TIME TO FIESTA: Ford Fiesta - Small and green is the new big and powerful

BY CHARL BOSCH - JULY 24, 2014

When Ford showcased its stunning Verve concept at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, they also previewed the next generation Fiesta which hit showrooms in late 2008. The Fiesta kept many of the Verve’s styling elements including the centre console which, according to Ford, was meant to resemble the latest smartphones.

With great excitement, I was recently handed keys to two of the latest 2013 spec Fiestas at Eastern Cape Motors in North End, Port Elizabeth - the revised 1.6 TDCi ECOnetic Trend and the all-new 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium.

Not only has the facelift, incorporating a new Aston Martin esque grille and revised front and rear lights, given the Fiesta a bold and sporty new look, but has enhanced what was already an impressive supermini.

Inside, Ford has retained the smartphone centre console but the highlight has to be Ford’s Sync system which allows you to take control of your music as well as Bluetooth. What’s more, Sync can be voice-activated and thanks to volume control buttons and ‘answer / end call’ buttons on the steering wheel, you can control it without taking your hands off the wheel.

As expected from a German-built car, the interior build-quality is top-class with soft-touch plastics and a classy-yet-sporty and ultra-modern feel thanks to the aforementioned smartphone centre console and general fit and finish. The EcoBoost Titanium has the addition of black piano key inserts around the centre screen and window switches.

Under the bonnets of both cars is the biggest highlight. The Fiesta’s 1.6 TDCi forms part of Ford’s ECOnetic model line-up which uses a conventional diesel engine but with underbody and aero modifications to minimise drag and maximise fuel efficiency. Alternatively, the EcoBoost uses a 1.0 turbocharged three cylinder engine, which was crowned 2012 World Engine of the Year, and is the last word in green meets performance.

The 1.6 TDCi produces 70 kW and 200 N.m of torque while the EcoBoost produces an astonishing 92 kW and 170 N.m. Both deliver their power strongly although in this regard, the EcoBoost steals some of the diesel’s thunder.

Not only is it smooth but there is never a moment where is feels underpowered and it pulls like a 1.6, not a 999 cc three pot. It comes with stop/start technology which helps to match the diesel’s claimed consumption figure of 4.3 l / 100 km.

I was left absolutely stunned and speechless by both models and given by the amount of stares I received on the highway, so were other road users.