The current Ford Fiesta may have had a relatively short history in the United States, but in Europe it has been one of Ford’s most important products for decades. And Ford has announced this week that they will be adding to their crossover version of the Fiesta, along with updated advanced safety technologies.
The updated Fiesta will go on sale in Europe next summer. The U.S. version is expected to launch in 2018. “It has technology that small-car customers “could only have dreamed of just a few years ago,” Ford of Europe CEO Jim Farley said in a statement.
The Fiesta’s 15 driver assistance technologies include a number of firsts for Ford or the segment, such as, enhanced pedestrian detection technology that can help prevent collisions at night by detecting people who are in or near the road ahead, or who may cross the vehicle’s path. A parking assistant that helps drivers find suitable spaces and park hands-free nose-to-tail and side-by-side with other cars. It can also apply the brakes to prevent low-speed bumps if drivers do not respond to system guidance and proximity warnings while maneuvering. And a “Cross Traffic” system that will warn drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them.
The Fiesta will come in two- and four-door options, and will be about 2.75 inches longer than the model year before it.
Hoping to draw in more customers to a growing segment Ford has added upscale styling and interior features to the Fiesta. For a more premium look, the car now has parking sensors flush with the body panels. The shut-line between the roof and tailgate by has been reduced by more than 30 percent and road noise is reduced by 7 percent, Ford said. The interior improvements are more dramatic, as the dashboard presents a much more appealing and modern interface than the current Fiesta’s. An 8.0-inch touchscreen, presumably an option upgrade, sprouts from the center stack and uses Ford’s Sync 3 software; volume and tuning knobs, along with a few other audio buttons, are below. Rear-seat room is supposedly expanded, and the rear hatch offers a larger opening than before.
Ford says the new Fiesta’s body is stiffer than before and that it has increased sound deadening and an acoustically insulating windshield to decrease interior noise levels.
The Fiesta’s top model will be the Vignale version and it extends the brand’s premium trim into subcompacts for the first time. Other premium features include 18-inch alloy wheel designs, quilted leather seats and a hexagonal front grille.
The Fiesta also will have a new crossover-styled variant named Active, which will be the first in a new lineup of Active vehicles to be rolled out across the Ford range. The Fiesta Active has SUV-inspired styling that includes raised ride height, roof bars and additional body cladding. The Fiesta will also have an ST-Line model that is likely to include a rear spoiler, sports seats and a stiffer suspension. Other model trims include a Titanium model that features a unique front bumper and grille.
Launch models in Europe will come with a choice of three versions of Ford’s three-cylinder EcoBoost gasoline engine, a new six-speed manual transmission, and a naturally aspirated version of the EcoBoost engine replaces the 1.25-liter entry gasoline unit.
The Fiesta will also offer a 118-hp 1.5-liter diesel, the highest powered diesel Ford has included in Fiesta’s engine range to date. An 84-hp diesel will also be offered with 10 hp more than the current equivalent engine and CO2 emissions of 82g/km.
Pricing is likely to stay competitive with that of the current car, a Ford spokesman said. However, the Fiesta’s starting price has increased because Ford has dropped Fiesta’s two entry trim levels to make way for the new the $10,644 Ka+, which competes for subcompact customers like the Fiesta after moving out of the mini-car segment.
The Fiesta is Ford’s top-selling passenger car in Europe and was the second best-selling subcompact car in the region through October.