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The Top Gear car review:Ford Fiesta
For:It was already top of the class and now it’s an even better all-rounder
Against:Some rivals do beat it in individual areas
1.0 EcoBoost Zetec 5dr
What happens when you’re given a bum for a face? Well, the new Fiesta knows exactly how it feels…
“One of the best cars Ford has made in ages”. Tom Ford reports on the latest entry into the hot hatch wars
Special-edition warm hatch brings out the best of the Fiesta
Noisier than Brian Blessed, and not a lot faster.
A class-leading combo of speed, economy, style and fun. Small cars don’t get a lot better than this.
Comfortable, refined and good-looking – just the sort of thing a girl might want. And a bloke, for that matter.
A better buy than most people realise, blessed with big-car virtues in an affordable package.
Not the hottest of the Fiesta family, but work the gears and you’ll be surprised at its energy.
A quick, fun B-road tool thanks to great chassis and torquey motor. Those stripes, though - cheeesy!
While Britain waits with bated wallet for the launch of next year’s all-new Fiesta, stop-gap 1.4 and 1.6 Si models have come along, with a strong...
The new Fiesta will be available from April 2002 in five-door body style only - at least for the time being. The new car is much longer, wider and...
Hoping not to build up the hopes of Max Power readers too high, whilst trying not to alienate the more sensible and more numerous older Fiesta...
The Ford Fiesta has been around for so long now that most of you will probably have driven one at some time. As such, you’ll probably be expecting...
What we say:
The best is better: prettier, more able and much more fuel-efficient. Best in class, one of the best full stop
What is it?
The Fiesta is the nation’s best selling car month after month. UK buyers choose well: it’s one of the very best superminis you can buy. Competition has hotted up in recent years, but the fine-driving Fiesta remains the sector leader.
Ford upgraded it a few years ago with the corporate Aston Martin-style grille, adding further polish to an already stylish supermini. There were minor colour and trim tweaks elsewhere, but nothing radical on the surface. It didn’t need it. The addition of Ford’s superb 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine range was a welcome change under the bonnet, though. UK buyers have responded accordingly: the majority of Fiestas sold now sport the sweet little three-cylinder motor. Full kudos to UK car buyers, it seems we know a good car when we see it…
The Fiesta’s greatest asset is its preternatural ability on the move and Ford has simply enhanced this further in the latest car. It’s even crisper on turn-in, the responsiveness of the chassis has been enhanced yet further and the steering has even more feedback. It could handle a lot more power: the ST delivers it.
For now, it’s the blissful combination with those sweet, torquey Ecoboost engines that impress us the most. Yes, you can have a diesel if you must, or save money with the aged old 1.25, but beg, borrow or steal your way into an Ecoboost because this is where the sweet spot of the range is. Ford’s even retuned the springs and dampers to account for its much lighter weight, so it doesn’t only handle better but rides more smoothly too. Remarkable.
On the inside
The Fiesta is reasonably spacious front and back (but note, there are rivals with more space) and exudes an air of maturity and quality that you’d expect from the next class up. Importantly, Ford has also righted a wrong here, and made sat nav available on most models in the range. It was lacking before and was a barrier to those who were downsizing from bigger cars. Pity the interface isn’t easier and more logical to use, but it’s a start.
Fresh, brighter trims make it seem more upmarket and Ford has also worked on refinement, meaning there’s less road noise permeating the cabin at speed. The Ecoboost even sounds good - when you can hear it, that is. At motorway speeds, it’s impressively hushed for a supermini.
The Fiesta is still not the cheapest supermini, but it is now better value for money (six airbags and ESP are now standard on all but base Studio). The Ecoboost engines are real fuel-sippers (the 1.0T 100 is an amazing 17mpg more fuelefficient than the old 1.4 96) and most of the range is now sub-100g/ km CO2. Reliability has proven to be first-rate.