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.
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Hershey's angers US chocolate purists by forcing company to stop importing 'yummy' Cadbury bars
SAG Awards 2015: Best and worst gowns on the red carpet
Nike Back to the Future style self-lacing shoes 'will arrive in 2015'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of UK Magento hosting so...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind are working with this secondary s...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We are working with a school that needs a t...