New Ford Fiesta Takes An ‘Active’ Role.

The latest-generation Ford Fiesta has already proved to be a runaway success since going on sale here late last summer – quickly picking up where its predecessor left off, at the top of the sales charts in Ireland, and across Europe too.

With so many car buyers moving towards compact crossover/SUV bodystyles, it was only a matter of time before Ford jumped on the bandwagon. Having the wonderful new Fiesta as a basis to work from, Ford launched the all-new Fiesta Active to great acclaim. With the Fiesta Active, Ford has taken the Fiesta and toughened it up. As well as increasing its width by 30mm and its ride height by 18mm (when compared to the standard Fiesta’s dimensions), it has added plastic body cladding and roof rails for the full 4×4 look. Ford expects the Fiesta Active to account for approximately 15% of Fiesta sales.

With the Zetec, Titanium, sporty ST-Line and the posh Vignale versions, the Fiesta has already proven itself to be a brilliant car that appeals to a number of different buyers. Having the new Active model in the line-up will certainly add even more impact to the Fiesta’s appeal.

Just one engine is available in the all-new Fiesta Active range – a 1.0-litre EcoBoost (petrol) engine in 85PS, or 100PS guises. A six-speed manual gearbox sends power to the driving wheels at the front of the Fiesta Active, while a 5-door-only bodystyle provides the car with the utmost in practicality.

My test car was a new Fiesta Active 2, 1.0-litre EcoBoost with 100PS (or just under 99bhp, if you prefer) and mated to a slick six-speed manual gearbox. Finished in Frozen White paintwork, the car looked stunning with its contrasting black body cladding and black painted roof. Available in Active, and Active 2 trim levels, a generous standard equipment level is guaranteed, no matter which you choose. Standard Active 2 specification includes 17” Shadow Black alloy wheels, black roof with black roof rails, B&O premium audio system with a 10-speaker 360-degree sound system, 8” touchscreen, cruise control, auto high-beam, driver alert, traffic sign recognition, auto wipers, auto dimming rear view mirror, front centre-armrest, illuminated front cup-holders, yellow colour theme for key interior areas, black headlining cloth, and many more comfort, convenience and safety features.

The engine in my test car made the car very entertaining to drive, with plenty of power available when called upon. Producing 100PS, and 170Nm of torque, this sweet-revving engine is capable of propelling the car from 0-100km/h in 10.5-seconds, while consuming as little as 6.0-litres of fuel for every 100km’s driven on a combined driving cycle. This engine truly does offer the perfect balance of power and economy in equal measure.

When you open the door of the Fiesta Active, you notice the slightly higher driving position over the standard car, although it’s raised by only 18mm, so you don’t feel like you’re climbing in. The standard Fiesta’s brilliant driving position remains intact, but the floor of the car is slightly further off the road below – leading to a little bit more ground clearance than the regular Fiesta. Inside the car, not much feels different from the standard Fiesta, with a general feeling of high quality throughout, combined with comfortable and supportive seats. The boot is capable of carrying a 311-litre load with the rear seats in place, or up to 1093-litres with the rear seats folded.

The Fiesta Active’s suspension has been tweaked to better cope with sharp jolts, so it does a really good job of smoothing out nasty surfaces. During my time with the test car, I found that the Fiesta Active is well able to soak up road imperfections with remarkable ease, thereby making the cabin of the car a relatively serene place to be. The cars steering feels well-weighted, and provides positive feedback to the driver at all times. This is helped by the premium feel of the cars leather-bound, multi-function steering wheel, which also benefits from easy adjustment. Thankfully, all the other traits that make the Fiesta such a terrific small car remain.

The all-new Ford Fiesta Active is priced from just €18,885 (ex-works), while the range-topping Active 2 is available from €20,150 and offers terrific value for money. The Fiesta is a brilliant small car, and the Active is a genuinely impressive variant of it. The Fiesta Active benefits from Ford’s sensational 7-Year/100,000km warranty for total peace of mind motoring.

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