Our Fleet Test Drive: Ford Fiesta - 1st Report
13 February 2009
Author: Tom Webster
 Auto-folding mirrors
|P11D price:|| £12,744|
|Key rival:|| Vauxhall Corsa|
I've joined the current trend for downsizing by swapping my previous long-termer, the Ford Focus-sized Hyundai i30, for the Blue Oval's latest Fiesta supermini.
But coming down a category in size has not left me bereft of space. The Fiesta will easily accommodate four reasonably sized adults, and boasts a boot that swells to 979 litres with the seats dropped down. Even with the seats up it measures 295 litres  - larger than its Corsa, Ibiza and Mazda 2 rivals.
However, the biggest problem with convincing your drivers to take a step down might not be a reduction of interior space. Life in a bigger hatchback could have acclimatised them to toys and luxuries not normally seen in smaller vehicles.
This is why we've gone for the top-level Titanium spec, which brings aircon, cruise control , iPod connection, auto-folding mirrors  and Ford's fantastic heated windscreen system, Quickclear. This last addition has already proved its worth, saving BusinessCar drivers the time and pain of numbed fingers caused by scraping icy windows.
To finish off the spec for the business user, we added a couple of options. ESP anti-skid control and Bluetooth were necessities for fulfilling duty of care obligations, and the front and rear parking sensors could easily save the £350 they cost in prevented repair bills. The prices added up at buying time, but the savings should make themselves known over the life of the car and when we come to bid farewell.
If you are going all out on specification for downsizers, then it makes sense to head towards the top of the engine list as well. The 120PS 1.6-litre engine we selected is a fantastically zippy little motor that we are looking forward to getting beyond the running-in period. When it's properly settled in, it should be able to make good its claims of a combined fuel consumption of 47.9mpg. Because of the Fiesta's diminutive dimensions, acceleration from 0-62mph is claimed to take just 9.9secs, and it keeps going to 120mph.
We'll be finding out over the next few months just how capable this makes the supermini around town and on longer journeys for the driver used to a bigger car in every sense.
|Ford Fiesta 1.6i Titanium 5dr |
|Claimed combined consumption||47.9mpg|
|Our average consumption ||30.8mpg|
|Model price range||£8514-£12,744|
|C02 (tax) ||132g/km (15%)|
|BIK?20/40% per month ||£32/£64|
|Boot space (min/max)||295/975litres|
|Why we’re running it||Can downsizing be |
done without the
|Positive||Looks, lots of toys, |
|Negative||Noisy on motorway|