The next Ford Fiesta will boast a higher-quality interior and more mature looks; set to go on sale early next year
Steve Cropley Autocar
11 August 2016

The next-gen Ford Fiesta will build on the current car’s success with more mature looks and a higher-quality cabin.

The design and mechanical layout of the seventh-generation Ford Fiesta supermini, due to be unveiled at the end of this year, has been heavily influenced by two familiar small cars.

The 2017 Ford Fiesta has been revealed today

One is the new budget Ka+, which promotes the Ka nameplate from the A-segment to the B-segment and frees the new Fiesta to move to a ‘mainstream premium’ position in Ford marketing parlance.

The other influencer is the current, sixth-generation Fiesta, which is still setting records after seven years on sale. Its enduring popularity and great road ability reassure Ford that its customers will be happy with an evolutionary car.

“The current Fiesta has been so successful,” one Ford insider told Autocar, “that it has earned the right to evolve.”

Like the current car, the new Fiesta will be based on Ford’s Global B platform, also used in a simpler form for the Ka+. That means the new Fiesta will be very similar in overall length and wheelbase to the existing car, although there is talk of slightly wider tracks.

Clues to chassis spec came to life with the current Fiesta ST, when suspension engineers decided the twist beam rear suspension needed retooling to preserve handling balance and improve ride comfort. But the investment needed was not forthcoming until Ford committed to using familiar but improved components in the next-generation car.

So the new Fiesta will have a developed version of the outgoing model’s platform, complete with tuned but fundamentally unaltered MacPherson strut front suspension, rack and pinion steering and a twist beam rear end. Although manufacturers such as Renault have dropped three-doors from their supermini ranges, the new Fiesta will continue in three-door and five-door versions.

Scoop photographs show a car with exterior styling reminiscent of the outgoing model’s but with a wider and more grown-up look brought by extra width, a lower bonnet, thinner headlights and horizontal tail-lights to replace the current vertical affairs. Ford hopes no current owner will be put off by the new look.

The cabin styling, especially the fascia, will be simpler and focus on making the car more spacious and airy — not least because the current car’s ‘looming’ dashboard was one of its few unpopular features. The presence of the Ka+ in the B-segment’s lower reaches will also allow interior quality and materials to be enhanced, to compete with the likes of Volkswagen.

The Fiesta’s gentle move upmarket should allow it to major, at least for petrol engine buyers, on the 1.0-litre three-cylinder Ecoboost engine, now available in three power levels, with the 1.5 TDCi four-cylinder unit as diesel support. The sixspeed dual-clutch Powershift auto will continue until multispeed ‘hydraulic’ autos arrive in two or three years’ time. Ford is also certain to continue with its class-beating Fiesta ST.

The clear intention is to avoid ‘frightening the horses’ with its new Fiesta when the car goes on sale in the first half of next year, with current models accounting for one-third of European Ford sales. But the company also wants to offer something new, with greater concentration on quality and better materials.

Read more: Ford Fiesta Studio and Style trim levels dropped from UK line-up

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

Join the debate

Comments
34

11 August 2016
"Mainsream premium" is management speak for bang £5k on the price tag. Coming soon with the pauper spec Fiesta starting at a reassuringly expensive £19995.

11 August 2016
The Fiesta is already the size of the original Focus. So why can't it be a Focus?

To "Go more premium" is just an excuse to push prices up.

Ford interiors are poor, they should have done a better job in the first place

11 August 2016
Richard H wrote:

The Fiesta is already the size of the original Focus. So why can't it be a Focus?

To "Go more premium" is just an excuse to push prices up.

Ford interiors are poor, they should have done a better job in the first place

Poor compared to what exactly?

11 August 2016
Citytiger wrote:
Richard H wrote:

The Fiesta is already the size of the original Focus. So why can't it be a Focus?

To "Go more premium" is just an excuse to push prices up.

Ford interiors are poor, they should have done a better job in the first place

Poor compared to what exactly?

Any vehicle on sale. Have you experienced the interior of an Eco Sport?

11 August 2016
Marc wrote:
Citytiger wrote:
Richard H wrote:

The Fiesta is already the size of the original Focus. So why can't it be a Focus?

To "Go more premium" is just an excuse to push prices up.

Ford interiors are poor, they should have done a better job in the first place

Poor compared to what exactly?

Any vehicle on sale. Have you experienced the interior of an Eco Sport?

A model that was designed originally with the emerging market in mind, but because of Fords change of plan, they decided to offer it as a world car, its still better than a much more expensive supposedly premium VW Caddy Life, which is virtually the same thing, but was designed with Europe in mind and is just a van with windows.

12 August 2016
Citytiger wrote:
Marc wrote:
Citytiger wrote:
Richard H wrote:

The Fiesta is already the size of the original Focus. So why can't it be a Focus?

To "Go more premium" is just an excuse to push prices up.

Ford interiors are poor, they should have done a better job in the first place

Poor compared to what exactly?

Any vehicle on sale. Have you experienced the interior of an Eco Sport?

A model that was designed originally with the emerging market in mind, but because of Fords change of plan, they decided to offer it as a world car, its still better than a much more expensive supposedly premium VW Caddy Life, which is virtually the same thing, but was designed with Europe in mind and is just a van with windows.

Regardless of what or where the the thing was originally designed for it is sold here and its interior design, fit, feel and finish fall way below market expectations. Yes the VW is a van, therefore you get an interior designed to withstand commercial use, it was always designed an engineered as a commercial vehicle and doesn't pretend to have been anything else and having first hand experience of the Eco Sport, it is miles behind the VW, your are simply deluded to think otherwise.

11 August 2016
The current Fiesta is the same size as the Mk1 Focus? Are you absolutely sure about that?! Without checking dimensions, picturing the two cars, I really don't think you are right with that statement?

12 August 2016
AddyT wrote:

The current Fiesta is the same size as the Mk1 Focus? Are you absolutely sure about that?! Without checking dimensions, picturing the two cars, I really don't think you are right with that statement?

No that is as yous suspect, completely wrong. Having reasonably regular use of a current fiesta and a former owner of a Mk1 Focus; I can confirm that the original Focus is longer and slightly wider, has much more interior and boot space than the current Fiesta.

12 August 2016
Richard H wrote:

The Fiesta is already the size of the original Focus. So why can't it be a Focus?

To "Go more premium" is just an excuse to push prices up.

Ford interiors are poor, they should have done a better job in the first place

Because the current Fiesta is not as big as the MK1 Focus.

12 August 2016
Richard H wrote:

The Fiesta is already the size of the original Focus. So why can't it be a Focus?

To "Go more premium" is just an excuse to push prices up.

Ford interiors are poor, they should have done a better job in the first place

Because the current Fiesta is not as big as the MK1 Focus.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Vauxhall VXR8 GTS-R
    The VXR8 GTS-R is a limited-edition model that marks the demise of the V8-powered Vauxhall… probably forever
    First Drive
    22 August 2017
    There will only be 15 made, but is the GTS-R the final hurrah for the infectious Vauxhall VXR8? We've had an exclusive drive
  • Alfa Romeo Stelvio
    The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio. We've tested it on UK roads for the first time
    First Drive
    18 August 2017
    First tilt on UK roads reveals a chassis almost as absorbing as the Giulia’s, though the Stelvio’s comfort and quality levels may disappoint SUV clientele
  • Car review
    18 August 2017
    Amid a broader vRS refresh, Skoda has built its most powerful Octavia yet to take on the established order
  • Jaguar F-Type Convertible 2.0 i4 on the road
    First Drive
    16 August 2017
    Having been previously impressed by the agile four-cylinder F-Type, now is our chance to try it in the UK and in open-top form. But can this entry-level Jaguar sports car hold off the impressive Porsche Boxster?
  • Aston Martin V8 Vantage AMR
    The Aston Martin V8 Vantage AMR is a swansong for the Vantage - but the first model to sport the AMR title
    First Drive
    16 August 2017
    Aston Martin's swansong for its venerable Vantage sports car allows it to bow out with its head held high, yet the performance AMR sub-brand's first outing leaves you feeling short-changed