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Ford Fiesta Front Exterior

Next Generation Ford Fiesta

The all-new 2017 Ford Fiesta officially revealed in four different guises. The current Ford Fiesta has topped Britain’s new car sales charts for the past seven years, but with the latest Nissan Micra and Citroen C3 hitting the market – plus a new Volkswagen Polo on the horizon – the supermini sector is as competitive as it’s ever been. Prices are expected to start from around £14,000 when it goes on sale.

It’s bigger, roomier, safer, more efficient and more upmarket than ever. And the Fiesta sub-brand will expand; joining the range will be a compact crossover, called the Fiesta Active, and it will be introduced alongside a luxurious Fiesta Vignale.

It’s still instantly recognisable as a Fiesta, but the new car is 71mm longer and 12mm wider than its predecessor. Styling cues such as the swept-back headlights, simple bonnet and split wraparound tail-lamps at the rear help to accentuate the car’s extra width, but there’s a functional reason at the heart of the slight increase in size.

Ford Fiesta Red Front Exterior
Ford Fiesta Red Rear Exterior
Ford Fiesta White Front Exterior
Ford Fiesta Front Exterior

The previous Fiesta wasn’t the roomiest supermini on sale, but with a 4mm longer wheelbase – partly to house larger 18-inch wheels that are now available – Ford claims it has freed up an extra 16mm of knee room.

Space is helped by fitting slimmer front seats, and the new Fiesta is definitely more spacious in the rear than the old car, with competitive levels of head and legroom.

Quality has definitely taken a leap upmarket, and the Fiesta has a more refined feel inside. But there will also be more customisation options available for the new car, with features such as the mirror caps and roof available in contrasting colours. Buyers will be able to specify different coloured trim inserts for the interior, too.

The Fiesta will be available in Style trim for fleet customers only, while private buyers get the choice of Zetec, ST-Line, Titanium, Vignale and Active guises available with various personalisation packs. There are three and five-door bodystyles as well, although the Active crossover only gets the latter option.

ST-Line trim was only introduced earlier this year on the outgoing Fiesta, but it’s already been a sales success, so it’s no surprise that Ford has chosen to differentiate it further. Above this, the Titanium and Vignale models look subtly different again.

Ford Fiesta Steering Wheel
Ford Fiesta Dashboard
Ford Fiesta Dashboard

The seventh-generation Fiesta is still based on Ford’s Global B-car platform, but it has been tuned to offer 10 per cent more grip, according to the brand. Along with the introduction of electronic torque vectoring to improve agility, the front and rear tracks have increased by 30mm and 10mm respectively for a wider stance, and there’s 20 per cent less friction in the steering to help feel.

New suspension bushes improve steering response, but Ford also claims that they better isolate the passenger compartment from the road, reducing the effect of small bumps and road noise. ST-Line models also get a sportier chassis set-up.

There’ll be a wide range of engines, underpinned by Ford’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost turbo petrol offered in 99bhp, 123bhp and 138bhp guises. This will have a six-speed manual gearbox to help keep CO2 emissions down to as little as 95g/km and will feature cylinder deactivation tech from 2018. There will also be a six-speed auto with steering wheel paddles for the 98bhp model, while a new normally aspirated 1.1-litre three-cylinder with either 69bhp or 84bhp will make its debut, emitting 101g/km of CO2.

As for the diesels, the new Fiesta will be the first model to get a high-power TDCi unit. Ford’s 118bhp 1.5 TDCi is anticipated to emit 89g/km of CO2, while the more modest 84bhp diesel is predicted to offer even lower CO2 emissions of 82g/km.

Ford Fiesta Front Seats
Ford Fiesta Hand Break
Ford Fiesta Front Interior

All engines are offered with stop/start and some editions get an active aero front grille to squeeze out a few more miles per gallon. But the advanced technology also extends to the new Fiesta’s safety systems, with Ford’s Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection available.

In addition, it’s the first supermini in Europe to offer Cross Traffic Alert. This is one of 15 driver assistance systems, alongside adaptive cruise, blind spot and forward collision warning, lane keeping aid, traffic sign recognition, automatic perpendicular parking and auto high-beam headlamps. LED lights will also be an option, while a clever new design for the seatbelts helps reduce slippage under the belt in a crash, so there was no need for Ford to include a driver’s knee airbag in the newcomer. It’s aiming for a five-star Euro NCAP rating.