It takes a minute to spot the visual changes from most angles, and the overall effect is a slightly smoother, slightly more sophisticated version of the previous Fiesta’s styling.
The grille and headlights have a very similar look to the last one, although Ford has worked to create more visual difference between trim specifications (Titanium vs. ST-Line vs. Vignale, etc.). Many of the hard creases on the last model have been smoothed out, and the car looks bigger. That’s a bit deceiving, as it is marginally larger but cabin size hasn’t really grown significantly.
The biggest visual change is at the back, where larger tail lights are the most obvious clue that you’re looking at the new Fiesta.
It’s a surprisingly low-key update to the model, and the risk is that current owners won’t believe that the car is sufficiently new and different, and may look elsewhere for more of a change when their PCP finance deals come to an end. To be fair, Volkswagen has made a career out of Golfs and Polos that prefer evolution to revolution, so maybe Ford won’t be too worried.
Better than: Skoda Fabia, Toyota Yaris, Vauxhall Corsa
Not as good as: Citroën C3, SEAT Ibiza
It might be evolution on the outside, but it’s revolution on the inside. The previous dashboard, which looked like a designer had vomited buttons everywhere, has been replaced by a far more elegant arrangement.
Controls are intelligently positioned and easy to use. All the cars we drove at the launch event had an eight-inch touchscreen – it’s standard on higher-level cars and optional on base models – that worked much better than similar units in cars three times the price.
As mentioned, cabin space hasn’t improved significantly. It’s still squeezy in the back seats and you’ll need to be moderate with your luggage expectations, but it’s competitive for the class.
Better than: Peugeot 208, Renault Clio, Vauxhall Corsa
Not as good as: Audi A1, SEAT Ibiza, Volkswagen Polo
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