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Ford's latest Fiesta is a useful development over what went before. What hasn't changed is the 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbo petrol unit that most buyers will probably want. That's a good thing.
Certain realities exist in the supermini market. The additional cost of diesel engines rarely makes them big sellers, so this is where the state of the art in petrol engines is often played out. For some years now, Ford's 1.0-litre Ecoboost three-cylinder unit has been in the box seat in this regard. It's now available in a top 140PS variant as well as the usual 100 and 125PS guises. Either way, it's pretty vivid. In 100PS form, 62mph from rest takes 10.5s en route to 113mph. In the 125PS model, those figures improve to 9.9s and 121mph, while with the 140PS derivative, you're looking at 9s and 125mph. The Fiesta has long been one of the very best superminis to drive. This new generation model is 15% stiffer than before and both front and rear track measurements are wider. The engineers tell us that the chassis now offers 10% more cornering grip, supported by Electronic Torque Vectoring Control, which enhances the driving experience by applying a small amount of braking to inside wheels to assist traction and stability when cornering. Braking distances at 62mph are reduced by more than 8%. There are freshly developed five and six-speed manual gearboxes. And rear disc brakes feature on models with engines developing more than 100PS.
If you go by the maxim that if something looks right, it is right, then you'll probably like the look of this seventh generation Fiesta. As before, it's offered in both three and five-door bodystyles and both are tidy pieces of styling with evolutionary styling and a bolder, wider front grille. The side profile is more settled and less wedge-shaped, combining with 71mm of additional body length and 12mm of additional width to give what Ford hopes is a longer and more premium appearance. Inside, it's completely different from what went before. Gone is the previous button-heavy fascia with its cheap plastics. In fact, the number of buttons on the centre console has been reduced by almost half, with many connectivity and entertainment controls relocated to a freshly developed 'SYNC3' 8-inch touchscreen. A semi-translucent piano black insert stretches all the way from the instrument binnacle to the centre console, giving the cabin a touch of class. Rear seat passengers benefit from 16mm more knee room, supported by new slim-back seats that are softer, and offer greater side-to-side support. This Fiesta's tailgate is wider for easier access to the boot, and improved storage for personal belongings is delivered with a 20% larger glovebox and a 1-litre media bin in the centre console.
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