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New Ford Fiesta, new benchmark

 Published 11th October 2021
General Guides  New Launches 

Some cars are more significant than others. It can be for many reasons, whether it's shattering speed records, introducing new innovations, or simply for being one of those cars that has proved so popular it acts as a benchmark for the rest. The brand-new Ford Fiesta for example.

The next generation Fiesta will be on the road from early 2022, featuring new styling, a host of trim levels, improved technology, and the latest mild-hybrid powertrains. If you're thinking of leasing yourself a small car there's no excuse for not considering one of the best.

Ford has created a range of practical three and five door variants with an improved new look. New exterior styling across the range includes a new bonnet design that increases the height of the nose, creating space for a larger grille. New sleek horizontal LED headlights fitted as standard also contribute to the modern design of the new Fiesta. At the rear, the standard lights receive new black surrounds for a more sophisticated appearance, while the optional LED rear lights are completed with a black outer finish.

There's even a different grille depending on which trim level you choose. The Trend and Titanium series feature horizontal strakes and a high gloss chrome surround, with distinctive side vents. Titanium also features upper grille horizontal bars finished in hot-stamped chrome, matched with chrome window surrounds. The ST-Line offers a sportier character, so its grille features a deeper inset and gloss black honeycomb finish. Wide side vents are finished in body colour and a larger lower grille adds to the sporty look. The SUV-inspired Active boasts a more rugged design with vertical strakes finished in gloss black, with taller and more prominent side vents reflecting the Active's taller, crossover stance.

Add seven new alloy wheel designs, two new exterior colours, premium materials in the cabin, plus the usual array of equipment you'd expect to find, and you can easily see why the Ford Fiesta is one of the most popular small cars available in the UK.

It's a similar story under the bonnet

The new Fiesta features a range of EcoBoost Hybrid 48-volt mild hybrid and EcoBoost petrol powertrains to reduce running costs. The EcoBoost Hybrid models feature a belt-driven integrated starter/generator (BISG) in place of the standard alternator, enabling recovery and storage of energy usually lost during braking and coasting to charge a 48-volt lithium-ion, air-cooled battery pack. The BISG also acts as a motor, integrating with the engine and using the stored energy to provide a little assistance during normal driving and acceleration.

The 1.0-litre EcoBoost Hybrid engine is available with either 125bhp or 155bhp and coupled with a six-speed manual transmission. The 125bhp EcoBoost Hybrid is also available with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The automatic is particularly clever, keeping the engine at the optimum speed for maximum efficiency, but also allowing triple downshifts for faster overtaking when you press the pedal a bit harder.

The other option, Ford's 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, offers 100bhp with the six-speed manual gearbox. You can also play with the Fiesta's driving dynamics using selectable Normal, Sport and Eco Drive Modes. It can alter throttle response, traction control, and even gearshift timings for automatic models, to match responses and performance to the driving conditions. The Fiesta Active also has Trail and Slippery modes for when you go exploring.

all-new ford fiesta rear

There's lots of technology on the inside as well

The new models get a 12.3-inch, fully configurable instrument cluster giving drivers the ability to personalise and prioritise information such as navigation notifications. Also new is the Park Assist function that can detect suitable parking spaces and control the steering to park hands-free nose-to-tail or side-by-side with other cars.

There's now a Wrong Way alert that uses a windscreen-mounted camera in combination with information from the car's navigation system to provide drivers with an audible and visual warning should they drive through two “No Entry” signs on a motorway ramp. Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Speed Sign Recognition designed to help maintain a comfortable driving distance from the vehicle ahead. The communications and entertainment system also allows you to control audio, navigation and connected smartphones using simple voice commands. You can even use the FordPass app to operate the door locks, start the car remotely (if you have an automatic model), locate the car when you forget where you parked, and check fuel level, alarm status, tyre pressures, oil life and more.

You can see the new Ford Fiesta is seriously well-equipped. You also get the usual smartphone connectivity, 8-inch touchscreen, rear view camera, wireless phone charging, and a B&O Sound System with 10-speakers, an integrated subwoofer, and a 575-watt digital amplifier for surround sound.

The go-faster Fiesta

And just in case you still want a little more from your new Fiesta, there's an updated ST version coming too. The hot hatchback versions are enhanced with new matrix LED headlights, newly developed performance seats, and sporty design details including a new Chrystaline Grey front grille and striking Mean Green exterior paint option.

60mph takes around 6.5 seconds, top speed is 143mph, and it all comes thanks to the 200bhp, 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine. New springs and dampers provide the Fiesta ST with sharp turn-in and great body control, while an optional limited-slip differential really boosts traction and cornering agility. In addition to the Normal and Sport Drive Modes, the new Fiesta ST also features a Track mode in place of Eco mode, which disables traction control and sets stability control to a special mode for circuit driving.

Which is exactly why the Ford Fiesta is one of those significant cars. It's been around for so long it kind of sets the tone for other small cars to live up to. This latest version offers a great choice of engine and trim levels, huge levels of practicality, very affordable running costs, lots of possibilities to personalise your car with the options list, and a barnstorming hot hatch version for anyone whose pants happen to be in fire.

Now that we mention it, why doesn't everyone drive a Ford Fiesta?

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