After being usurped by its perennial rival the Vauxhall Corsa in the sales charts of late, Ford has sharpened up its ever-popular Fiesta with a fresh front end and a raft of new technologies.
Four years after the seventh-generation Fiesta was unveiled, Ford has put it under the knife to keep it relevant in the face of mounting opposition from the Volkswagen Polo, Peugeot 208 and Skoda Fabia.
Most of the changes focus on the front of the Fiesta which, unlike other European countries, continues to be sold here in both three and five-door guises. This is joined by revised wheel designs, body colours and interior finishes for ‘Trend’, ‘Titanium’, ‘ST-Line’, lifestyle-inspired ‘Active’, and hot ‘ST’ versions.
Slimmer headlamps incorporate a new daytime running light signature while the clamshell bonnet has also been subtly reprofiled. Other changes see the central grille scaled down in size and become home to Ford’s iconic ‘Blue Oval’ badge, with these intended to give the Fiesta “greater road presence”. The rear has been largely untouched – although the tail-lamps are now set-off by a subtle black surround.
As before, each Fiesta variant is identifiable by their grille. On ‘Trend’ and ‘Titanium’ this is dominated by a horizontal pattern, with this replaced by a honeycomb formation on ‘ST-Line’ and ‘ST’ examples. The SUV-inspired ‘Active’, meanwhile, is differentiated by rugged body styling and a raised ride height”
“Fiesta is a small car with real personality,” said Amko Leenarts, Ford of Europe’s design director. “Its fun-to-drive nature and quality have always been expressed through its styling. We have created even more distinctive characters so customers can choose a version that reflects their own style,” he added.
Deliveries of the first examples are due to begin in early 2022 with prices for the entry-level car starting at £16,670 – a slight increase over the current range. However, this price hike is offset by improved equipment levels, with LED headlights and a fully customisable 12.3-inch driver display both added.
The Fiesta’s cabin is, by-and-large, unchanged from before, although the digital instrument binnacle is a first and arrives in conjunction with a host of advanced driver safety aids. These range from Wrong Way Alert, Cross Traffic Alert, Active Park Assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go function.
Now running the latest SYNC3 software, the 8-inch colour touchscreen continues to take pride of place in the centre of the dash. On top of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, live traffic alerts and local hazard information are two firsts. Other convenience features include a wireless charging pad for compatible smartphone devices, and a ten-speaker Bang and Olufsen stereo with subwoofer.
Mechanically, the new Fiesta has been untouched meaning an all-petrol affair. The 1.0-litre three-pot EcoBoost Hybrid is the beating heart of the range and comes in two states of tune. The 153bhp is only available with a six-speed manual, but the 123bhp version can be married to a seven-speed automatic. A non-electrified unit remains in the shape of a 99bhp EcoBoost triple that can return up to 45.2mpg.
Engineers have decided to hand the ‘ST’ Fiesta a torque boost; by reworking the 1.5-litre turbo petrol this grows from 214lb ft to 236lb ft. Power is the same at 197bhp for a 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds and a 143mph top speed. Adding to the hot hatch’s fun factor is a new ‘Track’ driving mode that takes the place of ‘Eco’. Selecting this disables the traction control and sets the ESC to ‘wide-slip mode’.
“Introducing the new Fiesta ST alongside the other variants in our expanded new Fiesta line-up means customers have never had more choice,” says Roelant de Waard, Ford of Europe’s passenger vehicles general manager.
“From city chic, to outdoors adventure or hot-hatch performance, there’s a new Fiesta for everyone.”