With four years having passed since its debut, and just over twelve months after its first mid-life revision, Ford has taken the wraps off of the more extensively updated Fiesta tipped to arrive in South Africa next year.
Set to resume battle with the facelift Volkswagen Polo, the exterior tweaks consists of a Puma-inspired front facia made up of redesigned standard LED or optional Matrix LED headlights, a new front bumper and a revised grille sporting a more centrally placed Blue Oval logo. At the rear, the taillights receive blacked-out clusters with the option of upgrading to full LED diodes.
As before, the ST-Line sports a gloss black honeycomb grille, extended wheel arches, sportier bumpers and wider door sills derived from the ST, while a model bespoke grille, roof rails and black cladding on the bumpers, around the wheel arches and satin silver detailing at the base of the doors feature on the crossover-inspired Active.
Rounding the standard Fiesta and Fiesta Active’s exterior off are seven alloy wheel designs ranging from 16 to 18-inches, and two new colours: Beautiful Berry and Boundless Blue.
Building on its sibling, the ST now comes with the same Mean Green colour option as the Puma ST, in addition to standard 17-inch or optional 18-inch alloy wheels in Dark Magnetite, body coloured finish for the rear spoiler, side skirts and faux diffuser, and a Chrystaline Grey hue for the side vents and upper half of the grille.
The model that underpins the Puma, the Fiesta’s interior updates now mirror those of its sister in the inclusion of a new 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument cluster and an optional 575-watt, ten-speaker B&O Play sound system.
Still outfitted as standard with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system incorporating SYNC 3 as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, new specification items, depending on the trim level, includes Rear Occupant Alert, Wrong Way Alert and in the case of the ST, a new flat-bottom steering wheel with matte carbon-look inlays and Ford Performance sport seats trimmed in Sensico with red stitching.
Introduced with the initial update, the Fiesta’s engine line-up continues largely as is with the 1.0 EcoBoost petrol boasting three states of tune; 74kW/170Nm and with mild-hybrid assistance, 92kW/194Nm and 115kW/240Nm. On the former, only a six-speed manual gearbox is available with the latter pair offering the option of a seven-speed, dual-clutch.
No longer available though is the combination of the six-speed manual gearbox and the 1.5 TDCI engine, which the South African market Fiesta eschewed two months ago.
For the ST however, Ford has uprated the three-cylinder 1.5 EcoBoost engine from 290 Nm to 320 Nm with power remaining unchanged at 147 kW. A six-speed manual gearbox is once again entrusted with sending the amount of twist to the front axle with Henry’s marque claiming a top speed of 230 km/h and 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds.
While the regular Fiesta now comes as standard with a drive mode selector offering three settings; Eco, Normal, Sport and Trail in the case of the Active, the ST drops the former for a model specific Track mode that completely turns the Electronic Stability Programme off. A mechanical Quaife limited slip differential can be specified from the options list.
In the UK, where the Fiesta lost its long-standing position of top-selling new vehicle to the Vauxhall (Opel) Corsa last year, the range comprises four trim levels; Trend, Titanium, ST-Line and Active with the previous range-topping Vignale reduced to an options pack on the latter trio and the Titanium X and ST-Line X falling away completely.
Pricing is expected to start at around €16 000 (R360 069) with Ford South Africa likely to bring the Fiesta to market next year, albeit without the 48-volt system as well as the ST.
For more information on the current Fiesta, click here.