0-litre petrol engine that many buyers will choose. Beneath the smarter styling also lies some clever user-friendly technology too – and cabin quality that’ll make down-sizing into one of these less of a chore.
Ford’s Fiesta lineage goes all the way back to 1976 and ever since, through four decades and over twelve million sales - a third of those in the UK - it’s remained the definitive face of the supermini sector, not only a best seller in its segment but also often the UK’s best selling new car. The seventh generation model, launched in 2008, was one of the most successful yet, blending the entertaining handling for which this car has become renowned with sharp styling and clever packaging. As a result, it’s so far done its bit in restoring Ford’s fortunes in Europe.
This Fiesta may still be a small car but these days, it thinks big in almost every way, starting with styling designed to make more of a statement in the supermini segment. Under the bonnet lies an impressively clean and frugal range of petrol and diesel units, highlighted by the three cylinder 1. 0-litre Ecoboost unit already seen in the larger B-Max and Focus models, the world’s cleverest conventional petrol powerplant, Plus there’s a more up-market cabin, safety technology that can brake the car for you and call for help in an accident and even a clever MyKey device to give parents greater control over young drivers who might be using this car. This is, in short, on paper at least, a thoroughly well thought out piece of supermini design.
If you go by the maxim that if something looks right, it is right, then you’ll probably like this improved version of the seventh generation Fiesta. As before, it’s offered in both three and five-door bodystyles and both are tidy pieces of styling with a look now dominated by this massive trapezoidal five-bar chrome front grille that’s bracketed by a smarter set of laser-cut headlamps with LED daytime running lights. The bonnet also has a more aggressive ‘power dome’ shape
If you’re going to be using the back seats regularly, opt for the five-door version: in the three-door, the windows are small and set high up, so light isn’t abundant. Either way though, you might be surprised at the space available: even a couple of six-footers should be reasonably happy here.
The rear end features huge redesigned light clusters that as before smear round onto the flanks of the car, freeing up space for a very wide hatch aperture, though there is quite a high loading lip. Lift the tailgate and you’ll find that a concealed load space has been introduced beneath the boot which has an adjustable floor height to simplify loading and unloading heavy items. There’s 276-litres on offer with the seats up.
The Ford Fiesta has always been a vehicle the British public has warmed to but the truth is that before this seventh generation model arrived, supermini buyers chose this car either because it was great to drive or because they’d been offered a deal too good to turn down: there wasn’t really another reason to buy one. This model changed all that – and this one takes things a step further still, smarter to look at, smarter to sit in, smarter to operate and, perhaps most importantly, smarter under the bonnet.
A smarter choice all round then? Many will think so. This may not be the largest or the plushest car in the supermini sector but on just about every other main criteria, it’s either up there or class-leading. In short, this is, more than ever, a small car that supermini buyers simply can’t ignore.