Ford Fiesta - £208 per month

The Ford Fiesta is a British motoring icon, and the latest model picks up where the old model left off at the top of the UK sales charts. It's one of the best 'real-world' cars around, because it ticks all of the rational boxes, but also manages to be great fun to drive.

The Ford Fiesta is a British motoring icon, and the latest model picks up where the old model left off at the top of the UK sales charts. It's one of the best 'real-world' cars around, because it ticks all of the rational boxes, but also manages to be great fun to drive.

The Fiesta offers great value for money, and not just because it's cheap to buy. It's comfortable, refined, practical and comes with plenty of standard kit, while the agile handling means it can easily put a smile on your face on the most mundane of journeys. With improvements made to cabin quality, infotainment and space, the Ford Fiesta is the best it's ever been.

Our Choice Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost (100PS) 2017 was the year of the supermini, and the Ford Fiesta was one of a number of new models that were launched over the 12 months. In many ways the arrival of Fiesta probably spurred the supermini market into action; the last one was so good, how could Ford go wrong with the follow-up? As a result, brand-new versions of the SEAT Ibiza, Volkswagen Polo, Citroen C3, Kia Rio and Suzuki Swift arrived, updates were made to the Hyundai i20, Mazda 2 and Renault Clio, while big incentives were placed on models like the Vauxhall Corsa, Skoda Fabia and Peugeot 208 to help them stay attractive to buyers. It all means that buyers looking for a supermini have never had so much choice.

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That's especially true of the Fiesta range itself. The new car saw Ford shift it slightly upmarket, so if you want a cheap small Ford, you're going to have to go for the Ka+ instead. That leaves the Fiesta available in Style (there's no longer an entry-level Studio model), Zetec, ST-Line, Titanium and Vignale trims with prices ranging from just under GBP 14k and topping out at just under GBP 22k. You can upgrade Zetec and Titanium models with the B&O Play Series sound system, and there are X packs offered on Titanium and ST-Line models that boost their looks and kit tally.

Unlike some rivals that now only come with a five-door body, the Fiesta is still offered with three or five doors. You pay a premium of around GBP 650 for the extra doors, although every model in the range is available in both body styles. In terms of engines, there are two petrols and a diesel available. The 1.1 Ti-VCT is the base engine, and comes in 70PS and 85PS versions with 69bhp and 84bhp respectively. The 1.0 EcoBoost three-cylinder turbo petrol is the staple of the range, and it comes in three forms: 100PS, 125PS and 140PS with 99bhp, 123bhp and 138bhp.

If you must have a diesel, the 1.5 TDCi is Ford's newest diesel engine, and here it comes in 85PS (84bhp) or 120PS (118bhp) guises. You can't get every engine in every trim (the 140PS EcoBoost only comes in ST-Line and Vignale trims, for example), while if you want an automatic gearbox, you can only get Ford's Powershift auto with the 100PS EcoBoost engine.

The Fiesta range will be bolstered in 2018 by two new models. The Fiesta Active will add a raised ride height and off-road styling for people who want an SUV but like the compact dimensions of a supermini. In addition, the new Fiesta ST hot hatchback will join the range and make the most of the Fiesta's sharp-handling chassis, courtesy of a 197bhp 1.5 EcoBoost three-cylinder turbo engine.

Engines, performance and drive 4.8 Great engines and fun handling mean the Fiesta is still fantastic to drive With the Fiesta, Ford has proved yet again that small, cheap cars can be brilliant fun. The Fiesta might be new, but it will retain its reputation for being fun to drive as it's better than ever through a series of bends.

Lighter steering in this new model means it's easier to drive, especially in town, but that doesn't take away from the driving experience on faster roads. There's enough weight that you can feel the resistance coming through as you turn into a corner, and the feedback through the wheel means you can place the car on the road with ease. The grippy front-end helps too, as you can throw it in to corners even at high speed without fear of pushing wide.

A throttle lift or touch of braking will tighten the Fiesta's line, and it's rewarding to play with the little Ford's chassis. Body control is very good, and bumps mid-corner don't upset the balance - but what's really amazing is that the car combines this agility with an impressively comfortable and composed ride. ST-Line models make things even more composed and fun with only a slight impact on ride quality.

The ride is good even on rutted roads here in Britain, partly because the Fiesta is so light - even the heaviest version is only a touch over 1,200kg. That helps it in so many areas: handling, ride, performance and even economy. Ford's engineering magic means that even though the Fiesta is around 200kg heavier than the new Suzuki Swift, it feels almost as light on its feet.

The driving position is fantastic, as it feels sporty without being hard to get in and out of, and the steering wheel is just the right size to feel natural as well. The manual gear change isn't quite as slick as the one in a Mazda 2, nor as light as the one in the new SEAT Ibiza, but it's still really easy and fun to switch gears. These things also mean the Fiesta will be enjoyable to drive every day, not just when you find a great road.

A six-speed automatic gearbox is available, but only on the 98bhp EcoBoost model - and the 1.1-litre triples use a five-speed manual gearbox.

Engines Our pick of the engine range is the 1.0-litre EcoBoost three-cylinder petrol engine. It's been around for a little while now, but remains a top choice because it mixes so many great attributes: it's punchy, economical and really fun to use all at the same time. It's quiet as well, matching its rivals for refinement on the move - but without losing the characterful thrum of the three-cylinder engine.

It's available with 98bhp, 123bhp and 138bhp, and all are great options, but make sure you don't overlook the lowest-powered version in the hunt for more performance. The turbocharger means it's punchy enough in the mid-range, and the 1.0-litre triple's willingness to rev means it's great fun to hustle along as well. More powerful versions are - unsurprisingly - more expensive, but the mid-spec variants offer enough pace for most needs.

The 98bhp EcoBoost takes 10.5 seconds to go from 0-62mph, which goes down to 9.9 for the 123bhp engine and to 9.0 seconds flat for the 138bhp unit. The higher-powered 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine also takes 9.0 seconds to do the sprint, as it has 118bhp - until the Fiesta ST arrives with its 6.7-second time, these are the quickest Fiestas in the range.

Diesel fans will be impressed by the refinement of the 1.5-litre TDCi, which featured on the older car but is now available in a higher powered 118bhp guise. There's barely any clatter at idle, while working the unit hard results in nothing more intrusive than a muted roar.

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On paper performance isn't particularly startling in the 84bhp diesel model, which claims 0-62mph in 12.5 seconds, but the 118bhp version matches the 138bhp petrol for outright pace, completing the same benchmark in 9.0 seconds. Both versions benefit from the same slick six-speed manual gearbox.

Other engines in the range will include a 1.1-litre three-cylinder petrol with 69bhp or 84bhp, boasting low insurance premiums and high fuel economy. For ultimate economy, you'll want the lower-powered 85bhp TDCI 1.5-litre diesel, which returns as much as 88.3mpg and as little as 82g/km of CO2.

Part of the magic of cars in the supermini class is that they can be fun to drive, more so than some much more expensive cars, without being pricey to run. The new Ford Fiesta is no exception to that rule, and its range of small-capacity petrol and diesel engines are very frugal.

It's not just about fuel economy, as purchase price and even the cost of fuel plays a big part in how cheap a car is to run. For that reason we expect that most buyers will gravitate towards the petrol 1.0-litre EcoBoost with 98bhp. It emits just 97g/km of CO2 and returns 65.7mpg, which is competitive in its class - most 1.0-litre turbocharged petrols, such as the ones in the Skoda Fabia, SEAT Ibiza and Suzuki Swift will produce very similar figures.

The 123bhp version of the EcoBoost engine returns the same economy figure, and emits just 1g/km more CO2, while the 138bhp 1.0 emits 102g/km and returns 62.7mpg. The automatic Fiesta is EcoBoost-only and returns 54.3mpg, which is quite a drop - so we'd avoid it if you can and go for the excellent manual instead.

Both the 69bhp and 84bhp versions of the 1.1-litre naturally-aspirated petrol Fiestas return 64.2mpg and 101g/km at their best, but versions without Ford's stop-start system are a little worse off: they return 60.1mpg and emit 107g/km of CO2. All cars cost GBP 140 a year to tax, and only a handful of models benefit from a GBP 20 saving for the first year by being under 100g/km of CO2 - so it's no longer something to worry too much about when buying.

Still, for some company car buyers the low-emitting diesel models may make sense, and they do return the highest mpg figures of the range as well. The lower-powered 84bhp 1.5-litre TDCi is the ultimate choice for economy, thanks to figures of 88.3mpg and 82g/km of CO2. Go for the more powerful 118bhp version of this engine and those numbers change to 80.7mpg and 89g/km of CO2. However, if you're a private buyer it's worth keeping in mind that you'll need to cover around 80,000 miles before the fuel economy gains offset the car's extra purchase price.

Insurance groups Entry-level Fiesta Style cars with the 69bhp 1.1-litre petrol are the cheapest to insure, sitting in insurance group 2E, while the 84bhp version of that engine takes it up to 5E. Our choice, the 98bhp EcoBoost model in Zetec trim, sits in group 10E - that should make it very affordable for most drivers to insure.

Image 7 of 30Ford Fiesta - front cornering Image 7 of 30 The 138bhp EcoBoost version in ST-Line specification is only in group 15E, as is the top-spec Fiesta Vignale with the 1.5-litre TDCi diesel. This indicates just how cheap the Fiesta will be to insure. It's a brilliant choice for drivers of all ages.

Depreciation Experts tell us that after three years a Ford Fiesta will hold on to an average of 37.2 per cent of its value, which is pretty good for what's likely to continue being the top-selling car in the UK. Our choice, the 1.0 EcoBoost Zetec, will hold on to 37.9 per cent of its value after three years, while the best-performing model will be a high-spec 138bhp EcoBoost ST Line car. Our experts say that version will hold on to 41.6 per cent of its value over the same period. The new SEAT Ibiza will fare slightly better, keeping hold of around 41.9 per cent after three years.

Latest deals from Buyacar Ford Fiesta TITANIUM 1.0 EcoBoos

GBP 9,499 or GBP 160 per month FORD FIESTA 1.0 EcoBoost Zetec 5

GBP 13,750 or GBP 210 per month FORD FIESTA 1.0 Titanium (125ps)

GBP 11,389 or GBP 171 per month FORD FIESTA 1.0 EcoBoost Zetec 5

GBP 14,500 or GBP 226 per month See all deals on Ford Fiesta Representative Example: Representative APR of 7.9% borrowing GBP 10,509 over 48 months on HP type finance, the amount payable would be GBP 250 a month, with a total cost of credit of GBP 1,483 and a total amount payable of GBP 11,992. Dennis Buyacar Ltd, 31-32 Alfred Place, London, WC1E 7DP (GB09151058) is a credit broker regulated by FCA (FRN:667368) Interior, design and technology 3.8 Not a class leader for interior quality, but the Ford Fiesta is competitive again The new Ford Fiesta isn't exactly a design revolution over the previous model, and that's partly because the car uses the same Ford ‘Global B' platform as before. That means lots of the unseen parts are the same, keeping the proportions broadly similar to before - and, therefore, the design. A familiar trapezoidal grille remains on the front, plus there's a set of swept-back headlights and a rising shoulder line just like before.

Still, at the back there is quite a change, as the larger, more horizontal taillights and new tailgate give the rear a different stance on the road. The car is longer and wider than before, which helps with interior space, but it also means the new Ford supermini does have a new shape, even though it takes more than a glance to realise.

The bigger change to the Fiesta's design is on the inside, though. There are fewer hard, scratchy plastics in there, replaced with soft-touch materials and a newer, more modern layout. A large, tablet-style touchscreen sits on top of the dash, just like in the Citroen C3 and Hyundai i20, with the heater controls placed lower down. It means the Fiesta is a far cry from the previous version covered in buttons and switches, and it feels more upmarket as a result. The SEAT Ibiza still wins for material quality and simple design, though.

Entry-level Style cars feature 15-inch alloys as standard, plus air-conditioning, Bluetooth and a 4.2-inch TFT display screen. The expected best-selling Zetec model adds a heated windscreen, DAB radio and a 6.5-inch touchscreen display with Ford's SYNC3 software. Move up to Titanium and you get 16-inch alloys, tinted rear windows and a bigger eight-inch screen with sat-nav. There's also a 4.2-inch screen in between the dials to show driving data, and automatic lights and wipers.

B&O PLAY editions, basically a pack that can be added to Zetec or Titanium models, feature a special interior trim colour and a Bang & Olufsen sound system with ten speakers and a subwoofer. Range-topping Vignale models are positioned to rival premium superminis, and get 17-inch alloys, leather heated seats and a panoramic sunroof - but as these models cost a lot to buy and won't hold their value very well, we'd stick to a Titanium model if you want more toys.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment There are two touchscreen displays available, depending on the trim level you choose: a 6.5-inch and an eight-inch. The larger of the two has sat-nav, and is available as an option for around GBP 300. It uses Ford's SYNC3 software, the latest version of the tech that adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The graphics are crisp and it's pretty easy to use, but there are only a few physical buttons to make navigating easier when you're on the move.

For another GBP 300 you can add a Bang & Olufsen stereo (it's standard on B&O PLAY cars) that has ten speakers and a subwoofer for improved audio. It's there to compete with similar systems in rivals: the Nissan Micra has a BOSE set-up, while Beats audio features on a number of other supermini rivals.

Practicality, comfort and boot space 4.3 The Fiesta is bigger on the inside without feeling much bigger on the outside, so it's more practical than before Although some rivals such as the Honda Jazz and Suzuki Baleno offer much more interior space than the Fiesta, the Ford is now on a par with its more well-rounded rivals such as the SEAT Ibiza and VW Polo.

The Fiesta isn't just spacious - it's practical in the sense that it's easy to drive, and the driving position is excellent. It's not just for the average person, though, as the amount of adjustment in the wheel and seat means taller and shorter drivers will be able to get comfortable.

Visibility is good, apart from the small rear window and thick C-Pillars. Parking sensors and a rear-view camera are on the options list, which some will find very helpful.

Size The Ford Fiesta is 71mm longer and 12m wider than the previous model, and the wheelbase is 4mm longer as well which helps with legroom in the back. In total, it's 4,040mm long, 1,735mm wide, 1,476mm high and has a wheelbase of 2,493mm.

That makes it a little thinner than a Nissan Micra, but it is longer and taller and has a longer wheelbase. However it's only by a matter of millimetres and most cars in this class are pretty much the same size on the outside; it's the inside that really sets each model apart.

Leg room, head room & passenger space Ford says there's an extra 16mm of legroom in the back of the new Fiesta, and it does feel a little bit more spacious than before. It's not as cavernous as a Suzuki Baleno or Honda Jazz in the back, but there's more than enough leg and headroom even for taller adults in the back seats. The seating position in the back is a little bit too upright for total comfort, but for the kind of journeys buyers will use it for that won't be a problem.

In the front there's lots of space and both driver and passenger will be able to get comfortable thanks to the amount of adjustment offered in the seats.

Boot The Ford Fiesta is available as a three or five-door, and the boot size changes depending on which you go for. The three-door has 292 litres with the seats up, and 1,093 litres with the rear seats folded down, while the five-door has: 303 litres with the seats up but 984 litres with them down.

That can get confusing, as it's got a bigger boot than a Nissan Micra in five-door form, but not as a three-door - and even more confusingly, the three-door Fiesta's load space with the seats down is bigger than the Micra's, but not as a five-door! All you really need to know is that the Fiesta is now a little more competitive, but not by much - though most cars in this class have a boot of a similar size.

The boot opening is wider than before too, which makes getting big items in and out easier. The loading lip is still quite high up, which hinders sliding in long items. However, for GBP 75 you can add a variable boot floor, which can be raised to create a flat load area with the rear bench folded.

Reliability and Safety 3.8 New hi-tech kit means the Ford Fiesta should score well for safety Our annual Driver Power customer satisfaction survey is the biggest of its type in the UK, and gives us an accurate picture of how much owners like their cars. The new Ford Fiesta is too new to appear in the 2017 poll, but the previous-generation model came in 50th out of the top 75 cars to own in the UK, as owners suggested it was middling in terms of practicality and interior comfort.

The fact that Ford has worked had to fix those bad points in this new model bodes well for next time, and only 4.7 per cent of owners said their Fiesta had gone wrong during their ownership - that's promising too.

It's a similar story when it comes to safety - the Fiesta hasn't been tested by experts at Euro NCAP yet. The old car got five stars when it was tested in 2012, scoring well for adult and child protection. This new model uses the same platform, so should score well again - and now it gets a raft of optional hi-tech safety gear including cross traffic alert and adaptive cruise control, with autonomous braking as well.

Warranty As with all Ford cars in Britain, the Fiesta has a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty as standard. It covers anything the goes wrong with the car mechanically - and you get coverage for corrosion and paint defects as well.

Three years is an industry standard, so the Fiesta is competitive, but the Hyundai i20 and Toyota Yaris have five-year warranties as standard, and the Kia Rio has seven years.

Servicing Servicing your Fiesta is pretty straightforward - it's once a year and you can pay around GBP 550 for maintenance over the first three years from Ford. There are dealers all over Britain and lots of experienced mechanics too, so finding somewhere nearby to do it won't ever be a problem. Finding parts will be similarly easy as the Fiesta is the biggest-selling car in the UK.

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