No siesta for new Fiesta
IF YOU you like your current Ford Fiesta, you’re going to love the new one. Essentially, just the name and trim levels have been carried over to the models now reaching showrooms which get revised engines, a six-speed manual gearbox for the fi rst time and a lot of extra equipment and features.
Out goes the dual-clutch automatic transmission in favour of a more conventional torque-converter and only the base model is fitted with a five-speed box.
A bigger fi ve-door bodystyle will dominate sales but Ford is keeping open options with a three-door and a couple of diesel engines in a range led by threecylinder petrol units.
With the bulk of new Fiestas being delivered with petrol engines we decided to concentrate on two best sellers for our fi rst evaluation drives.
The 100 and 125hp three-cylinder EcoBoost engines are surprisingly quiet and their smoothness is well matched by that of the new six-speed manual gearbox. When not under load they pull well with noticeably sharper pick-up from the more powerful unit.
The steering feels well weighted and you can specify parallel parking aid if you need it, while brakes show good progression and power build up.
The conventional instruments display is very clear infront of the driver with a panel splitting the round dials to give running information and essential data.
On the road the perkier 125hp was preferred for its responses and ease of driving but the 100hp still gave a good account of itself and overall showed 55.2mpg to the 44 mpg of the more powerful engine.
A lot of drivers have praised the last Fiesta for its blend of ride and handling and Ford engineers have taken this to a new level with a wider track and longer wheelbase, revised suspension rate but our test cars had larger wheels which still made them fi rmer than some may like.
The new Ford Fiesta feels fi rmly planted on the road at all times, turns in sharply and grips well with no real vices to speak about. You can hear it coping with our poorer roads but generally the system soaks up bumps and ridges and you are not shaken about.
Whichever new engine chosen of the two driven, you can keep up with traffic, take advantage of overtaking opportunities and enjoy longer journeys in greater comfort than the old Fiesta.
It has reset the benchmark a good bit higher in the supermini class.
ROBIN ROBERTS DRIVERS of the new black cab will save on average £100 per week in fuel costs. London Taxi Company has relaunched itself as London EV Company, and alongside the rebrand presented its final design for its new electric taxi.
Called the TX, its battery electric powertrain is linked to a small petrol generator that allows a range of over 400 miles - including 70 miles with zero emissions. This range could see the TX travel from London to Edinburgh without having to stop for fuel.
Chris Gubbey, CEO of LEVC, said: “Today is an incredibly exciting day for the company, for the world’s cities, for the air we breathe and for the drivers of commercial vehicles. The launch of LEVC marks Britain’s leadership as a first mover in creating the world’s only dedicated electric vehicle company for the urban commercial market.”
Due to be officially launched in London later this year, the TX has been extensively tested in a variety of difficult conditions, including the Arizona desert and the freezing Arctic Circle.