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Ford has made its Powershift six-speed automatic gearbox available with the best-selling Fiesta supermini. Tested here with the 100hp 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine, the auto performs better in a small petrol car than you'd expect. As a rule, automatics in little cars aren't the most seamless of marriages, but for comfort and smoothness, the Fiesta's new 'box is streets ahead of the automated manual transmissions found in other small cars such as the ASG unit in the Volkswagen Up and Citroen's ETG system.
There's a £1250 premium and a 15g/km hike over the manual to take the Powershift to 114g/km total along with an official 65.7mpg.
It's not perfect though - there is still a slightly fussy nature to the changes and some of the gears linger a bit too long. The reality is that a small, perky engine like the Fiesta's three-cylinder Ecoboost unit will always be better suited to a manual gearbox, particularly in a car this size.
You can have the Powershift gearbox with other petrol versions but it isn't available with diesels. In every other respect, the Fiesta is still a hoot to drive and a great all-round supermini, and this version is about as comprehensive as automatic small cars get.
As small automatics go, the Fiesta's new Powershift unit is about as good as they get, but a manual will always be better