The strategic decision to launch new Fiesta and subsequently renaming older one as Fiesta classic hasn’t met with response that Ford Indian would like to have. On one hand new Fiesta fails to draw customers into showrooms andon the other, legacy of old Fiesta; now called as Fiesta classic has also got adversely affected by this baptism exercise. Before this titling name practice Fiesta was doing quite well as market had shown considerable acceptability towards this sedan. In fact the car was quite popular among driving enthusiasts owing to its excellent dynamic prowess and efficiency. But then came along new Fiesta that elbows out this older version; forced her to wear Fiesta classic badge while hogging all limelight for itself. Though this show off didn’t last long as intelligent Indian customers were very quick to diagnose some critical inherent weaknesses the new avatar of Fiesta comes with. Further high sticker price has proved another major deterrent for this Ford. In fact the only positive take away from all this jiggling and shuffling exercise continuation of older Fiesta; now called Fiesta classic. Ford officials are well-versed with strong brand loyalty Fiesta Classic inherits and are working overtime to leverage this aspect to hilt. The launch of Titanium edition of Fiesta classic is one such effort in a chain of measures Ford India has planning to boost sales of its overall Fiesta range.With solid backing of TNS Total Customer Satisfaction award two times in a row; Ford is confident of repeating original Fiesta success with now what is called as Fiesta Classic. But whether Fiesta classic wil be able t do that or not? How successful Fiesta Classic will be in emulating success of its previous name? Will customers once again bet their hard money on Classic badge as they did for Fiesta in past? All these and many more questions are answered in road test of Fiesta Classic brought to you by petrol heads at ECARDLR.
Fiesta Classic is the one of the few cars in Ford family that is devoid of company’s kinetic design philosophy in explicit way though it doesn’t mean we are suspecting its beauty quotient. Front face consists of broad nose with imposing honeycomb grill. Triangular headlamps are large and have some interesting details built within them. Bonnet sculpting merging with the rear bumper hints towards kinetic theme though itsimpression is subtle in nature.
Move aside and you’ll find aggressive and sleek lines giving some dynamism to the shape of Fiesta Classic. Slim pillars look authentic as well as aid the practicality of the car. Move towards the rear and car starts showing its bulk. Third quarter view though show some bulkiness it doesn’t look very absurd.
Rear view of the car is quite boxy even though tail lamps try to make things interesting. Pronounced bumper further accentuates its stubby flab though the large trunk area hints at a generous boot capacity. With length of around 4.2 m, Fiesta classic boasts of very balanced proportions. All the parts merge well with each other though some dynamism at rear would have done some more justice with the design quotient of car. Also ground clearance of 168 mm is not very generous especially considering the conditions of our roads.
Interiors storey of Fiesta classic matches its younger sibling; Figo. Two-tone colourscheme is used in dash board which feels luxurious as well as hardwearing. Layout of the cabin though intuitive lacks the feel of bliss. Centre console consists of music system as well as HVAC controls but feel a little bit cluttered with too many buttons.
Steering wheel is meatier and along with large dials aid to the intuitiveness of the car. Silver accents inserted at various places are a nice touch and make the cabin a more opulent. In a sharp contrast glove box will let you down with its small width.
On space front, Fiesta classic confirms to the silver medal with mediocre performance. Though front seats are big and large, rear will disappoint you when it comes to the overall space availability. Front seats too; though large lack the bolstering which means you have to be careful in case you are a spirited driver. Rear bench though set high and good on thigh support lacks the generous space feeling of some of the other sedans in this segment boasts of. With a wheelbase of 2486 mm; Fiesta fails to impress you with its leg as well as knee room. Certainly space is not the forte of this Ford but then it doesn’t claim it either. In fact somewhere the indulgence of Ford engineers towards ride and handling aspect has taken its toll on the space front as distance between two axles has been kept under close scrutiny.
Trunk space is also in synch with the average space theme of fiesta Classic. Though it is quite decent in isolation as capacity of 430 litres is quite ok but when the broader picture of comparison comes on horizon; Fiesta Classic lags behind the segment benchmarks like Toyota Etios.
Fiesta Classic continues to feature the same power plants; petrol and diesel displacing 1.6 L and 1.4 L respectively. We tried our hand on oil burner pushing out 68 PS of power along with 160 Nm of torque. Though the petrol variant of car uses DOHC with 16 valves; this oil burner still features 8 valves mounted on single overhead cam. Refinement of the engine is good but not very impressive as audible grunt is always present outside the car.
If power figures fail to impress you; we are confident that drivability won’t be. In fact this 68 PS seems like we are driving a car capable of producing 100 PS. Such wonderful power delivery makes Fiesta classic as one of the benchmarks on the drivability aspect. Power is delivered in an absolute smooth manner making this motor absolutely a jewel among the sedans.
Similarly mid-range of the car also represents a gratifying experience. Power doesn’t seem to be tapered off even when the rev needle approaches the top end. Engine feels refined responsive and invites you to further nail down the accelerator. So if you blindfolded me and didn’t tell me about the engine capacity; I would have guessed power above the 90 PS.
Car is mated with 5-speed manual transmission. Gear shifts are smooth, direct and very precise. Foot well is a little bit of squeeze though steering wheel in nicely weighted. Clutch feels progressive though brake pedal wobbles a little bit in test drive vehicle. Overall the feel of steering is one of the best available in market. Unlike the other vehicles where steering feel like a body without soul, Fiesta Classic has steering that bristles with life and feedback. In fact we like so much this responsive character of Fiesta classic that we don’t hesitate to declare it one of the best driving cars in and around corners.
TWIST & TWIRL
In order to suspend wheels Fiesta uses McPherson strut up front and semi-independent heavy duty twist beam at the rear. Very few cars can match the finesse of this car when it comes to dynamic ability. Fiesta classic features one of the best ride and handling combination of this segment. Ride comfort is good though there is little bit of awkwardness at low speeds. Except this, ride becomes more stable as the whack increases and the high speed ride is nearly flat. Car has got some amazing stability even at high speeds and it seems if tires were glued to the surface.
Again very few cars can match the finesse of this car when it comes to dynamic ability. Fiesta classic features one of the best ride and handling combination of this segment. Ride comfort is good though there is little bit of awkwardness at low speeds. Except this, ride becomes more stable as the whack increases and the high speed ride is nearly flat. Car has got some amazing stability at high speeds and it seems if tires were glued to the surface.
Handling is another exceptional feature of this car. Twisty roads are something you are going to enjoy with this car as it shows some amazing capability of tracing its line. The car invites you to corner hard and almost remain in its line all the time. Steering wheel is full of feedback and feel delightfully weighted at high speeds unlike the other cars whose steering become almost dead as speed increases. So Fiesta classic holds the crown of most accomplished car on dynamic aspect.
Fiesta range starts from Rs6.82 lakh for basic diesel trim Lxi while top-end Titanium model is retailed at Rs7.81 lakh. Although highest titanium variant is one who got all new bells and whistles including the Bluetooth connectivity, all new beige interiors, fog lamps, alloy wheels, keyless entry and OVRMs’ though still price is not that makes compelling case for buying Fiesta classic although it’s not at all bad either. What makes Fiesta Classis stands out from others is its exceptionally sorted ride and handling characteristics. Right from its very capable suspension to paranormal steering wheel. Fiesta Classic is every bit of enthusiastic car. If you enjoy driving and throwing your vehicles into corner then Fiesta Classic is vehicle tailor made for you. It may not as spacious and luxurious as some of its rivals are but then it handsomely makes up for all these deficiencies by scoring A+ grade on engine tractability, driving pleasure, slick gearshift and exceptional dynamics. No surprise company has already sold 1, 50, 000 cars and number is still expected to rise with new edition of this classic sedan.
Style & Substance 3/5 Ride & Handling 4.5/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3.5/5 Safety & Equipment 3.5/5
Power & Transmission 4/5 Fuel Efficiency 4/5
Value for Money 3.5/5