So, all started when we went to fetch some more information for all our readers to Ford Showroom in Bhopal.
What as a bonus we got, was to have a drive of Ford Fiesta Classic 1.4 TDCi to refresh our memories and what we felt was one of the best driver’s cars available out there in our hands, once again. We loved the dynamics, the overall feel was excellent, the acceleration of course was quite good and then there were the brakes, not ABS on the variant we test drove but are available for the top end variant which is also known as SXi. Now let’s get into details….
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The car has been around for sometime now under the name of ‘Fiesta’. In its latest avatar of ‘Fiesta Classic’ Ford changed the styling of the car with a few niptucks here and there. Because of its age it does look a bit boring…just a bit! Now start observing it as if you own it and your viewpoint will change. Those sufficiently big and altered clear lens headlamps, that smooth finish and then ‘as big’ rear tail lamps with a ‘touch’ of badges at the boot lid, all enhance the ‘classic’ appeal of the car.
It is not as funky as the latest gen Fiesta or Verna but being an entry-level sedan, it doesn’t ought to do that as well. Ford has done the right thing by maintaining the traditional looks of the older car and touching upon the few cosmetic bits to make it look more contemporary at the same time maintaining the classic lusture of the car.
Not a head turner for sure, but definitely one of the nicest looking cars in the market…!
The interiors of the car are a nice addition to the cars character…Racy, Elegant, Classic, Aggressive yet Calm is how we would like to term them as. The silver accent AirCon dials, silver bits around the music player and the control knobs and small chunks of them at the handle make the front look rich.
Aggressive yet Calm! Everything, almost, in front of me was this good, loved the plastic, the space, the utilitarian space seemed if they came up without thinking too much. Then there was the rear folding seats which surely give you huge space to store or carry some more things when needed, if the 430 liter boot is not enough.
The car is equipped with the workhorse 1.4L inline 4 cylinder, 8Valve SOHC motor which does duty on the Figo as well. This TDCi Common Rail mill behaves more like a VGT and is civilized rather than making you feel the ‘kick’ everytime the tacho needle go past the 2,000 rpm mark.
Unleashing all the 68 PS of power could be tricky in the city at 4,000 rpm but the torque output of 160 Nm is easy to get at just 2,000 rpm but the car still feels to be a lethal tool for guys who don’t like to keep the foot off the pedal. The All Aluminium Alloy construction engine with just 8 valves in total was a bit let down on paper but trust us, it never felt like that! We wonder what a 4 valve per cylinder mill could have done.
We drove with AirCon on all the time and still it managed to keep us tight inside the seat everytime we pushed the throttle hard. Keep the needle above the 1,200 rpm mark and keep moving else the lag is felt easily. And as mentioned above, touch the 2,000 rpm mark and all the torque is available. And yeah, extremely rev happy even if it’s a diesel.
Hmm, well, the transmission was a sure shot one, one can’t make a mistake anyway while selecting gears though we found it lagging a bit as well with the engine, once out the 1,000 rpm mark range and Ford Fiesta Classic 1.4 TDCi becomes comfortable. So in the bumper to bumper traffic, one may find the urge to shift to 1st gear quite many times but if tried a bit it welcomes the start-ups even in second with the AirCon on. Good thing! Though a bit rubbery too. And then there’s the top gear, no, not the TV show, the 5th gear of the transmission, due to traffic, We weren’t actually be able to shift to it and when we did the car started vibrating, lesser torque below or around 1,000 rpm mark as said above. All the efficient range starts from 1,500 rpm till 3,500 rpm, keep the needle hovering there and the car would remain happy and welcoming.
After being widely known as one of the most involving cars in the market for all these years, do we still need to talk about its handling? One extremely great handling car, no introduction needed. The suspension is on the stiffer side and keeps the under-body above the ground almost always. The ride could be a bit uncomfortable if you love to drive slow on pot-holes and speed breakers but just keep going above them or above 40 kph and You won’t feel the bumps as much as you might do on other entry level sedans. On the Fiesta you really don’t feel that you are sitting in a cost-cut segment entry car when compared to others here. Make yourself comfortable at the rear and we bet, the comfort one gets is something which makes you feel that you spent your money at the right thing. After all, comfort is what suspensions are employed for…No..?
We drove the non-ABS version and if you are running on tighter budget and plans to opt for the basic variant this Ford has brakes and suspension perfectly mated. Not even a single skid we managed to get even under quite hard braking, again thanks to the stiffer suspension and pin-point braking from the combo of ventilated discs upfront and self-adjusting drums at the rear.
And quality of these two equipment is so good that we never felt uneven braking on any of the four tyres on the ground. And then both, the brakes, and the suspension are progressive and keep on doing their work untill you come to a complete halt without a screech. Fiesta Classic is equipped with 175/65 14 incher tyres which do a good job of holding the tarmac.
Untill you press the pedal real hard at extremely insane speeds, come on, everything has a limit. Still we would say, no matter how panicking the situation is, if used correctly, the car won’t skid. The perfectly hard and stiff front suspension with these brakes and those tyres which never squealed even a bit are one of the most awesome set in the segment.
We felt, the car is understated when it comes to sales figures, could be due to the high maintenance costs earlier but now Ford is working hard to change the things and myths associated with them. Like the 10 years 2,40,000 kms warranty on the automatic gearbox available on the All New Ford Fiesta. Well, it is not like it will fail someday out there when you are trying to have a long drive or something but to change the way people think by making them opt for the offerings Ford has. So, what we feel is, Ford Fiesta Classic 1.4 TDCi is still one of the best ‘own-able’ cars available out there, with best handling, decent acceleration, good braking characteristics mated to passenger’s paradise with a feel of luxury for a new buyer in the segment, those personal reading lamps inside the cabin, a beautiful AirCon which chills no matter how hard the Sun is.
So, if you are out there in the market for an entry level diesel sedan pay special heed to this Ford’s baby!
Let us be very true to this, almost no dislikes but if you are new to Ford, we would like to inform you that Ford has their way of placing things.
- The side indicator switches are on the wrong stalk!
- And then it was a bunch of the sales guys who kept on thinking how to put on the fog lamps untill they called the driver for around half an hour.
- And then there’s the headlight switch which isn’t exactly a switch but more of a knob and You have to pull it to turn the Fog Lamps on. We are yet to ask Ford about the ‘switch’ from a conventional one to their ‘personal’ taste.
- Getting in and out of the car is a trick in itself if you haven’t adjusted the tilt steering, doesn’t matter even if you slide the seat backwards fully, the knee will collide with the steering column cover for sure. And the leg space is so much that the seat can’t be adjusted every now and then else the driving comfort will be lost.
- The headlight beam height is not sufficient even when adjusted at the highest setting, or could be a problem of the car that we drove. One of our team members kept asking how to put it in high beam even when the car was in high beam. Let down!
- Last, that we noticed, doors. Feels like, alright leave the name of the companies which are making the cheapest cars but the door is heavy and one needs to push it quite hard, or should We say ‘slam’ the right word, to get it fixed properly at it’s place.
FIESTA CLASSIC IN PICTURES: (Open any image in new windown in high resolution)
FIESTA CLASSIC VARIANTS:
- 1.6LXi Duratec Petrol
- 1.6 CLXi Duratec Petrol
- 1.6 SXi Duratec Petrol
- 1.4 LXi Duratorq
- 1.4 CLXi Duratorq
- 1.4 SXi Duratorq
Whatever we have mentioned in the ‘Dislikes’ sections is more of a ‘getting-used-to’ concern. As we have said, Fiesta Classic is one awesome car, understated, a bit costly to maintain but one of the most fuel efficient ones as well. Ford claims an ‘under test conditions’ mileage of 32.38kmpl!
We loved the QC and Manager Event of the showroom who went himself with us to tell other minute details of the car just because almost nothing bothered him no matter how hard we tried to drive it, instead, he asked us to go at those ‘unlikely speeds’ over potholes and speed breakers. It also has a smaller turning radius which is a boon in tight traffic. We are thoroughly impressed even now when Ford has stopped manufacturing Ikon and started calling the Fiesta Classic as the entry level sedan.
One can keep playing music even with the key removed, and then there’s the Driver Information Display which informs you about Real-Time Mileage and other regular stuffs like trip and odometer. Plastics are all good, fit and finish is good, the overall feel is of a car which won’t let you look down and itself is shy of none, she always asks for more then you can actually throw at it, the skills and capabilities are way too good.
Definitely worth a buy just the maintenance costs are something to keep a check on. Ford’s assurance is there and is here to stay and play for quite long time then there are global products like EcoSports and then few more to be launched soon. We hope that Ford itself will do something to bring the maintenance costs down just like they started giving warranty for 10 years.
With Our Special Thanks to Mr. Kamlesh Chaurasia, QC and Manager Event for his support, time and valuable inputs.
You can read our new Ford Fiesta TDCi comprehensive review here…