New Ford Fiesta First Drive (Deep Dive) 1.5 Petrol (Ti-VCT) And 1.5 Diesel (TDCi) Driven
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Ford introduced the very first generation of Fiesta way back in 1976 as the Fiesta MK1 and since then the Fiesta has been one of the bestseller car for Ford across the world. The Ford Fiesta was introduced in India a few years back and sold in handsome numbers especially the Diesel variant that had some super high mileage figures and its TDCi power plant is still regarded as one of the best diesels in the market, the same unit also powers the Ford Figo which is another winner from the American car maker in the small car segment.
Ford will be launching the latest generation New Ford Fiesta in India in July. We drove the all new Ford Fiesta on some enchanting Bangalore roads to understand the new Global Fiesta better and also to find out if the new Fiesta has the potential to repeat the same level of success for Ford India as the Ford Figo has done.
New Ford Fiesta from the Outside – Exteriors
Fords Global Kinetic Design philosophy is carried ahead on the New Ford Fiesta. Kinetic Design was first used on the Figo for India. What is Kinetic Design? Kinetic Design according to Ford Design Manager for Asia Pacific, Andrew Collinson who explains that even when the New Ford Fiesta is stationary it feels like it is in motion and that is Kinetic Design. The front is dominated by the swept back multi element headlamps that look very different for this segment. The headlamps are swept back to an extent that they nearly touch the A-pillar. The New Fiesta has a dynamic face with low slung air-dam that has chrome garnish around it. The large bumper also houses a pair of round fog lamps that have chrome housings on them. The bonnet has a gentle slope on it which continues all along the front windshield and the roofline till the roof line slopes downwards mating with the rear windshield. The sides can be easily described as muscular and very aggressive with very prominent wheel arches that seem as if the new Fiesta is flexing its muscles. The rounding on the muscular front fenders extends down to the front bumpers. The new Ford Fiesta has a rounded waistline that slopes upwards and mates with the fluxed tail lamps. The waistline on the new Ford Fiesta is very prominent when seen from any angle and gives it a character and adds to the overall muscular design of the car.
As with the waistline that slopes upwards to the boot; the glass area also slopes upwards from the front quarter glass right through the side windows and ends on the rear quarter glass, we love cars having the quarter glass on the front and rear mainly because they get in more light into the cabin and secondly because they help in visibility while driving mostly during turning. The wing mirrors are large and shaped well to gel with the overall body design. These can be folded electrically and have inbuilt turn lamps on them on this the top end Titanium Fiesta. The chrome touch continues on the windows too which get the garnish in chrome on the lower side while the top area has been blacked out. The rear wheel arches have the same amount of muscularity and prominence like the front and their roundedness extend down into the rear bumper.
The rear end of the New Ford Fiesta also looks as interesting as the front and as the sides do. The New Fiesta has its boot raised up to go with the waistline. The tail lamps have a unique honeycomb detailing effect to them. The flushed tail lamps have one-half attached to the boot lid. There is an inbuilt body spoiler made out as a part of the boot lid. A chrome strip runs across the boot continuing the chrome effect at the rear. The rear bumper goes right up to the tail lamps, there are inbuilt stop reflectors housed low down on the rear bumpers along with the reverse sensors which are in black and would have looked better if they were in body color.
The New Ford Fiesta with its pleasing front profile sporting Ford’s global face looks very intimidating. Overall, the New Fiesta has a very appealing exterior design and its shape is very different in this segment and gets all the attention, especially the Kinetic Blue shade as the dark color highlights all the body lines and contours very nicely.
New Ford Fiesta on the Inside (Interiors/Cabin)
Step inside the New Fiesta and you will notice very different front seats, very different because these seats have extra bolstering padding to support the back and the thighs, very comfortable and supportive. The driver’s seat is height-adjustable and the view from this seat is very commanding and assuring. The front passenger seat is equally good but lacks the height adjusts. The New Ford Fiesta gets the multi-function steering which is adjustable for height but not reach. It has all the needed control buttons for audio controls on the left while the right side is taken up by the Cruise Control which is the segment first. The steering feels good to hold and grip. Ford has got its Electric Power Assist Steering System (EPAS) on the New Ford Fiesta, now this is something more than the regular Electric Steering which is calibrated to give different feedback across different speeds. The EPAS steering also reduces fuel consumption as it only activates itself when the driver needs its assistance and varies according to speed.
The instrument cluster is placed in two tunnels that have a silver aluminum finish on them. Between them is the MFD display in red that reads out the various details like the trip meter, odometer, distance to empty, average speed and efficiency etc. Instrumentation is clear and very crisp. The centre console is designed and shaped with a very ‘into your face’ feel to it. The dash basically is in grey, made of good plastic material. The center dash has the two AC vents along with the main control buttons for the CD, Radio, AUC, Phone and a button to go to the Menu all lined up under each other on one side and the numerical keypad on the other side of the control dials and the volume dials. The buttons centre console is designed like a mobile phone. A LCD display with a red back light reads out all modes that you put the system into. The New Ford Fiesta has the segment’s first Voice Controlled Music, Climate and Phone system. You can speak to the car’s system via voice commands activated by pressing a button on the control stalk on the left side behind the steering and give it voice commands such as start the climate control, change fan speeds, change climate control temperature, toggle through the different modes of the climate control, change radio stations, change tracks from the CD, toggle between external devices like iPod or USB drives or simply to dial a phone number from the phone book of a mobile that’s paired to the car. Now, this is a very innovative feature that we used a lot during our time with the new Ford Fiesta and the female voice in the System followed all our commands very swiftly and the response was correct most of the times. Moreover, there is silver aluminum theme inserts around the centre console and the AC vents on either sides of the dash. Lower below is the Climate control that has 16 degree as the lowest temperature attainable. This single zone climate control worked and cooled the large cabin of the New Ford Fiesta quickly, the blower gets a bit noisy on the top two fan speeds but then its cooling efficiency was quick.
The gear shifter also gets the aluminum touch; chunky to grip this five-speed shifter has very positive shifts and comes to the drivers grip within good distance. The front door pads have a nice ergonomic armrest and door handle with the grey aluminum inserts on it. The door pads can accommodate one-liter bottle in them. The New Ford Fiesta has a single MP3/Radio combined with a 6-speaker audio system that plays good decibels of audio. This unit also has an AUX and USB ports to connect your external devices.
Moving on to the rear, the rear seats are supportive with good amount of padding and the back rest is inclined to give the passengers a comfortable ride. There is also a foldable center armrest and two height adjustable head rests on the rear seat. The rear seat can be folded down but as one full-part however, what is missing is 40-60 split seats. The rear door pads don’t have any space to hold bottles for some reason. Moreover, leg room at the rear is good with good amount of shoulder and head room.
Overall, the New Ford Fiesta has a nice and roomy cabin and is loaded with some unheard features like the Voice Controlled System, Cruise Control and the EPAS Steering in this segment. Ford has made use of good materials and the fit finish is at par with its rivals in this segment. The switches work with a nice click action on them while the cabin looks nice and big thanks to the large glass house on the New Ford Fiesta.
New Ford Fiesta Technicalities and How it Drives (Engine/Drive/Suspension)
The New Ford Fiesta comes with two engine options and we drove both of them. The New Ford Fiesta Petrol is powered by a Ti-VCT 1.5 liter Duratec engine that makes 110 PS @ 6045 rpm and has 140Nm of torque @ 4500 rpm. Whereas the New Ford Fiesta Diesel is powered by a 1.5 liter TDCi engine that makes 91PS of power and has 204 Nm of torque between the 2000rpm and 2750 rpm mark. Both the engines have been developed specially for the New Fiesta by Ford and is built at its engine plant at Chennai.
How the New Ford Fiesta Petrol Drives
The Petrol Fiesta is more tuned for in-city drives and has been calibrated for high efficiency with the tall gearing ratios. The engine feels very refined and the power band is good once you get past 30kmph speed. The car feels nimble and much planted at high speeds that we did. Also, during the in-city drive the Electrical Steering came to the rescue and helped in getting us a better drive. The steering feedback is amazing with the EPAS unit with Pull-Drift compensation working all the time. The ride quality is good and in-fact much better to a few of its rivals in the segment. The New Ford Fiesta also benefits from the India specific suspension tuning and the increased ground clearance as compared to the Fiestas elsewhere. The ride quality on the Petrol Fiesta is highly refined with no body roll or over hang. The vehicle surges ahead in a very sane and dignified manner. Cornering is fun with the EPAS steering reassuring you and building confidence at all times. Ford claims 17kmpl of fuel efficiency on the Petrol Fiesta as per ARAI which we will test and conceive when the New Ford Fiesta is with us for a longer period.
How the New Ford Fiesta Diesel Drives
The New Fiesta Diesel is a more fun to drive than the petrol sibling. The TDCi Diesel engine is one of the smoothest that we have seen in the segment, a big part of the credit goes to the super silent cabin thanks to Ford using some hi-tech cabin insulation technology leading to highly reduced NHV levels on it. The Diesel Fiesta with the 1.5liter TDCi engine is agile and very responsive once the turbo hits in at the 2000 rpm mark. The Fiesta Diesel is super fun to drive in straight lines and to throw around corners if you wish to. The EPAS Steering lightens the effort that the driver has to put in but does not kill the steering feedback at all speeds. The Indian tuned suspension felt perfect on the Diesel Fiesta and the car handled tremendously well. Once you are out of the 2k RPM floor, pedal to overtake and the response is instant. The suspension feels still better on the Diesel Fiesta as compared to the Petrol one. Ford claims a mileage figure of 23.5kmpl as per ARAI on the Diesel Fiesta.
On both the versions of the new Ford Fiesta, the Cruise control can be activated on the 5th gear and once you start it you can remove your feet from the accelerator pedal and simple increase the cruising speed by pressing the + button on the steering or reduce the cruise speed by pressing the – button on the steering and this worked perfectly during our highway sprints.
Safety features are also high on the New Ford Fiesta with the top end trims coming with front two air bags, ABS with EBD that assure that the safety parameters are high.
So how is the New Ford Fiesta? (Verdict)
Ford India is currently on an all-time high with the Ford Figo’s success and this is the perfect time to get in the new Ford Fiesta. The European Fiesta is a very good looking car; it’s certainly a head turner, Ford has got the perfect looking car to take on its rivals in the segment and the New Fiesta has been Indianised with suspension and other neat touches just for Indian market. The new Ford Fiesta petrol drives nicely but our pick is the Diesel one which is amazingly refined and super efficient. Class first features like the cruise control and the Voice Controlled system, new technology in reducing the in-cabin NVH levels are amazing and show what Ford is capable of. Efficiency figures are also high on both the Petrol and the Diesel Fiestas. Loaded with features and good equipment level, now the key to success is in the way Ford prices it, that is in July this year when the New Ford Fiesta is launched for India. Only time will tell if the New Ford Fiesta can do well in the mid-sized segment just like what the Ford Figo did in the small car segment. Yes, the New Ford Fiesta has all the needed ingredients and that too in the perfect constituency.
We expect the new Ford Fiesta to be priced between the Rs 8.5lakh to Rs 10.5lakh price range.