With the continuing success of the Fiesta supermini – as it continues to lead the British car market – Ford has decided to jump on the bandwagon of the crossover trend.
Using most of the design cues taken from the standard Fiesta, the Fiesta Active gains some extra plastic cladding and a raised ride height, and has been introduced to capitalise on the market’s fastest-growing segment.
The Active is designed for those who want to take their supermini on adventures during the weekend, while also being suited to the urban environment during the working week.
But can this ‘soft-roader’ compete with rivals like the Seat Arona and Kia Stonic, and help stake the Fiesta’s claim in the ever-expanding sector? We take a look…
Customers have the choice of two engine units – a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol or a 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel – with six different power options. The petrol comes in four states of tune – 84bhp, 99bhp, 123bhp or 138bhp – while the diesel is available in two forms – 84bhp or 117bhp.
Here we tried to the top-end petrol, which was paired to a six-speed manual transmission –an automatic ‘box is also on offer. With this combo, the Fiesta Active can get from 0-60mph in 9.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 124mph. The engine and gearbox work well together, as delivery of the power is smooth and consistent, and the transmission is accurate.
Ride & Handling
You might expect that increasing the ride height and making the car more rugged may have sullied the balanced drive of the standard Fiesta. But the brand has managed to keep the great driving feel of the Fiesta, as the Active turns well thanks to the steering having good weight, meaning you are in total control.
Even with the 17-inch alloys fitted – which make the ride a little firmer than we would like – the Active is comfortable and soaks up many of the bumps and ruts you’d find on British roads. The car also settles down when you put it on the motorway, making it great both in and out of town.Enquire Now on a new Ford Fiesta
Interior & Equipment
Being a supermini, the Fiesta isn’t the largest but you still get 292 litres of boot space, which can be extended to 1,093 litres when the rear seats are folded down. The interior layout is pleasingly simple to navigate, as you only have a large infotainment screen and a couple of dials for the climate control, while the materials used are mostly soft to the touch. The Active also comes with model-specific seats.
The Active is available in three trim levels – 1, B&O Play and X – and all are based on the equipment fitted to the Zetec version of the standard Fiesta. That means you get LED daytime running lights surrounding halogen lights, chrome body detailing, the SYNC 3 infotainment system with 6.5-inch touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a three-spoke leather steering wheel with audio controls.
The Active models also get 17-inch alloy wheels, plastic body cladding, rough road suspension, silver roof rails, additional LED night signature rear lights, selectable driving modes, rear privacy glass and Active badging.
The top-spec X model comes with power-folding wing mirrors, partial leather heated front seats, an eight-inch touchscreen, traffic sign recognition, auto high beam, rear view camera with sensors, cruise control and driver alertness recognition.
Prices for the Fiesta Active start from £17,795, which is more than the likes of the Kia Stonic and Seat Arona, but does come with more equipment from base spec than both of those and comes with a driving feel that will please many. B&O Play versions start from £19,195, while the top-spec X model has a starting price of £20,295.
With the petrol engine we used, Ford quotes 54.3mpg and 118g/km and that means excellent running costs in the long run. The EcoBoost engine is renowned for its efficiency and that remains the case here.
The compact crossover market is one of the busiest around, yet Ford has managed to place a top level contender in the sector from the outset. Carrying over the same great driving experience from the standard hatch, customers will find that even with the raised ride height this feels very compact and smaller to drive than it actually is. As well as plenty of good equipment and -engine/transmission combinations, the Fiesta Active is one of the leaders in the crossover market already and one to consider.Test drive a new Ford Fiesta