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2014 Ford Fiesta TDCi Diesel: Review

The Ford Fiesta has received a facelift. And, it's only available with a diesel engine now. So, how different is it from the previous model? Our drive reveals all...
2014 Ford Fiesta

Premium. That's the buzz word for the new 2014 Ford Fiesta. Premium in terms of styling; premium in terms of features; and premium in terms of pricing. The latter, unfortunately, was one of  the biggest reasons for the Fiesta's poor showing last time round. So, does Ford expect the new Fiesta to do better? Yes; reasons for which we will get to later. But, almost as well as the likes of the Honda City or even the Hyundai Verna? No.
Ford realises till it can get the localisation up to a heathy level, the pricing of the Fiesta can never be mouth-watering. And so, it's not even trying. The new Fiesta is only available as a diesel, which we know is the more expensive route to take than petrol. And though there are three trim levels, none of them are going to entice you with their pricing. What the new Ford Fiesta will lure you with,  however, is its new design, its updated interiors and its first in class connectivity solutions.
2014 Ford Fiesta TDCi Diesel
First the looks. The new Fiesta does look better than the car it replaces. It looks better proportioned than the older car and from the front and the front quarter, more contemporary and  hunkered down. It looks richer too. In fact, it is one of the better looking cars in its class, no question. The grille is more prominent, the headlamps sleeker and the bonnet more muscular. At the rear, the new bumper gets a chrome strip to enhance the premiumness; the boot lid gets an integrated spoiler and the tail lamps are so designed to fool you into thinking these are LED units, which of course, they aren't. There are new 15in alloy wheels too, which we didn't like very much.
Inside, the design continues unchanged. But, it feels a bit more upmarket now. The dashboard is two-tone and the mesh finish for the dash top is both unique and nice to the touch. Ford has also used gloss black plastic on the centre console, door handles and around the climate control system instead of matte silver which has clearly enhanced the car's appeal. The instrument binnacle is also black instead of silver and the door handles and the steering wheel get a shiny finish instead of the dull finish seen on the previous Fiesta.
2014 Ford Fiesta TDCi Diesel details
Then there’s technology. The new for 2014 Ford Fiesta gets SYNC, a multimedia system which we have seen on the EcoSport as well, but it works better on the Fiesta. It gets everything from voice command to Bluetooth to emergency alert, and it can also read out your text messages besides allowing you to indulge in your smartphone apps on the go. Currently, Ford only has two India specific apps, but more are underway and will be accessible via the system whenever they're launched. In terms of features, to meet the class standard, it gets keyless entry and start, reverse parking sensors and steering mounted controls. There's automatic climate control too. But, unlike the competition top spec cars, the new Fiesta only sports two airbags instead of six. It does get ABS though, and automatic wipers and headlamps.
Space continues to be a problem, nonetheless. It hasn’t improved compared to the older version. But, with cars like the new Honda City, the VW twins and the facelifted Sunny offering the sort of spacious cabin that they do, the Fiesta’s lack of rear kneeroom is glaringly obvious. The feeling of space for the rear occupants isn't great either. Furthermore, the rear seats lack under-thigh support and are just about acceptable in terms of comfort. The ones at the front though are well bolstered, accommodating and snug.
2014 Ford Fiesta TDCi Diesel interior details
Now the engines; actually there’s only one. Unlike the previous Fiesta which was offered with both a 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel engine, the new Fiesta only gets the diesel. There’s also no PowerShift automatic version on sale anymore. There's also no change to the diesel engine; no new tech to talk about, no real increase in power or torque, or performance. It is exactly the same as before mated to the same gearbox and it pumps out the same power and torque figures. The max power output is 91PS coming in at 3750rpm and the peak torque is rated at 204Nm available between 2000-2750rpm. The gearbox is 5-speed unit; it isn't as enjoyable to use as some of the other Ford gearboxes, but it still has short throws and reasonably precise shift action.
2014 Ford Fiesta TDCi Diesel in action
Thanks to the reduction in drag, however, the fuel rating for the new Fiesta has gone up. It now comes with an ARAI sticker figure of 25.01kmpl putting it right up there with the best in class. Ford has also improved the NVH characteristics on the new Ford Fiesta. And to do that, it has upped the use of sealants in the door and body, worked on tyre tuning, and has used stiffer bushes for its rear twist beam axle. The front suspension meanwhile gets new bump stops, but otherwise the setup continues unchanged, which, isn't a bad thing really. The Fiesta has been one of the better setup cars in its class for both ride and handling. And, the new Ford Fiesta doesn't disappoint either. It feels stable in a straight line, confident around corners, and the ride though not exactly plush, isn't jarring or uncomfortable.
2014 Ford Fiesta TDCi Diesel rear
So, has Ford made enough improvements on the new Fiesta for it to set the sales charts on fire? Probably not. Will it then at least bring in more buyers into Ford's fold? Maybe. So, why should one buy the new Fiesta over its competition then? Simply because it's not as common as the others, and maybe because it is dynamically more involving. But clearly, that's not a strong enough case in the Fiesta's favour...

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