The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
You sit higher up in the Fiesta than in many small hatchbacks. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but some may prefer a lower-slung posture. Active models have a ride height that's 18mm higher, but it only makes a subtle difference.
Height aside, the driving position is tough to knock. The seat holds you securely in place through corners while remaining comfortable on long distances. Some of the more expensive trims even come with adjustable lumbar support – a rare but important feature in this class. Happily, it’s a cheap option on Zetec, Titanium and ST-Line models.
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 slightly, with relatively small rear side windows hampering your over-the-shoulder view. Mind you, the high driving position gives a good view of the road ahead, and your view out of junctions isn’t too restricted. All Fiestas give you the convenience of automatic headlights, too.
A heated windscreen that can de-ice itself in moments is a major boon in winter and is standard on all trims. Rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera are standard on Vignale and Active X trims; the former is optional on all other trims and the latter an option on all but entry-level Zetec.
Sat nav and infotainment
The Fiesta's 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system – with sat-nav on some of the posher trims – is relatively simple to use, but isn’t quite as intuitive or quick to respond as that of the Seat Ibiza or Volkswagen Polo. Our main complaint is that there are no physical shortcut buttons to make it easier to hop between functions.
On Zetec and ST-Line trims, it doesn't cost the earth to add built-in sat-nav, but we'd be tempted to use your smartphone instead, because you can mirror its display on the Fiesta's touchscreen thanks to standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The upgraded Bang & Olufsen sound system is seriously punchy, if a little flat in the mid-range. It's still well worth considering if you love music, though, and comes as standard on B&O editions and selected other upper trims. For those who still use CDs, a glovebox-mounted CD player is optional on all versions of the Fiesta.
The interior bits you touch regularly – 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 any of that in the 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. You’ll also notice some unappealingly textured plastics lower down on the dashboard.