Celebration in town
If there is one element to which the Ford Fiesta owes its history of success then it is its ride quality. No matter which model, Ford knows like no other how to find a perfect balance between comfort and road-holding.
That is why one literally only needs a few miles in order to find out what distinguishes the Fiesta from its competitors. In general comfort goes at the expense of road-holding and vice versa. This is in particular a problem for urban cars: they should preferably be responsive whilst providing a certain level of comfort on bad surface.
Already in the first corner it is apparent that the Fiesta barely keels and remains particularly steady. When subsequently a road with bad surface follows, the Fiesta neatly smoothes out all hurdles and ditches for its passengers.
With that the steering provides the necessary feedback. Ford matches the steering performance to the chosen engine size. Moreover, the level of power steering is dependent on the speed. Also due to its sturdy feel the Fiesta acts as a larger grown-up car. Despite its superb road-holding the Fiesta is not just an entertaining knockabout car: it is the most grown-up car in its range.
The Fiesta is available with three petrol and one diesel engine. On this occasion a 1.6 litre petrol engine was driven which contributes to the good feel of the car. A great deal of power is already available at low revs and the Fiesta 1.6 can therefore be driven comfortably.
The Fiesta is very eager throughout the first three gears, and if desired the car can be steered through the busy urban traffic as quick as lightning. This largest engine performs excellent, but thanks to the low weight of the car the smaller engines are also adequate.
On the other hand, comfort has been opted for in the higher gears: then the rpm remains low and the car is quiet and economical. However around 110 km/h the Fiesta (both petrol and diesel version) is somewhat turbulent. Strangely enough with speeds of above 120 km/h the tranquility returns. The average test consumption of the 120 bhp / 152 Nm strong Fiesta came to a respectable 6.5 litre per 100 km.
The revelry is further heightened by the design. It is remarkable that Ford has not frenetically held on to the style of the old model, but comes up with a drastically new design. The new Fiesta is based upon the "Kinetic" house style which has also been used for the Mondeo and S-Max. However, the powerful lines come even better to fruition in the compact Fiesta.
Not unique in its kind but definitely special: the Fiesta has been designed by a woman. Already at the design stage the exterior combined with various paint colours has been taken into consideration. In particular through bright and shiny colours the lining is well emphasised (the car shown is in "Squeeze" colour and on this web-site a wallpaper can be found of the Fiesta in "Spa").
Ford informs us that the chosen design causes fewer injuries in the unlikely event of an accident with pedestrians. An additional advantage is that expensive parts have been accommodated in less vulnerable locations. That way damage can be repaired more easily.
Passengers absolutely do not have the feeling of being on the go in a compact urban car. The head and legroom are indeed excellent. It is just the space around the front seats which gives it away that this is a small car.
The space on the back seat is basically fine, but Ford slips up here. Notches have been fitted in the backrest of the front seats in order to increase the rear legroom. However, these are situated that low that many people still have their knees pressed against the front seats. The boot too has a slight inconvenience: the large lifting threshold hampers loading and unloading somewhat.
The interior has been designed just as creatively as the exterior. Here, too, the austere, clear lines give a powerful image. It is regrettable that the dashboard doesn't entirely link up to the doors causing the painstakingly built up harmony to be disturbed.
Most control components can be found in the centre console for which Ford, by its own account, has sought inspiration in mobile phones. A number of buttons even seem to be copied directly from a popular Nokia device.
The Fiesta can optionally be fitted with gadgets like Bluetooth phone connection, a USB connection for MP3 players (including a perfectly fine operating connection with Apple iPod) and (just as well functioning) speech recognition.
All materials used have a firm feel and the finishing of the car is smart. Once again Ford knows how to distinguish itself from its opponents with a more up to par and grown-up feel. In short: with the new Fiesta the urban car takes a huge step forward. With the Fiesta there literally and metaphorically is a celebration in town!
It was a pleasant introduction which starts with a promising exterior. The new Ford Fiesta has been designed according to the "Kinetic Design" which had previously already been applied to the Mondeo and S-Max. However, it does do more justice to the compact Fiesta. The inner capacity is excellent as is the design of the interior which adds to the good feeling of the car. Due to a minor ergonomic mishap the leg room at the back falls somewhat short.
The engines employ the latest technology and therefore offer excellent performance whilst consumption is moderate. In comparison to the former Fiesta, this sixth generation is significantly faster and still more economical.
The most important asset of the Fiesta is and remains its road-holding which is superb. The driving characteristics are just as enjoyable as the appearance of the car suggests. That is why the new Ford Fiesta is literally and metaphorically reason for a celebration.