Fiesta owners are not for changing, it would seem. The latest incarnation of the Fiesta looks very like the car it replaces but the customer feedback Ford received suggested its owners certainly did'tn want a fuss made. The result is that the big changes on the car are on the inside. Gone are the nasty plastics and in are the soft touch finishes, there's a much more generous sense of space for the driver and front seat passenger and the instrumentation is now enhanced by a screen that provides you with your infotainment and connectivity.
All Fiestas now have a "floating screen".
The screen sits proud of the dashboard and offers easy access to various functions. Be aware, however, that the entry level model gets only a 4.2" screen and you have to move up a level to the "Titanium" version to get a 6.5" screen as standard. Otherwise it is a €520 option on the Zetec.
A brief drive in the 70 horse power version showed an improvement in sound levels. The Fiesta now offers a much bigger car feel and standard of comfort. I was surprised at how far the seat could travel back to accommodate a tall driver, although this will come at the expense of any available space for rear passengers.
The boot is adequate but it is not a class-leader, however.
The 1.1 petrol engine is a tweaked version of the older Fiesta engine.
The 1.1 engine was also adequate and is a tweaked version from the engine of the older model. The vast majority of Fiestas will be sold with petrol engines and this entry level version will be fine in the city and will cope with the odd longer journey. And it's not as noisy as I expected it to be.
Perhaps the best thing about the car is the list of equipment that is standard. The one I drove is priced at €17,150 and had 15" wheels, speed limiter (it reads the speed signs for you and then adjusts your speed accordingly), stability control with hill start assist, a rear seat belt reminder function, automatic headlights, , seven airbags, Bluetooth functionality and lane-keeping alert and aid. That is a very good list and means you don't have to endure a bewildering list of extra and sometimes costly options to get a good basic safety and comfort package. Adaptive cruise control and pre-collision technology is available but at a price of €700 on both Zetec and Titanium versions.
The Titanium version - at €18,950 - had 15 horse power extra and items such as alloy wheels, and a leather steering wheel but the basic car impressed me by having more or less what you need (rather than what you might think you want) as standard.
Mind you, rear parking sensors will still cost you €200 as an option on the Zetec model only. I think many drivers would welcome them as standard, even at the expense of losing a piece of more marginal standard equipment.
We'll have more on the new Fiesta in the coming weeks.