From £9,715
The Fiesta Ecoboost marks the smallest car Ford's tiny three-pot engine has been installed in. Logic suggests it should be good.

Our Verdict

Ford Fiesta

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

What is it?: 

Whatever the parlous state of Ford’s European balance sheet – a document best avoided by accountants of a nervous disposition – the flow of new cars wearing Blue Oval badges continues unabated. Next up, at the end of the year, comes a refreshed Fiesta, which gets far more than the usual mid-term spruce-up.

The headline act is the introduction of Ford’s 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine in 99bhp or 123bhp guise. This three-cylinder, direct-injection turbocharged engine has been cropping up all over the place since Ford slotted it into the Focus, and it’s destined to find a home in a lot more models yet.

The Fiesta is the smallest and lightest car it has appeared in so far. With the more powerful of the two engines you have a power-to-weight ratio of almost 113bhp per tonne, which eclipses what’s on offer in anything else in the Fiesta range – at least until the 180bhp ST arrives next spring.

What's it like?: 

Ecoboost is more about plateau-like torque delivery rather than outright power, hence its suitability for such a wide range of models. Here it doles out a constant 126lb ft from 1400rpm to 4500rpm, with an extra 22lb ft available on overboost for bursts of up to 30 seconds to shorten overtaking times. 

It’s possible to drive almost anywhere in third gear from little more than walking pace, and there’s no need for more than five forward gears, despite leggy gearing in top. This is a major contributor to the diesel-like claimed economy and emissions of 65.7mpg and 99g/km, along with engine stop-start and brake energy recovery.

Ford describes the combination of the Ecoboost engine and Fiesta chassis as the best pairing since Lennon and McCartney. They certainly bring the best out of each other. The springs and dampers have been tuned to suit the modest mass of the three-pot motor and there’s now less friction and better off-centre response from the electrically assisted steering. 

None of this changes the almost telepathic communication between car and driver. Approach a corner, size it up and without seeming to do much you’re around and scooting off in search of the next. That alone sets the Fiesta apart from most other superminis, but the fact that this is accompanied by a supple ride and, now, reduced road noise puts it in a class of one. 

The top Ecoboost engine is also available with Zetetc S and the new Titanium X trim levels from £15,395. There’s been some freshening up of the front and rear ends, including slimmer lamps and a new Aston-esque five-bar grille which is a bit over the top in a car of such modest size. There are new exterior colours which make the car hard to miss, too. 

Inside, elements of the trim and switchgear have been smartened, modified or relocated, and there are valuable additions in the fields of connectivity and safety.

MyKey allows parents to restrict the speed that inexperienced offspring can drive, how loud they can play their music and which of the driver aids they can disable. Sync brings connectivity services to the car and automatically dials the emergency services after a shunt. And Active City Stop can prevent crashes at up to 10mph and reduce the effects of those at up to 20mph. 

Should I buy one?: 

By itself, technology like this would do nothing to salvage a mediocre car. In the Fiesta, they’re the butter cream in the Victoria sponge cake.

The Fiesta Ecoboost offers all that’s good about a small petrol car with the best bits of a diesel thrown in.

Roger Stansfield

Ford Fiesta 1.0T Ecoboost 125PS Titanium 3dr

Price £15,445; 0-62mph 9.4sec; Top speed 122mph; Economy 65.7mpg; CO2 99g/km; Kerb weight 1101kg; Engine 3 cyls in line, 999cc, petrol; Power 123bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 126lb ft at 1400-4500rpm; Gearbox 5-spd manual

 

Join the debate

Comments
23

21 November 2012

That kind of blend of performance and economy from an unassisted petrol engine is unheard of, although I reckon the claimed fuel consumption figures are a tad optimistic (as is the way with most cars with a turbocharged petrol engine).

Still, with this engine, the Fiesta is very desirable. It's such a pity that it now has a hideous face.

21 November 2012

SunnyL wrote:

That kind of blend of performance and economy from an unassisted petrol engine is unheard of,

What part of this confused you:- "This three-cylinder, direct-injection turbocharged engine"

Any how, sounds like a cracking little drive. Guy at work has the Focus and thats quite fun.

21 November 2012

audiolab wrote:

SunnyL wrote:

That kind of blend of performance and economy from an unassisted petrol engine is unheard of,

What part of this confused you:- "This three-cylinder, direct-injection turbocharged engine"

I think he was thinking petrol hybrid (electric engine assisted), like the Yaris Hybrid...

I have this engine in the Focus with some extra oomph and I love what it does and how it does it... chassis is good fun too with an unexpected balance for a "family car"...

 

21 November 2012

Onehp wrote:

audiolab wrote:

SunnyL wrote:

That kind of blend of performance and economy from an unassisted petrol engine is unheard of,

What part of this confused you:- "This three-cylinder, direct-injection turbocharged engine"

I think he was thinking petrol hybrid (electric engine assisted), like the Yaris Hybrid...

I have this engine in the Focus with some extra oomph and I love what it does and how it does it... chassis is good fun too with an unexpected balance for a "family car"...

 

 

You could well be right, I'll go and eat half a humble Pie immediately.

21 November 2012

... exactly the same as this, but Zetec S suspension, 6 short, closely stacked ratios and a fruity exhaust!?

Ford might even have a true successor to the original Golf GTi on it's hands - simple, affordable fun.

21 November 2012

If it keeps just a few rattling cancer chemical producing diesels off the road then I'm happy. 

Obviously, just like diesels (but maybe less so), you've got to knock a few mpg's from the official figure.

 

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

21 November 2012

I run a new Focus with this engine. It's truly astonishing what Ford have achieved. Great performance, much better than a 1.6, and even better than my old 1,6TDCi. Recently transported 5 adults with ease, and when I give it some welly the sound reminds me of a Mondeo V6 I once owned! Averages an easy 48mpg, and its £30 a year tax. Love it.

21 November 2012

Is this engine likely to be used in the Ka to replace the gutless engines they currently install?

22 November 2012

@superstevie - Interestingly VW have ditched the Multilink suspension setup from lesser powered versions of the Golf and reverted to the Torsion beam setup. This goes some way to explaining how they are able to sell the MK7 for less than the MK6.

 

RE the Fiesta looks, I think the 2008 model looked great but they changed the spec a fair bit over the years spoiling the looks somewhat. The ugly 15" alloys they've been supplying for the past year or so were particularly bad. This seems to be a return to form although they've dropped some of the low profile tyre options which although good looking resulted in a poor ride.

 

theskinnyfatkid79 wrote:

Is this engine likely to be used in the Ka to replace the gutless engines they currently install?

Unlikely as the Ka is built under agreement with Fiat and as such shares its engines with the 500. We could see an Ecoboost branded KA using the Fiat Twinair unit though.

21 November 2012

Brilliant engine surrounded by a comedy car

I think considering dire state of this and the current crop of new models and facelifts from Ford this will prove the turning point for them again, like with the last model Escort.

No wonder they're in the sh!t.

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