Dynamite in small packages

04 March 2013 - 22:04 By BOBBY CHEETHAM

Ford's new Fiesta, launched last week, sets new standards in the small, affordable car segment.

New standards under the bonnet should set hearts, minds and engines racing.

What is it?

The introduction of the international engine of the year, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost, is what the Fiesta is all about.

The most dramatic and distinctive Fiesta to date will deliver excellent levels of fuel efficiency from Ford's new patented 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, says Ford SA marketing manager Gavin Golightly - and it won't break the bank either.

This landmark engine, already selected for both the Popular Mechanics 2012 Breakthrough award and Engine Technology International's "International Engine of the Year" award in Europe, records CO2 emissions of just 99g/km and uses only 4.3l of petrol per 100km on a combined cycle route.

Thes figures make it clear that the company is strongly commited to provide consumers with fuel-efficient cars, he says.

What's it look like?

Fresh, fun and funky. The Fiesta has a redesigned exterior, new interior and the sharp end is dominated by trapezoidal grille and new headlights with daytime LEDs.

The bonnet has a new look while the tail lights have undergone changes.

What's it like to drive?

While the diminutive size of the one-litre engine ensures its efficiency, it offers performance to rival much larger displacement engines.

It will be the one model in the stable that is likely to attract consiuderable attention from new-car buyers.

With 92kW and 170Nm on offer the engine delivers more power for its size than even some premium cars.

Any special features?

Ford has introduced an Auto-Start-Stop feature on the 1.0-litre EcoBoost.

This automatically shuts down the engine when the vehicle is at idle and restarts it when the driver wants to move off.

Smart regenerative charging reduces engine wear and tear by selectively engaging the alternator and charging the battery when the vehicle is coasting and braking.

Should you buy one?

While the 1.0-litre EcoBoost is garnering plenty of attention, Ford will continue to offer its tried and tested 1.4-litre petrol and 1.6-litre TDCi engines within the line-up.

The range will continue to be featured near the top of the Naamsa sales charts, which is testament to the popularity of the Fiesta.

The Fiesta is available with a four-year or 120000km warranty and four-year or 60000km service plan. Service intervals are 20000km for petrol versions and 15000km for the diesel models.