The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
All trims come with a height-adjustable driver's seat, but even in its lowest setting, you sit higher in the Fiesta than you do in many other small hatchbacks. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but some may prefer a lower-slung driving position. Active models have a ride height that's 18mm higher, but you don't really notice the difference.
Height aside, the driving position is tough to knock. The seat holds you securely in place through corners while remaining comfortable over long distances. The upper-level 'X' trims even come with adjustable lumbar support – a rare but worthwhile feature in this class.
Meanwhile, the controls for the air conditioning (which is replaced by automatic climate control on some of the posher trims) are logical and clearly marked, although the cruise control buttons on the steering wheel are a bit fiddly.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The Fiesta’s rounded shape compromises visibility a bit, as does its thick-ish front and rear pillars and relatively small rear side windows, which hamper your over-the-shoulder view. It's easier to judge the corners of the boxier Skoda Fabia. Mind you, the Fiesta's fairly high driving position gives a good view of the road directly ahead, helped at night by the standard LED dipped headlights. Full LED headlights are an optional extra on all but Trend models, and are standard on ST Performance trim.
A heated windscreen, which can defrost itself in moments, is a major boon in winter and is standard across the range. Rear parking sensors are also standard on all trims apart from entry-level Trend (where they're optional), and you can add front sensors and a rear-view camera to most models.
Sat nav and infotainment
You have to pay to add a built-in sat-nav on entry-level Trend trim (it's standard across the rest of the range), but we'd be tempted to save the money; you can use your smartphone instead, mirroring its display and apps – including Google Maps and Waze – on the Fiesta's touchscreen, thanks to standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Trend trim comes with two USB ports and a six-speaker stereo, which is boosted to seven speakers in every other model. Then there's the upgraded Bang & Olufsen sound system that is seriously punchy, if a little flat in the mid-range, but still well worth considering if you love music. It comes as standard on 'X' editions and the Vignale, as does wireless phone charging.
The interior bits you touch often – the steering wheel, gearknob and indicator stalks – feel fairly upmarket by the standards of the class, and the Fiesta even has soft-touch plastic on parts of its dashboard. You won’t find that in an Ibiza or Skoda Fabia.
Mind you, the Fiesta’s interior doesn’t feel quite as solidly screwed together as the Ibiza’s or Polo's, nor is it as plush as a Peugeot 208's. You’ll also notice some unappealingly textured plastics lower down on the dashboard. Higher trims do add some snazzier gloss black trims and the Vignale trim comes with plush, quilted leather seat trim.
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A fine all-rounder and one of the very best small cars.