The Fiesta has been made by the Ford Motor Company since 1976 and its name is known all over the world. That’s hardly surprising because the 38-year-old model has been manufactured in Europe, the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, China, India, Taiwan, Thailand and South Africa.
The Fiesta has come a long way from its familiar, original boxy shape. The latest car has established itself as a best-seller in Britain and around the globe after setting a new quality benchmark with a dynamic exterior and an interior optimised for comfort.
The Fiesta, on test here in “Zetec” three-door form, has lots of room inside. Without rear doors it makes the fitting of child seats a pain, but once fixed securely, there’s more than enough space for the kids. Indeed, if you don’t have a brood, two adult passengers will find they’re not as cramped as in some rival superminis.
The Ford has a reasonable boot as well, with enough capacity for the weekly shop. However, you’d struggle to cram a pushchair in on top if you needed to take your ankle-biters to the supermarket.
But the talents of the well-liked hatchback outweigh any gripes. The Fiesta continues building on its position as the UK’s top-selling motor with the launch of a fresh powertrain, which was fitted to my test car.
Ford now offers a 99 break horsepower version of its 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine with the company’s six‑speed PowerShift automatic transmission – delivering CO2 emissions of just 114 grams per kilometre and 57.7 miles per gallon (on average) fuel consumption.
The engine is a smart piece of machinery. It combines cutting-edge equipment, including direct fuel injection and turbo-charging, to deliver the might of a larger lump with the fuel efficiency of a smaller unit.
The Ford PowerShift transmission uses electronically-controlled twin-clutch technology to move between gears. You have the option of staying in full automatic mode or, for a bit more excitement, dropping in to the gearbox’s “sport” setting.
Indeed, the combination of EcoBoost and PowerShift is one of the most advanced and dynamic powertrains ever launched in a compact car. The zero to 62 miles per hour performance feels far quicker than the 11.2 seconds stated on paper. The steering is sporty, snappy and sharp too.
Stock features on all Fiestas include Easy Fuel, which prevents filling up with the wrong type of juice; MyKey, which enables parents to limit speed, audio volume and other settings before loaning the car to young drivers, and daytime running lights to be seen in all conditions. There are very few pocket rocket hatchbacks that are as pleasurable to drive as the Fiesta. It feels on the ball, which is clearly brilliant news on a winding rural road, but the car is also a delight on the humdrum trips thanks to its well-weighted controls, relaxed ride and first-rate visibility.
The Fiesta is a sensational all rounder, achieved thanks to its styling, handling and technology. All this makes for genuinely gratifying and stress-free motoring.
Throw a long list of standard safety kit in to the mix, plus a spirited yet efficient petrol engine, and the Fiesta Ecoboost Powershift really does offer a lot for its £15,195 price tag.
Max speed: 112 mph
0-62 mph: 11.2 secs
Combined mpg: 57.7
Engine: 999cc, 12 valve, 3 cylinder, turbo petrol
Max. power (bhp): 99
Max. torque (lb/ft): 125
CO2: 114 g/km
Price: £15,195 on the road
PROS ‘N’ CONS
X Average boot