New Ford Fiesta: 2021 facelift adds more tech and electrification

Published: 16 September 2021

► 2021 Ford Fiesta supermini revealed
► Hatchback, Active and ST versions unveiled
► Mild hybrid engines, digital dials and demoted Vignale trim

Ford has announced the new-for-2021 Fiesta supermini. A big deal all round in the UK, as it’s perennially one of the best-selling new cars.

To keep up with the Fiesta’s more electrified and digital Peugeot 208, Vauxhall Corsa and Renault Clio rivals, the enduring Ford has undergone some light revisions.

Got your car facelift bingo card ready? You’d better scratch off ‘electrified’, ‘digital instruments’, ‘LED’ and ‘new colours’ on your scorecard now.

Enough of the snark – what’s changed in its design?

It all centres around a new front end, with a taller bonnet line and a larger grille across the range with the Ford logo front and centre of it – not merged into the metal surfacing like before. LED headlights are standard across the whole range (so no more soggy halogen ones for basic trim levels), too, with matrix ones available as an option on upper trims.

fiesta 2021 rear

Speaking of trim levels, Ford has rationalised the Fiesta’s range. The standard hatch starts with Trend, rises to Titanium and tops out at ST-Line. Trend’s the basic one, Titanium has more tech and ST Line (seen in white here) adds a sportier body kit as before. On top of that, the jacked-up faux crossover Fiesta Active trim remains, as does the very excellent ST hot hatch.

New alloy wheel designs feature across the range and two new colours, including the Boundless Blue colour seen on the (pictured) Active.

fiesta 2021 interior

Interestingly (though unsurprisingly), Vignale has been demoted from a standalone trim level into an option pack. That pack adds bespoke wheels, leather seats and carbonfibre-like inserts in the dashboard. And little else.

Elsewhere, little has changed inside. Ford’s missed an opportunity to tweak in greater detail the Fiesta’s interior – it’s plasticky nature has long been a demerit on what is otherwise a great little car.

You mentioned more electrification?

Yes. Ford has, again, cleaned up the Fiesta’s baffling array of engine combinations into just three for the conventional hatch and Active model, and they’re all 1.0-litre EcoBoosts. The entry-level one is a 99bhp unit, with 123bhp and 153bhp versions including mild hybrid assistance for slick start/stop operations, coasting opportunities and torque boosts when needed. Ford claims 45.2mpg for the entry-level EcoBoost, and up to 48mpg from the mild hybrid options.

Along with a six-speed manual, the 123bhp EcoBoost can be had with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. Every Fiesta has Eco, Normal and Sport drive modes and, despite not having all-wheel drive, the Active trim also has Trail and Slippery modes.

What about the Fiesta ST?

fiesta st 2021

Still sounds like a riot. The 198bhp 1.5-litre EcoBoost remains, capable of launching the ST to 62mph in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 143mph.

Along with adding the recent Mean Green colour from the Puma ST to the hot Fiesta’s colour rotation, new performance seats feature with fat bolsters and 14-way electric adjustment. Ford has kicked out the Eco drive mode here, replacing it with a Track mode that kills the traction control and reels back the stability control.

fiesta st 2021 seats

Any other new Fiesta technology?

Along with those aforementioned standard LED lights (and optional matrix ones), the Fiesta can now be had with digital dials like the Puma and, more recently, the quietly-tweaked Focus. The colours and design change depending what mode you’re in you can personalise the information displayed.

Along with the usual suite of safety aids both standard and optional, Ford says the Fiesta is now part of its FordPass app, allowing you to track and remotely control your car. ‘Local Hazard Information’, which alerts you to upcoming dangers on your route and ‘Wrong Way Alert’ (that one’s self-explanatory) make their debut on the Fiesta. Live traffic is incorporated into the navigation, and you can spec a B&O 10-speaker audio system.

fiesta 2021 instruments

Ford Fiesta 2021: prices and release date

Ford says the new Fiesta range starts at £16,620 in the UK, with the first deliveries happening in the first months of 2022.

Read our Ford reviews here

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches