Fi­esta’s still No.1

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By John Mur­doch

TEST DRIVE FORD FI­ESTA TI­TA­NIUM

HAVE just been driv­ing a Ford Fi­esta that got more looks than the av­er­age su­per­car.

The rea­son for the ad­mir­ing stares was not the car’s nice lines or even its ex­clu­sive colour cost­ing an ex­tra £745. This Fi­esta re­ally stood out be­cause of its num­ber plate, CAR 1, which is owned by Ford and worth an as­ton­ish­ing amount of money – prob­a­bly about £250,000.

The Fi­esta has dom­i­nated UK sales charts for decades and the cur­rent model, which ar­rived last year, is bet­ter than ever and is sure to re­main the coun­try’s favourite for the fore­see­able fu­ture.

Fun to drive and rea­son­ably priced this lat­est model comes with more tech­nol­ogy and fresh in­fo­tain­ment equip­ment.

A wide range of three and five-door mod­els in five trim lev­els is avail­able with a choice of five petrol and two diesel en­gines. Buy­ers can also choose from man­ual or au­to­matic trans­mis­sions.

En­try level Style mod­els start from just un­der £13,000 but most buy­ers will select the pop­u­lar Zetec or Ti­ta­nium mod­els, while there is also a sporty ST Line car and for the first time a lux­ury Vig­nale model. A hot ST model is also on the way to please the boy rac­ers.

The petrol en­gines will be the big sell­ers but I have been try­ing out the 1.5-litre diesel in Ti­ta­nium spec which will set you back £18,975. It pro­vides bags of grunt, good per­for­mance and su­perb econ­omy and is also very quiet.

It reaches 62mph in 9.0 sec­onds and can go on to a top speed of 120mph, with low emis­sions of just 89g/km.

With its slick six-speed man­ual gear­box and stop/start tech­nol­ogy it has a claimed com­bined 80.7mpg fig­ure. I could not match that over a week of av­er­age mo­tor­ing but I cer­tainly got very close to it and the fuel gauge barely moved at times.

The Fi­esta is ex­tremely ag­ile and pro­vides a com­fort­able and com­posed ride. Its lighter steer­ing means it is great to use in town and the new sus­pen­sion deals well with our bumpy roads. Slightly larger than the last ver­sion, the new Fi­esta of­fers more room in­side and four adults can travel in com­fort. The ex­te­rior styling may not be as sporty but the in­te­rior is a vast im­prove­ment and the Ti­ta­nium model had all the fea­tures you could want in a su­per­mini.

It has 10-spoke al­loy wheels, Halo­gen pro­jec­tor headlamps with LED day­time run­ning lamps, front fogs with cor­ner­ing lights, LED night sig­na­ture rear lights, power fold­able door mir­rors with pud­dle lights, rear pri­vacy glass, and a Quick­clear heated wind­screen.

You also get an eight-inch touch­screen with DAB ra­dio and Ford SYNC 3 nav­i­ga­tion, 2 USB sock­ets and six speak­ers. In ad­di­tion you get keyless start, cruise con­trol, Ford Easy Fuel and a Thatcham alarm. In ad­di­tion, the Fi­esta of­fers all the lat­est safety equip­ment and there is scope to per­son­alise it with a range of op­tions.

For £600 you can add an open­able panorama roof, while an ad­di­tional £500 will buy you an Auto Park as­sis­tance pack which in­cludes front and rear park­ing sen­sors, au­topark as­sis­tance and a rear view cam­era. An up­graded B&O sound sys­tem with 10 speak­ers will cost you a fur­ther £300.

The num­ber plate made this Fi­esta special but even with­out it it’s a very good car, still at the top of the su­per­mini ranks. TDCI Ford Fi­esta Ti­ta­nium 1.5 £18,975 120ps, 1,499cc, 4cyl diesel en­gine driv­ing front wheels via 6-speed man­ual gear­box 121mph 9.0 sec­onds 80.7 12 89g/km 23% 3yrs/60,000 miles

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