Riding on the Ford Figo Success, Ford launched its new Fiesta with a steeper price tag. Ford’s logic to do so is driven by two reasons; Prevent heavy canabalisation into the sales of its existing Fiesta renamed Fiesta Classic, plus existing production constraints which restricts numbers to no more than 1500 cars/month. Does the New Ford Fiesta has in it to become another runaway success for Ford? Ecardlr test drives the car exhaustively to get you some answers.
The Rs. 8-12 lakh segment seems to be the new growth frontier for Indian car makers. It has this year seen the launch of the new Verna, reduction on price by Honda for its City and by Chevrolet for Optra and expected Rapid from Skoda. All of them are targeting the upwardly mobile B+ segment car owners who very soon would be looking to move a step ahead in their life. Consumers spoilt by top end features in a hatch; would look for far more tactile feel inside the car complemented by top-end features in their next upgrade.
STYLE & SUBSTANCE
Ford’s Kinematic design philosophy is evident the moment one lays one’s eyes on the car. Chrome splashed trapezoidal grill along with blue-oval trademark stares prominently at one’s face. Swept-back multiple headlamps looks classy lending an obvious style to the car externally.
Sharp side along with muscular wheel arches, steeply raked windscreen and swooping roof gives the car its coupe-ish image. Steep downward slope of the ‘C’ Pillar negatively impacts rear seat headroom. Bulbous bulky raised boot seems to be the only blemish on a otherwise sexy looking car.
INTERIORS, SPACE & ERGONOMICS
Ford fiesta features a completely new interior scheme like exterior design theme. One look at the console is enough to brang back memories of yesteryears Sharp MOTO Razor mobile phone design. The similarities are too obvious to be ignored. Ford obviously is targeting the funky upwardly mobile Indian youth for whom style and functionality are part of the same coin, inseparable from each other.
Excess grey in the dash adds acertain dullness to the interiors but the funky centre console mitigates the same to some extent. Grains don’t exude any sort of luxurious feeling but still have the enduring characteristic on their side. The car has got the MDI screen at the center & the center-console got the full keypad to support the devices. The whole arrangement of things, however aren’t very intuitive. Instrument cluster got the binoculars-type arrangement but the visibility from the hooded dials is not very great.
3 spoke steering wheel is tilt-adjustable & well sculpted, not to forget the silver/chrome garnish on its spokes. The position especially at 9 & 3 are great to use. The controls on the wheel are also well laid out & quite intuitive to use.
Auto A/c is standard on the higher trim levels & gets the voice assist though. The use of voice command though is not very handy to use. It would require practice and an accent for one to operate it conveniently.
Glove box is quite large a glove chiller would have made it more functional.
Front-seats are very well laid out, they are nicely contoured, have good sides as well as thigh support. The driving position is good & so is the all-round visibility. The drivers-seat is height adjustable which adds to one’s convenience.
In contrast, rear seats don’t match up-to the expectations. The seats are placed low & short of any kind of the support. The legroom is sufficient but the coupe-ish profile has taken a toll on the headroom.
POWER-TRAIN & TRANSMISSION
Ford’s strong point and they don’t let you down with the New Fiesta.
New Ford Fiesta comes with a diesel and petrol power plant, both with an engine rated capacity of 1.5 L. We drove the New Ford Fiesta Diesel car a 1.5 L SOHC (Single Overhead Camshaft) with fixed geometry turbo-charged engine capable of delivering 90 Ps @ 3750 rpm of power & a torque of 204 Nm @ 2000-2750 rpm. The move is surprising as most of its competitors use a DOHC power plant, even its petrol cousin uses DOHC camshaft mechanism.
Beyond figures the egnibe feels smooth and refined even at idle. The insulation is good & so is it’s responsiveness. It revs freely & power climb is pretty linear. One only wishes that the linearity characteristic of power generation was as smooth as in the old Fiesta(AKA New Ford Fiesta Classic). The turbo-lag is almost absent but crawling at higher revs gear is not very smooth. Tractability is not very great & in order to give it top-end highway performance, it been compromised to some extent.
Highway cruising is very smooth & engine revs freely. Even though the rev-limiter is marked at 4500 rpm but the engine starts to groan at around 4000 rpm mark. The 3 digit speed limit is attained & sustained quite effortlessly.
Gear-Box is smooth & precise. Gear shifts with ut-most ease & like the old Fiesta. It does not feel rubbery and happens in classical way. Clutch is a little-bit heavy to operate & can make you feel tired after long drive, especially in traffic, though some relief comes in the form of dead-pedal.
Ride and handling departments is also Ford’s forte. New Ford Fiesta is miles ahead in this department of its competition. New Ford Fiesta retains the crown for the Ford as it has very sophisticated dynamic abilities striking very good balance between riding & handling.
Underpinnings at the front suspension uses McPherson strut with coil spring & anti-roll bar while rear uses semi-independent twist beam. Ride is little bit stiff at the slow speed but absorbent with rising speeds. High speed stability is great like all the Ford’s proposition & Fiesta rides well on 15” wheels.
New Ford Fiesta delivers competent handling characteristics which are in a league of itself. It still retains the crown as best handler car in mid-size category. Corner it hard & Fiesta, with its ultra-modern & stiff chassis, won’t give you any reason to complain.
Ford claims that new Fiesta comes with class leading fuel-economy figures: 17 Km/l for petrol & 23.5 Km /l for diesel mill. This can easily translates into 15+ mileage figure for the diesel mill, which is excellent for the car of this stature.
VALUE FOR MONEY
No doubt that the Fiesta is priced on the steeper side not only to take on the rivals like Vento & Fluidic Verna, but also to leave space for its Ford Fiesta Classic to competent and garner market share from the Dzire, Manza or to some extent SX4 bracket. Whilst Figo with penetrative pricing did woo the customers, Ford has debunked the same for its New Fiesta. We at eardlr believes that whilst the car might find takers initially, pricing might become an issue with increasing supply and company’s ambition to get a larger share of Rs.8-12 lakhs price segment.
Style & Substance 4 /5 Ride & Handling 4/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3.5/5 Safety & Equipments 3.5/ 5
Power-Plant & Transmission 4/5 Fuel Efficiency 3.5/5
Value for Money 3/5