The seventh-generation Ford Fiesta is the UK's best selling car, helped by frugal engines, handling verve and a big car feel
First DriveFord is cashing in on the popularity of its Fiesta ST hot hatch by lending its name to this less potent model. It makes a lot of sense
First DriveA punchy and efficient 1.0-litre engine makes for an entertaining junior hatchback
What is it?
After a News Analysis in the magazine last week (which highlighted Ford’s rather unusual position in having no ST or RS on its price list), it’s somewhat ironic that Ford dispatched to us one of its 500 special-edition Fiesta S 1600s the week after.
Of course, this is no hot hatch and isn’t heralded as such. Instead, it’s an attempt to ensure that Blue Oval forecourts have something that at least resembles a performance Ford until the 180bhp ST Fiesta arrives late next year.
What's it like?
So this new warm Fiesta is not quite at the required temperature; at 132bhp, it’s still short of the 138bhp factory-approved tuning package from Mountune. And although it has a 0-60mph time of 8.2sec, it doesn’t feel hugely quick. Also, to get the best performance (and noise, thanks to new, bigger pipes) you have to push the revs to the upper echelons of the counter.
The new exhaust does sound rorty, but because Ford as a car manufacturer has to adhere to noise regulations, the S 1600 doesn’t have the big decibels that you can get if you take your plain vanilla 1.6-litre petrol Fiesta to Mountune.
What you do get, though, is a Frozen White or Performance Blue paintjob (the latter a £470 premium) with contrasting stripes, plus a rear spoiler and some great new 17in white alloy wheels. Not forgetting blue stitching on your leather seats and steering wheel.
On the road, you soon realise that nothing has been done dynamically to the car, which is no bad thing. And with a bit more power, the sweet-handling Fiesta offers even more opportunity for you to enjoy yourself.
Should I buy one?
Ford will have no problem selling another in a long line of sporty Fiesta specials, especially as it has already shifted half of them.
Ford Fiesta S 1600
Price: £15,900; Top speed: 120mph; 0-62mph: 8.2sec; Economy: 47.9mpg (combined); CO2: 139g/km; Kerb weight: 1045kg; Engine: 4 cyls in line, 1596cc, petrol; Power: 132bhp at 6700rpm; Torque: 118lb ft at 4250rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd manual
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