The old Ford Fiesta, which is now called the Classic, is a driver's delight. Though the design is old, the Classic still puts a smile on your face every time you take the driver's seat. The new generation Ford Fiesta, despite sporting a new design language and being great on driving dynamics, failed to repeat the success of the Classic. And with the new 2014 Ford Fiesta, the Blue Oval brand is looking to turn the tide in their favour. Both the company and the car are now focused on satisfying the driving enthusiasts, who are the target audience for the new Fiesta. Will they be able to lure them in? We had the chance to experience the new Ford Fiesta in a drive to find the answer.
Nowadays, facelifts have become a lazy attempt from car manufacturers with the changes limited to just a headlamp and tail lamp refresh. But with the new Fiesta, the facelift has brought in many changes all over the car. In the front, the Fiesta now gets Ford's new family look of trapezoidal grille, new sculpted hood, new front bumper, new grille inserts, fender and fog lamps. The lines on the hood look really nice making for a muscular front profile. To the side are the modified wing mirrors and new alloy wheels with the rear bringing up the new tail lams, rear spoiler and new deck lid.
The rear has always been a bit of downer in the previous car and now with the longer tail lamps along with new bumper and a chrome strip that runs the width of the car, things have improved for better. The new Fiesta is, without a doubt, a head turner, thanks to the new front and improved design. The car is great to look at from any angle, and as expressed rightly by one of the friends at the drive, "This would be the car that I will look back at daily after parking it in the garage."
The Fiesta has already got great looking interiors and the facelift just adds to it. The interiors now get a black-grey dual tone interior with the black on the top where we are more likely to get in contact with and the grey in the bottom. The centre console, which previously silver finishing, now gets a glossy black finish to make it look more premium. The seats get new light grey upholstery while the buttons, dials and displays get Ice Blue lighting.
The front seats cocoon you around nicely and offer great thigh support. The driving position is good and with the seat height adjustment finding a perfect seating position won't be hard. Space at the backseat is a bit tight and the knee room is just about enough. Seating three persons in the back would make things not so pleasant.
The 2014 Ford Fiesta will also be the first car from the company to feature the SYNC technology with Ford AppLink. The SYNC that made its debut with the Ford EcoSport assists the customers to control telephony and music via Bluetooth connectivity. The Ford AppLink will initially be available with three applications - two India-specific apps in the form of MapMyIndia and ESPN Cricinfo and one global app, Glympse. Customers can use steering mounted controls, central console or voice commands to manage SYNC and AppLink.
We tested the voice command response and were satisfied with the system. It easily recognized our commands and smoothly carried out the actions. And if an accident occurs, the SYNC's Emergency Assistance system will call 108 providing the vehicle location and letting them occupants connect.
The goodies pack of the new Ford Fiesta has got almost all the bases covered with automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers, reverse parking sensors, keyless entry, push button start/stop, cruise control, height adjustable seatbelts and ambient lighting. We found the audio system, that can play CDs, USB ad Aux-in), with its 6 speakers to be quite good.
The new 2014 Ford Fiesta will be made available in three variants - Ambiente, Trend and Titanium. While ABS with EBD is standard across all the variants, the dual front airbags are present in the top two with the base variant getting just the driver side airbag.
Engine and Performance
Ford has made a bold decision of making the new Fiesta available with only the diesel engine. It is same 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine of the previous car and produces a maximum output of 90 hp with a peak torque of 205 Nm. The turbo lag is pretty evident till 1800 rpm and then the action begins. The Fiesta brings outs its best in the mid range power delivery where the car proves its worth.
The NVH levels are well contained and even when cruising around 90 kmph, both the engine noise and road noise is just a rumble in the background. The engine has been tweaked to offer better fuel economy and the Fiesta now returns a mileage of 25.01 kmpl, not far away from the segment leading Honda City.
Ride and Handling
The driving route include a perfect mix of city traffic, highway stretches and winding narrow roads that showcased the car's riding and handling capabilities at the best. The steering is aptly sized and offers amazing feedback. As the speedo goes east, the steering adds weight nicely, becoming tighter in a good sense. The five-speed manual gearbox made the switches smooth, slotting into the gears without any confusion.
The suspension setup is carried forward from the previous version with McPherson strut to the front and semi independent twist beam to the rear. So when we said that the handling is at the top of the game, the ride quality is supposed to be hard but not too much.
As ever, the new Fiesta upholds the Ford's tradition of being a driver-centric car and Ford has tried to overcome the deficiencies of the earlier car by boosting it with great looks and new features. Everything now comes to pricing and of what we came to know, Ford has promised competitive pricing. We expect the starting price to be between Rs.8.5-9 lakhs in the showroom.