ROAD TEST: Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta has been on our roads for many years, and now it’s got even better. The car that is keeping Ford at the top of the UK sales charts is probably one of the most technologically advanced small cars in Europe, writes motoring editor Ian Strachan.

The development of the eponymous Fiesta has accelerated. The all-new  model comes with revised styling, a smart new interior, extra specification,  class-leading low-polluting engines and a host of technology to keep you comfortable and safe.

The new Fiesta has achieved a maximum Euro-NCAP safety rating, and comes with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring and automatic perpendicular parking.

I test drove the new Fiesta Titanium – the first of the new Fiestas to arrive in the UK – powered by a 100 bhp 1.0 petrol engine. This unit delivers miserly fuel economy of 65.7 mpg in mixed driving with a CO2 level of 94g/km. I test drove the manual version with a pleasant-to-use six speed box.

The new Fiesta is the epitome of urban chic with a wide range of colour variations to customise your car. With its sleek lines, its aggressive road stance and shark-like front end it manages to look sporty, while the inside is packed with premium features including electronic automatic temperature control, satellite navigation with an eight-inch touchscreen, a DAB digital radio with Apple CarPlay and two USB sockets, traffic sign recognition, heated front screen, all-round electric windows, electric folding door mirrors with puddle lights and automatic high-beam headlights and rain-sensing wipers.

You also get smart 16 inch alloys, front fog lamps with cornering lights, steering wheel-mounted controls, keyless start and cruise control.

All this is in addition to the Fiesta’s well-established virtues of smooth good looks, bags of interior space and great ride and handling.

This is a small family car which still manages to look sleek and sporty. From the front you have the  deep open-mouth grille and sleek headlights with LED daytime lights. From the side the Fiesta has smooth, sculpted lines and from the back the car is nicely designed with nicely-shaped LED light clusters. You still get impressive carrying capacity for a small car, particularly with the 60/40 fold-down rear seats, but whichever way you look at it, this car is a good looker.

The inside is nice too, helped by nicely-trimmed seats which are comfortable with a good range of adjustment. There are plenty of storage spaces around the interior and all instruments are clear and accessible.

The 1.0 petrol engine is a quiet unit, even when worked hard, with good acceleration and flexibility.

Ride and handling are excellent thanks to a lightweight chassis and good suspension. Road-holding is superb and electronic stability controls with hill-start assist come as standard.

On the road price for this spec is £16,795. My test car came with deep impact premium blue paintwork (£496), advanced auto-park assistance with camera (£500), a premium 10-speaker sound system (£300) and a driver assistance pack including adaptive cruise control and distance alert (£200).

Ford is to be congratulated on the new Fiesta. There’s a big car in there trying to get out, but with small car personality, and it looks guaranteed to keep claiming the sales top spot.

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