Road tests

Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost review

Ford Fiesta Zetec is big on value and driving fun. 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine brings 60mpg, too

The Ford Fiesta never falls far outside the UK's top five best-sellers list, and part of this stems from the sheer variety of engines and trim levels available. Fortunately, there's one model that we reckon gets the balance between style, power, comfort and economy just right.

The Ford Fiesta range lineup is incredibly diverse. The hierarchy ascends through Style, Zetec, Titanium, Titanium X and the plush Vignale trim levels, with a B&O Play version of the Zetec and Titanium that adds sat nav and a powerful hi-fi system to the features list. Then there is the sporty looking ST-line and high performance ST, and the SUV-influenced Fiesta Active for those who like the idea of an SUV but not the expensive running costs.

The Zetec may only be the second rung on the Fiesta ladder but it still boasts 16-inch alloy wheels, a heated front windscreen, LED daytime running lights, a leather steering wheel and a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And that's on top of the air conditioning, lane-keeping assist, adjustable speed limiter and automatic headlights that come standard on every Fiesta.

The Zetec brings far more than just the bare basics then, and is the least expensive model in the range to be offered with Ford's excellent 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine. More powerful than the larger 1.1-litre engine, the 99bhp EcoBoost is perky and responsive, achieving 0-62mph in a very respectable 10.5 seconds. A 113mph top speed makes it fuss-free when cruising at motorway speeds, too.

Passengers will enjoy travelling in the Fiesta Zetec. Thanks to 16-inch wheels that are better at absorbing pothole shocks than the bigger wheels and low-profile tyres of models further up the range, it's one of the smoothest Fiestas in terms of ride quality. The latest model is far more spacious inside than previous versions, too, and runs the Volkswagen Polo and SEAT Ibiza close for rear seat room, while its 292- litre boot should prove ample for the weekly shop.

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A trundle to the supermarket barely scratches the surface of what the Fiesta can do, with only the SEAT Ibiza coming close to the handling of the Fiesta. The sensibly priced Zetec isn't miles behind the sporty Fiesta ST where it comes to fun at moderate speeds either. It's a very easy car to drive, and its responsive controls help drivers to build up confidence – great news for younger drivers.

Drawbacks? The Zetec misses out on the larger infotainment screen that comes with the Titanium model, and no Fiesta can quite match the VW Polo for interior fit and finish. However, the Zetec is neary £2,000 less to buy than the next trim level up, and that 1.0-litre engine promises fuel economy of over 60mpg - it’s great value and cheap to run.

Verdict 4.5/5.

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