You need conduct no in depth evaluation to know one area in which the Ford Fiesta continues to rule the class. Sensing that a car’s appearance was as important to a Fiesta buyer as a Ferrari buyer, Ford’s original shape for the Fiesta reset the template for small car style more convincingly than any car since the Peugeot 205 in 1983.
Cute, wedgy and combining perfect proportions with effortlessly fluent detailing it would have sold on looks alone. The recent update has left its essential prettiness unchanged, but added a hitherto unprecedented sense of purpose to the Fiesta ranges.
Beneath that skin lies a skeleton of no great apparent innovation. Its steel platform is shared with the Mazda 2 and adapted for the Ford B-Max and features a conventional strut type front suspension and the torsion beam rear axle layout preferred not only by Ford but every other major competitor for its efficient packaging and, of course, cheapness of manufacture. Both three and five door versions are available.
Where it gets a little bewildering is when trying to choose a powerplant. Ford has made much of the abilities of its award-winning three cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine, so much so that three different variants are offered, one that breathes air at atmospheric pressure and produces 79bhp and two with turbos producing 98 and 123bhp respectively.