New Ford Fiesta Powershift Road Test Review


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This is the second part of our experience of Ford Fiesta Mumbai to Bangalore Drive (http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...rshift-mumbai-bangalore-drive.html#post171539). This thread would specifically focus on the Good’s and Bad’s of Ford Fiesta Powershift that we experienced during this event. Ford Fiesta AT has been launched in a couple of variants: Style and Titanium +. The car handed over to us was the top-end variant; therefore, the following review will focus only on this particular model.
 
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New Ford Fiesta Powershift Exteriors & Design



Ford Fiesta is based on what Ford calls the "Kinetic Design". It’s distinctly modern compared to previous generation Ford Fiesta (Classic). The basic idea behind this design is to provide a sense of motion even when the vehicle is standing still. That’s clearly evident from the front as well as the side profile of New Fiesta. While the front trapezoidal chrome grille is a typical trademark of Ford. The fox-eyed headlamps, hood and windshield all the way through oozes the kinetic design theme.

The front windshield is fairly large and the wipers have a decent reach as well to neatly wipe off the glass.



Side mirrors are relatively smaller yet look aerodynamic. Thanks to the auto fold function, it proves to be a boon in the Indian parking conditions.



Side profile is aesthetically sculpted with a single arc roof that looks elegant. Both, front and rear wheel arches are prominent and accentuated. The doors are well integrated and shut surprisingly easily and feel solid.



The roof mounted antenna costs 200 bucks and can be detached when not in use.



The simple eight spoke alloy wheels should be easy to clean and look elegant.



A small flap peeking out near rear mudflaps. Probably because of requirement to cover the tyre wall width on international models.



Boot Space is decent at 430 litres (not segment best), but it has a high loading lip. It has good depth and can accommodate an odd airport bag. The spare wheel is not an alloy but a steel one.



All of sudden the side profile scoops into a rather awkward looking rear end with a set of taillamps that remind of an alien eyes. The rear design is an antithesis, seems like Ford have had a juxtaposition of contrasting ideas. A boxy and rectangular rear is the only design sore in the overall attractiveness of this car. The built quality is top-notch for the segment. Ford has generously used ultra high strength boron reinforcements to complement the safety.

 
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New Ford Fiesta Powershift Interiors & Features



The interior design has an all-black and metallic theme. Whilst this might appeal to a few, the majority of Indians still prefer a lighter (Beige) treatment which offers a more luxurious as well as a spacious feel and it is strongly required for Fiesta. The butterfly console instantly grabs the attention, though the looks maybe subjective. The very same design with minor changes is also likely to take place in the upcoming Ford Ecosport. The controls are intuitive with the top buttons focusing on the four inch display (non-touch screen). This display is predominantly for showing the audio, Bluetooth (Phone integrated), clock and some system display messages. The tiny central locking / unlocking buttons are also located in the middle. Though an odd location to place one but the positive side being that even the co-passenger can use it. There are a few more buttons but the operations are akin to using a cell phone. Ford calls this function as a Human Machine Interface Strategy (HMI).

The lower part of the console has controls for the ACC (Automatic Climate Control) and it’s ergonomically convenient to use. Air conditioner is also quite effective and chills the cabin in no time. The rest of the gauges are pretty much standard. The fuel consumption, temperature and other warning lamps lit right behind the steering wheel and not on the center display as a few of us might think. Although it’s fun to watch the tachometer dancing in an automatic since the shifts are fast. The Bluetooth pairing works fine and throughout the Mumbai – Bangalore Trip, I had paired my cell phone to make as well as receive several calls. Sound quality and microphone pick up was excellent. In terms of audio system’s sound quality, I have to give it to Ford. It’s a fantastic set up for an OEM in this segment. Much much better than my Mahindra XUV500. The need of an aftermarket ICE is certainly diminished (Hardcore audio freaks exempted). Both, the sound quality of radio and via USB were top notch. Thanks to six speakers (including two tweeters) which offer a cocooned world of your own.



Another interesting feature on offer is the voice control. It provides a hands free control over mobile phone, radio, audio, and climate control. Although I find it quite unnecessary as it will be practically never used apart from demonstrations and show off purposes. Hope the car manufacturers do not spend too much R&D towards such features; rather it’s simply easier and faster to access ergonomically spaced buttons. The only thing I would like about voice control is if it could start the engine using a personalized voice command. Well, remember the Bentley in movie 2012? :smile: The interiors finish is quite good barring the a few cheap plastic bits such as the inside door opening handle. There was no rattling whatsoever in a car that had clocked 6,042 kms when I received it.

The steering wheel has a chunky feel along with good grip levels; it is one of the best EPAS units in the class. Set of buttons on either sides, one for controlling the audio and the other for cruise control, good ergonomics and access. The stalks on the steering are on the reverse of what you would typically expect i.e. side indicator on the left and wiper on the right. This could be considered as a cost-cutting attempt from Ford by leaving the same unit untouched that they offer on the European markets. Overall stalks are of good quality and I quite liked the design, which was a combination of side push and up / down standard ones

The ingress and egress are no problem at all. The front bucket seats are phenomenally sporty and offer great overall comfort. As I mentioned in the travelogue, I had no fatigue whatsoever. The seats are all black leather with the usual manual adjustments available. Overall, an overdose of black for the interiors is what I felt, though looks and colors are a matter of personal choice. It’s a bit too much black inside to my liking. The rear seats are a bit of design drought as compared to the front, though the legroom on offer is better than Fiesta Classic, the seat contours and under thigh, support could be better. The rear hence looks a bit bland; there is a small hump, which runs through the center so it’s not exactly flat either. Ford seems to have taken the Fiesta’s “Driver’s car tag” a bit too seriously, the rear deserves better treatment. As far as a few special features are concerned, Ford has managed to squeeze a lot into a car this segment. Highlighting a few that differentiates it:

> Voice Control

> Cruise Control

> Electronic Stability Programme

> Pull Drift Compensation Technology

> Hill-Launch Assist and Ford Grade-Assist



Door plastics are generally of good quality with enough recesses to keep bottles etc. There are enough cubby holes to keep your cans and nick nacks. There is also a storage drawer under the front passenger seat.





The light and Fog lamp switches are placed beside the right of the steering in the dash and fairly easy to use. Rear and Front fog lamps have separate switches.



There is a usb as well as aux in to connect your iPod along with a 12v charger.



Rear and overall visibility from the car is very decent. Reverse parking sensors exist and do their job as meant to be – though feedback is audio only.



Both Sun visors had a mirror in it, make or break deal for lady owners, so Ford have taken care. There are lights and reading lamps available.



Both ORVMs can be electronically adjusted, also driver side power windows have both one touch up and down – very handy in my view.



A rear seat view of New Fiesta (Manual). The legroom is certainly not the class leading but should suffice for passengers with an average height.


 
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New Ford Fiesta Powershift Engine & Performance



As opposed to the Fiesta Classic, which employs a 1.6-Liter engine, the new Fiesta has a 1.5 Liter Ti-VCT (Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing) 4 cylinder 16 valve DOHC heart. This is mated to a fantastic dual clutch gearbox. Peak power is 109 PS at just a tad over 6000 RPM. The biggest USP of the Fiesta Automatic is that the Powershift system developed in conjunction with Getrag, this is not your traditional automatic but more like manual, which is operated by a super human.

The dual clutch system is like having two manual transmissions with respective clutches doing shift duty. The first clutch operates the odd ratios i.e. 1 / 3 /5 and the second one operates the even ratios i.e. 2 / 4/ 6. This clever system hence helps in quick shifting much better than the conventional automatic, as the next gear is already ready and only waits to be engaged. No CVTs / Torque converters leading to high efficiency either. Ford claims the system is completely sealed and requires no maintenance for 10 years / 240,000 Kms – Now that’s whopping.

The performance is reasonable for the segment considering this is an automatic, may be little bit more power would have been welcome, but Ford have also tuned this considering economy so some compromises and balances always needed. Talking of efficiency, consider this: the manual Fiesta has an ARAI claimed mileage of 16.86 kmpl whereas the AT claim to fame is 16.97 kmpl. That really sums up the Powershift Technology. This makes it one of the most efficient automatic petrol sedans in India. The following modes are available and in that order of shifts:

> P: Parking
> R: Reverse
> N: Neutral
> D: Drive
> L: Low

The shifter light indicator is on the opposite side (front passenger side) and this is hardly visible to the driver. There are also no gear indicators to show which gear you are in. When I took the car the first few times I had to bend and peep around to be sure I am in the right mode. However, once you get used it, it does not bother you. The “D” Drive mode puts the car is a crawl mode – this would be immensely useful in Indian traffic conditions. The car moves ahead very slowly with any application of the accelerator and all you need to do is modulate the brakes, something similar to the torque you experience using the clutch in diesel.

There is an “L” Low mode that basically redlines the vehicle at every gear as you pick up speed, useful especially when you want to downshift quickly and need grunt.The best part about it is the noise; put it in L mode and stamp the accelerator and you are bound to get looks because it produces a nice rally note, a deep grunt (a mini Subaru). I enjoyed this quite a lot while in the drive, even pulled down the windows so that I could hear it better, guaranteed to raise eyebrows. It’s fun watching the RPM meter while in this mode. The upshifts are very fast and so are the downshifts, probably the only time you feel the need for a manual is when you have double or triple downshift swiftly. May be a paddle shift or tiptronic would have helped, but then you could alternate between the L and D modes and I experienced great fun doing that (satiates the need for a manual in a way).


 
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New Ford Fiesta Powershift Ride & Handling



From a comfort perspective, I found the front seats quite to my liking, as a driver’s car it’s very comfortable, however the rear passengers would have preferred some more contours and a little bit more thigh support. It’s better than the Fiesta Classic although not the segment’s best. NVH levels are incredible. Wind, tyre and engine noise are all well shielded inside the cabin. There was also no rattles whatsoever in a 7k car – Do note as it’s a test car it would be handled roughly inevitably as compared to a private car, so no rattles at this age is a positive sign.

In terms of maneuverability and handling, the car is amazing and the steering extremely precise. Point it where you want to, and it simply squeezes you right through (like a point and shoot camera). The Fiesta classic was always a benchmark driver’s car, with the new Fiesta Ford have simply carried the DNA forward and with the auto box there comes ease of driving as well, it was effortless all 962 km of it. To get the best out of the car, you could shift to L mode when you are braking and then pick up speed and move on to D mode. This provides a manual like simulation of downshifting and upshifting and the L and D modes are next to each other. This is easy. The mini Subaru like note is the icing on the cake.

Steering is very well set up, neither too light nor too tight and really aids the handling, I did quite some banked roads at good speeds and the grip was always there. In other cars, you would think you are playing with the limits but in this the limit still seems some distance away. It’s one of the best set up EPAS units. Ford also has a “Pull Drift Compensation Technology” – which apparently corrects the steering when external factors like wind affect it. This is a welcome safety addition, though practically for all purposes these corrections would be hardly noticeable.

The suspension set up is similar to the Fiesta classic, slightly better. There were several instances where I encountered undue road on the MH side at high speeds and the car stayed planted – simply confidence inspiring. The best part was there were no hangovers of undulations, which is usually something that lingers on for that little while more. In this case, the car regains composure immediately. The suspension sound while encountering bumps at speeds was also confidence inspiring, the car seemed built to last. Low speed ride could be slightly improved, but then playing with the suspension always has an effect on the handling – Personally I would prefer this set up than a softly set up one. The dynamics are hence excellent; the word body roll does not exist in its dictionary. All in all, in a one line conclusion - If you are looking for sub 10 lakh (Ex-showroom) Automatic Feature Loaded Driver’s car, then you have to test drive the Ford Fiesta Powershift.
 
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New Ford Fiesta Powershift Likes, Dislikes and Ratings



What we Like in New Ford Fiesta?
[thumbsup]

  • Segment's Best Automatic Gearbox

  • Finally an Automatic which is Fuel Efficient

  • Stock Six Speaker Audio Unit Sounds Excellent

  • An Out and Out Driver's Car - Exceptional Handling

  • Grunt in the L Mode and Fun Toggling Between L - D Modes

  • Long List of Useful Features (ABS, EBD, ESP, Voice Command etc)

What we Dislike in New Ford Fiesta? [thumbsdown]

  • Awkward Looking Rear Design

  • Missing Front Center Armrest (Though 350Z confirms that it's available in 2012 Models)

  • Uninspiring Rear Seats Could Have Been Better Contoured with More Thigh Support

  • The Interiors Feel Unexciting with Excessive Black (Perhaps Dual Tone Colours Should Help?)

  • Lack of Paddle Shift / Tiptronic or Sports Mode (It would have given a more perkier drive experience)

  • Ford Should Also Consider Bringing a Powershift Automatic in Diesel Models. After all, this is India!

New Ford Fiesta Star Ratings:

  • Design and Quality:
    (8/10)

  • Comfort Levels:
    (7/10)

  • Performance:
    (8/10)

  • Ride Quality:
    (8/10)

  • Handling:
    (9/10)

  • Fuel Efficiency:
    (8.5/10)

  • Safety:
    (8/10)

  • After sales and service:
    (8/10)

  • Value for Money:
    (8/10)
 
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New Ford Fiesta Powershift Price and Specifications



Price (Ex. Showroom, New Delhi):


  • Ford Fiesta Powershift Style: Rs.9,13,900.

  • Ford Fiesta Powershift Titanium+: Rs.9,86,300

Engine:


  • Displacement: 1499cc

  • Max. Power: 109 PS @ 6045 RPM

  • Max. Torque: 140NM @ 4500RPM

Transmission:

  • 6 Speed Automatic Dual Clutch

Suspension:

  • Front: McPherson Struts

  • Rear: Semi-independent Twist Beams

Brakes:

  • Front: Ventilated Discs

  • Rear: Self Adjusting Drums

Dimensions:

  • Wheelbase: 2489 mm

  • Length: 4291 mm

  • Width: 1722 mm

  • Height: 1496 mm

  • Boot Space: 430 Liters

  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 43 Liters

  • Kerb Weight: 1150 Kgs

Color Options:

  • Sea Grey

  • Kinetic Blue

  • Paprika Red

  • Chill Metallic

  • Panther Black

  • Diamond White

  • Moondust Silver

  • Squeeze (Green)
 
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Ford Fiesta Classic vs New Ford Fiesta - One on One Comparison


















Road Test Credits:

  • Road Test and Photography: Iron Rock
  • Edit and Formatting: 350Z
© The Automotive India. All rights reserved. The content such as reviews, images etc. cannot be reproduced in any form without written permission of our authority.
 
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That was a splendid review from Iron Rock and Vibhor's car is gleaming too.
Really got to know the working of dual clutch, ESP that illustration of gear changes in layman's terms, odd and even changes of gears.
Great work guys.[thumbsup]
 
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That was a splendid review from Iron Rock and Vibhor's car is gleaming too.
Really got to know the working of dual clutch, ESP that illustration of gear changes in layman's terms, odd and even changes of gears.
Great work guys.[thumbsup]
Great review. Of all I liked the pics where both Fiestas are compared. Nice work both of you. [clap]
Thank you guys and special thanks to 350Z for the comparo and all the help with editing!
 

TSIVipul

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As usual,typical 'Iron Rock' type ROCKing review.
Please accept my 5 star rating guys.

Although Fiesta is great handler but still I have a complain.This car hasn't got enough power as it deserves.And that's the only reason I turned to City despite loving the Fiesta.
 
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