Well, it’s a step down in refinement from the EcoBoost-equipped Fiesta. If you’re familiar with Ford’s turbocharged three-pot, then this non-boosted version may at first come as something of a disappointment.
Without the muffling effect of a turbocharger, quite a bit more engine noise finds its way into the cabin, especially on the wide throttle openings you often find yourself using. With the full 79bhp not appearing until 6300rpm, and with peak torque arriving at 4100rpm, this feels like a relatively peaky engine.
As such, the engine needs to be revved hard to keep pace with anything other than sedately moving traffic. To put the performance into some context, Ford quotes a 0-62mph sprint time of 14.9sec, a full 3.7sec behind the 99bhp 1.0T
In isolation, however, and avoiding direct comparison with the near-otherworldly refinement and zest of the turbocharged three-pot, this version isn’t without appeal.
It’s a willing enough performer around town, and you soon get used to the background soundtrack of that offbeat thrum. It doesn’t feel wholly out of its depth on the motorway either, although you may find yourself changing down a gear to keep pace on long, uphill stretches.
Otherwise, this Fiesta is business as usual. As-tested Zetec trim brings a fair amount of kit in a neatly executed and contemporary-feeling cabin with a great driving position.
More to the point from an enthusiast’s point of view, you get a fantastically well resolved ride (particularly on the otherwise unfashionable standard 15-inch wheels), fine steering and a wonderfully composed and agile chassis.So composed, in fact, that in this guise you’re often reminded just how much more power it could handle than the 79bhp available here.