Mat­ters

Finweek English Edition - - TECHNOLOGY - Ver­dict: AAW

YThe lat­est tech­nol­ogy as a stan­dard makes this an ap­peal­ing package. ou might not guess just by look­ing at it, but the 2013 Ford Fi­esta 1.0 Eco­Boost is an ex­plo­sion of au­to­mo­tive tech­nol­ogy. Yes, the 1.0 does re­fer to en­gine size that won Ford the En­gine of the Year ti­tle in 2012 ‒ and this is in­deed the en­trylevel Ford model. Here’s the thing though ‒ drive this car for a week, as I have, and you’ll feel stupid for spend­ing twice as much on a bulky sedan. Or you should.

Let’s start with the en­gine and Ford’s Eco­Boost tech­nol­ogy. This is where the new Fi­esta will first blow you away. I was ex­pect­ing a slow car that would all but stall on up­hills given the fact that its en­gine is smaller than some mo­tor­bikes.

How could one litre pos­si­bly pro­pel any­thing heav­ier than a tri­cy­cle? Well it does, and in a way that seem­ingly mo­lests the laws of physics. Slug­gish it ain’t, and any doubts about tiny turbo en­gines be­ing the way of the fu­ture should be cast aside by this ve­hi­cle.

Let’s not dwell on the me­chan­ics of the Fi­esta, how­ever. They’re im­pres­sive, but they were there in the 2012 model too and we’re more in­ter­ested in the tech­nol­ogy tucked into the dash­board, and with good rea­son.

For one, the Fi­esta features ad­vanced en­hance­ments that are sold as ex­pen­sive op­tions on most other cars. Not this one ‒ it all comes stan­dard, out of the box.

This in­cludes the SYNC tech­nol­ogy that Fin­week re­viewed some is­sues ago, in­clud­ing ad­vanced voice-recog­ni­tion soft­ware that was devel­oped in part­ner­ship with Mi­crosoft. Pair your smart­phone with the car via Blue­tooth and you’ll be able to play mu­sic, place calls and read and re­ply to mes­sages with­out tak­ing your hands off the steer­ing wheel. It all works pretty well with a South African ac­cent too.

Ford also in­cludes SYNC sup­port for se­lected ap­pli­ca­tions avail­able to iPhone and An­droid de­vices so that in­stead of generic tasks you can also ac­cess spe­cific

con­tent. The piece of tech­nol­ogy

in its price range.

Hard to beat

R210 000

Value for money:

Price:

Al­ter­na­tives:

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