Review: Ford Fiesta Diesel—The Underdog Of Mid-sized Sedans

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The inception of mass produced automobiles began with Henry Ford, back in June, 1903. They christened their organising Ford Motor Company and is based out of Dearborn, Michigan, United States of America. Over the years they have produced several interesting products.

Ford launched their new Fiesta in India in June, 2014. The American manufacturer had showcased their redesigned sedan at the 2014 Auto Expo in New Delhi. It is a global product and is available in a few markets as a hatchback as well.

The Indian Fiesta is a sedan styled vehicle and for 2014, exterior styling has been reworked and the product is now more India-focussed. Ford have also worked on the engine and made it more driver-centric. It is indeed a giant leap forward from the very first Fiesta launched in the country, which is now sold as the Classic.


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2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Overview

Model Tested: 2014 Ford Fiesta, Titanium Trim
Fuel Type: Diesel
Engine: 1.5-litre TDCi (only diesel available)
Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Road Test Location: Mumbai
Price: INR 11,00,000 lakh [On-road, Mumbai]

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Styling

The first thing that will attract you to Ford's 2014 Fiesta is the power bulge over the bonnet. The hood shut lines flow seamlessly into the A-pillars. An elongated headlight that has been swept to an edge finish. The new car also features heavy use of chrome treatment to the massive Aston Martin-like front grille. All these factors give it a futuristic look, which is nothing like its competitors.

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Styling

From its side profile, the Fiesta looks like it is in motion even while standing still. The sedan sports a design language that Ford designers call the Kinetic Design 2.0-only the 2014 Fiesta sports it in India. The manufacturer explains that all future models in India will get this design treatment. The double spoke alloy wheels look sporty and enhance the character of the vehicle.

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Styling

The rear is relatively clean in terms of design. It has a gradually protruding aero-lip on the boot, which lends to its sporty character. The tail lamps are large and somehow feel out of place on a sporty sedan. We would have preferred a more edgy and sharper looking light cluster. Surprisingly, the exhaust tip has been hidden by engineers and is not visible at all even if you casually bend to check on it.

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Engine

The 2014 Ford Fiesta features an all new 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine. It produces 90 bhp, along with a whopping 203 Nm of peak torque. Ford have paired the engine with a 5-speed manual transmission for precise driver inputs. The manufacturer does not provide a petrol option, however, it could be offered in the following year. The engine is well tuned and has negligible turbo lag. Ford's refined engine returns fuel efficiency figures* of 12.5 kpl in our combined test of city and highway use. Although it is a diesel engine it is relatively low on NVH levels, which is great news to our ears.

*ARAI certified fuel efficiency figure is 25.01 kpl

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Transmission

We were rather disappointed that Ford did not offer an automatic transmission with its 2014 Fiesta. On the bright side, after driving the sedan for a while we realised it was a pure driver's vehicle and the manual gearbox was the right foot forward. The gears are smooth and fall into their slots easily. The clutch might feel a bit heavy at times in stop-and-go traffic, however, the new Fiesta is bliss on open roads.

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Drive & Handling

Once again, it is a thorough driver's car. The most fun in a Fiesta can be achieved behind the steering wheel. Ford has managed to make their steering light in traffic conditions, however, it weighs up pretty well on open roads and highways. The steering may be light, but it still provides massive road feedback to the driver, thus instilling confidence. Gears can be quick-shifted and there is no delay in power, which feels great while overtaking.

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Cabin

Not much has changed within the 2014 Ford Fiesta, it has a similar dashboard to its predecessor. The layout and design is similar to that in their EcoSport compact SUV. We liked the simple yet elegant looking entertainment console in the centre. The grey and beige combination gives the cabin a bigger and more airy feel. The speedometer is well lit and has bold lettering for an easy view. We also liked how all the equipment lights up in blue and lends a calm essence to the cabin.

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Cabin

The rear seats are comfortable and have adequate cushioning. However, Ford has heavily compromised on both rear headroom and legroom in their Fiesta, and six footers will have slightly tight accommodation . Headrests are adjustable, which is a good feature although they can restrict vision of the driver easily. It has a decent armrest that can be put away easily, and has room for two small bottles..

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Instruments

We like how Ford has intentionally kept their instrument and entertainment console clean and simple. The speedometer gets big dials and a blue needle instead of a traditional red needle. The use of blue lights is like a breeze of fresh air within the cabin. The Titanium trim gets a keyless entry, along with a push button start/stop.

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Things We Liked

The new Ford Fiesta looks and feels smaller in dimensions, however, they have not compromised on boot space. There is ample amount of luggage storage, to be exact, 430 litres. It is the perfect vehicle for long trips with the entire family, the space is adequate to have almost two medium sized trolley bags, along with a couple of duffel bags as well.

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Things We Liked

As we said earlier, the 2014 Fiesta is a thorough drivers car and gets the best seats in the segment so far. They offer amazing lateral and shoulder support. The seats keep the driver firm in his seat and behind the wheel. At no point during our test did we feel any fatigue or discomfort, proving the high comfort levels of the seats.

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Things We Liked

The 2014 Ford Fiesta Titanium trim comes fitted with 15-inch alloy wheels with 195/60 R15 Goodyear Eagle NCT 5 tubeless tyres. These offer great grip and feel, and these are not domestically manufactured tyres. We were pleasantly surprised as the American manufacturer has not opted for cheaper tyres to cut costs on its sedan.

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Things We Did Not Like

There are very few things that we did not like about Ford's new Fiesta. One of them was the steering wheel, which offers tremendous feedback, and its small diameter may not suit everyone. It takes some getting used to if you have a couple of vehicles and keep switching between them.

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Things We Did Not Like

The hood release latch should be easy to find at all times. At no point during our test could we find it and when we did we were surprised at its positioning. It is near the driver's right foot, however, it is a bit concealed and difficult to find on the go.

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Things We Did Not Like

A driver needs to see what's coming up behind him and from the shot of the rear view, you too can see that it would be tough trusting a mirror with this limited vision. If any of the rear occupants decide to increase the height of their headrest to its maximum setting, the rear view is clearly compromised. We had to rely heavily on Ford's rear parking sensors, which thankfully do exactly what they are meant to. We did not like this aspect of Ford's 2014 Fiesta and would have surely liked more visibility.

2014 Ford Fiesta Review: Things We Did Not Like

Another letdown in Ford's new Fiesta is their brakes, which lacked bite. They work well, however, when you want to stop urgently, it does not feel as good and responsive as it should. We would have prefered more urgency from this sedan.

2014 Ford Fiesta Competitors

Ford's 2014 Fiesta receives tough competition from Hyundai's Verna, Volkswagen's Vento, Maruti's Ciaz, and Fiat's Linea. The Fiesta and Vento have a similar 1.5-litre diesel engines, while the Verna gets 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre diesel engine options. The Linea and Ciaz feature a 1.3-litre diesel mill.

In terms of safety Ford's Fiesta has more to offer with ABS and airbags available from the base model upward..

The new Fiesta also scores high on driver engagement and overall fun factor. Ford's sedan, however, is the smallest in dimension and could put off most buyers, which makes the cabin a tad cramped up.

Ford Fun Fact!

Ford earlier had a very plain and boring design earlier, however, a new Chief Designer has changed their design philosophy altogether. Ford has recruited Ehab Kaoud as their Chief Designer, who worked with Aston Martin previously. The front grille is somewhat similar to that on current Aston Martins. Ehab is popularly known for the design of Ford's compact SUV, the EcoSport. The upcoming Ford Figo sedan and hatchback too will sport this new design philosophy, just like the 2014 Fiesta.

Final Thoughts On The 2014 Fiesta!

Overall, Ford has an awesome package to offer in the form of its 2014 Fiesta. It has a power packed engine with excellent styling that makes it stand out in a crowd. There are a few downsides as well in the sedan, however the positives definitely outweigh the negative factors. We would appreciate Ford offering petrol engines as well, especially their EcoBoost powertrain, and an automatic gearbox would do no harm as well. However, the American-based manufacturer Ford has done an excellent job of making it a more India-focussed product. The 2014 Fiesta is a definite head turner, owing to striking paint schemes, bold use of chrome and muscular styling, that redefine the Ford's underappreciated Fiesta.

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Story first published: Monday, December 8, 2014, 18:17 [IST]
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