In its most frugal form, this new engine is expected to emit just 98g/km of CO2, although the 94bhp 1.5-litre diesel will remain the most efficient engine in the range, with CO2 emissions as low as 82g/km.
Inside the new Fiesta, Ford has opted for a complete overhaul. Gone is the buttonheavy dashboard of today’s model, replaced instead by simple rotary temperature controls and a ‘floating’ touchscreen infotainment display (6.5in on lesser trims and 8.0in on Titanium and Vignale models).
The screen features big, clearly marked icons and is placed high up on the dash and in line with the instruments in order to minimise time spent looking away from the road when changing radio stations or adjusting the car’s settings.
In addition, the screen allows the sort of pinch and swipe gestures used to operate a smartphone. Alternatively, the infotainment system can be operated using simple, conversational voice commands, although this is likely to be a cost option on most models.
Perceived interior quality is much improved, too. The plastics are now as plush as those in a Mini or a Volkswagen Polo, while a semi-translucent piano black insert stretches all the way from the instrument binnacle to the centre console and is made in one piece so there are no unsightly shut lines.
The new Fiesta isn’t much bigger than today’s car. The rear seats flop down onto the bases when folded and there’s no adjustable boot floor to making loading and unloading easier. But the dashboard has been reshaped to free up more knee room, so four adults will be able to fit more comfortably inside the car.
There won’t be any budget versions of the new Fiesta, because Ford wants to leave room below it for the cheaper Ka+ model, which was introduced earlier this year.
Buyers will also be offered 15 driver assistance technologies, including automatic high beam assist, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and an automatic parking system.
The new Fiesta will also be the first Ford available with the latest version of the company’s autonomous city braking system, which can not only prevent a collision with the car in front but also detect pedestrians on or near the road, even at night.
Additionally, the outer rear seats now feature seatbelt load limiters and pre-tensioners — previously fitted only to the front seats — to help prevent injuries in an accident.
Along with the upgraded safety kit, there’s the option of a B&O Play premium stereo system with 10 speakers, including a boot-mounted subwoofer and a central mid-range speaker sited on top of the dashboard.
Sales for the new model kick off in July 2017.
Speaking at the Fiesta's unveiling, Ford of Europe President Jim Farley said the company had "over-delivered" on the promises made four years ago - at the first Ford Go Further event - to streamline its business in Europe and to create new products and technologies.