The Fiesta nameplate has had a mixed run in the Indian automotive scene; the first sedan to get the moniker was a sales success, so much so that it is still being sold along with its successor. The car that came after though has seen turbulent times, even though it was a good car too. A high price tag was the most important factor that did the car in, it was after-all launched in a segment where each manufacturer tries to outdo the other by offering more features for the price. The current Fiesta also suffered due to the new wonder in Ford’s lineup, the Ford EcoSport. Learning from its earlier experience, Ford has given the Fiesta a facelift, made it more fuel-efficient and added a bit of kit. Here’s a brief look at the 2014 Ford Fiesta.
Fiesta Ambiente : Rs. 7.69 Lakh
Fiesta Trend : Rs. 8.55 Lakh
Fiesta Titanium : Rs. 9.29 Lakh
ex-showroom prices, Delhi
The 2014 Ford Fiesta:
Ford showcased the 2014 Fiesta for India at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, the design was showcased internationally during the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. The biggest change is the front fascia; with the large hexagonal grille, new lower air-intake, new fog-lamp housing and new headlamp design. The 2014 Fiesta looks much more mature than the previous model, the upright grille with the horizontal chrome slats adds a bit of stateliness to the car. The new bumper lips and fog lamp housing add to the classy touch. The headlamps and the new ‘power-bulge’ on the hood though give the car a sportier look. Move to the side and you will notice the new alloy-wheel design and the chrome mounding which helps break the mass, that’s about it. Move to the rear and you see that the designers have worked hard to mask the bulk, the tail-lamps are wider, the bootlid gets an added lip (which also serves an aerodynamic purpose) and a chrome strip has been added to the bumper, and it all kind of works.
There are many small details on the outside which have helped Ford make the Fiesta more aerodynamically efficient, we will talk about these features in a bit.
Move to the inside and the first thing that hits you is how spacious the car feels than the previous model. The simplest reason for this enhanced feeling of space is the colour combination used inside the cabin, the all-black cabin has been replaced by a dual-tone black-and-light-grey theme. Piano black accents for the inner door handles, and the centre console (which was previously white) also add to the good feeling that you get when you sit in the car (this is only for the top-end Titanium variant though, the base Ambiente and the middle Trend variant get different trim). Other than these changes, the design inside has not been changes at all, you still get the cell-phone themed centre console with the 3.7-inch screen, the easy to understand and operate automatic A/C controls, the chunky steering wheel with the sporty looking instrument cluster etc. etc.
Ford has also rejigged the paint options offered with the car. While the Red Paprika, Panther Black, Diamond White and Moondust Silver options will be retained, while the Ford standard Kinetic Blue, Chill Metallic and Sea Grey paint will be discontinued. Two new paint options: Smoke Grey and Golden Bronze (the car in the photos here) will be introduced.
The 2014 Ford Fiesta will only be offered with a diesel engine for now, the company may introduce petrol variants if they see the demand for it later.
The diesel engine powering the new Fiesta is the same as the older model: a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder TDCI engine with an output of 90 BHP @ 3750 RPM and 204 Nm @ 2000 – 2750 RPM. As you may have noticed the power an torque figures of the engine remain the same, but Ford has managed to extract an extra 1.5 KMPL from the engine which increase the fuel efficiency of the car from the previous 23.5 KMPL to 25.01 KMPL which is the highest in the segment. The increase in fuel efficiency can be attributed to the improvements made to the engine and…
The design changes made on the exterior of the 2014 Fiesta are not just cosmetic; many of the features, however subtle, make a lot of difference in terms of how aerodynamic the car is which in turn helps the car be more fuel efficient. Changes like the design of the headlamp, the design of the tail-lamp and small crease just before the tail-lamp, and the air-flow control flaps in front and behind the wheels make the car more slippy. The underbody of the car has also been extensively worked upon to reduce drag, and thus improve the fuel-efficiency of the car.
Ford cars in India are known for their well balanced driving dynamics, and the Fiesta is by far one of the best handling cars in it s segment. The 2014 Fiesta does not disappoint in that department at all. The drivers seat is comfy but bolstered enough that you don’t slide around while taking the twisty roads in aggression, even very fat people like me will find themselves comfortable. The steering wheel feels just right to hold and the EPAS system responds well at all speeds, the steering mounted controls do not interfere when driving and that is a good thing. The dials in the instrument cluster are legible though the MID which shows the distance to empty, outside temperature etc. is a bit too small to be read on the go.
The 5-speed gearbox slots in nicely and gearshifts can be executed swiftly, which makes you feel like a pro. The brake pedal feel is okay, and the car stops confidently without much drama. That brings us to the chassis and engine combination; as you may have heard before, the Fiesta can take more than what it is offered with. The diesel engine struggles below 2000 RPM and loses steam after 3700 RPM, the narrow power band requires you to make frequent gear changes if you want to keep the momentum going. The engine can easily pull the car to speeds upto 180 KMPH, after which the power starts to trail off. Those of you who do not want to drive aggressively will also find the lack of low-end torque a bit annoying in stop-go conditions, this could have been an area where Ford could have worked on. On the other hand, the engine rewards those who keep the pedal to the metal and don’t mind the frequent gear-shifts.
The chassis can take a lot more than what the engine offers, we drove the car like madmen around some twisty roads around Bangalore and it never felt as though the car would loose traction. Constant elevation changes also failed to unsettle the car, though we had to work hard to keep the engine on the boil. The suspension works noiselessly on most road surfaces and can take undulations and bad roads without much fuss. The firmness of the suspension helps keep the car stable but rear passengers may find it a bit hard. On the whole, driving this car is a smile inducing affair.
Ford has added keyless entry-and-go to the 2014 Fiesta, which requires the driver to not physically use the key to open/close the car or switch on/off the ignition. Sensors placed on the front door will detect the electronic key on the person of the driver and open up the doors when they are pressed, the driver can then use the start/stop button for starting/stopping the engine. Ford did not build new steering columns for the 2014 Fiesta so you can still notice where the old key-fob insert used to be, which is kind of an eye-sore. The system is otherwise pretty helpful, folding the mirrors as you lock the car and activating the new puddle-lamps under the ORVMs as you approach the car. The keyless entry and go system is only available on the the top-end Titanium variant.
The front passengers will find their seats well bolstered and the fabric will add to the comfort. The driver seat is height adjustable and the steering is tilt-adjustable which helps finding a good driving position. The controls are easy for the driver to reach and everything feels solid. Electrically adjustable ORVMs is a much appreciated feature available across varaints, though electrically folding mirrors are only available on the Titanium trim. The height adjustable seat-belt is a nice touch, it helps people of different heights find a comfortable belt position that is not too low, or too high so that it is effectively strangling them. The passengers may or may not like the hard-wearing plastics, though they will take any sort of abuse easily. The front glovebox is generous but is oddly-shaped, the cubby holes around the cabin are not that big but are satisfactory.
The rear passengers will find things very cramped if three people decided to sit abreast, the pretty high hump in the centre and the bottle-holder-cum-storage-space thing intrude into the space of the centre passenger. The rear-armrest will also not help matters. But the rear seats are comfortable enough for two passengers, the adjustable rear-headrests and the centre arm-rest with cup holders add to the practicality and comfort. The support columns for the are-rest are exposed though, and look very tacky. The seat material is very good and the seating itself is very ergonomical.
The 2014 Fiesta has much better NVH levels as compared to the previous model, this can be attributed to Ford using more insulation material under the bonnet, under the boot and double insulation around the doors. The doors close with a confident thud and most of the outside noise is effectively cancelled. The diesel engine is pretty audible on the outside, but very little of it’s clatter and vibration make it to the inside. Passengers will also appreciate the low wind, road and suspension noise that creeps into the cabin. The 15-inch wheels shod with 195-mm section tyres also provide for a good ride qaulity, the spare tyre is a 14-inch space saver though.
New equipment added to the 2014 Fiesta on the top end Titanium variant include:
As part of the new 2014 Fiesta, Ford is introducing the SYNC with AppLink system on the car. The system, developed by Ford in partnership with Microsoft pairs you smartphone to the car via bluetooth and helps you access the features on your phone on the go. You can place calls, play music, make the system read your newest messages, help you navigate and keep you up-to-date with the latest cricket news. While the system in the previous car has some of these provisions too, the AppLink adds the feature to link your phone apps with the system. For now you will be able to access maps via a MapMyIndia explore app specifically designed for AppLink and cricinfo from ESPN, other apps will be added to the system very soon. You control the system via voice, and it works pretty well too (if you are not impatient or are not in a hurry). You can use the explore app for navigation, searching for restaurants or other landmarks near to you etc. The AppLink system as it is expanded in India will help passengers find more music, find new places, keep in track of their work and social-networks and much more, but we will have to wait for Ford to introduce the apps first. For now the MapMyIndia app and Cricinfo app are available on the system for free.
Ford will offer all safety features as standard across all variants; there is a small exception though the Ambiente trim will get only a passenger side airbag. Safety features include:
The 2014 Ford Fiesta has grown up to become a more premium car. It looks nice, it rides as good as ever, it will start the in-car infotainment war among its competition and the best of all it will be the most fuel-efficient car in its segment when launched. Interested customers can expect a car which is a pleasure to drive, a luxurious car to sit in (if you don’t seat 3 people at the back), is high in safety and is the only car in it’s segment to offer a voice activated infotainment system that is not just a gimmick. The prices for the various variants make it a better bargain than the model it replaces, can it be a contender to the Honda City? We’ll have to test them out and see.
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