2014 Fiesta Sport review

Tiny engines are the future, according to most car-makers, and Ford has joined the throngs by introducing the three-cylinder Fiesta Sport. Don’t scoff at the Sport moniker yet, because Ford has attached to the tiny 1.0 litre a surprisingly big turbocharger, which enables the fiesta Sport to act in a very sporty manner indeed.
In fact the only way Ford could possibly have made the Sport faster is if each cylinder was filled with TNT, but that would probably be good for neither engine nor fuel consumption. And fuel consumption is the reason for the tiny engine. The idea is that you only use maximum power every once and a while, so why have a large capacity engine using all that extra fuel just to keep going?
Ford claims 5.3L/100km for the Fiesta Sport, but I think that’s a tad optimistic, as the best I could do was 6.4L/100km. Of course I was driving it more in the sense of a sporty car than a fuel miser, so as they say, results may differ.
But what isn’t up for debate is the way the fiesta will go around a corner. Ford has always been pretty good at chassis design (We’ll forget the last generation Escort) and the Fiesta has been finely honed over the years to be a very good car to drive. It’s one of those cars that even non car people will like, just because it feels so well conceived.
The dual clutch gearbox plays a part here as well. While you can change gear manually using the gearlever or paddles behind the steering wheel it works just as well in automatic mode, and is very good at predicting which gear you’ll need next.
I’m not too sure about the electronics though. The Fiesta sport has, like all Fiestas, Ford’s Sync system, which can use speech recognition and in this the system is pretty good, although I tend not to speak to them too much. Working your way through the myriad layers of pages on the dashboard mounted display can be a bitch, as even simple things like adjusting the bass on the sound system can have you looking at page after page of options. Call me old fashioned but I’d like a big button on the dashboard marked ‘Bass’.
Then again, Ford isn’t aiming the Fiesta at me, a forty-something year old that hasn’t added a song to my iPod for two years. No, the Fiesta is for the younger, trendier set, or at least that’s where Ford is hoping most sales will go. Of course the presence of plenty of alternative Japanese imports means that the Fiesta is only very rarely going to be someone’s first car, as is more common in overseas markets. That only makes the marketing campaign for the Fiesta Sport even more confusing, as it attempts to combine the idea of a tiny engine and big performance, and you really don’t know whether Ford is being ironic or not.
Believe me, Ford is deadly serious about this car, and one drive in it should be enough to convince anyone that there is a strong future for miniscule engines in cars.

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