Ford’s eco myth buster
The new Ford Fiesta has caused quite a stir since it arrived last year. Yes, it’s a bit of a step upmarket versus its predecessor and that does stretch it a little further away from the entry point, but Ford has that covered with the equally improved latest Figo, so there is place to manoeuvre, especially considering all Fiesta's fiercest rivals are all in this neck of the woods anyway.
Among those rivals, there is one it must beat in SA, but remember that both Peugeot and Renault have new metal coming around here soon, which means that for now Polo is the target and to beat that car, this Fiesta needs to be right up on its toes. It is.
Fiesta looks the part — albeit completely contrary to cubic, its VW rival’s look, so there’s no copycat here, that’s for sure. Fiesta's contemporary Ford look that evolved out of the first Focus is still quite Aston Martin like, but now it's more sophisticated too. Modern.
Step inside and Fiesta's innovative cabin is smartly rendered, functional and trendy in typical latest Ford style, not to mention packed with latest 6.5-inch colour touchscreen Sync 3 infotainment to access the dual-USB Bluetooth-functional six-speaker radio audio and multimedia. Add six airbag safety with ISOFIX child seat anchors, ABS with EBA, EBD and Hill Launch Assist and the rest. Impressive.
But wait, there’s more — Fiesta's 15% stiffer chassis complemented by suspension advances, 30mm wider front and 10mm broader rear tracks, a slightly longer wheelbase and stiffer hollow front anti-roll bar, as well as Electronic Torque Vectoring is said to improve dynamics from handling to braking. It is clear that Ford has been busy as soon as you drive Fiesta — handling is impressive, steering deft and Fiesta possesses a wieldy and cheerful road manner.
Of course this one has Ford’s 74kW 170Nm multiple Engine of the Year 999cc turbo petrol triple at heart and while the test unit is an automatic, that deterred little from the driving experience. It will also be a boon to the many different people who need a small automatic — an aspect the car industry has ignored for way too long, but as you can see, Ford has it covered.
Fiesta is quick enough — it runs in the pack in this neck of the woods, especially considering it’s an auto and it is soon clear why this little litre lump has won so many awards — it delivers what we once expected from a 2-litre and uses less than half the fuel to do a far better job.
Never let anyone con you that the car industry is not on top of the green challenge — engines like this are doing way more than the battery lie will ever achieve — so sad that it’s all so swept under the carpet by abject political ignorance. And not that Ford is alone in this quest — it's just one of many carmakers that are right on the overall efficiency ball, although this engine is a shining example.
So there you have it, not only is this top drawer Fiesta right on top of its game in every automotive facet, but it’s also a winner in every green respect too, no matter what anyone wants to tell you how bad internal combustion engines — or ICEs — are… Michele Lupini
ROAD TESTED – Ford Fiesta 1.0T Titanium Auto
Engine: 74kW 170Nm 999cc turbo petrol I3
Drive: 6-speed automatic FWD
0-60km/h: 4.59 sec
0-100km/h: 10.99 sec
400m: 18.7sec @ 121km/h
80-120km/h: 8.12 sec
Warranty/Service: 4y 120K/4y 60Kkm
LIST PRICE R329K