FORD FIESTA SPORT
VALUE The Fiesta gets more smiles than the box-like Panda and has more features, including cruise control, eight-speaker audio, rear electric windows. part-leather trim and cappedprice servicing ( $765 for three years). Servicing is annual, warranty is three years/100,000km. Resale is a very high 68 per cent. DESIGN Looks sharp thanks to a bold new grille. Clearly more “carlike’’ than the Panda, the 4m long Fiesta has more luggage room (290L-974L) but Panda has better boot access. Dash design is contemporary but a bit confused and switches are small. Vision is reasonable — the price for a low-slung car with edgy styling. Big 16-inch alloys and body kit look great. TECHNOLOGY As with the Fiat, the engine is the standout. Ford’s turbocharged and intercooled 1.0-litre three-potter (92kW/170Nm) with five-speed manual is good for for 4.9L/100km. The fuel tank is 42L (standard 91 RON). Like the Panda, the Fiesta has front discs and rear drum brakes. Sport gets firmer suspension. SAFETY Also a five-star car with all the mandatory electronic aids. Fiesta adds seven airbags but skips on daytime running lights, park sensors and even a spare wheel (a space-saver is optional). DRIVING The Fiesta is simply a fun drive. The handling is close to spot-on for a city-bred hatch (go to ST for more dynamics) and ride isn’t too bad. Engine performance is great but is so much fun that the claimed fuel economy will rarely be seen. But it’s a busy car to drive, with lots of switches and buttons, poor vision and — in comparison to the Panda — a quite cramped cabin. Needs sensors to fit neatly into parking bays.