Model tested: Ford Fiesta 1.0 MHEV ST-Line X
Version Value: £22,285Price as tested: £25,085
Engine: 3 cyls, 998cc, turbocharged, petrol, plus 48V starter/generator
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Power122bhp Torque155lb ft Top speed126mph Kerb weight (DIN)1217kg
Delicate exterior badges apart, there’s little to distinguish this Fiesta from some other model. The presence of a battery makes no impression on rear leg room or baggage capability, and solely a back-to-back drive with the outgoing mannequin would reveal any impression on journey high quality brought on by the minor weight acquire.
The function-over-fashion inside is not as minimal as some rivals, with loads of bodily buttons and switches as an alternative of all the pieces being relegated to the infotainment touchscreen – however that is hardly a criticism in our e-book. A brand new set of icons on the instrument cluster, which spotlight when the motor is recuperating vitality beneath braking, or dishing it out beneath acceleration, are the one clue to what is going on on beneath the bonnet.
The previous is useful, as a result of the Fiesta disguises its regenerative efforts very nicely certainly. The brakes are quite a bit much less grabby than those on Suzuki’s mild-hybrid Swift, steadily stripping off-speed and inspiring you to coast from additional again as you method site visitors queues – one thing you’ll have to do ceaselessly if you wish to match Ford’s WLTP-tested gas economic system figures. The cease/begin system can be very clean and it is fast to react when it’s time to get transferring once more.
Electrical help arrives from low revs and is mixed to match the engine’s torque curve beneath light acceleration, which helps the throttle really feel that bit extra responsive at slower speeds. It’s not seamless and off-boost acceleration can typically be missing, however solely momentarily. Change to Sport mode and issues sharpen up, the battery combining with turbo overboost within the larger gears to make for satisfying progress.
The three-pot retains its thrummy, characterful exhaust word, and the six-speed gearbox has the identical slick shift motion we’ve come to anticipate from the Fiesta. Exactly weighted controls encourage confidence and provide help to take advantage of the accessible energy.
It stays simply as fulfilling to drive as some other Fiesta, with responsive steering, loads of grip, and an improbable chassis that rewards eager drivers. And though the 18in alloy wheels fitted to our ST-Line X check automotive do have an effect on journey consolation, solely the worst highway surfaces correctly announce their presence within the cabin.
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Should I purchase one?
Conventional engine choices haven’t been fully stripped from the line-up simply but, so it’s not like anybody set on Fiesta possession has no selection within the matter. And the effectivity good points, nevertheless welcome, are solely minor – however this mild-hybrid mannequin now feels just like the candy spot by way of worth and efficiency.
A completely geared up Toyota Yaris Launch Version will set you again barely much less up entrance and can return higher gas economic system, however it lags behind the Ford for inside refinement and driver engagement – as do mild-hybrid options like the Fiat 500 and Suzuki Swift.
A Renault Clio E-tech would possibly come shut on the dynamism entrance, however the Ford ought to be close to the highest of the record for eager drivers who’re a minimum of contemplating easy methods to preserve their environmental effect in the test.