New Ford Fiesta Driven Review
The Ford Fiesta has been around for as long as I can remember. In my college days, the “Festa” as it was affectionately known in the UK, became a very popular car among new drivers, especially the “ST” variant. Naturally, it was quite popular among boy racers, particularly the Mk4, which went under the knife in more ways than one. Some were modified tastefully, others appeared to been butchered by your local yob. Having now driven the new “Festa” in South Africa as an adult, it’s safe to say as I have grown up and so has the car.
The new model brings a much curvier design to the fore. The “all-new” attire would suggest it’s had a job promotion. It looks more professional, more sensible and grown up. Unfortunately, it’s similar to your best friend at work making it to management. The days of paper aeroplanes and slapping backsides are over.
Ford’s 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine added to the overall sensible experience. This is the engine to opt for if you find yourself heading to your boring job. Sorry, I meant a sensible job which requires a lot of driving and fuel economy is a top priority. There’s plenty of torque for overtaking in higher gears and there’s also range for days, 700Km’s plus per tank to be exact. This is something to be desired with the current fuel prices in South Africa.
The suspension has also been tweaked with improved damping, which makes for a comfier ride on a smooth surface. Around bumps, the new Fiesta is quite firm, but that adds some excitement in the corners. On the inside, more tech, more safety and a better infotainment interface are all good improvements over the previous generation. In line with this, cabin layout and design has also been improved for a much more modern feel.
So far so good right? Maybe, but I can’t stop drawing similarities to Ford’s new Fiesta and vanilla ice-cream.
You see, If I was to ask you what your flavour of ice-cream is, I’d be surprised if you told me vanilla. I mean, that’s a pretty boring option in my opinion. In the hipster era we live in, there are so many flavours to choose from. While your friends are going wild over mint chocolate chip and kale, Oreo brownie and Crem Brûlée – you’re going to feel a truck load of FOMO if you opt for plain Jane vanilla.
As an ice cream, vanilla does the job, you know what to expect. I bet you could probably get some very creamy, home-made vanilla ice cream made by someone’s grandma’s cousins friend – available at your local farmers market of course. Even so, that doesn’t make it any less plain, and who wants plain in 2018?
While the Ford Fiesta has undergone many changes and has improved technology, it still reminds me very much of vanilla ice-cream – it’s a bit too conservative. I battled to find any chocolate chips, nothing that jumped out at me and said: “wow, that amazing.”
Ford Fiesta ST
You may be thinking the ST variant of the new Ford Fiesta will be its saving grace, with its much more performance orientated demeanour. It features a new turbocharged 1,5-litre three-cylinder engine with 147 kW and 290 N.m on tap. With a front-wheel-drive setup and a 0-100km time of 6.5 seconds, this would be the Fiesta to feed the desire of those wanting a little more from the Ford hatch. Due to South africa’s low fuel quality, however, the Fiesta ST won’t be making its way to our beautiful country. How tragic.
Do all cars need to have an exciting flair to them?
The answer to that question is purely down to opinion. Whilst many car buyers in South Africa view the vehicle they drive as an expression of their personality, others don’t. Some motorists just want an affordable, easy and reliable way to get from A to B. The new Ford Fiesta excels in that department. Yes, there are other hatches that have more excitement to them. This may be in the form of looks, tech, or performance, but there’s no doubting that Ford’s new Fiesta is very good at just being a great car designed to be economical and safe. If you do purchase a Ford Fiesta, at-least order it with some sprinkles and make it pop.
If you are looking for a modern hatch In this segment, there are other options you can consider, such as the Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Hyundai i20 and the list goes on. An even cheaper option could be the new Suzuki Swift which also arrived in South Africa in 2018. It’s light in price and on fuel, but lacks the tech featured in both the Polo and Fiesta.
New Ford Fiesta Pricing in South Africa
Fiesta 1.5 TDCi Trend 6MT R292 500