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Ford Fiesta engines, driving and performance

How does the Ford Fiesta drive?

The Fiesta is one of those rare cars that blends a comfortable drive with a proper fun factor. Unlike the VW Polo and Audi A1, the Ford Fiesta turns into corners with real enthusiasm thanks to fast steering and a chassis that just puts a smile on your face. 

The Fiesta has plenty of grip and you’ll feel confident driving it at 60mph down a twisty road. That said, it’s still a great car to drive even if you’re pottering about.

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Is the Ford Fiesta comfortable?

Choose a Zetec, Trend, Titanium or Vignale Fiesta and you’ll find the Fiesta irons out bumps reasonably well for a small car. ST-Line models get firmer suspension which does let more jolts make their way to your backside, and the sporty Fiesta ST is firmer still – but that does give the ST a real sportscar feeling.

At motorway speeds, you won’t be annoyed by lots of wind or tyre noise – Ford’s engineers have done a good job of giving the Fiesta a ‘big car’ sense of stability and refinement when you’re at 70mph.

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What’s the best Ford Fiesta engine to get?

This is an easy one. The best engine for the Ford Fiesta is the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine – the more affordable 1.1-litre petrol that’s also offered feels wheezy and old-fashioned by comparison.

The 1.0 EcoBoost is a three-cylinder turbocharged engine that has a characterful growl when you accelerate and feels more powerful than it actually is. It’s available in 100hp, 125hp and 155hp forms, and all will return between 45-55mpg in real-world driving.

The 100hp version will be fine for all your driving, but if you do lots of motorway miles consider one of the pokier forms for a bit more shove.

Most versions of the Fiesta sport a ‘hybrid’ badge, but don’t be fooled – these are mild hybrid cars with a tiny battery and beefy starter motor/generator to provide a smidge more torque. They can’t drive on electric power alone.

You’ll get a manual gearbox as standard, but you can get a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic on the 125hp version. It does the job, but a manual gearbox suits the Fiesta’s fun-loving nature a bit better.

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Ford Fiesta performance

It’s always tempting to look at 0-62mph times on a website and think ‘that sounds slow’, but even the 100hp Fiesta’s 10.8-second time feels faster in real life thanks to plenty of turbocharged torque.

That time drops to 9.4 seconds for the 125hp engine, while the 155hp version will complete the sprint in 8.9 seconds. The 1.5-litre petrol engine in the Fiesta ST is good for a 6.5 second time and a top speed of 143mph.

Remember that 1.1-litre engine we advised against? It’ll take 14.7 seconds to get to 62mph. It’s not even much more efficient than the 1.0-litre EcoBoost.

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