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First UK Drive: Ford Fiesta

Date: 14 August 2017   |   Author: Debbie Wood

Standard equipment: Bluetooth, six speakers, lane-departure warning, automatic lights.

The Ford Fiesta's success story is about as vast as the budgets of a premier league football club these days. It just goes on and on.

A few of the headline facts include: over 4.5 million sold in the UK since the car first went on sale in 1976, over a million of the current generation sold since 2008, a staggering 60 awards won for the outgoing model and it's been the UK's most popular car for almost a decade.

Longer and wider than the car it replaces, one of the first things you'll notice in the new Fiesta is that interior space is much improved, especially for rear passengers, which now have 16mm more legroom. Boot space is also up on the previous car to 292 litres - that's bigger than the Vauxhall Corsa but smaller than the Skoda Fabia, Seat Ibiza and new Volkswagen Polo.

If you're expecting the Fiesta's growth spurt to come with a ramp up in pricing you're going to be pleasantly surprised here. With a starting price of £12,715, the new Fiesta is actually slightly cheaper than the outgoing model.

Interior

The bulk of Fiesta sales are predicted to be for the 1.0-litre 100hp EcoBoost, which is under the bonnet of our test car here. Headline figures of 97g/km CO2 and 65.7mpg combined impress, while the 100hp and 170Nm of torque provide enough oomph to accelerate the supermini from 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds.

On the whole, the Fiesta is as good to drive as its predecessor; the handling is sharp, there's lots of grip on offer, ride comfort is very good and the car is great fun when you find yourself on a local deserted B road. The steering, although a fraction lighter than before, is quick to respond and provides ample feedback.

There's also plenty of the latest driver assistance systems introduced depending on the trim you choose, including a semi-autonomous parking system, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping aids and adaptive cruise control, plus the Fiesta is the first Ford to come equipped with pedestrian detection, a new system that can also be used at night.

The fabrics and materials around the cabin are much improved, and the dashboard is also thankfully less cluttered than before; that said, there's still a few cheap plastics lurking, and the Polo and Ibiza offer more polished interiors overall.

Side

Zetec is predicted to remain the most popular trim in the line-up and take around 55% of total sales. Standard kit isn't as generous as rivals, however, with key equipment like cruise control, rain-sensing wipers and parking sensors only available as standard on higher-trimmed cars.

On the whole-life costs front, the Fiesta is very competitive against its rivals - our car here posts an impressive 31.6% residual value that few can compete with, while running costs are among the best in the sector. 

Overall, the new Fiesta brings greater practicality, more advanced tech and an uplift in interior quality alongside those competitive whole-life cost figures. Are there more polished well-rounded superminis on the market offering higher quality and more value for money?  Yes, but I have no doubt this latest version of the supermini has all the tools needed to continue to be a sales success.

Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.0 100hp EcoBoost

P11D Price: £14,620
On sale: June 2017
Residual value: 31.6%
Depreciation: £9,995
Fuel: £4,778
Service, maintenance and repair: £1,424
Cost per mile: 36.4p
Fuel consumption: 65.7mpg
CO2 (BIK band): 97g/km (18%)
BIK 20/40% a month: £44/£88
Boot space: 290 litres
Engine size/power: 998cc/100hp

Verdict


8/10
  • Great fun to drive
  • Good running costs
  • Competitive RVs.
  • Its rivals are more practical
  • Some cheap interior plastics
  • Standard kit is a little stingy

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