Any minute now Ford will replace the Fiesta with a new-generation car, but there’s a reason that the outgoing model has consistently topped sales charts in the UK since its launch nine years ago.
Ford Fiesta ST-Line 1.0 EcoBoost
Price: £20,730 (as driven)
Engine: 1.0-litre, three-
cylinder, turbo, petrol
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Economy: 62.8mpg combined
CO2 emissions:104 g/km
Quite simply, it’s still the best supermini you can get for the money. And while it has been around longer than almost all of its direct competition, recent changes to the trim levels mean that it has kept pace in terms of equipment despite its age – with the exception of the infotainment/nav system, something which will be remedied when the Sync 3-equipped car comes out later this spring.
Earlier this year, I drove a diesel-powered ST-line Fiesta and lamented that, while part of an overall impressive package, the diesel engine lacked fizz. If only it was packing the 1.0-litre ecoboost engine in 138bhp guise, I said.
And it seems someone was listening, because here we are less than a month later and the latest car with a blue badge on its bonnet to arrive at the office is the 138bhp ST-Line.
It’s an engine I’m familiar with, having tested the Zetec S Black edition in 2015, and two years on it’s as impressive as ever. The fizzing, turbocharged engine and lightweight Fiesta chassis is a match made in heaven. The warble from the three-cylinders in front of the driver nothing less than music to my almost completely uneducated ears.
Nought to 62 comes in a sprightly nine seconds meaning this is the most fun you can have in a Fiesta without the ST badge.
And while this is only a warm, rather than hot hatch, it comes with five doors, making it more practical than the current-generation ST. The next Fiesta ST will be the first to come with a five door option when it’s launched, however.
Practicality doesn’t mean frumpy though and the ST-Line trim brings large alloy wheels, front splitter, side skirts and rear spoiler to the table as well as sports pedals, sports gear knob and three-spoke leather trimmed steering wheel on the inside.
Sports seats and stainless steel kick plates in the arches complete the interior look and the sports suspension drops the ride height of ST-Line cars against standard models.
Nippy and sporty-looking it maybe but the Fiesta manages a combined miles per gallon figure of 62.8 and stop/start helps keep CO2 emissions to a £140-per-year 104 g/km under the new VED rates.
If the new model is half as good as this one, Ford should be able to look forward to another lengthy period at the top of the sales charts.