New Ford Fiesta Trend 2020 review
The Ford Fiesta Trend might be the new entry-level Fiesta, but that doesn't mean it is short on fun and thrills
With its new EcoBoost engine, the entry-level Ford Fiesta is better than ever. The price is still on the high side, but the kit list is generous, and if you spend a lot of nipping about town on short journeys, it could be all the car you’d ever need. It’s frugal, spacious and well built, but the excellent new Renault Clio remains a thorn in the Ford’s side.
The acclaimed French fancy stole the show thanks to its plush interior, strong kit list and low running costs. Its myriad spec and engine options gave buyers greater choice – especially since Ford culled the middling Zetec from its strong-selling Fiesta range.
While this wouldn’t usually be cause for concern, the huge gulf between the entry-level Fiesta Trend and the better equipped ST-Line was exaggerated further by the lacklustre 1.1-litre engine on the basic car. We far preferred the peppy turbocharged units on higher-end models.
But Ford has now dropped that breathless naturally aspirated engine for a more energetic 94bhp EcoBoost motor. It raises the list price by £500, but it’s well worth the extra cost – especially when you consider any premium will likely pale into insignificance on a monthly PCP finance deal.
Fitted with this new engine, the Fiesta is back in contention for our top supermini award. We’ve no complaints when it comes to standard equipment; big car kit like LED lights, privacy glass and an eight-inch central touchscreen is all included in the Ford’s £16,995 list price.
Don’t be fooled by the Fiesta’s on-paper performance, either. The 13.8-second 0-62mph time is deceptive; around town the turbo engine feels lively and is more than quick enough to keep up with urban traffic. Work the slick six-speed box and it’ll reach the national speed limit without much trouble, too.
It’s fun to nip about in thanks to the characterful three-cylinder petrol engine, which emits an enthusiastic but never intrusive thrum from beneath the bonnet. The steering is light enough for manoeuvring, but precise and direct when you need it to be. Body control is excellent.
This new Fiesta Trend should cost very little to run, as well. Low emissions make it an affordable company car, while decent fuel economy – you can expect 40mpg-plus, even in town – ensures you can keep a lid on day-to-day costs. Flat-rate VED prevents it being any cheaper to tax than its rivals, however.
There are one or two areas where this basic Fiesta falls down, but its foibles are few and far between. The seat bases are flat, and there is very little in the way of support; the chairs in the flashier ST-Line car offer better side bolstering and are comfier on longer journeys despite their racy looks. It’s a shame because this is otherwise a very accomplished and refined car at higher speeds – the sixth gear helping lower revs on the motorway.
And while it is the cheapest new Fiesta money can buy, the excellent Clio Iconic – even with the desirable TCe 100 turbo engine – costs £500 less. With 16-inch wheels, LED lights and privacy glass the Renault more than matches the Ford’s kit list – building on it with sat-nav, keyless go and rear parking sensors.