THERE’s been a lot of hype and anticipation surrounding the arrival of the new Ford Fiesta. One reason in particular is new engine hidden under the American’s skin.
Powering this fresh, new model is the award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. Now I know a lot of purists will certainly be mumbling to themselves that a 1.0-litre powertrain has no place in this type of vehicle. However, thanks to technological developments, it does! And the awards, including International Engine of the Year, confirm this.
Producing 92kW of power and 170Nm of torque, it’s difficult to believe that this petite engine is the size of an A4 sheet of paper and boasts an incredible fuel consumption of 4.3 litres/100km and Co2 emissions of 99g/km.
It’s no joke to drive either, as it delivers more power for its size than some much larger motors. Cruising through some of the most spectacular roads Cape Town has to offer, the Fiesta’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost felt right at home. It’s responsive low-down, with enough grunt to cruise past cars on some rather steep inclines. In fact, we managed to take the car to almost 100km/h in second gear. But it isn’t shy to deliver on top end and can reach a top speed of 196km/h, while the 0-to-100km/h shuffle will take you 9.4 seconds.
The three-cylinder engine is truly a game changer, thanks to its proven sportiness and economic nature. Now all it has to do, is prove its reliability over time and under our harsh driving conditions and we’ll have a winner.
Not taking anything away from the other capable engines in the model line-up - including the tried-and-tested 1.4-litre petrol engine with 71kW and 125Nm on offer that will use around 5.7 litres/100km and emit just 130g/km of Co2. Also available is the 1.6-litre TDCi derivative. This diesel powertrain delivers 70kW of power and 200Nm of torque and will only sip a minute 3.6 litres/100km, while emitting 95g/km of Co2.
The under-the-skin changes might be minimal other than the EcoBoost motor, but the exterior and interior evolutions are vast. The bold new styling is dominated by the large trapezoidal front grille and power-dome bonnet. It might look like something that Bane from The Dark Night Rises might wear, but it works rather nicely as it’s flanked by the headlamps.
The cabin is no different, as the flowing lines continue in the centre console, which is easy to navigate and use with all the dials well laid-out, much like the ergonomically designed clocks, which display all the vitals to the driver at a glance.
It’s a stunning vehicle to drive, with its composed road-handling agility and comfortable driver positioning. But there’s no ignoring the amount of technological advancements and kit that the Fiesta houses, like its SYNC technology, which enables the driver to operate media players and certain mobile phones via voice commands and steering-wheel-mounted controls.
Even more impressive is the arrival of Ford’s MyKey, which we got excited about a few months ago when we first heard about it. This new feature enables parents to encourage safer driving and limit their children’s exposure to risk at the wheel. The system allows owners to configure maximum speed and audio volume limits. It also mutes audio until seat belts are fastened and ensures driver aids, safety systems and more vigorous alerts cannot be deactivated when used.
The Fiesta line-up signals Ford’s future intent on both economy and safety, which is definitely something we all focus on.
There are three engine derivatives and three specification grades, while a selection of option packs will allow customers to tailor a model to their specific needs.
The range-topping Titanium models are extensively equipped, with features such as keyless entry, power start button, auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and cruise control, to name but a few.
The Fiesta is available with a fully comprehensive 4-year/120 000km warranty and 4-year/60 000km service plan.