Categorized | Wheels

Watch out for x`. It’s a fashion statement from Ford with the ‘F’ word.

Posted on 20 January 2010 by .

Nowadays car designers no longer talk in terms of other cars when they’re contextualizing their work, they talk about phones, mp3-players, and portable game consoles. I guess the technology hype is engraving every industry and mobile phones being the biggest inspiration. From music to health everything is revolving around a cell phone. By which reckoning, the new Fiesta isn’t a car at all, more of a big gadget and I’d like to see the handbag this could fit in.

So far, the best-in-class looks, and a centre console modeled, yes, on a mobile phone. I wanted to approach the new Fiesta with a ‘Wow’ face rather like the aging Chuck Norris would approach a ‘Take That’ concert. Is this a small car or a copy of Flare magazine on four wheels? Simply Wow!

This enthusiasm for fun is apparently exactly what Ford has set out to achieve with the new Fiesta. The overall appearance now sits comfortably with that of its futuristic stable mates. I think Ford has managed to get the blue oval back on top – this is a fantastic little car.

Of course, stiff competition is easy to come by in the Fiesta’s market – the new Honda Fit weighs in with a 117hp, and the hottest Mazda 2 coming soon, are arguably much fun. Despite this, the Fiesta is hot, keen to please and a general joy to own, which should keep Ford customers happy.

This is a terrific little car, and the sort of thing the world could do with being terrific right now. Ford is enjoying one of those product booms that car companies periodically seem to go through, has lately given all its cars the same slick, smoothly engineered feel. Now the Fiesta gets the honor.

For now the engine pick is the 1.6L Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT) I-4 engine. This sporty power plant delivers an estimated 119 hp and 109 ft-lbs, mated to a 5-speed manual or an optional 6-speed automatic which is a dry clutch technology using an electro-mechanical system to optimize efficiency while eliminating the need for cooler lines thus reducing the potential for oil leaks. Very clever!

Visually, it’s very close to the Verve concept shown at Detroit auto show last year. Crucially, it’s also a small car that still looks like a small car, rather than poking out and migrating into the class above. Yes, it softens Ford’s ‘Kinetic’ design language a little, but there are plenty of clever visual hooks: the extra edge on the head-light, the sharp tailoring of the rear lights and the competing surfaces around the nose and front wings are all smart.

As the first new car in Ford’s global ‘One Vision’ strategy, the Fiesta has to accommodate the smallest 2.5 percentile female up to the lardiest 97.5 percentile male, everywhere from Beijing to Baton Rouge and all points in between. The seats are mounted lower than before, though, and the gear lever and instrument panel higher – so despite this ‘one-size fits all’ strategy, it’s actually surprisingly purposeful.

The hatch looks genuinely brilliant – especially in some of the new bold colors. The sedan doesn’t look half bad either. Just one problem – the Fiesta name just hasn’t got the bar-side pizzazz you might want.

The new central dash arrangement is a bit silver, but not many will complain about the quality at this price point. Ford have worked on that big car feel and the Fiesta does a grand job of not feeling cheap even though it is.

Prices start at $12,999 for the Sedan version, and the hatch is priced from $16,799. Supermini-deniers may once have pointed out that you could get a proper car for that sort of money. Luckily, that’s exactly what the new Fiesta is.

I think all the basics are done neatly, it sure is a Fiesta for Ford. It’s a sweet little car. Not sweet in a cute way, but sweet in a crisp and sharp way. It’s in a fight with Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris where it starts to look really competitive. It’s a tough decision and your heart will probably say Honda or Toyota, but if your wallet overrules your emotions, and you take three major car buying points in to consideration; good looks, good looks and good looks then this new Fiesta will do you proud.

Author: Sohaib Zahid

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