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The Motorists' Guide

Ford Fiesta mk8

The Motorists Guide

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Steve tests the new Ford Fiesta Zetec to see if it can live up to the Fiesta's renowned reputation


The new Fiesta is available in Zetec (B + O Play and Navigation versions), Titanium (B + O Play and X versions), Vignale, ST-Line and ST-Line X. plus the all-new ‘Active’ Fiesta released in 2018, the first Fiesta ever to feature SUV styling.

Engines available in both Petrol and Diesel – 1.0 EcoBoost, 1.1 Ti-VCT, 1.5 TDCi Duratorq and variety of power output applies across the engine range.

Body styles are 3 doors and 5 doors with 6-speed Manual or Automatic Transmission options.




The 1.1 Ti-VCT with 5 speed manual gearbox as tested retails at £15,670, has an output of 85PS and has the least power of all the engines in the range. However, I found the engine gutsy and surprisingly had more than enough grunt for day to day driving, both in town and on country roads. The gear changes were smooth but I felt the car could have benefitted from a 6th gear for motorway driving. One drawback I found with the 1.1 petrol engine was that I struggled to get anywhere near Fords claimed 49.7mpg and achieved as little as 35.0mpg.  


The 1.0 litre EcoBoost Petrol engine has an output of 100PS and with Auto-Start-Stop technology to comply with emissions standards for many years ahead. With power output from the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine being comparable to a 1.6-litre engine with performance enhanced by turbocharging, delivering both economy and driveability without compromise. 


The 1.5 litre TDCi Diesel engine output of 85 PS and economy figures quoted of 88.3 mpg (combined) with CO2 emissions of just 82-84 g/km. A 120 PS engine gives you 88.3 mpg (combined) and CO2emissions of 89 g/km.


The all-new Ford Fiesta exterior is still easily identifiable by its unique styling as Britain’s most popular but with a more up-to-date image. 



The Fiesta now comes with the option of a two-part, glass panoramic roof that either tilts or slides back over the rear roof section to create a light and airy interior. Whilst the roof allows natural light to flood in, solar reflective glass keeps you cool and protects you from UV rays. An electrically operated roof blind also enables you to cover or reveal the roof at the press of a button

Halogen projector headlights with daytime running lights. A useful night-driving aid, Auto High Beam temporarily dips the headlights when it detects oncoming traffic or a vehicle ahead, stopping you dazzling other drivers. It then automatically reverts back to high beam, giving you maximum visibility.


Body coloured electrically-operated and heated door mirrors with side indicators incorporate a Blind Spot Information System uses RADAR sensors to scan the blind spots on either side of the car. If they detect a vehicle you can’t see, an orange light that’s clearly displayed in the corresponding side door mirror illuminates to warn you. If you’re reversing out of a space, and have limited visibility of the traffic situation, Cross Traffic Alert can detect oncoming vehicles and sound a warning. The technology also illuminates a light in the wing mirror: left or right depending on the direction of oncoming traffic. 


Body coloured bumpers with mesh grille and body colour spoiler, door and liftgate handles further enhance the look of the All-New Fiesta.


The entry level Zetec version was used for the road test was still reasonably equipped with DAB radio, electric front windows, electric mirrors, lane keeping assist, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, air conditioning and alloy wheels. However, there are many other features available for other variants within the range, either as standard or as an option, such as an Openable panorama roof and leather heated seats & steering wheel 


To further enhance the interior space, the Fiesta gives you more front and rear legroom than ever before by redesigning the rear seats to have sculpted, slim backs, therefore, the passengers can sit further back. Ford SYNC 3 is a state-of-the-art system that enables you to stay connected and control your phone, music and navigation system with intuitive voice commands, or an 8” colour touchscreen. It connects to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto too, and with Applink, you can access smartphone apps, including Spotify. Live Traffic can also help avoid the jams.



The Fiesta now sports Emergency Lights so that if you have to brake hard for an emergency, the hazard warning lights come on automatically to alert other drivers. The brake lights flash too, providing following vehicles with some advance warning of a potentially dangerous situation. In addition to the driver and passenger front airbags, side airbags provide thorax protection and are designed to direct the occupant away from the impact area. They’re also able to raise the arm of the occupant providing better space between them and the intruding structure. Curtain airbags provide maximum coverage and headrests offer protection from whiplash. With front and rear seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters, plus seatbelt minders.




The Lane-Keeping System – including Lane-Keeping Alert and Lane-Keeping Aid works incredibly well but did have a tendency to seem violent in its approach to taking back control which can be a little disconcerting but overall, the accuracy of the system is not lacking in the slightest and is a very useful safety feature.


Some of the following features are available as an option across the range:

·         LED Night Signature to rear lights

·         Traffic Sign Recognition and Driver Alert

·         Auto High Beam

·         Rain sensing wipers

·         Traffic Sign Recognition and Driver Alert

·         Power-foldable door mirrors with puddle lights

·         Rear privacy glass

·         Partial leather sports style front seats

·         Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC)

·         Cruise Control

·         Ford SYNC 3 Navigation with 8″ Touchscreen

·         Centre console with armrest, openable stowage and 12 V power point

·         Auto-dimming rear-view mirror


First thoughts when driving it were how the 1.1 petrol engine responded much better than anticipated but mpg figures are far from impressive, and also how the interior cabin area gives the impression of a seemingly much larger car. Accessing the interior was generally quite uneventful, considering it was the three-door version and where it seems that most modern cars appear to work on the principle of design over function, no heads were bashed on door pillars on entry and the dashboard did not claim any knees either! 


Accessing the interior was generally quite uneventful and where it seems that most modern cars appear to work on the principle of design over function, no heads were bashed on door pillars on entry and the dashboard did not claim any knees either!

The Fiesta is relatively easy to navigate through all the myriad of controls and electronic wizardry such as the Bluetooth connectivity, which was incredibly easy to sync and control through the cars’ audio system.



Engine starting is via a conventional key on the Zetec model and incorporates ‘stop-start’ technology. Hill Start Assist was useful when manoeuvring on a slope on the odd occasion.


Safety and driver assistance technology contribute to leaving you with the belief that you are driving something that will get you to your destination safely and allow to feel quite relaxed even after a long distance. The relief of the car being able to facilitate your driving, and in some cases making better judgements in situations such as distance control and lane guidance, all of which can result in draining the drivers’ energy after some time at the wheel.

Ford’s Adaptive Cruise Control with Pre-Collision Assist is definitely a safety enhancement that is essential for safe driving at any speed. Ford has utilised the on-board technology to enhance the system to be an incredibly reliable and useful safety aid. Once used, it becomes difficult to switch off and solely rely on your own reactions. The system also features Traffic Sign recognition to allow the driver to set the speed limiting to stay legal at all times.


Fuel economy was ok but given the roads used, traffic conditions and speed travelled, we obtained between 35.5 – 38.5mpg overall. For the size of the engine and the superb drivability experience, I was disappointed. The same can’t be said with regard to the handling which I was thoroughly impressed by. I found steering response and feel was very good whilst being light and nimble which was ideal for parking. The suspension absorbs most bumps well but a pothole or sunken manhole would result in a jolt. In addition, I found the Fiesta handled the bends well and certainly felt sure footed. 


Overall, the all-new Fiesta is a car loaded with useable technology and features usually reserved for much more expensive and up-market brands but delivers a similar ‘feel good factor’ from the driving experience with a smaller price tag.


   Length:  4,040 mm

Width: 1,734 mm

 Height: 1,483 mm

                  Curb weight: 1,113–1,207 kg


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