With a smart new look and updated engine range, the Ford Fiesta has regained the initiative in the supermini market. It has long been the class’s best driver’s car, but newer rivals like the Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio had the edge on style and efficiency. That's no longer the case – a raft of changes has brought the nation's most popular new car bang up to date and won it Best Supermini at the 2013 Auto Express New Car Awards.
Ford now offers its punchy-yet-efficient 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost turbo petrol engines in the Fiesta – which produces 123bhp and returns 65.7mpg. While the latest diesel Fiesta ECOnetic promises lower fuel consumption than ever, at 85mpg. It also emits just 87g/km of CO2, so is exempt from road tax.
Inside, the car can’t quite match a Peugeot 208 or VW Polo for space, but the boot size has increased as part of the facelift – it can now swallow 295 litres of luggage, or 979 litres with the rear seats folded.
Up front, there’s loads of technology, including clever SYNC voice control smartphone connectivity. The standard MyKey system allows parents to set a maximum speed and stereo volume for when their teenage kids take the wheel, while ESP, seven airbags and optional autobrake boost safety. Plus, keen drivers will be pleased to hear the Fiesta still sets the standard from behind the wheel.