The latest version of Ford’s Fiesta has arrived in South Africa. Since its introduction, more than one million Fiestas have been sold globally. The latest update is partly the result of a production shuffle, which sees production shifting exclusively from Cologne, Germany, to also include a facility in Thailand that has increased capacity and allowed an expansion of the range. As a result, customers will now be able to choose between a four-door sedan, five and three-door hatchbacks.
Ford hasn’t changed the Fiesta’s winning looks. The front end features the familiar Ford signature grille with the Blue Oval trademark. Sweeping, elongated headlamps frame the bonnet. The Fiesta’s rear end stands out with sloped rear lift gate glass, a low roofline, a spoiler and dramatic tail lamps. The rear quarter panels wrap tightly over the wheels, giving the car a bold, muscular look.
The design features that set Fiesta apart on the outside also contribute to an inviting interior, with sculpted surfaces and contrasting colours. The instrument panel centre stack is designed to feel as familiar and useful as the keypad on popular hand-held electronic devices.
The available engines in the Fiesta range offer keen performance. The standard 1.4-litre engine produces 70 kW at 5 650 r/min and maximum torque of 128 Nm at 4 200 r/min, while the larger 1.6-litre engine provides 88 kW at 6 000 r/min and 152 Nm at 4 300 r/min. The 1.6-litre diesel model produces 66 kW at 4000 r/min and 212 Nm at 1 750 r/min while using only 4.5 L/100km on the combined cycle.
A new PowerShift 6-speed automatic transmission is available with the larger 1.6 petrol engine and provides added convenience for urban driving. With six forward gears, the engine can run at lower revs for better fuel economy and less wear and tear. Hill Hold and Hill Launch Assist (HLA), available on PowerShift derivatives, is another important safety feature. It keeps the car at a standstill on an incline without having to use the handbrake, preventing the vehicle from rolling back. The system works in forward and reverse gears. In addition a gradient assist function can be activated when climbing steep gradients where there may be a tendency for the transmission to continually shift between gears. By activating a button located on the gear lever, the car will hold the current gear instead of ‘hunting’.
The new Fiesta is well equipped safety-wise. Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) is standard across the entire Fiesta range. PowerShift models are equipped with Electronic Stability Programme (ESP). ESP senses when your vehicle is losing road grip and automatically applies braking force to individual wheels, to stabilise it in all driving conditions. These models also feature standard traction control. Specially tuned front struts, bushings, damper stabiliser bars and a rear twist-beam axle provide sure-footed performance and comfort.
The new Fiesta’s structure has been strengthened in many critical areas. More than 55% of the structure uses high-strength steel with ultra-strong boron steel reinforcing several key points. The result is better passenger protection in the event of a side impact. Standard safety equipment also includes driver and passenger airbags on all models, while the Sport model features seven airbags (dual front, side, curtain airbags and driver knee airbag) as standard equipment, which earned it a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
Customers will notice lower levels of road noise due to the use of an exclusive, specially- laminated windshield. A bonnet blanket keeps a lid on engine noise and double door seals help reduce wind noise.
All new Fiesta models are equipped with Radio/CD with MP3 and AUX input connections for personal entertainment devices. The Trend, Sport and Titanium models are also equipped with Voice Control technology paired with Bluetooth®. This provides wireless connectivity to a mobile phone, allowing you to use your voice to make and receive calls, change the radio station or music track, all playing through a six-speaker sound system. Sport and Titanium models also are available with a USB audio plug-in feature.
The newly introduced four-door sedan is available in five specification levels beginning with the ‘Ambiente’ version that features 15-inch steel wheels; remote central locking; ISOFIX child seats anchors; air- conditioning; front power windows; Radio/CD with MP3 capability; auxiliary audio connector and four speakers.
The 1.6 Trend is available in manual guise or with the option of Ford’s PowerShift transmission. The Trend boasts a number of features over and above the Ambiente, these include 15-inch alloy wheels; a perimeter alarm with double locking; rear power windows; three-spoke steering wheel with remote audio controls; fuel computer which displays information such as distance to empty; average fuel consumption; average speed and outside temperature. Radio/CD/MP3 comes standard with six speakers; Bluetooth connectivity and voice control.
The hatchback line-up now includes the Fiesta Sport, which is set apart by its sports suspension; 16-inch alloy wheels; body colour front and rear bumpers with Sport trim; a unique Sport lower radiator grille with twin feature rings; front fog lamps with chrome bezel and a larger, sporty rear spoiler.
Completing the range is the 1.6 Titanium three-door model, characterised by chrome exterior accents; 16-inch alloy wheels; halogen projector headlamps; front fog lamps with chrome bezel and a full sporty body kit that includes a bumper grille and large rear spoiler.
|1.4 Ambiente 5-Door Hatch||R163 740|
|1.4 Trend 5-Door Hatch||R177 880|
|1.6 Ambiente 5-Door Hatch||R174 420|
|1.6 Ambient PowerShift 5-Door Hatch||R186 990|
|1.6 TDCi Ambient 5-Door Hatch||R186 990|
|1.6 Trend 5-Door Hatch||R188 600|
|1.6 Sport 5-Door Hatch||R206 990|
|1.4 Ambiente Sedan||R167 990|
|1.6 Ambiente Sedan||R178 990|
|1.6 TDCi Ambiente Sedan||R191 500|
|1.6 Trend Sedan||R192 990|
|1.6 Trend PowerShift Sedan||R204 990|
|1.6 Titanium 3-Door Hatch||R198 040|
Prices include a 4-year/120 000km warranty and 4-year/60 000km service plan. Service intervals are at 20 000km intervals for petrol derivatives and 15 000km for the diesel models. A 3-year Roadside Assistance plan and a 5-year corrosion warranty are also included.