Consistently topping the list of most purchased models in the UK is the Ford Fiesta. This small hatchback has long captured the hearts and minds of British drivers who are looking for something with a little panache, while not intending to break the bank.
For its class, the Fiesta certainly ticks a lot of boxes. It’s considered fun to drive, with well-weighted and balanced steering lending itself to sharp, precise handling. It’s sophisticated in both drive and design, something which other rival hatch models all too often miss the mark on.
There is a wide array of engine sizes to choose from, with a popular choice being the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol variant. It is a surprisingly punchy drive with many potential buyers finding themselves opting for this over a larger, more expensive engine option.
The standard trim is certainly pleasant to look at, however, the sportier ST-Line or the luxurious chrome Vignale have much more about them in terms of design and edge. Lots of drivers choose the popular ST-Line which has a lower ride height due to the sports suspension, making for a more agile drive.
In terms of features, a heated windscreen is standard on all trims. As are rear parking sensors and a built-in sat-nav, with the exception of the entry-level ‘Trend’ trim. Front sensors and a rear-view camera are then an optional extra on most models.
Strong competition includes the SEAT Ibiza and the Volkswagen Polo in terms of overall comparison; however, the 8inch touchscreen infotainment system on the Ford Fiesta isn’t quite as sophisticated, despite being quick and easy to use. And while the Fiesta interior feels relatively upmarket for its very reasonable price, it’s not as luxurious as the Peugeot 208.
Like a lot of small hatchbacks, visibility is a bit compromised due to the rounded design shape. Although you do sit higher in a Fiesta than competing models in this sector. This gives you a comfortable driving position and a clear road view.
Hatchbacks are never overly spacious, and Ford has produced a fairly typical model in terms of space. Legroom is average, with two six-footers able to sit reasonably comfortable in the back during shorter rides. However, if you are planning to travel long distances relatively often, you may want to rethink the idea of hatchback all together and buy within a roomier, albeit more expensive, sector. Head height can be compromising if you add the optional panoramic roof, otherwise, it isn’t too troublesome. You are looking at a 292-litre boot capacity, which leads to 1093 litres if you take advantage of the back-seat rests which fold down to a 60/40 split.
With a starting price of just over £16,500, it is easy to see how Ford has managed to establish the Fiesta so well into its sector. It’s a firm favourite and we don’t see this changing any time soon.