By Christopher Tan
The familiar adage that “great things come in small packages” is never truer when it comes to this American automaker’s latest compact offering.
It amazes most people how pocket-sized weightlifters are able to effortlessly lift more than double their own body weight during competitions. Many reason that being short, these athletes need less distance to lift the same weight above the head as compared to their taller peers, while some argue that their smaller frame provide a lower point of gravity thus increasing stability during movement.
I am not sure if those insightful automobile designers over at Ford are big fans of weightlifting but their latest Fiesta design sure resembles every inch of a champion weightlifter; small in size but delivers plenty of thrust, power and stability.
First introduced way back in 1976, the Ford Fiesta has continued to keep their growing international fan base happy, including becoming the United Kingdom’s best-selling vehicle of all time recently with sales topping 4.1 million units. Introduced to the Malaysian market in May this year, it is easy to understand why its patented three-cylinder 1.0L EcoBoost engine was named “International Engine of the Year” both in 2012 and 2013.
While the general public may offer a sceptical expression when a single litre car is mentioned, car enthusiasts are aware that automakers are of late swiftly rolling out smaller engine drives that are enhanced with similar power and performance as those from larger vehicles. Much of the rationale comes from improved fuel efficiency as well as increased environment consciousness demanded of consumer cars.
Personally, this latest Fiesta variant is not for those with children and family in tow. It is truly a “driver’s car” for those seeking the thrill and excitement of zipping around the city traffic and for the traffic light “faceoff” when a roaring turbo engine matters.
Combining turbo-charging and direct fuel injection, my very first acceleration of the car – hitting 0-100kmph in under 11.2 seconds – had me nodding in agreement at Ford’s declaration of it being the “most powerful and fuel-efficient B-segment vehicle available in Malaysia.”
With electronic stability program and traction control turned on plus a set of responsive shock absorbers beneath it, I had the additional comfort knowing (and earnestly hoping) that the seven airbags would promptly do its job should I encounter any of the instantaneously-appearing sinkholes around the KL roads.
In all honesty, after only a few corners and traffic lights junctions, this car has impressed me more than a handful of 1.5 and 1.6 litre engine rides that I have reviewed recently. Surprisingly smooth on the acceleration, it seems effortless in producing 125PS of power and 170Nm of torque, but more importantly during these tough economic times, churns out fuel efficiency of 5.3L over a distance of 100 kilometres.
The 1.0L version incorporates various safety features currently available in its 1.5L big brother variant including hill launch assist, which helps to hold the car for up to three seconds on the slope, anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist. For added convenience, it comes standard with a free three-year or 60,000km maintenance programme that covers parts and labour free of charge.
It is not all about the hardware as it is easily ranked high amongst its class in terms of looks. An intimidating five-bar chrome grille, slim headlamps and LED day-time running lights alongside a set of fitting sport kit that extends to the skirting, gives this machine a serious yet sporting edge.
On the software, it clearly comes out fighting above its weight class particularly via Ford Sync that offers drivers hands-free and seamless Bluetooth/USB connectivity to answer phone calls and select music from connected devices, as well as listen to text messages by simply using voice commands.
The EcoBoost also comes standard with 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, rear parking aid with park pilot, rain-sensing wipers, six-speaker audio system and of course smart keyless entry together with push button start, which have become a mandatory feature for any car coming out of the assembly line.
Now comes its dilemma; the five-door Ford Fiesta Sport+ with 1.0L EcoBoost engine, which comes in artic white, panther black and true red is priced at RM93,888. I can see many heads turning in disagreement especially amongst those who sternly believe that they can easily get a larger capacity car and one that can fit more of their family members for a lower price tag.
True, but can they get one that will make the driver of the car beside you at the traffic light turn to admire your car’s smooth sporty contours, listen in awe to its purring turbo engine and stare at disbelief when you swiftly leave him behind after the lights turn green?
What’s in store?
- 1.0l GTDI, EcoBoost 3-cylinder
- Powershift six-speed dual clutch automatic
- Electric motor driven power steering
- 16” alloy wheels
- Automatic twin chamber halogen reflector headlamps with home safe lighting
- Power adjustable wing mirror with indicator and puddle lamp
- Automatic temperature control
- Electronic stability programme
- Emergency brake assist
- Keyless entry and push start button
- Seven airbags
- Day-time running lights
- Stylish all-round skirting