First Drive: Ford Fiesta Van facelift

Date: Monday, March 25, 2013

Ford has refreshed its Fiesta Van alongside the passenger car version of its smallest CV, with bluff and bold new front-end styling replacing the softer look of the pre-facelift model.

 The redesign brings the Fiesta range in line with where Ford sees its styling heading in the future, although it’s not as instantly pleasing to the eye as the predecessor. In Ford speak, the redesign incorporates the firm’s latest global design language, including “laser-cut headlamps” and “power-dome bonnet”, while the rear gets a subtle re-grafting of the light cluster but nothing like the dramatic approach taken with the nose.
The interior is also revised with some relocated switchgear, although little work was necessary on what is one of the most welcoming and well-designed arrangements.
The engine line-up comprises three units, with a new 75hp 1.5-litre diesel joining the low-CO2 95hp 1.6-litre TDCi, and an 82hp 1.3-litre petrol alternative that gives the Fiesta Van a sub-£11,000 entry price excluding VAT. However, the petrol isn’t expected to be a big seller compared to the more efficient diesel options.
The new 1.5-litre unit emits just 98g/km of CO2 and offers an official fuel consumption figure of 76.4mpg, but it’s not as efficient as the more powerful 95hp 1.6 that has been optimised with Ford’s various Econetic methods such as stop/start, aerodynamic tweaks
and low rolling-resistance tyres. The Econetic version, available in Base or better-equipped Trend
trim levels, offers 85.6mpg and 87g/km of CO2, although it costs £650 more than this new 1.5-litre diesel engine.
Ford has introduced a number of new technologies with the mid-life revision. The optional Active City Stop system costs £210-£700 depending on model, and is designed to prevent or mitigate low-speed collisions. The Mykey technology, a £50 option, allows operators to set a speed limiter at 80mph as well as chimed reminders at certain speeds, a maximum audio volume and can make sure safety systems aren’t disengaged.
The entry workhorse Base model is a little more sparse than the more appealing Trend trim, which adds items such as DAB radio, Ford’s Sync Bluetooth system (which includes the emergency assistance element that automatically contacts the emergency services in the event of an accident), auto lights and wipers, and the firm’s excellent Quickclear windscreen. That step up is an additional £730, but is worth it for any decision-maker that will be spending time in the Fiesta Van.
From an engineering perspective, there are no changes to the vehicle, which is fine because it’s great for handling, riding and steering.
The refresh to the Fiesta Van gives it a blunter look, but the other changes, including the new engine and technological developments, make the baby of Ford’s LCV line-up more appealing than ever.

 

Verdict
Blunter bluff new nose fronts an excellent vehicle.



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