The bestselling car in the UK is being redesigned for 2017. It’s also bringing along some new friends in the form of the posh-looking Fiesta Vignale and the SUV-inspired Fiesta Active crossover.
Over 100,000 Ford Fiestas have been sold so far in 2016, according to November figures published by the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). That’s a remarkable figure that trounces any and all other UK cars. The Vauxhall Corsa was the second-most-sold car this year, with just shy of 69,000 sales so far.
The new Fiesta will be available in four guises – the standard Fiesta, a leather-clad more upmarket Fiesta Vignale, a sportier looking ST-Line derivative and the Fiesta Active – the first crossover version of the iconic little car.
Below you’ll find some of the highlights we’ve picked out about the new range of Fiestas. But we’ve taken a more in-depth look in our Ford Fiesta first look review. Or if you want to read about the current Fiesta, or the 14 Best Buy small cars it competes with, head for our comprehensive car reviews.
Four new Fiestas
The current generation of Fiesta has been around since 2008, receiving a comprehensive update in 2013. Despite the update, that’s a long time for any one generation of car, even if it has been the bestselling in the UK for the last four years.
The new Fiestas will have UK prices confirmed in March next year, and the first deliveries are likely to appear on British tarmac during July/August.
Those waiting for summer next year have some choices ahead. Not all details have been released, but here are the highlights of what we know:
Ford Fiesta: The standard model is the base of the entire range, and is being touted as the most technologically advanced small car that will be available.
Just like the current generation, three- and five- door versions will be available. A range of engines have been announced – mostly petrol and mostly manual with five or six gears. There is only one automatic option, which comes coupled to a 100bp petrol engine.
Specs are still being worked out. But it looks like USB sockets and Bluetooth will be standard across the range, though DAB may not be.
Some trim levels of the new Fiesta will feature an 8-inch tablet-inspired touchscreen that uses swiping and pinch-to-zoom smartphone-like gestures. Others will have smaller screens. Ford says these new screens will be of class-leading resolution.
Those with Apple and Android smartphones will be able to sync their phone using Apple CarPlay or AndroidAuto, which are tailored interfaces that let you use special in-car versions of popular apps like Google/Apple Maps, Spotify and others.
There’s also a raft of new safety features on the new Fiesta, and it will debut Ford’s latest advance in autonomous emergency braking (AEB). With sensors that can allegedly see 130m into the distance and improved pedestrian detection, these should help mitigate or avoid impacts altogether.
Other notable bits of safety/convenience kit include the cross-traffic alert, which can warn drivers that are reversing if it is not safe to do so. There’s also park assist – a semi-autonomous parking feature where you simply work the pedals and gears, and it’ll do the tricky steering for either a side-by-side park (perpendicular) or parking behind another car (parallel).
Fiesta ST-Line: The ST is the performance version of the Fiesta, and the current generation appeared in 2013. However, the ST-Line is different – it’s the regular Fiesta with a few tweaks to make it feel more dynamic, without adding in the higher-powered ST engines. The ST-Line already exists for the current Fiesta.
Currently the highest-power engine announced with the new line-up is 140hp. That power combined with ST-Line touches like firm sports suspension, a racing-esque flat-bottom steering wheel and sports seats may not make it a hot-hatch on paper, but should create a driving experience with a bit of flair.
Fiesta Vignale: Ford has released Vignale versions of several other of its cars, but never before the Fiesta. A ‘Vignale’ version of a Ford car means it’s been upscaled to make it more luxurious. The new Fiesta will feature 18-inch wheels, exclusive interior and exterior designs and leather stitched seats.
Fiesta Active: The variant that represents the biggest difference is without a doubt the Fiesta Active crossover. Following in the tradition of the tremendously popular crossover segment, the Active will be the Fiesta but with ‘SUV-inspired’ styling and tweaks.
This means it’ll have an increased ride height (the distance between the bottom of the car body and the ground) and more body cladding to make it look a bit more rugged – in this case a black strip that sits proud of the rest of the car body, tracing the wheel arches and chassis.
It’ll also have roof bars and a different front grille to the rest of the Fiesta line-up. The Fiesta Active will compete with small car crossovers like the Nissan Juke. There’s no mention of a four-wheel drive option, though.