Ford Fiesta review


What is?

It would be fair to say that 2021 was not exactly a normal year. Everything is a bit upside down for many reasons, isn’t it? Perhaps the biggest surprise of all came at the end of the year, when the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders announced the best-selling new cars in the UK for the previous 12 months.

Imagine our surprise when we learned that the British buyers’ favorite Ford Fiesta had been toppled after 12 consecutive years at the top of the charts. In fact, the Fiesta didn’t even make the top 10. The Puma was the only Ford representative in eighth position.

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Great news. What is Ford going to do about it?

Well, this is the newly revamped 7th generation Fiesta, so you can see for yourself…

There are new grilles up front with different interpretations for each trim level, though each one houses a new, larger blue oval. Slimmer headlights house LEDs as standard, while deluxe matrix LEDs are an option. The hood has been reshaped to make the nose appear taller and there are also new lights at the rear.

It is still a recognizable Fiesta and, thanks to the lack of a fiddle underneath, it also drives like one. The standard seventh generation really didn’t need any improvements in this department.

What engines can I have these days?

The standard Fiesta range has been petrol-only since 2020, with its only engine option, a 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbocharged three-cylinder. You can have it in 99hp form alone, or it can be paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid system for a healthier 123hp. Of course, you won’t need to plug it in, but you won’t get all-electric range either. The mild hybrid setup is essentially a more efficient start/stop system.

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Top Trump fans will be disappointed to learn that the more powerful 153-hp mild-hybrid EcoBoost setup has been dropped from the lineup.

Can I have a three door?

Bad news! Ford has also discontinued the three-door Fiesta in all trim levels, with production ending at its Cologne plant sometime in the summer of 2022. So to answer your question: no, it can’t. It’s only five doors that scare us.

Is ST still relevant?

Fortunately, good news on this front. The shiny little ST-hot hatch has also been facelifted, although in the UK it will only be available as a range-topping ST-3 and also as a five-door. That means prices start at £27,245. Click on those blue words to see our full review (before the facelift).

What else should I know?

Prices for the standard Fiesta now start at £19,405 for the base Trend model. Above are the chrome grille Titanium and the fully loaded Titanium Vignale (yes, Ford still goes by its fancy moniker), and another step up is the ST-Line and ST-Line Vignale.

For the same price as the semi-sporty ST-Line, you can also have the Fiesta Active or Active Vignale lifted. They get a crossover-style black plastic perimeter cladding, but keep in mind that they’re not 4x4s and can’t be considered true Panda 4×4 or Suzuki Ignis rivals. Shame.

Our choice of the range.

Ford Fiesta Top Gear Review
1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid mHEV 125 ST-Line 5 doors

What’s the verdict?

A sensible upgrade to driving a brilliant city car. Enough to regain its place at the top of sales?

Ford will want this facelift to propel the Fiesta up the UK sales charts and, to be fair, it should be near the top. It’s better to drive than the new champion, the Stellantis-backed Vauxhall Corsa, and the interior is modern and user-friendly.

It is also beautiful from the outside, refined and well connected. It’s not the roomiest city car, or the best cabin quality, but that’s not a deal breaker for most people.

Entry prices have gone up (although more and more kits are becoming available) and it’s a shame the lovable hatchback has been withdrawn from sale, but the standard Fiesta is still a TG hero. Do you really need this Puma?

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