Car maker admits it can't ignore one of Europe's fastest-growing segments; beefed up versions of Fiesta and Mondeo possible
24 February 2016

Ford is planning to offer three ‘Allroad’ versions of cars in its range within the next three years, Autocar has learned.

The car maker has so far stayed away from the trend to beef up standard models with SUV-inspired cladding, but the firm’s number two executive in Europe, Barb Samardzich, told Autocar that Ford couldn’t ignore the growing segment.

“You could even include vehicles you might not think about doing it to, like the Fiesta. You put some black cladding in the right spots, roofrack it, and get it looking a lot more active,” she said, without actually naming the models Ford will convert. Neither did she say what name would be given to the crossover-styled cars.

The Mondeo Estate would be a strong possibility for the makeover, given that it already comes with a four-wheel-drive option. The large family car class already includes the new VW Passat Alltrack and it’s likely Skoda will offer an Outdoor version of the new Superb to replace the old model. Also in the VW stable, Audi offers an Allroad version of the A6 Avant and is expected to apply the treatment to the new A4 Avant.

The Ford Focus Estate could also made to look more rugged, and would compete against the Seat Leon X-perience and Skoda Octavia Scout.

However, the trend hasn’t always taken off; last year Vauxhall stopped selling the Country Tourer version of the Insignia Estate, citing the high cost of converting the car to accept the new ‘whisper’ diesel engine.

Ford is trying to position itself as an SUV specialist as it chases market share lost to the likes of Hyundai, Kia and Nissan. The brand will launch the revised Kuga toward the end of this year, adding a new 1.5-litre diesel engine with the potential to hit 64.2mpg while emitting 115g/km of CO2. It will also launch the large Edge SUV later this year, and is expected to apply its luxurious Vignale trim to the duo.

Our Verdict

Ford Fiesta
Fiestas sold in Europe are ostensibly the same as those sold in America and Asia

The seventh-generation Ford Fiesta is the UK's best selling car, helped by frugal engines, handling verve and a big car feel

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Comments
3

25 February 2016
Good to see Ford's reacting to market trend which is not such a bad thing, but they should do it wholistically- Get rid of the tacky bee-sting aerials, use better materials inside, tidy up your engine bay, and be bold and embrace LED lighting, these are what most European cars offer, and are very popular with consumers. Come on Ford!

25 February 2016
I'd name them XR for 'cross-roads', it's time the XR line got re-issued. With 1, 2 & 3 trim levels a la ST. That, or use it for the forthcoming crossovers from Ford. XR1 for Ka-based, XR2 for Fiesta, XR3 Focus & XR4 Mondeo-sized. Though arguably the Edge is the Ford D-segment crossover, as it's less vertically ambitious than the Kuga compact SUV.

26 February 2016
that tag belongs to Audi (VAG) along with other suitable badges, so I wonder what those head scratchers will come up with. Maybe we can start our own name suggestions like : FORDOVER CROSSINGS WEATHERALL BEATENTRAK OFFTRAK one things for sure - they are going to have to improve their interiors considerably to compete in this segment. Audi always takes the biscuit because they do it so well. It sells 70% of the cars for them

what's life without imagination

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