.
Most rivals are switching to five door formats only, but new Fiesta bucks the trend with both a three and a five door available. The new Fiesta is a bit wider and longer than the outgoing model, and there is more legroom in the back. Boot space has not improved much and sits at an average 292 litres. There is an optional false floor for the boot that gives a flat loading area.
New Fiesta will be offered with a range of petrol and diesel engines but in Ireland expect the naturally aspirated 1.1-litre petrol with 70hp to still account for the majority of sales. Ford’s award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine will be available with a choice of 100, 125 or 140hp, while the 1.5-litre TDCi diesel with 120hp is also available. A new six-speed manual transmission helps deliver CO2 emissions from 82g/km, and fuel efficiency from 3.2l/100km on some models.
At the launch, the 1.5-litre TDCi and 1.0-litre EcoBoost 140hp were available for test drives. The refinement and power of the diesel were impressive, while the EcoBoost is a smooth, quiet drive with plenty of power and flexibility.
On the road
Ford has given the Fiesta a new suspension and Electronic Torque Vectoring Control. Cornering grip has been improved by 10% and braking distances have been improved by 8%. The Fiesta has always been much applauded for its excellent driving dynamics but there appears to have been a real step up in comfort and refinement, while grip and road holding ability are still excellent making the Fiesta a competent drive whether on motorway, in town or on country roads.
In Ireland, the new Ford Fiesta will be initially available in Zetec and Titanium trims. A sporty ST-Line and more luxurious Vignale model will arrive in late 2017. The Fiesta is available with a number of driver assistance technologies including a Pre Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Active Park Assist with Perpendicular Parking, Traffic Sign Recognition, Adaptive Cruise Control, Adjustable Speed Limiter, Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Information System, and Lane Keeping Alert. Comfort features include a premium B&O PLAY Sound System, auto high beam, opening panoramic glass roof, and the Sync 3 infotainment system with touchscreens of up to 8” in size.
Pricing will start at €16,550 (Fiesta Zetec 3-door 1.1-litre petrol 70PS). Five door models will start from €17,150. More comprehensive details on the Fiesta range including full pricing will be issued when the car arrives in Ireland at the end of July.
2017 is fast becoming the year of the small car. A slew of new models have already arrived here including the SEAT Ibiza, Citroen C3, Kia Rio, Suzuki Swift, Nissan Micra and Toyota Yaris, and all will be competing with the new Ford Fiesta.
Ford has refined a familiar package and the new Fiesta will be even more competitive in its segment now with more technology and a much improved interior.