2014 Ford Fiesta: The Fiestatic
Majority of the car makers in the country are bombarding the market with their different models and variants. Some are shouting about the mileage delivered while the rest are banking on the galore of features offered. While these two aspects continue to remain dominant decision makers, there is one aspect which has been ignored completely.
Ford India has been a steady player in the country's car market. They may not have a broad profile as some of its competitors but then they have successfully created their own niche space. With the Ecosport, they spearheaded back making headlines for launching a revolutionary product at an unbelievable price.
Looking at the success of Honda City and Hyundai Verna, it is obvious many car makers are lining up their offerings to leave a mark in this segment. Number's game is the most important aspect in India but Ford India does not believe so. They have launched the 2014 Ford Fiesta and have no plans to take the segment with storm. Confused?, We reveal more on it along with the missing aspect in present day premium cars in our first impression report.
Waves and flowing design have got so popular that it is difficult to imagine a design without these two characteristics...umm... not really in the case of new Fiesta. It has gone under the designer’s scissor only to get bolder and more refined than earlier. While other cars might look confused with an aggressive stance paired with curvy lines, the new Fiesta is the only muscular looking bold option present in the segment.
The earlier model was not a bad looking car either but with the new version, the design has got crisper than before. It gets the trapezoidal front grille to give it a One Ford family look. The headlight cluster too has been redesigned with enhanced detailing to improve illumination. The new laser cut headlights are in true sense wrap around in design.
All one finds on the new Fiesta is pure muscle. The well sculpted design with performance highlights look really impressive. Hood lines have been revised with a powerful themed strong middle section flowing on it. Best part about the new Fiesta is there are no defined set points like the point where the headlight ends and the A pillar start is very unconventional. The window line is wide at the front and gets slender as the design progresses towards the rear clearly hinting of its driver centric design. A sharp wedge line flows from the front wheel arch to the rear section.
On the side profile, the thing that really got me hooked was the new alloy wheel design. They remind me of a civilized and sane version of the one seen on the 458 Italia. Ford will offer the Fiesta in six shades with the Golden Bronze and Smoke Grey being the new additions. My favorite has to be the aqua blue followed by the smoke grey as both would look amazing with blackened stock alloys and an aftermarket spoiler on the boot lid. Just to make it look extra saucy, garnish it with offset twin racing stripes and an amazing looking racy sedan is ready. The blue has not made it to the brochures yet but who knows perhaps a racy S variant can be in the pipelines.
Luckily this time, Ford paid attention to the rear as well. The only design flaw on the earlier Fiesta with those odd looking tail lamps has been rectified. It now gets elongated tail lamps which gives it an LED look. The contours and profiles of the rear bumper have been retouched to give it a muscular touch. Boot lid comes with an integrated spoiler lip. The lower section of the bumper gets a matte cladding and a thin chrome strip running above it.
Design wise, the new Fiesta feels a lot bolder than before. It has flared wheel arches and strong bulging rear profile but then everything makes sense as Ford has made sure that all stay in correct proportion.
Inside the new Fiesta, the design remains similar to the previous model. It is very much like the one on the Ecosport but with dimensional changes. The Fiesta is primarily for the self driven class instead of the being driven group. The interiors trims and gadgets may not feel premium but then it will attract the savvy kind with a host of high tech features.
Leather seats don’t come as a standard package even on the premium Titanium variant but then there is an option of getting leather vinyl seat covers. This was done to keep the car interiors as simple as possible and the costs too. Both row seats are done in premium quality fabric. Front row seats come with a strong lumbar support. Legroom in this area is neat as the entire arrangement of the central console is done in a proper manner. The seats are reasonably comfortable.
It is evident that Ford has concentrated more on the front of the vehicle rather than the rear in terms of occupant involvement and comfort. It does not feel premium because it is not intended to. The rear section is not spacious and even the seats are not comfortable. Under thigh support is still missing. Even the legroom is not sufficient. Ideally, the new Fiesta seats two normal sized adults comfortably in the front followed by children in the rear.
Ford has left the lure of premium for the other manufacturers, as it relies on technology. If one goes by the list of technological offerings in the new Fiesta, other cars might feel Stone Age. It comes with SYNC paired with Ford AppLink. With such innovations, they are not pulling a marketing stunt but instead concentrating more on safety. The company wants the driver to have minimal distractions. Voice assist plays a great role in limiting the need of actual movement by the driver. The system has got a lot more intelligent than before. It syncs with a Smartphone and also aids the use of applications on it with just a voice control. Ford offers three stock applications which include Glympse, MapMyIndia and ESPN Cricinfo. It will have more apps in future.
Among the three variants, the Trend and Titanium trim get almost all the options like AUX-in, USB and steering mounted controls except for the voice assist SYNC which comes only on the Titanium variant. It gets a standard audio system with 6 speakers. The playback quality is impressive. One can tweak it with different setting options available on the screen.
It has a boot space of 430L. The front doors get storage pockets while the rear doesn’t get any. There are twin cup holders on the central area along with a central bottle holder for the rear passengers. Spacious and roomy interiors are not the key point of new Fiesta as the main focus is on convenience and technology.
In the beginning of the review we had mentioned about a missing aspect which has been completely ignored by the manufacturers in India. Now that it is being mentioned in this section of the review, it is obvious we meant Performance. If one wants impressive performance then he has to shell out more which has become a common belief. Ford wants to shatter this myth with the new Fiesta.
To keep things simple, the new Fiesta is being offered in diesel only. The company claims that they have a new approach towards this segment and wanted to target only the torquey diesel heads by giving them a great performing sedan they have always wanted to own.
The new Fiesta gets the same 1.5L TDCi diesel engine as seen on the Ecosport. It makes 91PS of power at 3750 rpm and generates a torque of 204Nm at 2000 to 2750 rpm and comes in a 5 speed manual transmission only. The same motor on the Ecosport feels grumpy but on the new Fiesta it feels more relaxed. Unlike a typical diesel engine which takes its own sweet time to get warmed up, this one starts producing torque before the 2000 rpm mark. It behaves like a petrol motor and revs like one too.
The engine has been remapped to deliver a better fuel mileage. The dynamics of this engine is way better than Ecosport and for obvious reasons. The short throw transmission unit is precise. The free revving engine goes all the way to 5000 rpm before progressing to the next gear. The drop in engine speed between intermittent gear shifts is less and thus the progression is quick.
The suspensions have been tweaked to offer softer ride quality. This is true as the suspensions took all the battering we thrown at it. The new Fiesta has to be definitely one of the strongest and best handling cars in the segment. Its driver oriented design, performance and features come into play when the engine starts climbing the tachometer. At high speeds while taking corners, the new Fiesta stays planted on roads. Along with its amazing handling potential due credit goes to the sticky GoodYear tyres too which do a great job.
The cabin insulation level has gone up and this was done by special tyre tuning which has brought down tyre noise. The floor mating has been changed in order to make sure sound dampening is more effective. There are additional measures too where the company has improved on like the sealing features, body construction and insulation to ensure redundant noise is cancelled.
|Power (PS/RPM)||91 / 3750|
|Torque (NM/RPM)||204 / 2000 - 2750|
|Gears||5 Speed Manual|
|Wheel Base (mm)||2489|
|Turning circle radius||5.2m|
|Fuel Tank capacity||40|
|Tyre Rating||195/60 R15|
|Features||1.5D Ambiente||1.5D Trend||1.5D Titanium|
|Front Dual Airbags||Only Driver side||Yes||Yes|
|ABS with EBD||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ORVM Electrically foldable||No||No||Yes|
|Reverse Parking sensors||No||No||Yes|
|HVAC||Manual||Auto A/C||Auto A/C|
|Rear Defogger / Demister||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Guide me Home Headlamp||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electric Boot Release||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Adjustable rear head rests||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Audio (CD/MP3/AM/FM) with 6 Speakers||No||Yes||Yes|
|AuxNoIn & USB||No||Yes||Yes|
|Audio Controls on Steering Wheel||No||Yes||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||Titanium||VX Diesel||1.6 CRDI SX Opt.|
|Power (PS/RPM)||91 / 3750||99 / 3600||126 / 4000|
|Torque (NM/RPM)||204 / 2000 - 2750||200 / 1750||260 / 1900|
|Gears||5 Manual||6 Manual||6Manual|
|Wheel Base (mm)||2489||2600||2570|
|Turning circle radius||5.2m||5.3||5.2|
|Fuel Tank capacity||40||40||43|
|Tyre Rating||195/60 R15||175 / 65 R14||195 / 55 R16|
The new Fiesta is not for the ones who seek conventional beauty but for them who value pure driving. The company has launched it in three trims and one engine option with a 5 speed manual transmission. The purpose of doing this was to keep it really simple for the prospective consumer. It seems Ford has taken a lesson or two from its past chapters and worked really hard in improvising on them.
Interestingly, it is not numbers that Ford is looking with the new Fiesta. The reason being it doesn’t have a gasoline engine and a premium feel which its staunch competitors Honda City and Hyundai Verna promise of. However, it is also true that the other two cars have really never emphasized on performance but just banked on mileage and features whereas for the new Fiesta, the pleasure of driving a performance sedan plays a pivotal role. To top it up it delivers a claimed mileage of 25.01kmpl which is impressive.
We were assured by Vinay Piparsania, Executive Director, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford India that the prices of new Fiesta would be a pleasant surprise and so it was. The new Fiesta has been launched at Rs.7.69 lakhs for the Ambiente, Rs.8.55 lakhs for the Trend and Rs.9.29 lakhs for the top of the line Titanium variant (all prices Ex-Showroom Delhi). They have taken great efforts to bring down the cost of ownership and also offer a 1-year / 100,000 km warranty which can be extended further. All we can say is the Fiesta is back and with a Bang!!!