Ford to launch Fiesta facelift with diesel engine only

Autocar India
First Published: 10:25 IST(2/6/2014)
Last Updated: 15:28 IST(2/6/2014)
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Although unveiled and on sale to the world years before, the facelifted Ford Fiesta sedan was first shown to India at the 2014 Auto Expo, and is set to be launched here in the middle of June this year. We’ve managed to get our hands on the official brochure for the updated mid-size sedan and some of the changes are quite interesting.

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First and most obvious is that the brochure contains no mention of any petrol engine, with the only powerplant on offer being the 90bhp, 1.5-litre TDCi diesel, teamed with a five-speed manual gearbox. However, we do anticipate that petrol engines – possibly even the EcoSport’s 123bhp, 1.0-litre EcoBoost – will be added to the range later on in the year. Other than that, the car appears to be mechanically identical to the outgoing one, with the dimensions, tyre sizes and capacities staying the same.
 
As for trim levels, Ford has limited the Fiesta facelift to just three – now called Ambiente, Trend and Titanium. It’s easy to make comparisons with the EcoSport, which is available in more trim options, and based on the amount of kit the base Fiesta Ambiente gets, it looks like Ford is working to keep the price competitive. For example, all EcoSports get a four-speaker audio system with a CD player, USB and aux in, but the base Fiesta gets no music system at all, and the ‘Sync’ onboard computer system is only available on the top Titanium trim.
 
In fact, the Fiesta Ambiente leaves out a number features that the Trend and Titanium have, like fog lamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto climate control, body-coloured mirrors and door handles (they’re black instead), wheel covers, cruise control and footwell lamps. However, standard across all Fiestas are ‘guide me home’ headlamps, a split-folding rear seat, driver’s seat height adjustment, remote locking, and electrically adjustable mirrors. Oddly, none of the trims seem to have leather upholstery, even as an option.
 
Over the Ambiente, the Fiesta Trend adds a few features (like a six-speaker CD, USB and aux-capable audio system and full wheel covers), but you really have to go to the Titanium for the full experience. It adds alloy wheels, automatic headlamps and wipers, puddle lamps, electrically folding mirrors, keyless entry and go, rear parking sensors, ambient cabin lighting and a more advanced digital trip computer with real-time fuel economy and distance-to-empty readings. It also gets the updated version of Sync from the EcoSport, with the ‘Emergency Assist’ safety feature.
 
Speaking of safety, Ford hasn’t skimped with the new Fiesta. All trims get ABS with EBD as standard, and while the Ambiente gets only a driver airbag, the Trend and Titanium get a passenger airbag as well. No sign of the EcoSport’s optional six-airbag setup, however.
 
As for the facelift itself, the styling changes are subtle at first glance, but on closer inspection, you’ll appreciate the mature, Aston Martin-esque grille and softer headlamps, sporty new alloy wheels, and a rear end that’s visually wider than before. Contrary to what we’ve seen on the international car, the interior will stick to a grey-and-black, rather than a beige-and-black theme, but the dashboard inserts will be finished differently for each of the three trims. It also gets the EcoSport’s cool blue lighting theme for the instruments and screen, ditching the old car’s red theme.
 
After the poor reception to the Fiesta when it was launched here in 2011, it appears Ford is being very careful with the facelift. It wants to get the price and the variant mix just right, focussing on the ones that are likely to sell most. In that light, it’s stuck to the most popular engine, the 1.5 diesel, at least at the time of launch. In terms of trim, the pared-down Ambiente should help Ford achieve a competitive starting price, while the Titanium is there to deliver the robust equipment list customers have come to expect after the EcoSport. Will the Ford Fiesta facelift be launched with a knockout price, unlike its predecessor? We’ll have to wait until mid-June to find out.
 
 

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