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Driven: 2014 Ford Fiesta
Driven June 2014
It’s been no secret that the Ford Fiesta has been a bit of a disappointment on the sales charts. Ford tends to deny this fact and say that the Fiesta was always supposed to be a small numbers, niche market sedan. Well, they have gone about putting in a new one on the block now and this one looks like a million bucks.
The front-end re-design with the trapezoidal grille and new headlamps looks stunning, especially with the little hump on the centre on the bonnet. The rear has had a bit of a clean-up as well with the tail lamps looking less stunted and the bumper less bulky with deft creases being added. The changes have also affected its aerodynamic efficiency with the new Fiesta being three percent more slippery, cutting through air. Might not sound like a great deal, but you’ll be happy to know that it helps the car achieve an impressive ARAI certified economy of 25.01kpl.
Inside the cabin, the Fiesta remains the same with the only changes coming from a lighter tow-tone colour scheme and an all-black centre console. Quality of plastics remains a bit tacky, especially in the lower half of the dash. Interior space too remains unaltered with the rear seat passengers being cramped for leg room. Ford has added ‘SYNC’ technology to the new Fiesta, as was seen in the EcoSport, and further improved it with AppLink integration which allows apps (currently three) to be operated via the in-built voice activated system.
Driving the new Fiesta, however, remains a delight. The 1.5-litre diesel still produces 90bhp and 204Nm, like the old car and is not particularly quick, but it delivers power seamlessly and the gearshifts are precise. The steering is very light at parking speeds but weighs up wonderfully at speed without really feeling forced to give excellent precision around corners. The front seats offer excellent support for spirited driving and are the best seats in the house further emphasising Ford’s claim of a niche driver-focussed car. Something not many manufacturers indulge in given the small numbers it attracts.
Most importantly, Ford is offering the new Fiesta with only a diesel engine for now and they seemed to have priced it rather well. Hopefully, the Fiesta will get a few more people through the showroom doors this time around and Ford will eventually celebrate with a proper ‘S’ badged one with an EcoBoost engine to boot to let everyone know what a niche driver’s car is really like.
1498cc, 4-cyl, turbo-diesel, front-wheel drive, 90bhp, 204Nm, Rs 7.69 lakh (Ambiente), Rs 8.56 lakh (Trend), Rs 9.29 lakh (Titanium)
A wonderful driver’s car with great dynamics and ride quality. It manages to be efficient at the same time. Great looking car, from the front anyway, one that will appeal greatly to driving enthusiasts.