Ford Fiesta ST-Line
THERE are a remarkable 72 variants of the new Fiesta, the eighth generation, and with a starting price of £13,000 it puts some emphasis on Ford’s determination never to be runner-up. I’ve been driving the ST-Line model, which sits nearer the top of the chain – but this is not a performance car as under the bonnet is a 1.5-litre threecylinder diesel engine with an output of 120ps. The Fiesta ST, an entirely different model, is fitted with a 200ps diesel.
Fords are among the leaders when it comes to platforms that deliver smooth rides. I was therefore not surprised to be in a new Fiesta that displayed some polish over the rough, weather-affected roads. It has a sports-tuned suspension, which does not translate into a hard, crashing ride. And on 18in five-spoke alloys there was hardly any road wheel noise. In fact, for a small car it was a notably quiet runner.
The engine was economical but it was hopelessly underpowered and on the many tight corners or sweeping, uphill bends my left hand was constantly attached to the gearstick. It simply lacked any kind of agility and was often annoyingly gutless when pulling away.
Later, on the motorway it was supremely quiet, performing effectively; in fact, it was among the best small cars I’ve driven on the motorway.
The new model is longer and wider and this helps with interior space. The driving position, pedals, sports seat and steering wheel made my journey comfortable. A large, tablet-style touchscreen sits on top of the dashboard, it is easy to use and the satellite navigation is among the best and easiest to operate I’ve come across.
The ST-Line car comes with lots of cosmetic decoration to indicate its status but my model had a number of options such as panorama sun roof (£600), rear parking distance sensors (£200) and the excellent and worthwhile blind spot information system with cross traffic alert (£350) which warns you about movement around the car. All the extras amounted to around £3000.
Ford is once again on to a winner with the new Fiesta. Its platform, handling, ride and economy plus technological advances give it an overall lead against its competitors.
One thing I’d caution with this model is that the fuel flap has a green label on it, which suggest unleaded fuel. It is possible to put petrol in this diesel car – it might be an idea if dealers or the company itself removed this misleading label and prevented potential misfuelling.
The latest, eighth generation Ford Fiesta comes in STLine trim and is both longer and wider