Ford Fiesta Active available to order now

Rough-and-tumble crossover joins new Fiesta range

Ford is now taking orders for its new Fiesta Active, a ruggedly styled version of its award-winning supermini.

Despite its chunky looks, the Active doesn't get four-wheel drive. However, practical additions include roof rails, foglights and protective plastic cladding, along with a raised ride height and selectable driving modes, plus hill-start assistance.

The new car sits near the top of the range and as such comes well equipped in each of its three iterations: Active 1, Active B&O Play and Active X. Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment system is standard across the board and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.

Active B&O Play cars get a black roof and roof rails with matching black electric heated door mirrors, along with a 10-speaker B&O Play premium stereo. Cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and a central armrest all come as standard.

Top-spec Active X comes with part-leather upholstery, heated front seats, power-folding mirrors and an eight-inch infotainment screen with sat nav, plus keyless entry, a rear-view camera and parking sensors. A panoramic sliding sunroof is optional on the Active 1 and Active X.

The Ford Fiesta Active is available with the same engines as the rest of the range; a 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol with four power outputs, ranging from 83 to 183bhp, along with an 84bhp 1.5-litre TDCi diesel.

Prices start at £17,790 for the Fiesta Active 1, rising to £19,190 for the Active B&O Play and £20,290 for the top-of-the-range Active X.

Ford Fiesta – details

New UK-bound Ford Fiestas have started to come out of Ford’s Cologne factory and are on their way to UK dealerships, where the model officially went on sale in July.

And while the new car’s mechanical underpinnings are an evolution of the outgoing Fiesta’s, that car won so many plaudits for its handling and comfort that Ford understandably wants to build on its strengths.

Design-wise, things are also familiar, but seen in the metal – particularly when viewed dead on from the front and rear – the 2017 Fiesta is a sharper-looking car, with more decisively styled lights and a more assertive grille.

Some much-needed attention has also been paid to the Fiesta’s dashboard design, which is now less button-heavy and cluttered than the outgoing car’s. And while all Fiestas bar the basic Style model feature a touchscreen, Ford has sensibly left physical buttons for the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.

The new Ford Fiesta is on sale now – read our review here.

New Ford Fiesta: range outline

Ford launched the Fiesta to great fanfare and proudly proclaimed it would be available in a wide range of guises to suit all tastes, budgets and requirements. It’s worth knowing what this comprises.

Entry-level cars are badged Style and are aimed at fleet and corporate buyersZetec marks the start of the Fiesta range from which most retail buyers will chooseTitanium is the mid-range car and should be the best-sellerST-Line comes with sports suspension and a bodykit, although no extra powerVignale models are super-plush and will be ambitiously pricedA B&O Play package can be added to Zetec and Titanium cars, bringing an upgraded sat nav and stereo, as well as greater flashes of colour insideThe Fiesta Active sits on raised suspension and has chunkier styling details, acting as Ford’s SUV crossover.Also due in 2018 is the new Fiesta ST, which will be an out-and-out hot hatchback.

2017 Ford Fiesta: pricing overview

Although the 2017 Ford Fiesta starting price is £12,715, almost 60% of buyers are expected to overlook the basic Style trim for the Fiesta Zetec, which will be the most popular trim.

You’ll pay around £600 extra to go from a sporty-looking three-door model to a more practical five-door. And you’ll have to stump up at least £14,795 to get a Fiesta with the excellent 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine – a premium that’s partly explained by the fact you have to jump up to that Zetec trim, as the EcoBoost engine isn’t available with the Style model.

The cheapest diesel Fiesta is also £14,795, but if you want to upgrade the 1.5-litre engine from 84 to 118bhp, you’ll need to choose Titanium trim and spend at least £17,875.

Engines

The engine range starts with a new 1.1-litre petrol. Although it’s larger than the 1.0-litre EcoBoost, it doesn’t have a turbocharger, so develops just 69bhp.

Because of that, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost is expected to be more popular. It’ll be available with 99, 123 or 138bhp. It has been adapted to feature cylinder deactivation, allowing the engine to partially shut down when cruising to save fuel – an industry first for a three-cylinder engine.

All Fiestas will cost £140 a year to tax, while company-car drivers can get a Benefit-in-Kind rate as low as 16% if they go for the 99bhp 1.0-litre turbo petrol, or 18% with the 84bhp 1.5-litre diesel.

Trim levels

The Fiesta range starts with Style trim, which is really aimed at fleet buyers. Most retail customers are expected to choose from the next three trims: Zetec, Titanium and ST-Line. These are followed by Titanium X and ST-Line X variants, while the plush Fiesta Vignale tops the range. There’s also the Fiesta B&O PLAY Zetec Series and B&O PLAY Titanium Series.

Joining the range later will be the Fiesta Active, which will offer raised suspension and quasi-SUV appeal, plus a new Ford Fiesta ST hot hatchback.

Entry-level Style trim includes body-coloured bumpers, power-adjustable heated door mirrors, lane-keeping assistance, remote central locking, Bluetooth connectivity, air-conditioning, electric front windows and Ford’s MyKey; this last item allows parents to set a maximum top speed, limit the stereo’s volume and prevent the safety systems from being turned off.

Upgrading to Zetec trim costs about £1,400 and brings 15-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, front foglights, an alarm, Ford’s Quickclear windscreen, a leather steering wheel and various bits of exterior chrome garnish. Zetec also includes Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system, which comprises a 6.5-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Moving up to Titanium costs just under £2,000 and gets you LED rear lights, power-folding door mirrors, sat nav, auto-dipping headlights, keyless start, automatic lights and wipers, cruise control and upgraded climate control.

Titanium X adds electric rear windows, part-leather heated seats, a B&O Play stereo, keyless entry and a reversing camera.

ST-Line trim is priced identically to Titanium, but prioritises sportiness rather than luxury. Choose this model and you’ll get 17-inch alloys, sports suspension, a sporty bodykit, sports seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, black headlining and Ford’s SYNC 3 touchscreen.

ST-Line X adds LED rear lights, power-folding door mirrors, a 4.2-inch driver information screen, sat nav, part-leather seats, cruise control and automatic lights and wipers.

Top-spec Vignale trim comes with almost every conceivable extra, which it ought to, as it costs from £19,345. Choose this plush model and you’ll get an opening panoramic sunroof, heated leather seats, a reversing camera and rear parking sensors, as well as some Vignale badging and styling upgrades, including a Vignale radiator grille and foglights.

The B&O PLAY Zetec Series and B&O PLAY Titanium Series models mirror the standard Zetec and Titanium, but include B&O stereo upgrades and exclusive interior trim colours.

The new Fiesta’s roof, wing mirrors can be ordered in a variety of colours, while several sections of interior trim – including the rear view mirror housing – can be personalised with five different colours.

Interestingly, Ford has decided to make autonomous emergency braking an optional extra rather than a standard safety feature. We reckon this is one box that’s definitely worth ticking, though, and it’s included in Ford’s driver assistance pack. Strangely, this pack costs £500 with Style trim, but £400 with Zetec and ST-Line.

Styling

There are no great surprises when it comes to the new Fiesta’s styling; it’s very much evolution not revolution, with the changes mostly amounting to subtle tweaks rather than a full redesign. The front grille is wider than the outgoing model’s, while the headlights, which now feature encircling daytime running lights, have also been redesigned.

The new car is longer and wider than the outgoing model, with interior space increasing as a result. Each version of the new Ford Fiesta has with its own distinctive look. The sporty ST-Line (pictured in red) gets a racy bodykit, a jutting front spoiler and black mesh backing for the front grille.

Meanwhile, the Titanium model gets a chrome surround and horizontal bars for the front grille and chrome surround for the front foglights. The plush Vignale model (pictured in white) gets a satin honeycomb look for the front grille, as well as other satin exterior trim pieces.

The Active model looks the most distinct from the rest of the range. It has raised suspension, plus black plastic body cladding around the wheelarches and underside, as well as ‘dark foil’ roof rails, giving it a more rugged appearance. Rumours are that more future Ford models could come in 'Active' trim.

Interior and dashboard

While the new Fiesta’s looks are evolutionary on the outside, inside things are very different. Interior quality is said to have taken a great leap forward, with Ford promising ‘upscale premium materials and finishes’. A new eight-inch touchscreen and Ford’s SYNC 3 voice recognition system are among the highlights - though a 6.5-inch touchscreen is standard on lower trims, and the Style model makes do with a 4.2-inch, non-touchscreen display.

The number of buttons on the centre console has been halved compared to the outgoing model, with a large number of controls having been moved to the new eight-inch touchscreen. Ford says the new Fiesta is much more user-friendly than the old model, with ergonomics having been designed with the aid of eye-tracking software.

It’s not just the ergonomics that have been improved, however; Ford says that both the quality of the materials and the way it has been put together have been significantly improved as well. There’s also more space inside, with 16mm more kneeroom in the back, better access to the slightly larger boot, a glovebox that’s 20% bigger and a one-litre storage bin between the front seats. All the door bins will be able to hold a 600ml drinks bottle, too.

Technology & infotainment

This is where the new Fiesta has come on leaps and bounds compared to the old model. In place of the current version’s antiquated SYNC 1 infotainment system controlled from buttons on the dashboard, there’s now a far slicker SYNC 3 touchscreen system.

As well as a touchscreen, there’s also a sophisticated voice-control system. This allows you to merely push a button and say something like “I need a coffee” or “I need fuel” or I need to park” and the sat nav system will direct you to the closest location for what you want. It’s also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing you to control certain aspects of your phone from the eight-inch infotainment screen.

Buyers will also be able to add voice control of a number of smartphone apps to their SYNC 3 systems using the SYNC AppLink. These include Spotify, AccuWeather and the Aupeo internet radio app.

Lower-spec Fiestas will come with smaller 6.5 and 4.2-inch screens, while the latter can be specified with the Ford MyDock mobile-phone mounting system that allows you to use your mobile as a portable infotainment screen.

It’s not just infotainment that’s been improved, however: there’s also a huge amount of safety technology on offer. The new Fiesta comes with two cameras, three radar systems and 12 ultrasonic sensors to allow 360-degree monitoring of its environment.

The new Fiesta will also feature the latest safety systems: its anti-collision detectors can spot an obstacle 130-meters away, while the autonomous emergency braking system will step in if drivers fail to take appropriate action. Traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, auto-dipping headlights and an active lane-keeping assistant are also available.

Using these, the car can avoid (or reduce the severity of) low-speed collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians thanks to the ‘Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detect’ system. The new Fiesta will also be offered with a self-parking system that can find and manoeuvre the car into either a kerbside parking space or a perpendicular parking bay typical to car parks. The car steers itself while all you have to do is control the speed and the gears.

The new Fiesta will be available with traffic-sign recognition and auto-dipping headlights that avoid dazzling other drivers at night. Cross-traffic alert – a system that alerts you to any oncoming traffic as you’re reversing out of a parking space – will also be on offer. Further safety features on the new Ford Fiesta include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and forward collision alert.

Price and on-sale date

The 2017 Ford Fiesta is on sale imminently, priced from £12,715. A mid-spec five-door Zetec Fiesta with the 99bhp petrol engine is £15,445, while a similarly configured diesel is £16,445. The range tops out with the five-door diesel Fiesta Vignale, which comes in at £21,225.

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