The addition of a deep boot to Ford’s new Fiesta range does more than add a very useful cargo area: the extra weight behind the rear wheels gives the LX Sedan a settled and comfortable ride.
Even better, the diesel is a ripper – it’s strong, flexible and quiet – and provides hybrid-like fuel efficiency.
At $21,490 (plus) for the LX sedan, you get a lot of car for the money.
- Quality: Now built in Thailand (except the ECOnetic), the new Fiesta range has lost none of the quality of the previous Euro-sourced model. Panel finish, paint, shut-lines, plastics and fabrics are comfortably on par for the segment.
Only the plastic console between the seats lacks the tactile appeal of the rest of the interior.
- Comfort: While the LX seats are comfortable enough (but on the small side), the supple ride and overall refinement adds to the comfort of the drive. One debit is the absence of reach adjustment to the steering wheel.
- Equipment: The LX badge adds new alloy wheels, additional airbags and cruise control as standard to the (well-equipped) base model CL’s multi-function leather-wrapped steering wheel, voice-control audio with CD, MP3, USB, aux-in and Bluetooth capability, power mirrors and power front windows.
- Storage: The slabby rear quarter and rising belt-line endow the sedan with a deep and easily-accessed boot. It provides 430 litres of luggage space, increased by split-fold rear seats. An underseat storage tray is also provided.
ON THE ROAD
- Driveability: The dynamic on-road performance of the hatch is mirrored by the sedan. In cornering, you’re aware of the extra weight in the tail, but that same weight ‘quietens’ the ride, settling the rear.
The under-stressed 1.6 litre diesel, with a lusty 200Nm at its disposal, makes light work of hills. The Fiesta sedan feels quite lively and accelerates effortlessly. The leather and chrome five-speed shift (with an illuminated shift-pattern) is light and easy to use and feels good under the hand.
- Refinement: While the new Fiesta range is at the top of the class for refinement, the sedan is the best of the range. It rides remarkably well, quite like a much larger car and, even on coarser surfaces, road noise is well-isolated.
- Suspension: MacPherson struts up front, with a beam axle and torsion bar rear. The revised suspension settings work very well, with good initial compliance and control, while still retaining the sharp handling of the former model.
- Braking: Disc brakes up front, drum rear (with ABS).
- ANCAP rating: 5-Star (LX models and Zetec)
- Safety features: Dynamic stability and traction control, ABS braking with EBD and emergency brake assist; seven airbags: driver and passenger, curtain and driver’s knee airbag. Also passenger ‘Beltminder’ system.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
- Warranty: Three years/100,000km with five-year warranty against perforation corrosion.
- Service costs: (to be confirmed)
HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY
- Mazda2 Maxx Sedan manual ($19,090) - the Fiesta’s more robust feel, strong and efficient diesel and better interior, gives it a healthy edge over the capable 2. (see Mazda2 reviews)
- Toyota Yaris YRX Sedan auto ($21,790) - now showing its age and bettered by the Fiesta. (see Yaris reviews)
Note: prices are Manufacturer's List Price and do not include on-road costs.
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
The sedan, although styled a little awkwardly, is an important addition to the Fiesta range and will spread the appeal.
Young families and older drivers will find a lot to like. It may be a little narrow inside, but feels like a larger car from the wheel.
The fact is, like the Fiesta hatch variants, the LX sedan is a very appealing drive. With the diesel, it has a strong engine with brilliant fuel efficiency to match its superior on-road manners.
The Fiesta LX diesel sedan is certainly among the best buys in the segment.