The Aston-Martin-esque chrome grille on the face-lifted Fiesta goes a long way towards making a compelling case for this Ford sedan – but is it enough?
We did a small car track-test at the BIC some time ago, in which the Ford Figo really stood out on track. It was certainly the most fun of the dozen hatchbacks that we had assembled. The only trouble is that it came absolutely dead last in that test, despite being our collective favourite. The problem was that it was completely let down by a lethargic and unrefined diesel engine.
And, unfortunately, that’s much the case with the Fiesta as well. When you first get in and adjust the drivers’ chair, you find that the well-moulded seat hugs you in all the right places. In fact, it has the best driving position of all 33 cars in this test. And that just goes to show that Ford is still interested in making rewarding drivers’ cars. Then you get out on track and, with the exception of the drivetrain, this is one of the most enjoyable cars to be behind the wheel of.
But the drivetrain is quite a vital part of the car. The throws of the gear lever are simply too long, and the engine – once again – is just not as punchy and refined as it ought to be. This has the makings of a truly great car – and it is in many parts of the world. There are RS versions of the Fiesta that are highly revered in the West, and we can see why. And we really do believe that Ford would do well with the boy-racer crowd in India if they brought a proper hot-hatch into the market. No one has had the conviction to do so, and, well, we think it could do better than most people imagine. Of course, cost will always remain a concern.
But, back to the Fiesta. Frankly, the facelift has given it a new lease on life. The Aston-Martin grille is really quite sharp. The cabin quality, design, and tech is pretty good – and the Fiesta offers pretty good value too. So, if I enjoyed the act of driving – which I do – this is still a car that I would consider quite strongly. It very nearly makes a very compelling case for itself, but it’s not quite there yet...
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