The new Ford Fiesta has arrived. Here is everything we know so far, from the engines, new features and technological improvements to what the new Vignale and Active models are all about.
The Ford Fiesta has been the biggest-selling car in the UK for a number of years and even now it continues to beat the Vauxhall Corsa rather comfortably. Any change to the recipe, then, was always going to be subtle so as to avoid damaging a lucrative formula.
Yet although it looks largely similar to the outgoing fiesta, the next-generation Fiesta has been given a number of subtle revisions to try and make it even more lovable. If it was a complaint on the last car, chances are Ford has tried to fix it.
So what exactly has Ford done to make the new, next-generation Fiesta better? Recombu Cars was given a cheeky look at the B-segment hatchback ahead of its big unveiling in Cologne at its ‘Go Further’ event – here are the 10 most important bits we learned.
1) New Ford Fiesta: It looks different, honest
By no means are the aesthetic revisions glaringly obvious, but there are a few that are designed to make the new Fiesta look fresher. There is a wider, more prominent front grille, for starters, and wrap-around headlights.
Meanwhile, the bonnet no longer has a central bulge and at the back are new horizontal rear lights. The aim was elegance and it seems like a job well done. With that said, it is actually 71mm longer, 12mm wider and has a 30mm wider track, improving interior space for passengers (though it is still quite pokey in the back).
2) New Ford Fiesta: The ‘Active’ is a crossover wannabe
Crossovers are big business so who can blame Ford for dipping a toe into one of the less crowded segments. With the Fiesta Active, it has a raised suspension profile for a tad more ground clearance, dark cladding from the front bumper lip to the rear via the wheel arches and the grille features a hexagonal design.
It also has a contrast painted roof, roof bars and a dark element for the liftgate licence plate area for added ruggedness. Just in case the standard new Fiesta is a bit too placid for you.
3) New Ford Fiesta: Vignale is the daddy of the range
Ford’s luxury badge, Vignale, has been added to the new Fiesta. To show off those extra pennies you spent, the Fiesta Vignale gets a unique satin grille pattern, grille surround, fog lamp surrounds, side spear and rear diffuser. In short, it looks fancy and posh.
It also has vertical fog lamps in addition to what will undoubtedly be the most generous standard equipment offering. The ST-Line version, meanwhile, goes for a sportier look and as such has its own unique design tweaks, including a rear spoiler, whilst the Zetec and Style will sit beneath the Titanium with fewer features but smaller price tags to match.
4) New Ford Fiesta: The engine line-up is simpler
To make life easier for consumers (and let’s be fair, too much choice can be a pain), Ford has simplified the engine choices. Now you can get the 1.0-litre EcoBoost in various power outputs – 100PS, 125PS and 140PS – mated to a six-speed manual (a six-speed auto is optional) and instead of the 1.25-litre is a 1.1-litre with 70PS and 85PS outputs that comes with a five-speed manual as standard.
As for diesels, expect a 1.5-litre TDCi with 85PS and 120PS. AutoStopStart is available on all engines, in case you want your new Fiesta to be even more frugal.
5) New Ford Fiesta: Personalisation is more prominent
Customisation was made very popular by the Fiat 500 and everyone is keen to help buyers make the car exactly how they want – Ford included. The Fiesta interior can be customised in a number of ways and there are plenty of alloy wheel designs for that unique look.
For instance, you can have Race Red, Yellow, Bohai Mint. Deep Impact Blue or Chrome Copper on the central instrumentation, door pulls, rear-view mirror cap and passenger side instrument panel for a touch of bling.
6) New Ford Fiesta: More tech goodness included
Ford claims the Fiesta is ‘the most technologically advanced small car’ and it lives up to the claim with numerous improvements in this area. SYNC 3 has a much slicker, easier to use interface that also features smartphone gestures such as pinch to zoom and swiping. SYNC 3 is far more capable than SYNC 2, allowing Ford to do away with 40 per cent of the buttons on the centre console.
Then there are various safety systems, such as Active Park Assist, that do the difficult bits for you, DAB radio across the range and, a first for Ford, the option of a B&O Play sound system with nine speakers and a subwoofer. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support rounds off the package.
7) New Ford Fiesta: It should be safer
Ford is after a five-star Euro NCAP rating and it thinks the new Fiesta can achieve it. To do so, Ford has used 36 per cent more boron steel for the body and the door cross sections have been redesigned for to help in the event of a side impact. You also get rear discs on any engine with more than 100PS for greater braking power.
The likes of Lane Keeping Aid, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, an eight per cent shorter braking distance from 62mph to standing, Blind Spot Information System, Auto High Beam and Traffic Sign Recognition all do their bit to keep you and your passengers safe. Assuming you spec them – it is currently unclear what comes as standard.
8) New Ford Fiesta: The handling has been honed
Even though the Fiesta had a few rough edges, the overall driving experience made it one of the best in its class (especially the ST200, but no word on that version just yet). To make the new Fiesta even better, it gets Electronic Torque Vectoring for faster cornering potential and overall cornering grip is said to be 10 per cent better than the old Fiesta.
Not only that, the front track has increased by 30mm, rear track by 10mm, wheelbase by 4mm and steering friction has been reduced by 20 per cent. Torsional stiffness, meanwhile, is said to have been improved by 15 per cent.
9) New Ford Fiesta: Thoughtful changes reign supreme
Sometimes the small details make all the difference and there certainly are many of them in the new Fiesta. The headrests and armrest, for example, have been moved to make it more comfortable for taller drivers. Plus you can spec a panoramic roof for more natural light in the cabin (at the expense of head room, unfortunately).
In addition, the doors take 20 per cent less effort to shut, the tailgate is wider to make loading easier, the glove box is 20 per cent bigger, the fuel filler reduces spillage and stops you from putting in the wrong liquid gold, the cabin is seven per cent quieter at 62mph, the wipers cover 13 per cent more of the windscreen and the Door Edge Protector prevents damage to the paint and body when the doors open.
10) New Ford Fiesta: You can talk to it
It may seem odd at first, but the new Ford Fiesta has an in-built voice functionality feature that lets you get what you need with only one button press. Once listening, you can say “I need petrol”, “I need a coffee” or “I need a parking space” – more than 22,000 commands are supported, apparently – and it will get where you need to go. How effective it is for those with a thick Glaswegian accent, we are unsure.
Expect to know when it will go on sale, a UK price, specs and other key details to be released as we head into 2017. We will update the article accordingly – keep those eyes peeled.