Ford Fiesta: A good car that needs a great price to stand out

The new Ford Fiesta is set for its launch on 14th July 2011 in New Delhi. Here’s a snapshot of all that the Fiesta diesel and Fiesta petrol offers, minus the price details.

Looks, fit and finish

The car has a leaning-forward stance and chrome trims on the window-line that gives the car a sporty appeal. The rear of the Fiesta sports wrap-around tail-lamps that spread on to the boot which has integrated fog lamps and a single reverse lamp. The car is a neatly put-together package, with what Ford calls “foxy-eyed headlamps “at the front along with a trapezoidal grille.

new ford fiesta photo
Photo: The Fiesta's muscular and sporty look may appeal to many buyers

On the whole, Fiesta wears a smart, contemporary look that should give it a slight edge over its not-so-new rivals like Honda City, Volkswagen Vento and Maruti Suzuki SX4.

There is no difference between the Fiesta petrol 1.5 Duratec TiVCT and the 1.5 Duratorq TDCi (diesel) on the looks front.

The quality of materials used inside the Fiesta is decent and will not disappoint you. However it does not feel as plush as the Hyundai Verna, Maruti Suzuki Sx4 or Volkswagen Vento’s interiors.

Also the grey upholstery of the Fiesta looks dull and does not compare well with the beige leather upholstery offered by the competition. Check out the Fiesta photo gallery here.

Performance

Fiesta Petrol

The 1.5 litre TiVCT petrol Fiesta puts out 109 bhp of power and 140 Nm of torque. The car is quiet and vibration free. The gears slot in precisely and the clutch too is light to use. The steering is electrically power assisted (a first for Ford in India) and has a precise feel.

The car is easy to drive around city and does not demand too may gear shifts. Power delivery in the petrol Fiesta is very linear and the gearing is tall. While this allows for slow-speed cruising in the city, out on the highway, downshifts are required for quick overtaking.

Fiesta Diesel

The Fiesta diesel starts with a mild rumble but settles down with only a little noise entering the cabin. The diesel Fiesta belts out 90 bhp of power and 204 Nm peak torque.

The car is easy to maneuver thanks to ample feedback from the steering, which involves the driver just enough to inspire confidence.

The diesel Fiesta is much better to drive compared to the petrol, as torque delivery comes in earlier in the diesel and it requires fewer downshifts to overtake compared to the petrol. The diesel Fiesta felt better to drive on the highway than the petrol. Read our Ford Fiesta “First Drive” story here.

Mileage

Ford claims an ARAI-certified fuel consumption of 17 kmpl for the petrol and 23.5 kmpl for the diesel Fiesta. During the CarToq.com test drive, the petrol Fiesta managed around 11 kmpl and the diesel Fiesta returned around 15.8 kmpl.

Features

Both the models have the same set of features on board. Ford’s cockpit like interior is soothing to look at and also boasts best in class sound dampeners, allowing very little noise to filter into the cabin.

new ford fiesta interior photo
Photo: The Fiesta offers many creature comforts and interior is well designed

The central dash console has a button layout reminiscent of a traditional cell-phone keypad. The steering is equipped with audio controls and the black and silver theme works well for the vehicle. The top-spec variant even comes equipped with (audio-only) parking sensors and cruise control (Only one in the segment).

Interesting features on the Fiesta are steering mounted audio controls, a trip meter, a voice recognition system that even controls the automatic climate control and Bluetooth hands free capability. It also has i-pod and cell phone connectivity, a USB port, aux-in and a 12v/10A power outlet.

The Fiesta is loaded with some interesting features but misses out on features like a reverse parking camera, front arm rest and rear AC vent.

Ride and Comfort

The Fiesta’s suspension is sorted and the car handles speed breakers and bumps with ease. The ground clearance is adequate which is roughly 155mm-165mm too is adequate. Overall the car is comfortable but three in the back will be tight due to the transmission tunnel hump in the middle.

The front seats are comfortable with ample back support. The height adjustable driver’s seat also makes for a comfortable driving position. Both headroom and legroom are decent at the rear and even tall passengers can travel without constantly bumping their head into the roof.

Conclusion

Overall, the new Fiesta is good car. But it is up against some serious competition. For the new Fiesta to really stand out in a tough group, it will have to have a killer sticker price.