Since its introduction in South Africa, the Ford Fiesta has remained a popular choice for compact hatchback buyers across the country. The success of the Fiesta lives on, with Ford selling Fiestas by the hundreds on a monthly basis. The Fiesta’s success hasn’t come easy though and the compact hatchback segment is crowded with competitors like the Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Kia Rio, Suzuki Swift, Hyundai i20 and so forth, all vying to dominate the segment. So why should you consider a Ford Fiesta then?
We spent a week with the Fiesta 1.0T Ambiente automatic to see what makes this offering so competitive.
Solid InteriorStep inside this Fiesta Ambiente model and you are met with a rather grey interior. The seats are grey too and are upholstered in cloth, but offer reasonable levels of comfort. Although hard plastics dominate the cabin, we were pleased to note that the interior is solid and well built. It’s the type of interior that lends itself to durability, which is a good thing, but overall it lacks contrast and an element of excitement.
In Ambiente trim, interior features are rather basic, but sufficient. Features include a multifunction function steering wheel that’s adjustable for rake and reach, SYNC Bluetooth connectivity, USB and Auxiliary inputs, Radio/CD player, electric front windows and air conditioning.
In terms of space, the Fiesta offers 276-litres of boot space, which is less than its main rivals, but space can be increased by folding the split rear bench down to load larger items. Space for rear seat passengers is on the tight side and larger individuals may have a problem in terms of leg and headroom. Family-orientated buyers will be happy to find ISOFIX child seat mounts fitted as standard.
Excellent PerformanceThe Ford Fiesta’s core strength lies in its performance. This particular Fiesta model comes fitted with Ford’s 3-cylinder 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine which offers 74 kW of power and a healthy 170 Nm of torque, paired to a 6-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission. It must be said that the combination is excellent. The transmission never really labours to find the right gear and transitions are generally smooth and responsive.
This Fiesta has a claimed 0-100kph time of 10.8 seconds, but in reality it feels a whole lot quicker. Performance is brisk and the Fiesta responds well to throttle inputs making it very nippy in traffic and quite fun to drive. Out on the highway, the Fiesta copes well at highway speed and it always has a bit of punch when you need to overtake. The Fiesta is a pleasure to drive.
In terms of fuel consumption, Ford claims 4.9L/100km on the combined cycle, but you can expect about 6.5L/100km, depending on your driving style.
Good Ride & HandlingRide and handling in this Ford Fiesta is good. Not only is the Fiesta comfortable to drive, it handles really well too. It keeps its composure in a bend with minimal body-roll being evident and it feels solid and confident when you decide to push on. The Fiesta soaks up bumps nicely and the ride is smooth with good feedback from the steering wheel. In terms of performance and handling, you can’t really go wrong with the Fiesta. This derivative rides on 15-inch steel wheels fitted with wheel covers.
On the safety front, this Fiesta in Ambiente trim comes with two airbags for the driver and passenger and ABS with EBD is fitted as standard.
Ford Fiesta Price in South AfricaThis Ford Fiesta 1.0T Ambiente Automatic is priced at R199 900 and comes with a 4-year/120 000 km warranty and a 5-year/60 000 km service plan. Buyers also receive 3-year roadside assistance and a 5-year corrosion warranty.
Click here to see pricing for the Ford Fiesta range.
VerdictOverall, the Ford Fiesta is an excellent car, offering commendable performance from its 1.0 Ecoboost engine. It’s an easy, fun car to drive and is even easier to live with on a daily basis. However, the Fiesta offers less space than its main competitors and in Ambiente trim, its features list is a bit shy. Even so, the Fiesta won’t let you down and it’s well worth consideration in this segment.
Want to buy a new Ford Fiesta? Click here for more information.
Team OpinionYou won't get a better small automatic than this Fiesta. It's good to drive and comes with the basics. - Hannes Oosthuizen
The Ford Fiesta is a good-looking small hatch and the EcoBoost powerplant and automatic gearbox make for a good combination. -David Taylor
We Like: Engine performance, good ride and handling, solid interior
We Don’t Like: Lack of features, dull interior, could do with more space
Also Consider: Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Hyundai i20