FORD FIESTA ST LINE Mhev: Ford-ward on the battery route


AS motoring icons go, Ford’s Fiesta is right up there with the best, and has been there for a long, long time.

More and more of us are turning towards smaller cars that offer good levels of comfort, good economy, low cost of ownership, high levels of safety and smart looks – cars to put a smile on your face.

The Fiesta in its various guises over the years has been all of those and now feels better put together than any Fiesta I can remember. Today, it’s certainly a far more attractive looking hatch than the slabby little hatchback that gave birth to the name.

Part of the fun factor it now serves up is down to its truly brilliant chassis – the main reason why it is so rewarding to drive.

All the controls are light to the touch – gearbox, pedals and steering wheel – and have a linked symmetry that makes the Fiesta a very, very easy car to just get into and drive.

Its 1.0 litre mild hybrid Mhev engine with its 48v battery is no slouch. There’s a new set of icons in the main instrument panel, which highlight when the motor is recuperating energy under braking, or dishing it out under acceleration – the only tell takes to what’s different that’s going on under the bonnet.

And when you get fully used to its way of moving, which will take you about half a mile, you can revel in handling characteristics that you never used to find on a car at this end of the market.

The driving position feels sporty without being hard to get in and out of, and the steering wheel is easily adjusted for maximum comfort.

The light steering means it’s easy to drive, especially in town, but it can still be quite involving on quicker roads where the ride quality is commendably good, even when the surface quality isn’t.

Part of the magic of cars in the supermini class is that they can be fun to drive without being pricey to run.

From the outside Fiesta is a very smart car and it’s a bit of a tardis –you don’t get any real idea of how much room there is inside. But tall drivers will really appreciate the amount of legroom that will allow them to find an ideal driving position. And in case you need to check where your feet are before you set off you can as the footwell as exceptionally well lit.

ST-Line Edition is not an ST in the true Ford meaning of the appendage, but it will appeal to those who have a penchant for wearing their baseball caps back to front, the waist of their trousers halfway down their buttocks, and who like their music loud (they’ll love the B&O audio system). Cars that are a bit edgy, a bit blingy with fancy alloys are their thing and this kind of panders to their needs. There’s a unique ST-Line upper grille and a full bodystyling kit that includes a large body coloured rear spoiler and sports tuned suspension. This version comes with three selectable drive modes – Normal, Sport and Eco.

There’s a distinct downside to the extra bodywork though. Wet weather means water and road grime gathers on the lower sill and once you build up any speed it courses up the inside of the rear doors, ready to catch the clothes of the unwary as they slip into the rear seats.

But it’s not likely to affect sales to any degree. It’s still a bloody good car.


Ford Fiesta ST-Line Edition Mhev

Price: £21,160 (£22,580 as tested)
Engine: 1.0 litre, three cylinder, petrol
Power: 123bhp
Torque: 155lb/ft
Transmission: six speed manual
Top speed: 126mph
0-62mph: 9.4 seconds
Economy: 62.4mpg
CO2 emissions: 117g/km

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