The new Ford Fiesta Active
The new Ford Fiesta Active

Read Caroline’s definitive review of the Ford Fiesta Active for all you need to know about one of Ireland’s favourite small cars. In 2022 an updated version of the Fiesta will go on sale in Ireland with a new look, next generation technologies including a new 12.3-inch customisable digital instrument display. The electrified powertrain line-up includes a 48-volt EcoBoost Hybrid for fun-to-drive efficiency and seven-speed Powershift dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

What’s so special about the Ford Fiesta?

The Ford Fiesta is one of Ireland’s favourite small cars with the sort of ubiquity that’s both very reassuring. But also quite tiresome if you want a small car that is more original. But buyers now might find that individuality in the new Ford Fiesta Active.

The Ford Fiesta Active is the first of Ford’s new Active series. This is where they take regular models like the Fiesta and Focus and give them an SUV-inspired makeover.

I didn’t think I would like the Fiesta Active much to be honest, expecting it just to be a more expensive Fiesta with a mediocre styling kit. But the little quirky Fiesta that thinks it’s an SUV is actually a very smart buy indeed.

The Fiesta range currently kicks off at €15,377, with the five door Active model starting from €18,885 for Active 1, and €20,150 for Active 2, as tested here. Under the bonnet you get Ford’s excellent 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbo petrol engine (85hp or 100hp). It’s mated to a six speed manual gearbox and is more exciting than the naturally aspirated 1.0-litre in some of the entry models.

The Ford Fiesta Active comes with Ford's excellent 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine
The Ford Fiesta Active comes with Ford’s excellent 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine

What does the Fiesta Active look like?

Ford has raised the Fiesta Active up a little so that it has more presence on the road. They have added a host of extras for a rugged, off-road look. Cosmetic updates include roof rails, black roof and door mirrors, and dark cladding that flows from the front bumper lip, through the wheel arches and side profile to the rear. There’s also a front and rear scuff plate and a black grille with a unique mesh pattern. The look is finished off with 17″ five-spoke alloy wheels with a Shadow Black machined finish. The Frozen White body colour set off the styling kit nicely but there’s also a special launch colour, Lux Yellow.

Inside, the Ford Fiesta Active is bright and funky with an orange accent colour used in the seat upholstery and on other trim elements. The Fiesta is kitted out well with technology features and there’s a mature feel behind the wheel with a good quality finish. It’s just very easy to feel at home in here. The Active 2 model on test also has a B&O Play Premium Audio System with 10 speakers, 8” touchscreen, cruise control, auto high beam, driver alert, traffic sign recognition and rain sensing wipers.

Interior dimensions remain the same but the Fiesta is a comfortable and practical small car. It will seat five and feels roomy and practical for this class of vehicle.

The interior of the new Ford Fiesta Active
The interior of the new Ford Fiesta Active

What’s different about this car?

The Ford Fiesta Active ride height has been increased by 18 millimetres over the standard Fiesta and it has a wider track by 10 millimetres. This gives the car more presence on the road as well as greater rough road capability and a higher driving position.

Under the skin, Ford has made a few changes to the Fiesta Active to cope with the raised ride height and add some more utility over slippery surfaces. Optimised front shock absorbers feature a new hydraulic rebound stopper to smooth out bumps or jolts when driving over rough surfaces. Unique knuckle geometry for the suspension and bespoke settings for the springs and shock absorbers combine with revised electric power-assisted steering and electronic stability control (ESC) tuning for enhanced comfort and responsiveness across a multitude of surfaces.

The Fiesta Active also features ‘Drive Mode’ technology that allows drivers to choose between Normal, Eco and Slippery modes with the press of a button. Slippery mode is ideal for surfaces with reduced grip such as snow and ice. It reduces wheel spin, including when pulling away from stationary.

The Ford Fiesta Active is on sale priced from €18,885
The Ford Fiesta Active is on sale priced from €18,885

Driving the Ford Fiesta

On the road, the 2019 Ford Fiesta Active immediately impresses. It delivers everything you could want from a small car including a perky engine and agile driving character, great for nipping around the place. Even beyond the confines of town, the Fiesta is also a great motorway companion with good stability and refinement. It is a fun, fun car to drive. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 6.2l/100km.

The Ford Fiesta is deservedly one of Ireland’s best-loved small cars. The Active model adds a very appealing SUV-inspired look to the Fiesta. There are no sacrifices to the Fiesta’s practicality. And there are no surprises either in that the Fiesta’s magic formula appears only to have been enhanced with a more individual look.

Ford Ireland is offering this high spec vehicle now at a good price considering the level of equipment and the addition of the powerful and fun 1.0 EcoBoost petrol engine. All of this makes the Ford Fiesta Active a very smart buy indeed!

The Ford Fiesta Active is a fantastic small car with a very individual look
The Ford Fiesta Active is a fantastic small car with a very individual look

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Ford Fiesta Active 2 1.0-litre EcoBoost
€20,150 (Range from €15,377)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
Torque: 170Nm
10.5 seconds
Top speed: 185km/h
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax: 
€270 per year