In a segment that comprises mostly 1.4- and 1.6-litre engine derivatives the facelifted Ford Fiesta and its revolutionary 1.0-litre EcoBoost mill is set to change the way consumers think about downsizing. By shrinking the engine capacity by 50%, and fitting a small, low-inertia turbocharger, Ford has managed to combine the performance of a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre with the fuel efficiency and eco benefits of a much smaller unit.
The 1.0-litre three-pot motor is a lively unit and responds eagerly to throttle inputs – no turbo lag here. As such it will reach 100kph from standstill in only 9.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 196kph. It sounds fantastic too and emits a bassy, off-beat thrum as the engine moves through the rev range. It’s remarkably quiet at idle too, thanks to an all-iron block and the strategic positioning of the pulley and flywheel which help counteract the natural shaking forces of the engine.
Emitting just 99g/km the Fiesta’s EcoBoost engine isn’t just the greenest motor in its class, it also happens to trump the Toyota Prius and its 104g/km – impressive. It’s frugal too, but during the launch evaluation I couldn’t match the claimed fuel economy figure of 4.3l/100km, returning instead 7.1l/100km with mixed throttle inputs.
Visually, the Fiesta’s appearance may not be to everyone’s taste – especially the new trapezoidal Aston Martin-like grille but these revisions certainly help it stand out from other b-segment contenders. Other notable changes include the optional LED DRL headlamps and 12 vivid colour schemes while the visuals can be ramped up further with bigger wheels or a sporty ST-inspired body kit.
Climb inside and you’ll notice a well laid out cabin and cockpit with varying finishes dependent on the spec level: Titanium, Trend and Ambiente. The instrumentation, switchgear and display panels feature the company’s hallmark Ice Blue back lighting which adds a sophisticated and sporty character to the cabin.
Beyond that, the Fiesta also gets the latest connectivity conveniences such as Bluetooth and USB which is harnessed through Ford’s SYNC in-car connectivity system. There’s also a new MyKey feature that allows parents to encourage safer driving for their teenagers by limiting such things as maximum speed and audio volume.
All Fiestas come with a comprehensive 4-year / 120 000km warranty and 4-year / 60 000km service plan, as well as a 3-year Roadside Assistance and a 5-year corrosion warranty.
Ford Fiesta 1.0-litre Ecoboost Trend
PRICE | R211 200 ENGINE | 999cc three-cylinder turbocharged, 92kW@ 6000rpm, 170Nm (200Nm in overboost) @ 1400-4500rpm TRANSMISSION | 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive SUSPENSION | MacPherson strut, torsion-beam rear LENGTH/WIDTH/HEIGHT | 3950/1973/1470mm WEIGHT |1111kg PERFORMANCE | 9.4 sec 0-100kph, 196kph top speed, 4.3l/100km, 99g/km ON SALE | Now