What is it?
The seventh-generation of the Ford Fiesta – and the latest incarnation of a car that has done much to define small-car motoring in Britain since the original was launched in 1976.
Underneath the new model shares platform components with Mazda’s lightweight 2, as part of what Ford calls its Global Product Development System. But while the MacPherson strut front suspension and twist-beam rear suspension have been carried over, Ford engineers have altered bushings and spring and damper rates. European Fiestas will also get a stiffer twist beam at the rear, designed to aid handling.
As always, Ford will be offering a comprehensive choice of engines, from a basic 1.25-litre petrol all the way to the 1.6-litre TDCI diesel that we’re testing here, in range-topping Titanium trim. Spec includes air-con, 15in alloy wheels, projector headlamps, leather steering wheel, front fog lamps and trip computer – but then, it should be generous to justify the pricetag.
What’s it like?
It’s been a while since a Fiesta could genuinely claim to be a class benchmark, but this one can.
Inside, the new Fiesta feels like a class above many of its key rivals, and it feels at least two generations beyond the outgoing model.