We got a chance to test drive the new Fiesta for a weekend and here’s what we thought of the new subcompact from Ford’s garage.
Coming from someone who used to drive a manual sedan, then moved on to an automatic family van, driving the Ford Fiesta 1.5L Sport was a wake-up call. It was like I was learning how to drive all over again, and it felt great! Sure, the new Ford subcompact is an automatic transmission vehicle, but that didn’t stop me from getting all giddy and falling into bouts of having the car jerk forward like a total driving newbie.
What I personally enjoyed about the new Fiesta was how much connected you are with it as soon as you push the engine ignition button on. It was a spirited ride!
The Fiesta has gotten a facelift for its newest version, an aesthetics choice I’m not really a fan of. But while the front has changed, the rear end of the car retained the old Fiesta look, something I really like, as it gives a very sporty silhouette.
The Sport version comes with 15-inch wheels, which does up the whole cool factor, but more care should be given when navigating around potholes and uneven road surfaces. The body kit included finishes of the sporty vibe, especially the duck tail spoiler.
Much of the new Fiesta’s interiors have been kept the same, with a black plastic trim as an immediate, noticeable upgrade. A driver unfamiliar with the Fiesta might want to take a bit of time to learn how to navigate through the center console. It’s a techie’s dream car actually, since the new model retained the keypad and dials that control most of the car’s comfort functions.
A great Fiesta function of having cup holders everywhere has also been retained, as well as the supportive seats. These seats really hold the driver and front passenger in place, without putting too much restriction on movement and overall comfort.
The 1.5L engine may be a step down from its predecessor, but given the traffic conditions, it seemed to me like it’s still a bit too much. The dual-clutch transmission system can get a bit jerky at times, which gave me the sensation of learning to drive a manual transmission car all over again. This was, however, remedied with practice, and easing off the gas a bit, since the Fiesta is mighty responsive. It actually seemed like the car can’t wait to spring into action!
Since it is a subcompact, the fuel economy is very acceptable given the power it can muster. I averaged around 8-9km/L driving around the city (with traffic) and around 14-16km/L on the open road.
The Fiesta is an absolute pleasure to drive. The ride is very comfortable, even on uneven roads. It really felt like you actually get to your destination faster, despite going through the same level of traffic. There were times when the ride gets too comfortable because the engine is quiet and the suspension isn’t jarring. That’s the time when I found a bit of open road and allowed the Fiesta to have some fun.
Straights are when I felt the Fiesta was happiest. Overtaking was a smooth affair, with power to spare. It seemed like it had so much power to give, that its braking system left something to be desired. I found that the brakes are a little soft, given this was a Sport version, and stopped half a foot farther than I would’ve liked. I took the car to a few friends, and had them try out the handling, especially the braking. Everyone agreed that the brakes needed to be firmer in stopping the car.
As mentioned earlier, the new Fiesta has cup holders to the nines! This car was built with more than one person in mind to ride, with the comfortable seating and trunk space. The climate controls are responsive and passengers could quickly feel the cool air when the compressor kicks in.
You can also connect your smartphone or USB drive to the Fiesta via ports and either Bluetooth or Microsoft Sync. The sound system is top notch, delivering all the bass and clear highs one would expect from a good quality set-up.
The Fiesta sports keyless entry and push-button start functions, a norm in today’s automobiles. The security system is simple to learn and left us confident–something very important nowadays!
People who love going on out of town trips would thoroughly enjoy the Fiesta on unrestricted highways! It’s a great first car for women, given the ease of handling and creature comforts. Men would have a great time with it as well, thanks to the aggressive engine and sporty look. We can’t fail to mention the concern about the braking, as safety is something everyone should be mindful of when getting a new car.
I recommend people try out the new Fiesta! It’s one of the best vehicles in its class, and a very exciting car to drive. Don’t blame me if you’d actually want to buy one!
Non-watermarked photos courtesy of Ford Philippines