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How much? £14,845
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 999cc 12v turbocharged 3-cyl, 99bhp @ 6000rpm, 125lb ft @1400-4000rpm
Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Performance: 11.2sec 0-62mph, 112mph, 65.7mpg (claimed), 99g/km
How heavy / made of? 1091kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 3969/1764/1468
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 4 out of 54

Handling

Rated 4 out of 54

Performance

Rated 3 out of 53

Usability

Rated 4 out of 54

Feelgood factor

Rated 4 out of 54

Readers' rating

Rated 3 out of 53

Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 99bhp (2013) CAR review

By Ollie Kew

First Drives

15 February 2013 10:50

Ford’s mid-life changes to the Fiesta supermini get more radical the further forward you move along the car. At the back, there’s some lightly refreshed taillight clusters. In the middle, a usefully simplified climate control interface. And up front, a headline new engine: the three-cylinder Ecoboost unit from the B-Max and Focus, hiding behind a big-mouth grille that’ll provoke more than a few Aston Martin-wannabe comments.

So, are these changes enough to keep Britain’s best-selling car at the top of its game?

Where does the 100PS 1.0-litre Ecoboost Fiesta sit in the range?

Entry-level Fiestas start at £9795, but you’ll pay £12,295 to get into the cheapest 79bhp 1.0 Ecoboost variant, in Zetec trim as standard. Graduating to the 99bhp Ecoboost costs an extra £600: our test car’s Titanium spec is £14,845 as standard, carrying goodies like a Sony hi-fi with voice control, air-con, a heated windscreen and LED running lights. Our Fiesta also had £1020 of options fitted: £725 of pearlescent paint, a spare wheel (£95) and the £200 City Pack, which gets you rear parking sensors (on a supermini, tut-tut) and heated folding door mirrors.

You can get an even more giggle-some 123bhp version from £14,645. The top-dog motor brims with warm hatch, modern-day Ford Puma potential, though it’s the 99bhp car that’s the price/performance sweet spot in the three-pot range.

So, what’s the 2013 Ford Fiesta’s new engine like?

That answer comes in two parts: what it’s like to use, and what it’s like to fuel. Let’s start with the good news: if this is the future of downsizing, we like it. The 99bhp Ecoboost (signifying turbocharging and direct-injection tech in Ford-speak) motor sounds fruity, has a healthy spread of power and torque (125lb ft from 1400-4000rpm) and pulls more strongly from low revs than its rival triple in the new Renault Clio. It feels peppier than the 11.2sec 0-62mph sprint suggests, and will thrum up to 114mph. The 99bhp Ecoboost is road tax-exempt thanks to its 99g/km CO2 output, and with a claimed economy figure of 65.7mpg, what’s not to like?

Predictably, the answer is: you’ll never see such frugal numbers in anything approaching normal use. During CAR’s road test we covered hundreds of miles at motorway touring speed, interspersed with a good deal of urban stop-start traffic and town work, where the, er, stop/start system repeatedly killed and rebooted the engine faultlessly. Gears were swapped via the precise but slightly rubbery manual box when the shift arrow display recommended, but our combined average was a disappointing 37.1mpg.

Filled to the brim with unleaded, our Fiesta’s on-board computer estimated it’d travel 335 miles before it next dipped into your wallet. If it averaged the official 65mpg figure, the range would be a whopping 600 miles. Be in no doubt, the Ecoboost three-pot is a delightful engine, but if you’re looking to hyper-mile your Fiesta, you’re better off in the Econetic 1.6-litre TDCI diesel.

Does the rest of the Ford Fiesta over-promise but under-deliver?

No, it’s brilliant. The chassis is a blinder, pulling off the trick that the new Focus never quite managed: more maturity and refinement than its predecessor, while maintaining its chuckability and downright fun. The electrically-assisted power steering is quick and super-accurate, the chassis sharp and properly throttle-adjustable, yet the Fiesta rides commendably, turning our broken British network into a playground while isolating you from its blemishes. Braking is assured and there’s a firmer, more reassuring pedal action than the larger B-Max MPV. If you’re a keen driver, the Fiesta remains the go-to supermini, no question.

What’s life like inside the new Ford Fiesta?

Quieter than its French rivals: the new Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 both exhibit more wind noise around the mirrors, and the Ford just about trumps both for build quality too, if not the chrome-accented VW Polo. Whether or not you’re a fan of the Ford’s fussy cabin architecture is a matter of taste: its Polo, 208 and Clio enemies all offer touchscreen interfaces while the Ford sticks to an old school button-for-everything approach. In our Titanium trim test car, the Sony stereo fascia appeared to have caught the facelift’s Aston Martin-itus: it’s pretty, but the array of tiny buttons is daunting in those initial bonding miles. It’s roomy inside though, and over the shoulder visibility is fine, though the 276-litre boot is on the small side for the class.

One feature worthy of note is Ford’s ‘MyKey’ system, making its European debut in the facelifted Fiesta. Programmable keys allow owners to set a top speed limit and stereo volume level via your Ford dealer. A dashboard-dwelling Orwellian nightmare? Perhaps, but it brings peace of mind if you’re handing your new Fiesta over to the kids, and it should provide some insurance premium leverage too.

Verdict

Despite an onslaught of trendy French newcomers like the Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio, and the ever-present premium threat of the VW Polo and Audi A1, the Ford Fiesta remains a brilliant all-rounder, and a deserved British favourite.

Beneath the German brand-bothering build quality there’s a real verve to the Fiesta’s dynamics, though not one that compromises its refinement. Be seduced by the drive, and not the pie-in-the sky economy figures, and the Fiesta’s sales party should be far from over.

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Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 99bhp (2013) CAR review

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Fadyady

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Fadyady says

RE: Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 99bhp (2013) CAR review

I like the sound of that. Fruity note. 99bhp. 0-62 sprint in 11-ish seconds. Zero road tax. I like all that.

As far as MPG is concerned in my view you gotta be a monk to get anywhere near its claimed figure.

Fiesta is sinfully fun to drive. Sometimes I take my partner's 82bhp for a spin. I get 26mph. Its so fun!

08 March 2013 20:49

 

hts284

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hts284 says

RE: Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 99bhp (2013) CAR review

I quite fancy the 80bhp 1.0 litre Fiesta.  Ideal for the type of driving I do and in Zetec spec, it's got all the kit I need.  I've configured one on the Ford website, so I'll just need to save up for the £14k or thereabouts that it costs.  Needless to say, I'll be avoiding the option of Magenta or Candy Blue paint.  At £725 extra, it does seem slightly excessive.  Even white paint costs an extra £250.  Ford certainly know how to get customers to part with their hard-earned cash.  I'll just need to find a dealership that can offer a big discount.

22 February 2013 08:59

 

carmobster

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carmobster says

RE: Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 99bhp (2013) CAR review

@Bishopwasahero, agree! @CAR I also want to see more giant tests from CAR Magazine, just like in the good old 80's and 90's. Also where are the important new car specials? The last big one and good one was the MINI introduction in 2001. Where they actually managed to get a hold of the new MINI before anyone else.

Now when a important new car is introduced it is just a one page item in "Fist Drives", for example the Tesla.

I want more investigative journalism, more giant test and new car specials!

 

21 February 2013 13:25

 

Sam the Eagle

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Sam the Eagle says

RE: Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 99bhp (2013) CAR review

@Bishopwasahero

 

Couldn't agree more. This is exactly the kind of stuff CAR should be doing.

 

 

 

19 February 2013 10:50

 

Bishopwasahero

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Bishopwasahero says

RE: Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 99bhp (2013) CAR review

Car - can we have a 3 cylinder new-ish Superminis Giant Test please - Clio, 208, Fiesta .... Micra (just for fun!).

19 February 2013 09:07

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