Ford Fiesta long-term test review

The Ford Fiesta has long been considered the best small hatchback on sale, thanks to its dynamism, simplicity and peppy engines. We find out if the new model can continue that 40-year-long legacy...

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What Car? team
5 Apr 2018 9:38 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 0:3

  • The car Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 100 Zetec
  • Run by Benjamin Davies, sub-editor
  • Why it’s here To find out if this new model has enough substance to keep the Fiesta – long considered to be the best small hatchback on the market – ahead of the chasing pack
  • Needs to Be more mature and grown up than ever before and match the best in class for touches of luxury without losing its predecessor's dynamic charms

Price £15,445 Price as tested £16,920 Miles covered 8470 Official economy 65.7mpg Test economy 45.4mpg Options fitted Frozen White premium colour (£250), 16in alloy wheel pack, including rear privacy glass and front scuff plates (£450), City Pack, including rear parking sensors and electrically folding door mirrors (£300), electric rear windows (£175), Bang & Olufsen 10-speaker audio system (£300)


5 April 2018 – trading up?

I finally got the chance to put the Fiesta through a proper test run with a trip to Liverpool over the Easter weekend. I was concerned that the 400-mile round trip might drag with just a 1.0-litre petrol engine to power us along, but I needn’t have worried because it’s a peach of an engine, getting us up to motorway speeds quickly and remaining quiet and refined while cruising.

The Fiesta was so comfortable, in fact, that we arrived feeling fresh after a five-and-a-half-hour journey. However, my 6ft 2in brother did feel the non-height-adjustable front seat was set too high, leading him to feel a little claustrophobic by the end of our journey.

The positioning of the infotainment system is also starting to wear. While the 8.0in touchscreen is crisp and the icons responsive, the placement of it doesn’t quite work. It’s set too far forward, so you have to turn your head rather than just your eyes. This becomes annoying after a while and even a little dangerous when travelling at motorway speeds.

Ford Fiesta long-term test review

Meanwhile, I got the chance to drive an equivalent Volkswagen Polo over the past month. This has given me the chance to assess just how the Fiesta compares with one of its closest rivals. To my eyes, the Fiesta is the more attractive car, its curves and side sculptures standing out against the more conservative-looking Polo.

I also preferred the look and feel of the Fiesta’s interior. While VW has a deserved reputation for quality, the Polo’s dashboard felt solid but a little underwhelming. The Fiesta’s soft-touch plastics appeared more high-end than the harder plastics in the Polo, too.

It’s a tighter contest in terms of driving, though, and as ever it comes down to personal preference. The Fiesta’s 1.0 engine felt slightly more responsive than the Polo’s 1.0 unit and the steering provided more feel through the corners. But I preferred the slicker gearchange in the Polo and the car absorbed bumps and potholes better.

It’s a close call, but I’ll happily stick with my Fiesta for now.

Next: More on our long-term Ford Fiesta >