New Car Awards 2014: best supermini
The Ford Fiesta is the 2014 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the Dacia Sandero and Peugeot 208 commended
It’s party time at Ford, as its brilliant Fiesta has scooped our supermini prize for the second year in a row.
Sparkling handling, catwalk style and everyday practicality are the Ford Fiesta’s calling cards, while the low running costs and value-for-money pricing are the icing on the cake. Not that the Fiesta feels like a low- rent, bargain-basement special. The three and five-door versions benefit from the same sharp lines, plus the car’s fantastic interior effortlessly blends style, quality and practicality.
But it’s the way the Ford drives that marks it out as something special. For starters, few cars at any price can match the Fiesta’s agile and entertaining handling. The steering is sharp and full of feedback, the gearshift has a crisp action and there’s plenty of grip. Yet this nimbleness doesn’t come at the expense of comfort. Any bumps and potholes are easily shrugged off by the compliant suspension, and it’s nice and quiet in the cabin, too.
The Fiesta’s impressive refinement is thanks to its range of turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engines, which combine deep-chested performance with uncanny smoothness and wallet-friendly running costs. And for the ultimate in effortless progress, there’s even the option of Ford’s slick twin-clutch Powershift transmission.
Yet these dynamic delights don’t spoil the Fiesta’s sensible supermini credentials. The well laid-out cabin has room for five, there’s a decent boot and running costs are modest – efficient ECOnetic models return 85.6mpg. And as it’s a Ford, there’s a Fiesta to suit all tastes and budgets. Britain’s best-selling car gets better and better.
Fiesta 1.0T EcoBoost Zetec 5dr (£14,545)
There’s a vast line-up of Fiestas to choose from, but the five-door 1.0-litre turbocharged Zetec delivers the best blend of performance, low running costs, standard equipment and practicality.
If you want a simple, no-nonsense small car, then look no further than the Dacia. Rock-bottom prices, durable underpinnings and a spacious interior combine for a surprisingly compelling choice. And despite its entry-level status, the Dacia Sandero is good to drive.
The chic 208 represents a fine return to form for Peugeot, which has been seeking a supermini hit to match the legendary 205. Smart design, an upmarket cabin and a grown-up driving experience are highlights, while buyers get the desirable gadgets they want.
- 1IntroductionWe reveal the best new cars on sale today in every sector of the market, plus we name our overall 2014 Car of the Year
- 2Car of the Year 2014The British-built MINI is Auto Express' Car of the Year 2014
- 3City Car of the YearThe Skoda Citigo is the 2014 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Hyundai i10 and Toyota Aygo commended
- 4Supermini of the Year - currently readingThe Ford Fiesta is the 2014 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the Dacia Sandero and Peugeot 208 commended
- 5Premium Small Car of the YearThe MINI is the 2014 Auto Express Premium Small Car of the Year, with the Audi A1 and Citroen DS3 commended
- 6Small Family Car of the Year The SEAT Leon is the 2014 Auto Express Small Family Car of the Year, with the Mazda 3 and Volkswagen Golf commended
- 7Family Car of the Year The Mazda 6 is the 2014 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Superb and Vauxhall Insignia commended
- 8Estate Car of the Year The SEAT Leon ST is the 2014 Auto Express Estate of the Year, with the BMW 5 Series and Skoda Octavia Estate commended
- 9MPV of the Year The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is the 2014 Auto Express MPV of the Year, with the Citroen C4 Picasso and SEAT Alhambra commended
- 10Crossover of the Year The Nissan Qashqai is the 2014 Auto Express Crossover of the Year, with the Citroen C4 Cactus and Mazda CX-5 commended