The Ford Fiesta has been a massive success for Ford. They’ve gone through enough generations of the car and received enough applause for what they’ve created for it to be crowned the King (or Queen if you will) of superminis. Somehow, and trust me when I say this – Ford have managed to get every motor journalist in the world to use the word “fun” when they describe this car. Most of the reviews that I’ve read of the Fiesta compares it to the competition, but the conclusion is that none of the rest are as “fun”.
Well, I’m not going to argue with this, because if I’m being honest, the Fiesta is the most “fun” of all the competition. However, the competition is getting tighter and with the likes of the new SEAT Ibiza and the soon-to-be-updated Mazda2 in the market, they really are hot on the heels of Ford.
The new 2018 Ford Fiesta is still on top though, and that’s great news for Ford, but when you consider the big recent changes of the Ibiza and the cracking-looking new Nissan Micra, you have to ask if Ford has done enough in this new generation supermini. Yep, mechanically, this is probably the most impressive supermini on the market, but did the manufacturer make enough aesthetic changes to the new model to keep it out of reach of the competition? I think not – had they gone down the road of the drastic style changes made by Nissan to the Micra, then maybe Ford would have put the Fiesta miles out of reach of the competition. You see, for some reason style is a major factor when it comes to the supermini segment. Fair enough, there are some supermini owners who couldn’t give a monkey’s about how the car looks, but if the marketing of this segment tells me anything, it’s that the good looking supermini is the one that people should opt for.
Now, I’m not knocking the style of the Ford Fiesta, however, I am saying that I think they should have made a proper go at updating and remodelling how this car actually looks – just to ensure it stays ahead of the curve.
Okay – aesthetics aside. Why is the Fiesta ahead in the “fun” stakes? Well, it’s the drive of the car itself. Yep, the SEAT Ibiza offers a wonderful drive, but as an all-in driver package, the Fiesta generally has everything spot on. Provided of course you opt for the right kind of engine. My personal favourite of the lot is the 1.0 EcoBoost. Throw that into an ST Line version and you feel like you’re hot to trot. The grip on the ground of pretty much all Fiesta cars is excellent, but the 6-speed gearbox in the 1.0 model is the right kind of clunky. Short throws between gears, excellent cornering abilities and a nice ride are what give this car the “fun” factor we love so much to talk about.
The engine in my test model is what Ford reckons will be the big seller. The 1.1 naturally-aspirated petrol unit. Ford reckons their Zetec trim will be the leader, but our model was Titanium, which means we got some nicer bells and whistles thrown in. Our 1.1 engine gave 85bhp, and while the car wasn’t under powered, having driven the 1.0 EcoBoost – I just can’t see why people wouldn’t opt for it. I’m not trying to be hard on Ford here, but it’s like being giving me one finger of a Twix and throwing away the other finger. The 1.1 is pushed along using a 5-speed gearbox too, which on occasion can leaving you wanting to throw it up a gear when you hit the motorway. While the 1.1 isn’t as enjoyable an engine or gearbox, it still has the handling abilities and well-weighted steering of the rest though – which means even the 1.1 petrol is an enjoyable journey maker.
The big changes for the Fiesta came through the technology within the car. For all levels except the entry level version, you get this excellent up-to-date infotainment system. The entry level system is better than the outgoing offering, but it’s a bit dull in comparison to the full-colour and well laid-out touch screen you get in the higher trims. The other technology that Ford focused on is ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). There’s a host of systems available like pre-collision assistance, distance indication/distance alert & adaptive cruise control. However, this is an optional extra, and we here in Motorhub think that all ADAS should be as standard in every car on the market. Car manufacturers should make sure that each and every car they sell is as safe as possible. Also… and my rant is nearly over, our Government should stop adding extra tax on safety systems as if they were some kind of luxury. They are not.
My test model will set you back €22,215. To enter into the Titanium trim, you’ll pay €19,050, but we had loads of extra thrown in like, the ADAS Drive assistance pack at €700, the 16” 10-spoke alloy wheels at €300, and the brilliant B&O in-car audio system at €900 (expensive… but damn it’s good). The entry level Fiesta starts from €16,650.
Okay, all in, the Fiesta is still king of the superminis. However, they’d want to keep a closer eye on the competition. The SEAT Ibiza is an exceptional car. The Nissan Micra, which I’ll be reviewing here very soon, is better than ever. And the Volkswagen Polo, which I’ll have in a couple of months is sure to be the main competition. Also – don’t forget the Toyota Yaris hybrid, which is surprisingly good, and then there’s the completely under rated Mazda2. Isn’t it great that the competition is so good?