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Ford Fiesta Review: The New Ford Fiesta: More than just a refreshed look?

The New Ford Fiesta: More than just a refreshed look?

By Roger D'Souza; 15th October, 2011
Introduction

The New Ford Fiesta: More than just a refreshed look?

The name Fiesta is not new to the Indian market. The car has been around a while now and was in need of a refresh. But, with the launch of the new Ford Fiesta, the car has radically changed. In fact, the old Fiesta has been rechristened to the Ford Classic, while the New Ford Fiesta cuts all ties with the old car. Like the Hyundai Fluidic, the all new Fiesta is nothing like its predecessors. With the cold war heating up in the C segment, will the new Ford Fiesta make its mark?

The Ford Fiesta is based on Ford’s kinetic design and has been built on the B2E platform, which is light and yet stiff in construction. Ford has taken the less expensive route keeping the front half of the Fiesta hatch and saloon the same as opposed to the Vento or the linea. The Fiesta saloon also seems to share the same wheel base of the hatchback.

The New Fiesta comes with a various new gadgets and features, such as a new steering wheel with audio controls and other features like cruise control, automatic climate control system and voice activated controls - a first in its class.

We reviewed the 1.5 Diesel Ford Fiesta Titanium over a period of three days in Mumbai busy traffic and on the open highway. Read on for more.

 

Exterior

The Ford Fiesta is a good looking car to begin with. It’s got everything to give it that nice aerodynamic look and feel. Its prominent front grill carries a nice touch of chrome to it, giving that deep chin a little flashy definition. The fog lamps also have a chrome treatment to it. The slim stylish head lamps stretch in to the side panel of the car.

The design sweeps all the way to the back in an upward direction, giving the shoulder line that a still-in-motion look. The wheel arches are nicely flared over the wheels. The waist line seems just perfect. The car stands tall giving extra headroom in the interiors.

The only thing that looks out of place is the rear boot, it looks like Ford just slapped on a boot. It felt a bit disconnected and out of place compared to the rest of the wavy design of the car. 

Interior

In the interiors, the steering wheel feels solid and sporty. The three spoke steering has a perfect thumb positioning and the steering mounted controls come well within a finger reach. The wheel comes with cruise and music controls mounted on it. We found the cruise control very nice, and we could cruise at speeds a little over 50kmph comfortably. 

Coming to the centre dash, the dashboard curves a bit towards the driver making access a breeze. The centre console houses the music system, the automatic climate control, a small storage space, the vehicle information display and the locking system. We did find an issue with the locking - even with the doors locked we could still open the door, even in motion. This seems a small glitch in the safety of the vehicle.

The music system has a nice thump sound to it as if loaded with a sub-woofer. The dial instrument looks like a pair of binoculars and has an aluminum finish. The instrument display has engine check light, cruise control and the gear display.

Another first in class feature is the voice control. This is activated by a button on the left hand side of the steering. Once activated you can give commands for climate control modes, radio station change, change tracks on a CD or toggle between external media devices like iPod/USB or simply one can speak to the system to dial a phone number from the phone book of a mobile that’s paired with the car, though the error tone got a bit irritating. Fortunately, after a while, I got used to the system.

The front seats are good and have a rally type feel to it. There is enough front legroom, though I didn’t find it very comfortable. After being stuck in a 3 hour bumper to bumper traffic, I got out of the car with a terrible backache. I don’t know if it was the seating or just the traffic that day.  The driver door controls for the windows felt uncomfortable to access.

To the rear, like I have mentioned before, this car has the same wheelbase as the hatchback, so the seating in the rear is not very comfortable. The seats feel a bit hard and stiff, and there is not much legroom, especially if you are 5`8” and above in height. One feels cramped at the rear end. This loss however is made up with sufficient head and shoulder room throughout the car. 

The Ford Fiesta has got decent headroom and shoulder room, and 4 people can comfortably cruise around in this car. The glove box is spacious for all those routine paper documents that one carries. The flowing centre console has two cup holders and a bottle holder. In the rear, the centre armrest comes with space for two glasses. Even though the boot feels out of place, it is roomy and probably will fit in all that extra junk you want to carry around.

Performance

If you love to drive, this is the car for you. The ride height is nice andthe driver is perched in a nice driving position, while the steering wheel adds to that nice feeling with its positive response. The car handles quite beautifully, it’s sharp and turns well in and out of corners.

The front suspension absorbs the bumpy roads very well, though the rear felt a bit on the stiffer side. The second gear is a bit sluggish and jerks a lot at low speeds. However, once you pass the second gear, the car is just incredible, and it makes you feel like you are sailing across the road.

For a diesel car, the engine is very refined and nice though it sounds like a typical diesel engine on the outside. Zipping in and out of light traffic is easy. On the highway, at high speeds, the car felt solid and safe, and braking is tight and very effective.

The New Ford Fiesta comes with a 1498cc, 4-cylinder, 2-valves, SOHC engine which puts out a decent 90PS@3750rpm and a torque of 204Nm@2000rpm. The fuel efficiency figures that we got for the Fiesta were 15-16kmpl on highways and 12-14kmpl in city. A full tank will get you 600 Kms at least. 

Tech specs
Technical Specifications
 Make New Ford
 Model Fiesta
Variant 1.5TDCi
Engine Capacity (L) 1498/4
Power (PS) 90
Torque (NM) 204
Gears 5/M
Groud clearence 165
Length 4291
Width 1722
Height 1496
Wheel Base 2489
Turning circle radius 5.2
Fuel Tank capacity 43
Claimed fuel efficiency 23.5
Wheel Type Alloy Wheels
Wheel Size 15 Inch
Tyres 195/ 60 R 15
Gears/Speeds 5Gears
Features
Features 1.5D Style 1.5D Trend 1.5D Titanium 1.5D Titanium+
Power Steering Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power windows Yes Yes Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes Yes Yes
A/C Manual Auto AC Auto AC with voice controls Auto AC with voice controls
Alloy Wheels No Yes Yes Yes
Foldable rear seats Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear Center arm rest with cup holder Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electric boot release Yes Yes Yes Yes
Floorwell Lamp No Yes Yes Yes
Electrically foldable OVRM No No Yes Yes
Distance to Empty No No Yes Yes
Cruise control No No No Yes
Reverse Parking sensor No No No Yes
Audio Controls on steering wheel Yes Yes Yes Yes
Audio with CD/MP3/AM/FM, 6 Speakers Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blue Tooth No No Yes Yes
Voice Control No No Yes Yes
ABS with EBD Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dual airbag Yes Yes Yes Yes
Engine immobiliser Yes Yes Yes Yes
Radiator Grill surround Body colour Chrome Chrome Chrome
Fog Lamps No Yes Yes Yes
Leather wrapped steering wheel No No Yes Yes
Gear knob insert finish Moulded black Moulded black Metallic Finish Sterling Metallic Finish Sterling
Competition
Specifications
New Ford
Fiesta
Hyundai
Verna
Fiat
Linea
Chevrolet
Optra
VolksWagen
Vento
Toyota
Altis
Variant 1.5TDCi 1.6SX CRDI Emotion 2.0 LT 1.6 Highline 4D-J
Engine Capacity (L) 1498 1591 1248 1991 1598 1364
Power (PS) 90 123 93 121 105 88
Torque (NM) 204 260 203 314 250 205
Gears 5/M 6/M 5/M 5/M 5/M 6/M
Key Features
Power Steering Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power windows Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
A/C Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alloy Wheels Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Leatherwrapped steeringwheel Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Music System Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Keyless entry Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Fog Lamps Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ABS With EBD Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Airbag 2 2 2 1 2 No
Average fuel efficiency  23 22 17 17 20 17
Conclusion

The new Ford Fiesta has managed to stay true to its predecessors; it looks great, drives wonderfully and gives you the mileage you would want to see. However, given the current market, the pricing of this car will make the real difference.

Ford always had good cars but its pricing was not ideal for the Indian market, something they managed to change with the Ford Figo. But indeed, the price for the new Ford Fiesta is a bit on the higher side, though with that price you also get a lot of new features not present in other C-segment cars. The choice is definitely hard but when you are looking for a C-segment diesel car, you should consider the Ford Fiesta seriously.