From £12,7157
We get a first taste of Ford’s poshest Fiesta in turbocharged diesel form

Our Verdict

Ford Fiesta

In remaking Britain’s best-selling car, Ford has trodden lightly with the new Fiesta. But has it done enough to keep its place at the head of the table?

Sam Sheehan
17 November 2017

What is it?

The latest Fiesta is the first to get treatment from Ford’s premium division, Vignale. Like Ford’s other posh models, this new range-topping variant gets a hefty list of standard kit as well as a swankier cabin.

The adjustments to the exterior are discreet, with a new chrome grille insert up front and standard 17in wheels the most obvious changes. But inside, passengers sit in standard leather seats (heated in the front) and the driver holds a leather-wrapped wheel with heating. The dash and parts of the door cards are also wrapped in leather.

As standard, Vignale models get a panoramic roof, an 8.0in touchscreen with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and there's a powerful 657W 10-speaker B&O Play premium sound system. Driver assist features including a 4.2in TFT instrument cluster, traffic sign recognition and auto high beam lighting are also thrown in.

No changes have been made to the car’s drivetrain or chassis, so it comes with a choice of the same 1.0-litre Ecoboost and 1.5 TDCi diesel engines as the rest of the range. The structure itself is also unmodified, although Vignale has added extra soundproofing.

What's it like?

You won’t be surprised to hear that Ford’s top Fiesta is the most comfortable. The leather seats are supportive and feature excellent adjustability, while the steering wheel’s leather wrap makes it soft and squidgy in feel.

Receiving Ford’s highest-resolution touchscreen as standard ensures that the Vignale is, in infotainment terms, one of the best-equipped cars available for less than £25k. The Sync3 system is a marked improvement over the old one, with intuitive menus and a simple, attractive design.

This premium feel continues across the cabin, with leather strewn over the dash top and door armrests. However, there are still hard touch plastics within easy reach, the most noticeable of which is the interior door handle.

Once moving, the effect of the car’s thicker soundproofing immediately becomes clear, with our car’s optional 18in wheels sending very little road noise into the cabin. This heavily contrasts with the regular car (and sportier ST-Line X), which can be dominated by tyre noise on certain motorway surfaces.

The 1.5-litre TDCi engine powering this test car is set to remain a niche choice in Britain, where the Ecoboost 1.0-litre is expected to continue to dominate Fiesta demand. But despite its predicted lack of sales impact, the diesel is a strong offering with punchy mid-range grunt and genuine pace.

It’s also remarkably refined in this package, with almost no audible tone penetrating the cabin under normal loads. Even when worked, it produces a deep hum, rather than the mechanical rattle some rivals project, although there’s little point in revving past 3750rpm because torque quickly tails off.

With no changes to the car’s suspension or structure, the Vignale corners with the same quick responses and sure-footed damping as the regular car. While this set-up prevents the car from feeling cushioned, it makes the Fiesta feel confident and ultimately more fun to drive.

Cabin space has improved on the old Fiesta, but rear legroom falls short of the class’s best, with taller passengers likely finding the space in the back cramped. The car’s 292 litres of boot space (with the rear seats up) does at least match its arch-rival, the Seat Ibiza.

Should I buy one?

The Fiesta Vignale’s mix of kit, comfort and handling makes it a great all-rounder. This package feels well suited to the diesel engine under the bonnet of our test car; however, the asking price required for the unit is less attractive.

With true premium models like the Mini Cooper, as well as larger ones like the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class, priced in this region, the Ford – even in its finest form – finds itself in a class where badge prowess and image are important.

The Vignale’s lengthy kit list and refinement mean that in some measures it is more than a match for these German rivals. But the fact that most people will see the Vignale as ‘just another Fiesta’ may hamper its competitiveness. For those who do buy one, this will at least ensure it remains a niche choice.

Where Snowdonia, Wales On sale Now Price £21,675 Price as tested £22,720 Engine 4cyls inline, 1498cc, turbocharged, diesel Power 118bhp at 3600rpm Torque 199lb ft at 1750rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual Kerb weight 1188kg 0-62mph 9.0sec Top speed 122mph Economy 80.7mpg CO2 89g/km Rivals Mini Cooper, Seat Ibiza

Join the debate

Comments
14

17 November 2017

Should've called it Miami or Expando.

20 November 2017

I think Apprentice candidates must have come up with the whole "Vignale" concept!

17 November 2017

looks well offset to the left....

17 November 2017

Sounds great for someone who wants a small luxurious car without the size of a bigger car. All the kit and spec you could want in a small refined cheap to run package.

Yes the asking price is high but no one will be paying that much anyway. 

17 November 2017

Cladding the interior with leather does not make it premium, not with the dashboard design that looks so tired, outdated and uninspired. Sooner or later Ford will find that a good drive won't be enough, especially when Citroen offers such refreshing design and promised ride comfort in its Hydromatic (Hydraulic?) suspension.

17 November 2017

That is going to depreciate like a rock.  £23k for a Fiesta?!  Um. No.

 

17 November 2017
Will probably be a great second hand buy when someone has taken the depreciation hit.

17 November 2017

I wonder why Ford dropped the old Ghia monicker? Ghia represented years' of brand development as the top trim of the Ford range. Vignale seems to be starting the entire Ghia branding exercise all over again and from pretty much the same point. 

17 November 2017
James Dene wrote:

I wonder why Ford dropped the old Ghia monicker? Ghia represented years' of brand development as the top trim of the Ford range. Vignale seems to be starting the entire Ghia branding exercise all over again and from pretty much the same point. 

The Ghia name was over used. It started out as a range topper, but over time it kinda fell through the range and ended up being at the heart of it ( what Titanium and all it's variatons are now ). It also had an association with beige interiors and wood ( " wood " ) trim that Ford deemed was out of tune with their desired " sporty/trendy " image.

 

 

18 November 2017
£23k for a Fiesta?!

The dashboard looks like someone's taken the contents of teenager's toybox and glued them all over it.

Call me old fashioned but I'd much rather have the Fiesta Mk1 or Mk2 XR2i.

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