Ford Fiesta facelift

27 Sep, 2012 11:00am Damion Smy

The facelifted Ford Fiesta and hot Fiesta ST have been unveiled at the Paris Motor Show

The Ford Fiesta is Britain’s best-selling car. And now it has been given a fresh look and a host of new technology. Plus, Ford has fitted its fantastic three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbo engine.

The new Fiesta gets subtly updated headlights with LED daytime running lamps and a larger trapezoidal grille in the style of the forthcoming Mondeo.

The changes apply to three and five-door models, and the number plate now sits below the grille, instead of within it. There’s also a separate lower grille section flanked by trapezoidal foglamp surrounds instead of the previous flush design.

Up top, the Fiesta’s bonnet now features a more aggressive ‘Power Dome’ shape, with a raised centre, instead of the current car’s flatter design.

The clean rear end remains unchanged, as do the doors and roofline, but the Fiesta continues Ford’s bid to become known as a ‘technology company’ as well as a car company, with a raft of hi-tech equipment.

The UK debut of Ford’s ‘MyKey’ is the headline – especially for parents looking at the Fiesta as a first car for their children.

This system allows owners to pre-programme a maximum speed and stereo volume if they lend the car to a child or friend. The Fiesta will then be restricted to these owner-specified settings.

MyKey also mutes the stereo until the seatbelts are fastened and prevents driver aids and other safety systems from being deactivated.

The car continues to offer features such as push-button start and keyless entry

There’s also Ford SYNC, which includes voice-activated commands for music and phone calls via Bluetooth or with media attached through the USB or auxiliary ports.

In addition, it permits you to use smartphone apps through the Fiesta’s audio system. These include Pandora – an app for creating playlists – or software that lets you update your Twitter feed using only your voice.

On the safety front, SYNC sends an automatic call out to emergency services in the event of an airbag being deployed or the fuel cut-out being activated, although this can be cancelled if the driver wishes to do so.

The technology also extends to performance, with the award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost three-cylinder engine available in the Fiesta for the first time.

Ford hasn’t confirmed power outputs, but did say we would get a version below the 99bhp and 118bhp engines already confirmed for the B-MAX. Expect over 60mpg from that model.

The real fuel-sipper will be the diesel ECOnetic – it might even improve on the current car’s 85.6mpg and 87g/km emissions. It’ll need to if it’s to keep up with rivals like the Hyundai i20 Blue, which achieves 88.3mpg and 84g/km of CO2.

The Fiesta already has a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, but the new model adds more safety features. There’s ESP, on top of the side, curtain and knee airbags, but Active City Stop will be an option for the first time, too. This works in the same way as the autobrake system on the Focus, preventing low-speed collisions by automatically bringing the car to a stop if necessary.

The new Fiesta will go on sale in October, with prices starting from around £10,000. A hot ST also arrives early next year to take on the Peugeot 208 GTi. It will be powered by a 178bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and cost around £18,000.