New Ford Fiesta specs better than Vento, but Verna, City still ahead

Ford India has revealed engine details and other specifications of the all-new Fiesta, ahead of the car’s launch scheduled for July 2011. At first glance, the engine specs are impressive, but when you stack them up against the competition, the Fiesta is about at a par or slightly below some of its rivals.

The new Fiesta will be powered by 1.5 litre petrol and diesel engines, with improved power specifications that are pretty competitive compared to its peers – mainly the Volkswagen Vento and the “Fluidic” Hyundai Verna.

Petrol packs a punch

The new 1.5-litre petrol engine in the 2011 Global Ford Fiesta is rated at 108.46 bhp of maximum power and 140 Nm of torque, thanks to the use of Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT). This technology varies the valve-timing on the double-overhead cam (DOHC) engine depending on the engine rpm, providing better power and better fuel economy. The engine is mated to a 5-speed transmission and as per ARAI ratings this engine will give a mileage of 17 km/litre.

new ford fiesta photo
Photo: 2011 Ford Fiesta Sedan

So on paper where does that put the petrol Fiesta? When you compare it with the petrol Hyundai Verna, the 1.6 Verna appears better powered with a 123 bhp, 1.6 litre petrol engine that puts out 158 Nm of torque. The Verna also claims an ARAI-certified mileage of 17 kmpl. Then there is the base variant of the Verna – the 1.4-litre petrol engine, which puts out 106 bhp and 138 Nm of torque, with a claimed mileage of 17.43 kmpl. Against this version, the Fiesta is highly competitive.

When you compare the petrol Fiesta’s engine with the petrol Volkswagen Vento, the Fiesta is about at a par or slightly better. The Vento puts out 104 bhp of power and 153 Nm of torque from its 1.6 litre engine, but real-world mileage on the Vento is only about 12 kmpl.

So among the petrol sedans, its going to be a close call between the Fiesta and the Verna. We’ll only know which is better value once Ford reveals the prices of the Fiesta in July, and of course, when we drive the car in a couple of days.

Fuel-efficient diesel

However, we expect more buyer interest in the diesel variant of the Fiesta. Here’s how the diesel variant stacks up.

The 1.5-litre diesel engine in the 2011 Global Ford Fiesta is turbocharged and inter-cooled and puts out 89.7 bhp of maximum power and 204 Nm of maximum torque. This engine too is mated to a 5-speed transmission and gives a mileage of 23.5 km/litre as per ARAI ratings.

Against the base version of the diesel Hyundai Verna, which is powered by a 1.4-litre 89 bhp engine with 224 Nm of torque mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, the Verna appears to have a slight edge. The higher-end Verna diesels powered by the 1.6-litre engine, are way ahead in the power specs on paper.

If you pitch the Fiesta against the Vento diesel, the Vento appears better powered on paper with a 104 bhp, 1.6-litre engine that puts out 240 Nm of torque. But the Vento is not as fuel-efficient as the Fiesta, and this is something that diesel buyers will be particularly looking for.

Ford India will initially launch the global Fiesta only with manual gearboxes (in July). But the company will likely launch an automatic gearbox as well (later this year).

So how is Ford planning to differentiate the Fiesta in the market? On gizmos and equipment.

Ford has loaded the new Fiesta with many best-in-class features. The car boasts of Voice control where a user can change the radio station or music track and also control the temperature inside the cabin only by voice commands. Further, the top-end variants of the Fiesta will get cruise control, USB/Aux-in connectivity and rear parking sensors.

The new Fiesta gets an electric power steering (EPAS) that is mated to a Pull Drift Compensation technology. The Pull drift compensation makes for better stability. Ford cars have been known for their excellent handling, and it’s likely that this will make the Fiesta a pleasure to drive.

Prices of the new Fiesta are expected to be between Rs. 8 lakhs and Rs. 10 lakhs at launch in July. Ford India, had unveiled the new Fiesta in New Delhi on April 14th 2011, but had kept the engine specifications under wraps. We will be driving all the variants of the new Fiesta in the next few days and will bring you a detailed driving impression soon.

Watch this space.