The original Ford Fiesta in India was received very well by customers here because of its fun to drive demeanour, spacious interiors and value for money. Ford then gave it a new name, shuffled the car’s positioning in the Indian car market and introduced an all new Fiesta. Regrettably, despite being a capable vehicle, it never really managed to catch on here due to a combination of several reasons. The car maker with the Blue Oval has taken all this into consideration and released a reworked version of the Fiesta to try and recapture its market share.
The new Ford Fiesta will be powered by the company’s tried and tested 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder DuraTorq diesel engine. This oil burning unit puts out a peak power figure of 90 bhp that is channelled through a 5 speed manual transmission to the front wheels only. Ford has decided to simplify a lot of things with this car and, as a result, we in India will get the new Fiesta only with the diesel engine. There isn’t an option for an automatic gearbox either. Customers will, however, get the option of specifically ordering the car in one of three trim levels – Ambiente, Trend or Titanium; each with higher levels of features and equipment.
The car’s tweaked suspension setup and 15 inch wheels do a reasonably good job of absorbing road irregularities and providing a comfortable ride quality. The car performs admirably on highways and meandering mountain roads, but it does have a noticeable bit of turbo lag which hampers the driving experience at slower speeds in city traffic. This new vehicle is available in a choice of 6 colours – Moondust Silver, Smoke Grey, Panther Black, Paprika Red, Diamond White and Golden Bronze.
Ford has pulled out all the stops and equipped this new Fiesta with a ton of equipment such as climate controls, bluetooth connectivity, steering mounted controls, climate control, ambient interior lighting, a push button engine ignition, keyless go, puddle lamps, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlamps, cruise control and so on. You even get a very good 6 speaker audio system with bluetooth, aux-in and USB compatibility. Ford has also resdesigned the exterior of this car. While the changes aren't massive, they aren't hard to spot either. The most distinct feature is, obviously, the new and much talked about Aston Martin-esque front grille. Apart from that, the new Fiesta also gets remodelled headlamps, wraparound tail lamp clusters, new alloy wheels and so on.
But best of all is the Ford Sync system. Once you pair a mobile phone with this system, you can search for directions, find restaurants, make phone calls and read messages by simply giving voice commands.This system has an important role to play in safety as well. If the car experiences a collision in which the airbags are deployed or the fuel pump is cut off, it uses the paired phone to place a call to the emergency services and provides exact GPS co-ordinates of the crashed vehicle’s location. This ensures that even if the occupants are incapacitated, help will arrive as soon as possible. On the safety front, the new Fiesta also gets ABS with EBD, dual front airbags and an engine immobiliser.
Ford has pulled out all the stops to practically ensure that the new Fiesta will put Ford back in the game in India. Apart from a couple of foibles here and there, this new Fiesta is a remarkable vehicle that tries very hard to keep its owners content. We now have yet another extremely competent contender in the mid size segment vying for the crown.