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The Ford Fiesta is Ireland’s bestselling supermini but if you thought that the Fiesta was just too common to be cool, Ford has a solution. Two very special editions have joined the Fiesta range – the Fiesta Red Edition and the Fiesta Black Edition. These new models are about making a bold statement on the road (cue contrast red and black colour schemes), while Ford’s acclaimed 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine promises the sporty performance to match the headturning looks.
For the Fiesta Black Edition, that’s Panther Black paint, gloss red roof and door mirrors, 16” black alloy wheels, spoiler, body kit and some lovely red lipstick around the grille. The Fiesta Red Edition comes in Race Red with gloss black roof and detailing. You will get attention driving these cars!
The red and black theme continues inside. The seats are red and grey, gloss black surrounds the centre console and the steering wheel, gear gaiter and mats all have red stitching. It does feel a bit special and makes the Fiesta’s somewhat dated interior a bit more palatable and exciting.
These two new models won’t be the most practical Fiestas you can buy – the Fiesta Red Edition and Fiesta Black Edition are sold as three door only but the interior space is not bad at all. There is 276 litres of boot space, with a spare wheel included.
For the Irish market, Ford’s much acclaimed 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbocharged petrol engine provides the power and here it’s tuned to produce 125PS (123bhp). The engine boasts low running costs with emissions of just 99g CO2 meaning that the car qualifies for motor tax of just €180. The official economy is 66mpg – I saw high forties during my test drive.
Ford has tweaked the Fiesta Red Edition and Fiesta Black Edition to give them an even sportier drive. The gearing for the five speed manual transmission has been revised, the steering has been tuned to enhance feedback and there’s a stiffer, lower suspension set-up compared to a normal Fiesta.
The engine is not the star of the show here. Yes it’s very refined for a three cylinder unit and it’s quick but the acceleration is not going to blow your socks off, nor is the noise of the engine for that matter. 100kmh from a standstill takes 9.4 seconds and there is a modest 200Nm of torque to pull you along. The engine makes a pleasing ‘brrrrr’ but you won’t wake the neighbours every time you start up the car. It’s not such a hooligan as the looks of the car would suggest.
But it’s impossible not to fall in love with this car. It handles with the verve of a much more expensive car. The chassis is so playful and the steering weights up perfectly so you never feel anything less than 100% in communication with what’s going on underneath when you want to move quickly through a series of corners. The Fiesta relishes the twisty stuff. You will be amazed at the speed you can carry safely into a corner in this car before it starts to understeer. You can get on the power quickly in the corners because it just grips, always feeling taut on its springs.
And for all the sporty handling, this is no boneshaker and there really is very little compromise in the way of comfort.
The Fiesta Black Edition and Fiesta Red Edition are priced at €21,800 and are very much aimed at those seeking something a bit more special from their supermini. Aside from the visual upgrades inside and out, equipment includes air con, Ford Sync with Bluetooth and voice control, electric windows and mirrors, and leather trimmed steering wheel.
The only real sticking point I can think of with this car that might see it overlooked for a rival is the fact that Ford Sync is a bit dated and a touchscreen system would be much easier to use. But because the car is so damn good to drive and tickles the inner boy racer, it seems petty to dwell too much on that.
So we’ve established that the Fiesta Black Edition won’t give you the full on hot hatch experience because the engine is just not powerful or noisy enough for that. You will be still left wanting for the Fiesta ST if that’s your motivation, which is about €5000 more.
But the small EcoBoost engine in the Fiesta Black Edition does have its advantages: low running costs for what’s still a powerful offering in a supermini.
The biggest asset here though is the Fiesta’s fine handling – it really is a hard car to beat for just pure driving enjoyment!
Model tested: Ford Fiesta Black Edition
Price: €21,800 (Fiesta range from €15,990)
Engine: 1.0-litre three cylinder turbocharged petrol
Power: 123bhp (125PS)
0-100km/h: 9.4 seconds
Economy: 66mpg (4.3/100km)
CO2 emissions: 99g/km
Tax band: A2 (€180 per year)