What is it?
As the nation’s best selling car month after month, you wouldn’t have the pretty Fiesta down as desperately needing a facelift. Ford wants to make sure it stays there, though. With competition hotting up across the sector, it’s decided to take action, with a comprehensively revised Fiesta fresh for 2013.
The most obvious change is the Aston Martin-style grille. This is Ford’s new corporate face and, with some fresh new colours for the Fiesta range, makes an already-stylish supermini even more appealing. The rest of it hasn’t changed much but it didn’t need to. There are some much-needed enhancements inside too, but the key tech change is the introduction of Ford’s superb 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine. This replaces the thrashy old 1.4 and will be a key part of the car’s draw.
The Fiesta’s greatest asset is its preternatural ability on the move and Ford has simply enhanced this further for 2013. 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 too, and it’s with bated breath that we await the 180bhp ST version, due imminently.
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 for 2013 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.
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.
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 new Ecoboost engines are real fuel-sippers (the 1.0T 100 is an amazing 17mpg more fuel-efficient than the old 1.4 96) and most of the range is now sub-100g/km CO2. Reliability has proven to be first-rate too.