MOVE­ABLE FEAST

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH - —NANDAGOPAL RAJAN

Ease is some­thing that comes free with a car that has au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. Your left foot on the ghost clutch, your right on the brake/ac­cel­er­a­tor and you are set for the drive. Af­ter Ford launched its Fi­esta global car, it was a mat­ter of time be­fore it came up with the au­to­matic vari­ant. The Fi­esta Pow­ershift AT does not dis­ap­point.

Plush in­te­ri­ors and a ride qual­ity that you can for­ever look for­ward to—that is what the Fi­esta pro­vides. The sus­pen­sion is so good that it takes in the rough of of­froad­ing in its stride with as much equa­nim­ity as it does the macadamed smooth­ness of the high­way (this also im­plies it has high clear­ance). The ac­cel­er­a­tion is beau­ti­ful, from the stop-still at the P gear po­si­tion to full power. Its steer­ing wheel seemed docilely, if su­per ef­fi­ciently, re­spon­sive to our needs. And thanks to the Elec­tronic Sta­bil­ity Pro­gramme, even at high speeds, this Ford is very sta­ble. It doesn’t wob­ble any while crash­ing past the cat’s eyes on the roads. Even on un­even stretches, the steer­ing does not go all over the place.

The ease of use of this car is not limited to its be­ing an au­to­matic. In fact, it will take you a few hours to un­der­stand what ev­ery­thing in the con­trol panel of the Ti­ta­nium vari­ant does. Our favourite was the Blue­tooth which has been in­te­grated with the on­board en­ter­tain­ment sys- tem. It is eas­ier to set up Blue­tooth on this car than some of the oth­ers which sport the ca­pa­bil­ity and once you are paired you can ac­tu­ally dial a num­ber us­ing the cars full dial­pad along­side the mu­sic sys­tem. We couldn’t play mu­sic from our phone through the sys­tem, but then you have USB line-in, a CD slot and ra­dio with screen dis­play to take care of that.

The strik­ing fea­ture of this car has to be its fuel ef­fi­ciency, which Ford claims is best in class at 16.97 kmpl. We could not put that to an ac­tual fuel run test, but dur­ing our rather long drive we could see the fuel gauge nee­dle re­main­ing com­fort­ingly steady. We were not ter­ri­bly im­pressed by the rear view mir­ror, which some­how could not show us much dur­ing re­vers­ing. Maybe this is why Ford added a rear park­ing sen­sors to the car. Or per­haps since cars in this seg­ment any­way come with park­ing sen­sors, the com­pany did not pay much at­ten­tion to re­vers­ing us­ing hu­man vis­ual ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Over­all, the Fi­est Pow­ershift is a great op­tion if you want an au­to­matic sedan. And Ford has been soft with the price.

BAG IT OR JUNK IT?

A com­fort­able ride guar­an­teed. Plus the joys of the lat­est auto tech­nolo­gies.

GG FORD FI­ESTA POW­ERSHIFT AU­TO­MATIC Price:

` 9,13,900 on­wards

Specs:

1.5L TI-VCT petrol en­gine; 16.97 kmpl con­sump­tion; Dual Clutch Pow­ershift tech­nol­ogy; Elec­tric Power As­sisted Steer­ing; Hill-launch As­sist, Grade-as­sist; Cli­mate con­trol.

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