Baby car is just too thirsty...

PRICED AT R310 600 BUT HAS BEEPING SOUND WHEN RE­VERS­ING – THAT’S CHEAP The taut road han­dling is im­pres­sive and all the bells and whis­tles are avail­able.

The Citizen (KZN) - - FRONT PAGE - Greg Bax­ter

Ihave been long over­due for a nice long ride into the boonies. My son now lives in the North­ern Cape and as I was of­fered the new Fi­esta to test, I thought it would be a great idea to use it to head to qui­eter climes.

My daugh­ter de­cided she wanted to go with on the trip.

I was cu­ri­ous whether the new 1.0 litre tur­bopetrol mo­tor would be able to bet­ter my older 2008 Fi­esta 1.6 on fuel con­sump­tion.

A funny thing hap­pened some months back: I bought an af­ter­mar­ket im­ported air fil­ter el­e­ment (R69) for my 10-year-old Fi­esta and was pleas­antly sur­prised to find a change for the bet­ter in its fuel con­sump­tion abil­ity. In fact, it’s best since new. I was able to get it down to 4.8 litres per 100km.

To put things into per­spec­tive, a few years back I tested a 1.0 litre man­ual Fi­esta with a 92Kw mo­tor (this new one is an auto with a 74Kw mo­tor) on a run north of Brits in the North West. Run­ning on a trail­ing throt­tle at 100km/h, I was able to achieve 3.5 litres per 100km.

So, when I drove the new Fi­esta, I put it on cruise con­trol at 120km/h and the con­sump­tion hov­ered at 7.0 litres per 100km mark. I was dis­ap­pointed to say the least. I had heard that run­ning on cruise con­trol was a thirstier ex­er­cise, so maybe that was it.

By the way, the ter­rain from Gaut­eng to the North­ern Cape through Potchef­stroom, Klerks­dorp, Bloemhof and Barkly West is flat. It should have been ideal to achieve some best fig­ures. Sadly, not to be.

On the way back, my daugh­ter drove and as she prefers not to use cruise con­trol, I wanted to see if her driv­ing style would beat mine. The con­sump­tion also hov­ered around 7.0 litres for 400km, only touch­ing 6.9 in Klerks­dorp.

Some folk from Ford sug­gested if I wanted to see it drop below 6.0 litres per 100km, I should drop the speed to 100km/h or 110km/h.

Okay, so enough about con­sump­tion, how was the car?

My daugh­ter was im­pressed with the taut road han­dling, but won­dered why the car had cloth seats whereas her ear­lier Fi­esta – the 2012 1.6 model – had a full leather in­te­rior. This test car is a

four-door Ti­tani- um, while her 2012 Ti­ta­nium was a two door. An­other plus was the en­ter­tain­ment cen­tre. It doesn’t have a CD player, in­stead a USB port for one to plug one’s own mu­sic in.

I found the nav­i­ga­tion lay­out sim­ple to use and it was ac­cu­rate lead­ing qui­etly through the boonies.

For a car priced at R310 600, I found the re­verse beeping cheap. A re­verse cam­era would have been much nicer.

Other cool fea­tures are the pad­dles for man­ual shift­ing on the leather-trimmed steer­ing wheel when set on Sport. There is also the Auto Stop-Start and front foglamps with cor­ner­ing lamps.

There are usual fea­tures such as EBA, elec­tric power steer­ing, ABS/ ESC/ trac­tion con­trol, Hill Launch As­sist and Day­time run­ning lights. Be­ing the Ti­ta­nium model, the car has many stan­dard fea­tures.

Is it worth over R300 000? The cheap­est baby car is more than half that ... but you de­cide.

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