5 It has to bring the tech and improve the packaging
THE LAST FIESTA was still riding high in the charts right to the end, but many of its rivals had outclassed the Ford in specific areas. Like cabin plastics that were ordinary in 2008 but appeared extraordinarily poor a decade later. Or a messy, button-heavy centre console. And a screen so small and so far away even Patrick Moore would have found it difficult to fathom. Not to mention rear seat space that would shame some city cars, or a dismal lack of safety kit.
The new one is light years better. All but the most basic £12,715 Style model get a beautiful high-resolution touchscreen measuring either 6.5in or 8in across with Ford’s Sync 3 multimedia system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s bright, simple to use, offers pinch-and-zoom functionality, and responds to voice commands.
Zetec brings that plus a heated screen and alloys, Titanium adds cruise, keyless start, auto lights and wipers and sat-nav, or you could go the sporty route and chose ST-Line trim. Or spend over the odds on a top-spec Vignale.
Whatever you buy it’ll have seven airbags, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and Ford’s MyKey, which lets you stifle the engine and hi-fi to keep kids alive when they take the car at night. Higher spec versions bring a drowsiness detector, roadsign recognition, blind spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert. An optional Driver Assistance Pack adds pedestrian detection, auto high beams and adaptive cruise for only £200, but we found the system irritatingly over-eager.
The cabin plastics are better, but still depressingly brittle in places. Why spend money making the dash-top soft-touch when you’ll never touch it, but finish the door panels in hard scratchy plastic you notice every time you get in or out?
Re-shaped seat backs helps liberate a little more rear knee room but the rear packaging is still tight.4
Spec your way up into the realms of stitched leather and avoid some poor plastics