Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi

23 Nov, 2012 12:45pm Tom Phillips

Does the diesel-powered version of the facelifted Ford Fiesta match the EcoBoost model's mix of performance and economy? We find out...

Verdict

4
The upgraded Fiesta is a case of the best getting better, with an upmarket new look combined with some interesting technology features that are set to become a common sight on all new Ford models from now on. The EcoBoost engine remains the star, but the diesel unit - although giving a stereotypical clatter under the bonnet - still delivers with decent torque and economy, too.

The facelifted Ford Fiesta will be available with seven different engine options when it arrives in showrooms in January. But while the excellent, smooth 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine is the headline act, do the updates throw a harsh light on the fact that Ford has simply carried over its 1.6-litre TDCi diesel unchanged?

Whether you order your Fiesta as a base-model Studio or newly introduced range-topping Titanium X, your car will feature the gaping five-bar chrome trapezoidal grille. It dominates the car’s nose, which also gets a more obviously creased bonnet and narrower, more technical-looking headlights that have daytime running lights along their lower edges.

The new design is inspired by the sleek Ford Evos concept, and gives the Fiesta a wider, more planted look, while the extra chrome makes it look like a bigger car, too.

Tweaks are minimal on the inside, with comfy new seats being added, along with some improved gloss black trim around the air-conditioning controls and slightly better-placed door handles.

The interior does get Ford’s pretty effective SYNC system, which allows you to control music playback or make calls from your smartphone by issuing simple voice commands. All Fiesta models also get MyKey, which allows the car’s owner to programme a second smart key for a novice driver, which limits speed, whether the traction control can be switched off, and the stereo’s volume.

Our car featured keyless go, so a press of the start button to the right of the steering wheel is all it takes to get the diesel unit to bark into life. The engine is a little gruff, particularly when cold, but has no trouble whatsoever in getting the Fiesta up and going. There’s plenty of low-down torque available, making driving in the cut and thrust of city traffic easy.

The slick manual gearbox is superb, too, although a six-speed gearbox would be a benefit, as the five-speed ‘box features a relatively high top gear, adding to the noise when driving at the motorway speed limit.

Driving the diesel car back-to-back with the petrol EcoBoost model, the torque advantage is clear, although the payoff is a much more gruff engine note and the feeling of a little extra weight being transported between the front wheels.

Disqus - noscript

Have they fixed the engine pulse transmitted when the clutch is depressed at idle ?

At £15,815 its very expensive to buy, am considering a large Dacia Duster SUV at £8,995 it offers much better value for money, Fiesta is very claustrophobic and cramped in the rear.

My children absolutely hated the Fiesta when we went to the Ford showroom to look at it. They absolutely loved room in the Dacia Duster which has a huge boot for holidays and shopping, compare to a very small bot of a Fiesta that would struggle be a struggle to fit one suitcase in. Also like the higher up ride of the Dacia Duster you have a much better view of the traffic, also higher up cars always come off better in a head on collision than a sitting in a low down sitting Fiesta. So l think we will go with buying a new £8,995 Dacia Duster as it recently won a most reliable SUV in Europe award.

I liked the economy of the Fiesta diesel but at nearly £16,000 it not very good value for money to buy new.

I'd do some more research if you think the Dacia is a safer car for your family. It only has a 3 star safety rating, thats extremely poor for 2012, compared to 5 star for the fiesta. But as this all things in life, you get what you pay for.

NCAP also states..

Euro NCAP’s frontal impact test simulates a car crashing into another of similar mass and structure. In real life, when two cars collide the vehicle with the higher mass has an advantage over the lighter one. Generally speaking, vehicles with higher structures tend to fare better in accidents than those with lower structures. Therefore, ratings are comparable only between cars of similar mass and with broadly similar structures.

Meaning the Fiesta only offers 5 star if it hits another Fiesta sized car, if it hits a 1 star rated lorry or Dacia Duster head on the Fiesta would be pulp, and the Dacia Duster owner would probably walk away unscathed whilst the Fiesta owner would have some serious injuries.

what will it be worth in 2 years time
probably around 9k ..so a lot of money
to lose ..and that grille will not be fashionable in a few years time

Fiesta is a cracking car already, and so will only be better in the faclifted version.

What some people miss is that THIS model tested has a List Price of nearly £16k. A few things:

1. You don't have to spend anything like that amount - you'll get a 5dr Fiesta for under £11k and it will still be better spec'd and built than Old Freds Duster which even has a Radio as an option (I'm not knocking the Duster as I haven't driven one yet), and it will sell easier when it comes to swapping it. The £16k Fiesta will be spec'd up to the eyeballs.

2. The Fiesta, like all Fords, will be a real drivers car with a level of sophistication that many others can only dream about

3. Economy and running costs will be light years ahead of something like the Duster 1.6 Access - don't expect anything better than low 30's in the real world Old Fred

4. The leasing industry are unanimously agreed that the Duster will have very low RV's. Comparing a Contract Hire rate of a Fiesta with a P11d Value of £12,940 to a Duster 1.6 Access with a P11d Value of £8,175, the Fiesta comes out £24+vat per month cheaper! Compared to the Duster 1.5dCi Ambiance with a P11d Value of £11,315 the difference grows to £63+vat per month!

If you buy a Dacia Duster 1.6 Access and hang on to it for 10 years then it will have been good value provided there is no major expenditure along the way. If you fancy swapping it after 3-5 years then be prepared for a shock.

In all honesty comparing something like the Fiesta to a Duster is not fair - the Duster has to be compared to a Qashqai or something simliar.

The depreciation drop will only worry those who swap their cars every two years - not a sensible thing to do in anyone's language. You also forget that you won't be paying £16k for the car and so the drop will be less than you would have us believe. Your argument is flawed and ignores the fact that ALL cars (not just the Fiesta) suffer depreciation - it's how you manage that depreciation that counts.

I don't see how the grille won't be out of 'fashion' in a few years time either - you forget that the new Mondeo (when it eventually arrives in 2014) will have the same grille, and that in itself will keep this Fiesta looking fresh for a while to come. And in any case, I don't hear too many telling us that the Aston Martin grille has long since passed into the annals of fashion faux pax ;-p

Absolute rubbish

Not really when you consider the similarly equiped top of the range Duster costs £15,000 and is still built like a bucket and uses tech from 10 years ago. If you want to spend £9k on a car buy a decent second hand one. The Duster will be worth about as much as a duster when you come to try and sell it on too, probably.

Well actually no it is not rubbish. It is simple physics, mass along with acceleration determines the forces that the occupants will experience in an impact. The Euro NCAP frontal impact test only show the result of an impact with another car of equal mass, people seem to forget this when looking at buying small cars.

Nonsense, it doesn't work like that. In a real crash, a highly rated small car can easily be safer than a larger car with a lower rating. Look what happened when Fifth Gear pitched a Renault Modus against a Volvo 900. The driver and front seat passenger in the Vovo would have died and those in the Modus walked away. That the Dacia has such a low rating indicates that it is likely to perform poorly in a range of scenarios against both larger and smaller vehicles.

Not really. The technology incorporated into modern small cars can mitigate against the laws of physics to a degree. That's the whole point. It's perfectly possible for a small car and a large car to collide and the occupants in the small car be better protected. It all depends upon design, and simply opting for the larger car in the belief that you will be safer is misguided.

A great car. I am tempted to downsize.

Hi Rob, it not just the much better space inside with huge boot of the Duster, and its nice safe high up position.

You have a 4x4 Duster that would be much better in the snow than the Fiesta for the few weeks a year we get a light covering.

A lot of folk would have found the Dusters high up SUV position, and high wading height a real Godsend with all the flooding we have had all over the country just recently.

Nothing wrong with the Fiesta Rob, its a great little car, but it offers very poor value for money & would not have been not as capable as a Duster with the recent floods with the Fiesta's low down position, thats not as safe as a Duster. Duster also has massive boot space inside compared to the cramped & claustaphobic rear in Fiesta all for half the price that would struggle to carry more than suitcase in the boot. 4x4 Duster would be more useful in rural places when the weather becomes a bit inclement.

I really do think the Duster will from nowhere to become a UK top 10 best seller next year, but it still won't be as popular as the Fiesta thats for sure Rob, but it will steal a lot of sales not just from SUV buyers, the overpriced £16k Fiesta sales might suffer a little bit as well.

You could indeed by another brand new Duster that sort of depreciation on the Fiesta, the Duster would still be worth £6,500 in which would be a nice deposit on a nice new £8,995 Duster.

Always look in at car buyer website for dieselinsight into buying new cars, and the Duster was the No2 best car for winter driving. I bet a lot of folk wish they had a Duster with a high wading height, in the recent flooding we have just experienced. Like the Fiesta but it does not even have the 4x4 capability of the Duster and its very expensive costs a lot lot more, does not offer very good value for money at all.

Car Buyer. Duster No2 best car for winter driving said.

Due this December, the Dacia Duster offers SUV looks and commendable off-road ability for the price of a modest supermini. Available in both two and four-wheel-drive, the Duster should be on your list if you want a good value, winter-friendly car.

I like this new grill but it doesn't look as sharp as before. It will look better because facelifts always makes cars look a lot better than original.

You can't compare a fiesta to a duster it's just ridiculous. Firstly the fiesta is a supermini for people of all ages and the duster is an old farmers car. The duster just looks old and half of it is just plastic. The fiesta is not made for snow is it? Secondly why would you compare these two in the first place there completely different cars. Come on use your iniative!!!

If you watch the fifth gear video again, you will notice that they took the engine out of the Volvo to make it crumple more

Key specs

  • Price: £15,815
  • Engine: 1.6-litre, 4cyl, turbodiesel
  • Power: 94bhp
  • Transmission: five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 11.7 secs
  • Top speed: 112mph
  • Economy: 78.5mph
  • CO2: 95g/km
  • Equipment: SYNC, MyKey, 16-inch alloys, Quickclear windsceen
  • On sale: January
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