The all-new Ford Fiesta, now in its eighth generation, we once again see it going head to head with its main rival – the Volkswagen Polo. At first glance the new Fiesta looks a bit like the previous old model, but when on closer inspection the major changes are revealed. The look is one I love – it’s smoother and sleeker, and much bolder looking than the previous generation Fiesta.
The exterior design is great but it’s the interior where the car shines. It’s by far miles ahead when it comes to interior quality and presentation. The old car had too many buttons on the centre console. The new model, however, has a simple, elegant layout and Ford says that they’ve cut down the number of buttons by 50%. It’s only available in two trim models, Trend and Titanium. The Fiesta offers adequate leg and headroom for rear passengers. Boot space has gone up by 2 litres but when folding the rear passenger seats you do get a whole lot more space. Ford offers more standard kit than its rivals and when placed side by for comparison the Ford seems to pull out ahead when it comes to value for money.
Featuring Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment system which features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both of which allows you to mirror your smartphone. Whilst the Titanium model features an 8-inch touch screen which also comes with navigation as standard, the Trend model has to make do with a 6.5-inch screen. First engine option in the new Fiesta is the six-time International Engine of the Year in the sub 1.0-litre category: the 1.0 EcoBoost engine. (Trend 74 kW / Titanium 92kW with both producing 170 Nm) and the second engine option is the 1.5-litre TDCi producing 63kW and 175 Nm.
I got to drive the 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6 speed automatic and the Fiesta 1.5 TDCi Trend 6 speed manual on launch. Both cars drove pretty well on our route to Sun City. My pick of the bunch would be the diesel, we achieved a 4.6 L/100 km which was not too far off from the claimed 3.3 L/100.
The front track on the new Fiesta is 30 mm wider. With reworked chassis for better body control and more cornering grip. The new Fiesta is fun to drive and handles pretty well. It was able to soak up some nasty bumps and never felt unsettled on the highways at 120 km/h. Steering is more precise and that helps keep confidence when cornering at speeds. Thanks to the new sound deadening material used on the car, you barely get any wind or engine noise.
I love everything about this new Ford Fiesta. The new more grown-up look, Interior quality and presentation, to its driving dynamics and fuel economy. Some might complain about the price but you’re getting all the bells and whistles compared to its key rivals which offer some specifications at added cost.
Pricing for the new Ford Fiesta
- Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6MT R261 900
- Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6AT R277 300
- Fiesta 1.5 TDCi Trend 6MT R292 500
- Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6MT R295 900
- Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6AT R310 600
All new Fiesta derivatives come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a 4-year/120 000 km warranty, 3-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and 5-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A 4-year/60 000 km service plan is included, with service intervals at 15 000 km. (Images courtesy of Ford South Africa)