With its sultry looks and class-leading dynamics Ford’s fantastic new Fiesta 1.6 Trend really makes a whole lot of buying sense, writes The Wheel Deal.
Downscaling in a recession is a depressing exercise. Lunch hours become marred by insipid homemade sandwiches; movies are substituted with Stallone reruns on e.tv, and your favourite imported Pilsner is replaced by some cheap substitute marketed to men who wear vests and overalls. Cars are a source of budgetary-induced misery too, as lofty fuel prices and interest rates mean that many people will be thinking of trading in their swanky German saloons on something more overdraft-friendly. Now normally this exercise would result in a bout of binge drinking and a tearful lament but, thanks to the new Ford Fiesta, that’s a thing of the past.
You see, sculpted by the firm’s famed kinetic design philosophy, this sporty hatchback proves that small, affordable motors can indeed be sexy – even somewhat aspirational. Get behind the Fiesta’s wheel and, whether you’re trawling through a mall parking lot or posing outside some swish vodka bar, you’ll notice that the plucky Ford always manages to attract attention thanks to its bold trapezoidal grille, foxy headlights and creased shoulders. Things are just as tasty in the inside too; with a spunky cabin that’s well made and packed full of gizmos. Blue-tooth connectivity, air-con and a comprehensive on-board computer all come standard in Trend spec, as does an auxiliary audio port that actually works – unlike in my old Fiesta. The driving position has also been given a proper work over, which means that us six-footers can finally escape that dreadful top-heavy feeling that plagued us whilst driving in the last model. But good looks and techno prowess aside, the thing that impressed me most about Ford’s new baby was its sterling handling characteristics.
Endowed with a lithe and nimble chassis taken form the Mazda 2, the Fiesta encourages enthusiastic driving and really puts the fun back into everyday commuting. Plant it through the corners and you’ll always feel part of the machine thanks to its excellent feedback and overall responsiveness. And while the electronically assisted power steering is overly light, it still offers a satisfying amount of feedback complemented with one of the crispest turn-ins in the small hatch business. I’ll agree that straight-line performance from the 1.6 isn’t exactly eye watering up at this altitude but its power delivery is creamy smooth right on through the rev-range. It’s a lot more frugal than the outgoing engine too thanks to the introduction of Independent Variable Cam Timing – clever engineering that optimises both performance and economy.
All in all I was suitably impressed with our Ford Fiesta 1.6 Trend and couldn’t find any deal-breaking faults with its design, ergonomics or road manners. In fact, whether you’re a first time buyer or desperately looking downsize for the purposes of both cents and sanity, you won’t find better small-car bang for your increasingly harder-to-earn buck.
Ford Fiesta 1.6 Trend Fast Facts:
Engine: 1596cc, four-cylinder petrol
Power: 88kW @ 6 000rpm
Torque: 149Nm @ 4 250rpm
0-100km/h: 9.9 seconds (claimed)
Top Speed: 193km/h (claimed)
Fuel Consumption: 5.9l/100km (claimed combined)
Price: R167 471
Warranty: 4-year/120 000 km
can the new Fiesta be fitted with the very necessary rubber side strips
Hello Maureen, unfortunately it cannot. Ford are punting this as a “fashion” car so rubber side strips are out I am afraid. But you could probably get an aftermarket pair fitted if you so wished.
It looks good, the only thing that gets me is that the interior look a like to plastic for me.
I really like it… it’s funky, ****, modern, fun and well suitable for the young, vibrant professional!! Exactly what I’m looking for… i will take it in tango (red)thanx…
I enjoyed you article on the Ford Fiesta. My husband and I have entered into the US Ford Fiesta Movement, and are very excited about the things coming to the US from Ford.
If you are interested in watching our entry video please click here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43NOnlZhnMo
We are die hard Ford fans and can’t wait to see what other cars they bring our way from other markets.
Hi Scott & Selena,
Thanks for the comment. Really enjoyed your entry for the Ford Fiesta Movement – hope it wows the judges and gets you a ride in the new car. I’ve got the previous generation Fiesta and even that is a pretty fine machine – definitely has the best handling in its class.
I agree with you, Ford is bringing out some great products at the moment; I just hope they can weather the storm of the recession…
All the best!
Just bought one and am loving it… Slides beautifully through corners and is easy on the eye.
No STI version
Not at the moment but I’ve heard rumors of a new Fiesta ST coming out at the end of the year. If it does, expect it to feature a 1.6 turbocharged engine…
Recently drove 5 contenders in this catagory as a favour to my daughter:(Swift, Jazz 1.4, Fiesta 1.4, Mazda 1.3, i20 Hyundai.)
Bang for buck: i20(Gutsy engine, Built quality, features, suspension setup, 5 year warranty)
Best car: Jazz(Overall perceived quality(Feels like it will last forever), steering, space utilisation, zippy engine(i-vtec).
The Ford and Mazda offers very good(easy) drive but uninspiring engines and dodgy quality(Ford-doors closed like 90′s Citi Golf) as well as price.(Remote locking will set you back R1800 and It’s not R10000 better than the i20.)
The Swift left early(let down by interior, noisy clutch, peaky engine, space.)
I do not drive any of these cars as daily commute. Completely unbiased opinion.
What a very good car. Well designed and built quality wise. Just add a few good car parts then its good to go.
One can say well designed car but I will say enthusiastic driving and fun because of speed.
Some people compare the fiesta version of ford to the Honda’s masterpiece- the JAZZ. However, talking about the specs of both vehicles, Ford definitely has the advantage since the engine used is more powerful. Honda only uses V8 while V-tech is the one used for the fiesta model.
The current generation Fiesta is marketed worldwide allmost all country like USA, Europe, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, China, India, Thailand and South Africa.
The 2011 Fiesta was one of the five finalists for the 2011 Green Car of the Year awarded by the Green Car Journal in November 2010, competing with two plug-in electric vehicles, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt (the winner), and two hybrid electric vehicles.