Ford is launching a new-generation Fiesta, which seems light years ahead of its predecessor, in South Africa. Available with 1,4- or 1,6-litre engines and two body styles, prices start at R97 905.

Ford is launching a new-generation Fiesta, which seems light years ahead of its predecessor, in SA. Available with 1,4- or 1,6-litre engines and two body styles, prices start at R97 905.


The Fiesta, especially its front end, features design cues not dissimilar to those seen on the Focus and Mondeo models. Note the pronounced wheel arches and the truncated elliptical grille that intersects with the large, vertically-stacked headlamps and indicators. The lower grille features an inverted trapezoid shape that emphasises Fiesta’s wide track and haunched stance.


The two three-door models are aimed at youthful, traditional sports hatch buyers and the five-door has more family-oriented styling. According to FMCSA, the interior provides space for five occupants and the boot is claimed to be big enough for two large suitcases. The driver’s seat is adjustable for height, in addition to fore-and-aft and rake and the rear seats can be split 60 – 40.


Also new are two new Sigma 16-valve double-overhead cam petrol engines. Both powerplants have aluminium alloy blocks, electronic ‘drive by wire’ throttle, an optimised knock control system and an energy-management alternator with dual internal cooling fans. The 60 kW 1,4-litre engine is claimed to achieve peak torque of 128 N.m at 3 500 r/min, while the 75kW 1,6-litre powerplant delivers peak torque of 146 N.m at 4 000 r/min.


Ford claims the new engines, all mated to five-speed manual gearboxes, deliver a reduction in fuel consumption “of up to 10 per cent over the preceding models”.


Engineers endeavoured to give the Fiesta on-road characteristics that combine the much-praised handling dynamics of the Focus and the “large car” ride-comfort inspired by the Mondeo. To help achieve this, the Fiesta’s new unibody is apparently 100 per cent stiffer, in terms of global bending, than its predecessor, and 40 per cent stiffer torsionally.


At the front, the MacPherson strut front suspension and steering systems are mounted on a front subframe that bolts onto the main body structure. Overall, front roll stiffness – the suspension’s resistance to body lean – was also “increased 40 per cent from the previous Fiesta”, a Ford spokesman said.


The twist-beam rear suspension offers “better toe and camber stiffness” and longitudinal compliance under braking “has increased by nearly 30 per cent”. Rear roll is up “by more than 15 per cent”.


In terms of safety, the Fiesta features an intelligent protection system (IPS) incorporating adaptive front airbag system that tailors deployment to provide the front seat occupants with the correct level of protection based on the type and severity of the collision.


The driver and front passenger safety belts feature pyrotechnic pretensioners to remove slack from the safety belt for optimal safety and air-bag effectiveness. The front safety belts also feature load-limiting retractors designed to prevent chest injuries by limiting the forces applied by the safety belt during impact.


The Fiesta is also fitted with 22 x 258 mm diameter ventilated front discs and 38 x 203mm diameter brake drums. The lightweight four-channel ABS systems is standard across the range and features electronic brake force distribution (EBD).


Service intervals for both 1,4- and 1,6-litre Fiesta’s are at every 20 000 km. A three-year/100 000km warranty is backed up by with a three-year/unlimited km roadside assistance cover.


Prices:


Fiesta five-door

1.4i R97 905

1.6i Ambiente R118 195

1.6i Ghia R136 275


Fiesta three-door

1.4i Trend R116 315

1.6i Trend R131 165