Fiesta caps it
Small changes add up to big fun in new hatch
FORD has launched new Fiesta with a totally new cabin but the company kept the 1.0 EcoBoost engine under the hood.
As Tracey Delate, general manager of marketing at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa said, the engine has now won the international engine of the year award six times in a row, and there is no need to fix what is not broken. Ford’s frugal 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine also remains unchanged, with either a sixspeed manual or automatic to send power to the front wheels.
What has been dropped is the Ambiente entry level. (In its stead, expect a new Figo soon.) Buyers of the new Fiesta will therefore be able to choose from either the Trend or range-topping Titanium. Both have a lot of features, but the design of the new cabin has reduced the number of buttons on the centre console by almost half. Instead of fiddly knobs, most of the connectivity and entertainment controls are now managed on a 6,5-inch touch-screen, which is fitted as standard on the Trend models; or an 8-inch screen in the Titanium.
With the Fiesta Ford’s bestselling passenger car, the changes to the new model are small, like the vehicle being 7cm longer; 1,6 cm more knee room at the back and the wipers clear 13% more of the windscreen. But before your eyes glaze, suffice to say the small changes add up to a totally different drive from older models, both of which colleagues own.
This is due to a slightly stiffer body structure, wider stance and lighter steel, as well as torque vectoring and tyres specifically tuned for the Fiesta, according to Sigurd Limbach, who helped engineer the set-up.
The turning circle is a best-inclass 10,05 metres kerb to kerb and Ford’s spec sheet states the new Fiesta chassis offers 10% more grip in corners, while braking distances at 100 km/h are reduced by more than eight percent. We tested all these stats during one of the many weekly protests at the Fiesta’s launch in the North West when it looked like the angry citizens wanted to stone the passing cars.
When not evading the stone throwing mobs, one can get very comfy in the Fiesta.
Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system gives the driver voice control of the audio, navigation and connected smartphones.
The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay, with Android Auto in the process of being licensed
for the Middle East and Africa region. The Titanium comes with seven speakers while the Trend has six, and both audio systems are a blast.
Prices for the new four new Fiesta models start at R261 900 and top out at R310 600, including a four-year/120 000km warranty, and a four-year or 60 000 km service plan. Service intervals are 15 000 km. • For a chance to win the cap shown above, answer how many of the 2018 model year Fiesta models are on sale in SA. E-mail your answers to alwyn. firstname.lastname@example.org
The new Fiesta has an all new cabin and handles a bit better than the outgoing models, thanks to incremental changes to the chassis, body and tyres.