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Ford Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost green car review

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13 May 2013 by Paul Clarke

Eco Facts

Model/Engine size: Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost Start/Stop 125PS Titanium 3-door

Fuel: Petrol

Fuel economy combined: 65.7 mpg

Beating Spirit rating: 9/10

Introduction

The Ford Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost is a perfect match between car and engine, resulting in a vehicle that’s light, agile, fun, responsive, refined and efficient.

Summary

• This car and engine package really starts to challenge the domination of diesels over recent years

• Also a serious challenge to electric cars

• Great to drive, and efficient

• There are cheaper superminis

Background

The Fiesta has recently had a minor facelift, and has become available with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine. This engine is ideal for the Fiesta.

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Design & Engineering

The recent facelift has further improved the exterior appearance of the Fiesta. Inside, it still feels like a classy and modern place to be, although some controls in the centre of the dashboard are fiddly. A good driving position is easy to achieve, all controls are well-weighted, and even the steering wheel feels good.

The three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbo petrol engine is light and it gives good performance and economy. As well as this 125PS version, there’s also a 100PS option, which is equally impressive.

Ford Fiesta Driving Experience

This generation of the Ford Fiesta has always been a great car to drive, and the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine makes it even better. After many years of cars gaining weight – a trait which spoils handling, performance and economy – manufacturers are now getting serious about their latest models losing mass, and the Fiesta is a great example of the benefits of this approach. With its lightweight engine, the whole car feels more agile, more responsive and more fun. At tickover and at constant speed the engine is also very quiet, resulting in the Fiesta feeling very refined. Under acceleration there’s a throaty soundtrack, which we think sounds great.

The new Electric Power Assisted Steering is light at parking speeds but gets a heavier feel at speed, and is very responsive. The five-speed manual gearbox is also smooth and precise.

With an excellent balance between a comfortable ride and impressive handling dynamics with little body roll, the Fiesta feels like a sports car on twisting B-roads, but it’s also very capable on motorways – helped by the higher-powered 125PS engine in our test car.

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Ford Fiesta Economy and Emissions

The official combined economy figure for the 125PS 1.0-litre EcoBoost Fiesta is 65.7mpg – with emissions of 99g/km CO2. These are figures that could only be achieved by diesels just a few years ago. As with any downsized engine, the harder you drive it, the further away from this figure will be your real-life economy. We achieved an average of 46.5mpg over a week of very mixed real-life driving, which is quite a way off the official 65.7mpg, but still impressive for a such a refined and responsive petrol car. The Start/Stop system helps to bring down the official NEDC test emissions but it will only make a substantial difference in real-life if most driving is in busy built-up areas.

Price, Equipment and Model Range

The Ford Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost Start/Stop 125PS Titanium costs £15,445. The only option was a steel spare wheel at £95, taking the total price to £15,540. This is quite a lot to pay for a petrol supermini, but this is for a top of the range model, and you would be rewarded with low running costs – as well as an excellent driving experience.

There’s a huge range of Fiesta models to choose from. Trim levels start off with Style, then Edge, Zetec, Zetec S, Metal and then Titanium (there’s also the ‘green’ ECOnetic, in Edge, Zetec or Titanium trim). Titanium spec includes air conditioning, remote locking, electric windows, alloys and a more luxurious interior trim. There are also nine engine choices – six petrol and three diesel engines, including a 100PS version of the EcoBoost engine. There are three and five-door body styles.

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Conclusion

This Ford Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost 125PS is an excellent car to drive in virtually every way. It’s light, agile, fun, responsive, refined, comfortable and efficient. Diesels have enjoyed increasing market share over recent years, but from the petrol engine camp, this Fiesta really fights back. It’s much better to drive than the Fiesta ECOnetic 1.6 TDCi, which, although a good car, seems unrefined in comparison. Of even more importance, this Fiesta is perhaps one of the biggest challenges yet to electric cars. The new Renault ZOE electric supermini is an excellent car, but ultimately it has a finite range, probably of around 100 miles in real-life use, before it needs to be recharged. For most people, this would need to be done overnight. In comparison the Fiesta is also excellent to drive, it’s a similar price, but it has none of the range limitations of an electric car – if you wanted to drive from London to Scotland in this car you could, and you’d have a fantastic time driving around Scotland when you got there.

The Ford Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost 125PS comes incredibly close to a Beating Spirit rating of 10 out of 10, but as we’re always looking for the most economical cars in class, in terms of real-life economy it can’t quite match a new rival that will appear in these pages in the next few weeks, and so it’s awarded a rating of 9 out of 10.

Car Facts and Figures

Ford Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost Start/Stop 125PS Titanium 3-door data

Fuel economy extra urban: 76.4 mpg

Fuel economy urban: 53.3 mpg

Test economy: 46.3 mpg

CO2 emissions: 99 g/km

Green rating: VED band A – £0 a year

Weight: 1041 Kg

Company car tax liability (2012/13): 11%

Price: £15,445

Insurance group: 15

Power: 125 PS

Max speed: 122 mph

0-62mph: 9.4 seconds

Paul Clarke

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