From £17,0807

Seventh generation of Ford's popular Fiesta gains a fresh look and a load of new tech for its mid-life facelift

Once consistently Britain’s best-selling car, the indefatigable Ford Fiesta has always had to move with the times in order to maintain its popularity, even before it hit the UK’s number one sales spot back in 1990.

For the facelifted version, which Ford took the wraps off in September 2021 before UK cars arrived in showrooms in spring 2022, digital cabin technology, new active safety and convenience features, and wider design differentiation are the levels being applied to keep the good times rolling.

When Ford launched the current, seventh-generation car in 2017, it turned to SUV-aping styling to help keep a fairly traditional supermini relevant. Next to the core versions of the car, the Fiesta Active blended in a raised ride height and some extra-rugged styling cues along with the car’s more traditional styling and positioning to try to convince buyers that it offered just enough added chunky visual presence and day-to-day convenience to deserve consideration amid the melee of more novel crossover hatchbacks. And now the Fiesta Active maintains its place in the showroom range but gets an even bolder and better-differentiated roughty-toughty look.

Elsewhere in the range is the entry-level Fiesta Trend, the core Fiesta Titanium model, the sport-styled Fiesta ST-Line and the range-topping Fiesta ST hot hatchback. Upper-trim versions of each, identified by an 'X' suffix, are also available, taking the place formerly occupied by Vignale versions.

As for engines, the vast majority of Fiestas will be powered by Ford’s multi-award-winning 1.0-litre Ecoboost three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, on offer in the car in 99bhp and 123bhp tunes - the latter with 48V mild hybridisation. A 74bhp 1.1-litre four-cylinder petrol option powers the very cheapest Fiesta in the showroom range, the Fiesta Trend, which is the only one on offer for less than £19,000. The range-topping Fiesta ST uses a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol and gets a 7lb ft torque boost as part of the mid-life revisions. 

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We elected to test the Ford Fiesta in Active form, driven by Ford’s hybridised 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine and its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, to find out whether a dose of SUV DNA has had a positive influence on this popular small car.

What Car? New car buyer marketplace - Ford Fiesta