Around 40 years after the first Ford Fiesta is now showing up to generation eight to the public. The mature and more mature new edition of the small car will come onto the market in mid-2017. As a three- and five-door model and as a fashionable crossover model.
Visually, the basic features of the new Fiesta remain true to the old, but it comes across more matter-of-factly and less playfully. The strongly curved headlights of the predecessor are replaced by almond-shaped specimens, the power-inducing beads on the bonnet disappear and the rear with its horizontal taillights now appears clearer than before. The length grows by barely visible seven centimeters, making the Fiesta break the four-meter mark for the first time in its history.
The growth can also be felt a little in the interior, where the knee space on the rear bench grows thanks to the wheelbase extended by four millimeters and the extra-thin front seats. The fiesta also grows minimally in width. Two average adults can sit reasonably well in the rear, but tall adults quickly get in touch with the low roof. The manufacturer has not yet given information on the trunk volume, but at first glance not much has changed compared to the 290 liters of the predecessor. Unfortunately, the high loading sill has also been preserved.
If there was only an evolution in the exterior design, one can speak of a small revolution inside. Compared to the very playful cockpit in the predecessor, the new version looks pleasantly clear and tidy. The materials are dominated by soft foam-backed plastic and glossy black hard plastic - that looks good and feels pleasant without being overly elegant. The central element is a free-standing tablet-style touchscreen that controls most vehicle functions and that eliminates the flood of buttons from the predecessor. The car also responds to voice commands; the latest development in Ford's “sync” system also understands simple, non-schematic sentences. Anyone who says he needs coffee now will be guided to the next tap on request by Navi.
The core of the engine range remains Ford's three-cylinder petrol engine. The 1,0 liter turbo engine is again available with 74 kW / 100 PS, 92 kW / 125 PS and 103 kW / 140 PS. The base engine is a new variant without turbo, but with a displacement increased to 1,1 liters, which produces 52 kW / 70 PS or 63 kW / 85 PS. In return, the previous 1,25-liter petrol engine will be removed from the range. Manual five-speed gearboxes ensure the power transmission, six-speed gearboxes are used for the turbo engines, and the 100-hp version can also be supplied with six-speed automatic transmission on request. For the diesels, the Fiesta is reinforced by a new 1,5 liter engine with 88 kW / 120 PS, the well-known variant with 63 kW / 85 PS remains in the program. Both diesel engines are coupled with a six-speed manual transmission.
Ford is particularly proud of the extensive program of driver assistants. In addition to warnings of obstacles in blind spots, leaving the lane or tiredness attacks, there is an improved emergency braking assistant that now also recognizes pedestrians in the dark. Brand new is a maneuvering aid for parking that not only steers automatically, but also brakes automatically in the event of an impending bump. The options list also includes details such as a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel and 18-inch light-alloy wheels.
In general, Ford tries to position the Fiesta a little higher. Also, because with the new, five-door mini car Ka + there is now a practical and sufficiently spacious car for purely reason-oriented buyers, the one class larger Fiesta can now increasingly appeal to emotional customers. He does this again with the sporty "ST-Line" equipment and for the first time in the particularly elegant "Vignale" version. In addition to exclusive body colors and accessories, there are also quilted leather seats - hard to find anywhere else in this class. As a contrast program, Ford is also launching the Fiesta for the first time in a robust crossover version with a higher body and off-road planks on the flanks.
It is not yet clear whether the prices for the basic fiesta will increase due to the maturing process. So far, the small car starts at 12.500 euros, there is not much scope left in the hotly contested segment. Even the VW Polo remains below the psychologically important 13.000 euro mark.
(Holger Holzer / SP-X)