The new Ford Fiesta – First Drive

‘Is the new Fiesta really boy-racer protected?’

Price: from £9,795  (£15,195 as tested)
Engine capacity: 1.6 TDCi 
Power output (bhp @ rpm):  94 @ 3,500
Top speed (mph): 111
0-62mph (seconds): 12.9
Fuel economy (mpg): 85.6
CO2 emissions (g/km): 87

You’ve flicked through Auto Trader, compared prices online, haggled with your local dealer and finally decided you want to join the army of nearly 110,000 car buyers who drive away in  a shiny new Ford Fiesta every year. Good choice. It’s Britain’s most popular car for many reasons, but why on earth would you go for it in Hot Mustard? The latest model, which launched this month, is good value, economical and fitted with a host of new technology, so why ruin it with a paint job inspired by the mess found in a greedy toddler’s nappy?

This is exactly what went through my mind when the new Fiesta arrived at my door last week. It was also the reaction of my flatmates, my neighbours, the nice lady in the my local Sainsbury’s car park and the  gruff guy at Bishop’s Stortford services off the M11 and, well, basically everyone I saw on my travels.

Taste is subjective, of course, but of the dozens of people I quizzed, not one would confess to actually liking it. And it doesn’t take a genius to work out this will do to its resale value. Thankfully the Fiesta is as ubiquitous as the potholes on Britain’s roads for more than its colourful paint work, though, and the new model has had a mid-life update to keep it fresh.

Car manufacturers can pull a smoke and mirrors job with mid-life updates, releasing little more than a set of pricey new alloy wheels and a fiddly infotainment system, but the 2013 Fiesta has a new Aston Martin-inspired front grille, updated headlights, new engines and a host of the latest safety kit, including Ford’s MyKey system. It’s been available in America for a while but MyKey is essentially a second key (for your troublesome teen) that the owner can programme. The idea is that worried parents can set maximum speed and audio volume limits to stop Friday night misbehaviour in the local McDonalds Drive-Thru car park. It also mutes the radio until the seatbelts are fastened and stops the car’s safety systems being switched off. Reassuring for parents and useful for me (10 years out of my teens) to protect my licence on an enticingly empty M11 on a late-night run home.

The biggest news under the bonnet for the 2013 Fiesta is the arrival of the  1.0-litre three-cylinder Ecoboost engine, which claims to offers diesel-like efficiency in a tiny petrol form.  I tested it in the Focus last year and it’s certainly pulls well, but is an acquired taste to the ear. My test model came fresh from the factory with a 1.6-litre diesel unit offering up to 85.6 mpg. Like the Ecoboost it is probably only worth paying the premium for over the basic 1.25-petrol engine if you’re planning to cover some serious miles.

Regardless, the Fiesta is a pleasant car to drive. The steering is precise with plenty of the right sorts of feedback and the taut body holds the road well if you want to progress rapidly. All this might worry parents with boy- and girl-racers to insure, but Ford knows its onions and the new Fiesta, as well as getting MyKey, has  an improved crash test rating and optional Active City stop, which helps reduce the impact of collisions by applying the brakes if it detects that a crash is imminent. This new Fiesta will sell well, so expect to see grumpy teens driving slowly and quietly around in it. Hopefully mum and dad won’t be cruel enough to make them have it in Hot Mustard, though.

Suggested Topics
Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Sport
Moeen Ali wearing the 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands on his left arm
sport
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Extras
indybest
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    PMO Manager (Portfolio Management, ExCel, Cost Benefit Analysis)

    £450 - £500 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: PMO Manager - 6 month co...

    Senior Fund Administrator - Edinburgh - £22 p/hr

    £20 - £22 per hour + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Fund Administrator, Top Four ...

    Nursery Nurse

    £7 per hour: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a better wo...

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM Functional Consultant

    £50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A Microsoft Dynamics CRM...

    Day In a Page

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

    Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on