2018 Ford Fiesta Review: As Good As Ever?

Introduction

The new Ford Fiesta aims to build on its predecessor’s sales success by merely tweaking an already excellent formula. A range of engines to suit pretty much everyone offer a mix of performance and economy, while Ford has stuffed the inside with a ton of useful tech. While it’s not the most exciting car to look at, its drive is fantastic.

Body Style: 3-door/5-door hatchback Seats: 5                    MRP: £12,715 - £21,225   

 

Did you know? The doors in the new Fiesta are now 20 percent easier to close.

 

(Scroll down to read more about the Ford Fiesta)

 

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Verdict:★★★★★★★★☆☆(8/10)

The Ford Fiesta has been Britain’s best-selling car for years thanks to its mix of ability, price, tech, and economy. The 2018 car builds on that, offering a more complete package than ever before. Everything from interior materials to ride and handling have been tweaked and updated, making the Fiesta feel like a far more grown up proposition.

However, like the most interesting grown-ups, it’s still got a sense of fun thanks to its engaging and entertaining drive. Everyone from the most timid to more enthusiastic driver will find something about the Fiesta to enjoy. Higher spec cars can prove costly, but with the right options, you can get yourself a great package at a reasonable price.

It’s not the most exciting car to look at, sure, and rear visibility isn’t the greatest, but these are things most buyers will be able to overlook.

 

Design & Exterior

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

Interior & Comfort

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Technology & Connectivity

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Performance & Handling

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Safety Features

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Spec & Trim Levels

★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

Running Costs & Fuel Economy

★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

Pricing

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

2017 Ford Fiesta

We Like

Easy to drive

Interior quality

Decent boot space

We Don't Like

Dull looks

Poor rear visibility

Three-door rear seat access

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Design & Exterior:★★★★★★☆☆☆ (6/10)

It’s easy to look fondly at the past, but when the present looks as uninspiring as this, you can’t be blamed.

To be brutal, the new Fiesta looks like the old one has gone through a bad break up and turned to the loving arms of cake. Lots and lots of cake. Where it once was sleek, it’s a tad over inflated nowadays. It’s not unattractive, or particularly attractive. It just… is.

With a keen eye, you can spot some pretty details though – the rear lights, for example, while the sporty ST-Line trim comes with an aggressive bodykit that turns up the charm somewhat. Top-spec Vignale cars get some extra flair as well, but neither will earn appreciative nods from passers-by.

The selection of pints on offer range from your normal small hatch fare, to slightly more expensive small hatch fare. Though there is an option to have a contrasting roof on some models, which should help it stand out a touch.

2017 Ford Fiesta

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Interior & Comfort:★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Much was made of the previous generation Fiesta’s interior inspiration: a Nokia mobile phone. Times have changed and the new one is all iPhone, all the time.

All bar the most basic models get a slinky touch screen and that’s freed up loads of space for occupants to enjoy. The materials inside feel solid, and high quality. At no point do you feel as though Ford has skimped on the small stuff to save money.

There’s room in the rear for a couple of grown ups, so long as they’re not too tall. And if you’re looking at the three-door Fiesta, just make sure rear passengers/reasons to use the back seats are occasional as getting back there isn’t easy.

The three-door car suffers on the boot space front compared to the five-door’s 303 litres, though oddly it has more than 1,000 litres with the seats down, while the five-door makes do with fewer.

2017 Ford Fiesta

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Technology & Connectivity:★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Unless you’re in the lowest spec models, you get a touchscreen infotainment system – 6.5-inch as standard, upgradeable to 8 inches. It’s your hub for Bluetooth, audio, navigation, and phone functionality.

It even comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay so people who rely on their smartphones to breathe (or prefer to use their own toys) will be happy.

The interface is quick enough and is easy to navigate, but it does use Ford’s SYNC3 system which, while a notable improvement over SYNC2, is still far from the best on the market.

As well as Bluetooth connectivity, there are a smattering of USB ports over the car for charging and audio player duties, though if you’re keen on your CD collection travelling with you, you’ll have to spec one back in to the car.

If audio fidelity is your be all and end all, the B&OPlay 10-speaker system is worth a look. It offers brilliant sound for a surprisingly small outlay.

2017 Ford Fiesta

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Performance & Handling:★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

At no point do you worry the Fiesta’s going to do anything unseemly while you drive around town, nor on the motorway or country lanes. It’s wonderfully balanced in the corners, and if you want to give it a bootful, it’ll happily comply. Small Fords have always been fun to drive, and this one’s no different.

The standard six speed manual gearbox is slick and easy to use, and it feels solid, unlike some competitors. The Fiesta’s steering is light, yet offers enough feedback to let you know what the front of the car is up to. Braking is taken care of with a decently weighted pedal, and it isn’t too harsh as it can be on other cars.

There are a few engines on offer for the new Ford Fiesta, all the way from a 1.1-litre naturally aspirated petrol to a 1.5-litre diesel engine, via a series of 1.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engines.

The EcoBoost motors come with a number of power options, though the 98bhp offering is the one we’d plump for. It’ll get you from 0-62 in 10.5 seconds and up to 113mph, but it also manages over 65mpg. It’s revvy, yet doesn’t fill the cabin with noise.

Recommended engine: 1.0-litre Ecoboost 100  

0-62mph

10.5 seconds

Fuel economy

52.3 – 78.5mpg

Emissions

97g/km

2017 Ford Fiesta

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Safety Features:★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10) 

Safety is key in the new Fiesta as well. The base ‘Style’ level cars get an NCAP Pack that gets you Lane-Keeping Alert, Lane Keeping Aid, Speed Limiter, rear seatbelt reminder, auto headlamps, and a rear centre headrest.

On top of all of that you can spec a Blind Spot Information System to keep an eye on cars you might not have seen, and a Driver Assistance Pack which includes with pre-collision assist, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise, and distance alert.

2017 Ford Fiesta

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Specs and Trim Levels:★★★★★★★★ (9/10)

Colours

Only two colours are standard: blue and red (apart from on the B&O Play special editions – they get a minty green and coper colour thrown in, and Vignale cars come in Frozen White as standard).

The optional hues are fairly inoffensive yet can add up to £745 to the bill. Expect to see a fair few Frozen White and Moondust Silver cars on the road though.

Trim Levels

Ford’s given the Fiesta a few trim levels to choose from. The entry level Style cars don’t get much by way of toys, but the mid-level Zetec gets pretty much everything you want without going overboard: it’ll thus likely be the UK’s biggest seller. Above Zetec, there’s Zetec +, Titanium, and Titanium + which add a large list of acronyms and wheels.

Other than the ‘normal’ Fiesta there are three others to choose form – the sportily-sprung ST-Line, the leather-clad (and very expensive) Vignale, and the off roader-lite Active. While the ST-Line does have a sportier set up, the others seem to be in the line-up for no real reason…

Size and Dimensions

Length

4,040mm

Width

1,941mm

Height

1,476mm

Max towing weight without brake

N/A

2017 Ford Fiesta

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Running Costs & Fuel Economy:★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10) 

None of the Fiesta’s engines are going to break the bank when it comes to economy. However, if you want to be super-frugal, take a look at the 1.5-litre diesel, which can manage 88.3mpg and will kick out just 85g/km of CO2, though you will take a price hit for the privilege. None of the petrol engines will (according to Ford) dip below 50mpg on the combined cycle, which is a bonus.

Reliability and servicing

It’s a small Ford so it shouldn’t have too much to worry about from the off, but we’ll update as and when any issues become known.

2017 Ford Fiesta

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Pricing:★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

Prices start at under £13,000 for the base Style trim, which is great until you realise it comes with very few standard toys. For about £3,000 more you end up with a Zetec with the 98bhp EcoBoost engine and a decent array of kit.

However, if you plump for the Vignale model you can easily end up dropping over £20,000. A little much for most tastes.

2017 Ford Fiesta
2017 Ford Fiesta

Recommendations

Tech junkie

The B&O Play editions. They get their own exterior colours, an 8-inch touch screen and an amazing sound system.

Cost conscious

The basic 1.1-litre engine in Style trim. It’s not glamourous, but it’ll get you 76mpg on the motorway.

Luxury seeker

A Vignale comes with plush leather and all the toys you could ask for.

Rivals

VW Polo

About to be replaced, yet still plush.

Skoda Fabia

Keenly priced and better looking than the Ford.    

Mini Hatch

It’s much more expensive, but comes with luxury desirability.

Renault Clio

French, pretty, but not as sharp to drive.

Citroen C3

It doesn’t drive as well as the Ford, it’s cheaper and comes with door ding saving air bumps.

What others say

Auto Express

'The Fiesta is great value and not just because it’s cheap to buy. It’s also brilliant fun to drive, practical, comfortable and comes with plenty of standard kit.'

Top Gear

'It’s great-looking, smart inside, refined, well-connected and thoroughly easy to use.'

 

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