American auto giant Ford recently released the next gen Fiesta also called as 2014 Ford Fiesta for the Indian market. First unveiled back in 1999 as the Ikon, the Ford sedan fast became one of the biggest success stories of the Indian automotive industry and cemented the American automaker’s reputation here in India.
Although the Ikon was an impressive car to drive, stricter emission norms led to Ford discontinuing the product, to introduce a more fuel efficient and budget friendly model in the form of the Fiesta. Although the sedan’s successive iterations did not make as big an impact as the original Ikon, the Fiesta was praised for its impeccable driving dynamics and value for money. Ford has now released the next generation Fiesta, now fully loaded to compete with the likes of the Hyundai Verna and Honda City.
Many criticized the outgoing model for its overly stylized headlamps and disproportionate body. This time however, Ford has drastically improved in the design segment. While keeping the large, swept back headlamps, the Fiesta now sports the hexagonal split grille first seen on the Ford EcoSport adding a touch of class to the car. The power lines running along the bonnet and angular styling of the front bumper add to the Fiesta’s sporty charm that was lacking in previous models. The pushed back fog lamp cluster design and flared wheel arches make the front end of the Ford a looker from any angle.
Sadly the rear leaves much to be improved upon. While the front end of the sedan is all sharp creases and angles, the rear makes use of blunt curves and rounded edges. The radical transition from the front end’s design methodology does leave a lackluster impression of the back. Although the Fiesta makes use of stylish elements such the raised boot lip and chrome lined lower bumper, the overall design is quite unsatisfactory if the Fiesta seeks to take on segment leaders City and Verna.
The cabin layout has been carried over from the previous generation Fiesta. However, the 2014 Facelift makes use of better quality materials to improve the upmarket appeal of the sedan. The futuristic center console is now sports a gloss black finish that further improves on the aesthetic appeal of the interiors. The three spoke steering wheel comes with steering mounted controls for the infotainment system. One of the Fiesta’s major selling points is the manufacturer’s AppLink system that adds Voice Control to the list of options. Although Voice Recognition systems of the past did not seem to favor Indian accents all too much, the new system has been claimed to work seamlessly with almost any accent.
The AppLink system also promotes developers to create apps for the Ford Fiesta. The American car maker officially promotes the development of apps for the car’s system. This means that over the course of the next few years, AppLink will have its own ecosystem of apps not unlike that of Android or iOS. Although possibilities are quite limited right now, with the inclusion of a larger screen with more options, we can certainly hope to see an advanced Ford EcoSystem complete with a multitude of apps created by indie developers.
As with the EcoSport, the Fiesta comes with an boundless number of cubby holes and bottle holders to keep any miscellaneous items. The cabin offers ample space, both at the front as well as the back. Knee room and leg room are more than sufficient to seat four adults and one child. The American car maker has also improved the noise and vibration levels to keep the cabin as insulated as possible. However, the choice of colours for the seats could have been a tad bit better.
The blue backlit instrument cluster is large and uncluttered and offers good visibility, engine temperature, outside temperature and trip meters are all integrated into one digital console located between the speedometer and rev counter.
The 2014 Fiesta Face-lift will only be offered with a diesel engine. With the ever increasing fuel prices, the dropping of the petrol engine does make sense; However the Fiesta is now left inaccessible to an audience that enjoys the pleasure of driving. Hopefully we may see the company’s critically acclaimed 1.0 L EcoBoost engine on its way later in the Fiesta’s lifetime.
The traditional 1.5 L TDCi engine puts out 90 HP and 203 Nm of torque. Although these may be segment leading numbers, the power is more than ample and allows the Fiesta to achieve a mileage of 25.01 km/L.
The Ford nameplate ensures a well rounded driving dynamic and the Fiesta is no exception. Although the engine is a bit down on power, steering is accurate and clutch pedal is easy to use. However, the design of the rear wind shield has not been made with too much thought and reversing may be a hassle as it provides low visibility.
Despite this however, a Ford Fiesta will always be a good buy regardless of how little features it packs solely for its unbeatable driving dynamics. Although the Honda City may have similar characteristics, the Fiesta packs more for less. And that will be the sedan’s true selling point.
Image Source: Ford India