You get the best of both worlds with Ford’s Fiesta Sport – the stunning turbocharged 1.0-litre engine plus some extra sporty pizazz inside and out. And, priced from $20,525, you should feel like a burglar when you leave the Ford dealership.
Granted, the Sport model Fiesta isn’t in the league of the turbocharged 1.6-litre ST – that will set you back $25,990 (still a sensational bargain) – but you get the best of Ford’s German-origin compact hatchback and sporty looks with a driving experience which is a bit more reserved than the race-bred ST. In fact we’d definitely recommend the Ford Fiesta Sport for first time cars buyers.
Fiesta is a global car for Ford with more than 15 million sold since it first appeared back in 1976 and, make no mistake, the current model range – code-named WZ – is a game-changer for the ‘Blue Oval’ company. Fiesta, Mondeo, EcoSport, Kuga, Ranger - and the imminent arrival of the all-new Mustang - all provide a tasty sample of the outstanding fully-imported products which are the future of Ford post-2016.
Ford Fiesta Sport Overview
A creation of Ford Germany, the all-new Ford Fiesta lineup starts at just $15,825 for the 1.5-litre Ambiente model and runs to the stunning 134kW/240Nm ST hot hatch. The Sport models sit below the ST, starting at $20,525, and are unique in the lineup with the multi World Engine Of The Year winning turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine.
CarShowroom.com.au tested the Ford Fiesta Sport with the six-speed automatic transmission which is stickered at $22,525.
Included in the Sport model extras are significant exterior and interior styling changes which provide a genuine sporty look and feel. As we said, this thing is a bargain.
Ford Fiesta Sport Engine
Ford’s remarkable turbocharged 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol EcoBoost engine re-wrote the rule book for engines and is a deserving winner of two ‘World Engine Of The Year’ awards. While Volkswagen’s compact Up only had a brief run in the local market, much was trumpeted about its three-cylinder engine’s 4.9l/100kms fuel consumption…well the Ford Fiesta Sport matches that figure.
Maximum power is 92kW at 6000rpm and peak torque of 170Nm is delivered between 1400-4500rpm. That’s right, this remarkable powerplant actually delivers more performance than the
82kW/140Nm 1.5-litre engine fitted to lower grade Ford Fiesta Ambiente and Trend models (hence the three-cylinder models wear the Sport tag).
Drive is to the front wheels via Ford’s excellent six-speed ‘PowerShift’ dual-clutch sequential automatic transmission.
Work the Ford Fiesta Sport hard and the mighty 1.0-litre three-cylinder rewards with a purposeful growl from the exhaust.
Ford Fiesta Sport The Interior
Here’s the first reminder of the remarkable value-for-money of the Ford Fiesta Sport. Extra supportive sports seats feature partial leather trim (matched in the rear) - incredible in a compact hatchback priced under $23,000.
Combine those supportive seats with rake/each adjustment for the leather-wrapped steering wheel and the Ford Fiesta Sport provides a handy driving environment. Instrumentation is the latest Ford family look – very stylish and easy to read.
As well, the Ford Fiesta Sport boasts an eight-speaker Sony audio system with a 4.2-inch colour TFT screen and ambient lighting. Like all current model Fiestas, the Sport also features Ford’s excellent SYNC infotainment system.
Overall we still rate the Ford Fiesta as one of the very best compact hatchbacks for its interior style. The German design influence stands out with nice looks and quality materials throughout.
Ford Fiesta Sport Exterior & Styling
And it’s a similar story on the outside with the Ford Fiesta oozing contemporary European style. Up-front the large, sophisticated ‘wrap-over’ headlights are impressive for a car in this price bracket and the large trapezoidal front grille introduces a sporty look.
From the side, there’s a noticeable wedge shape for the Ford Fiesta and the curved roofline, prominent side creases and rising glasshouse are again very contemporary and easy on the eye.
Fiesta Sport emphasizes its racy looks with a prominent roof spoiler, a stylish small front spoiler and handsome 16-inch alloy wheels.
Ford Fiesta Sport On The Road
Ford Fiesta runs the familiar MacPherson strut front suspension with a torsion beam rear. As you’d expect from a car designed and developed in Europe, the calibration is spot-on with just the right amount of stiffness both underneath and in the body.
Over our high-speed mountain roads loop, the Ford Fiesta Sport was a delight with that outstanding turbocharged three-cylinder engine a willing worker and the excellent six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission seemed ideal to extract the best from it. We reveled in the drive with crisp turn-in, nice mid-turn balance and a level of poise you don’t normally associate with cars in this price bracket.
Same around town where the Ford Fiesta Sport had plenty of acceleration to catch the freeway on-ramp traffic and we must say in the stop-start city driving environment which can cause dual-clutch automatic transmissions to be cumbersome, Ford’s six-speeder was much smoother than some German rivals.
Parking was easy thanks to Ford Fiesta’s excellent all-round visibility and diminutive 10.2-metre turning circle.
Ford Fiesta Sport Issues
Compared to some in this category, Ford Fiesta’s rear seat is a little snug.
Ford Fiesta Sport Verdict
We maintain our position that the Ford Fiesta is the compact hatchback Superstar and, considering the mainstream models, the Sport is the standout. At $20,525 ($22,525 for the auto we tested) the Fiesta is astonishingly good value.
Sport gives you the outstanding 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with its gob-smacking performance and astonishing fuel economy plus all those extra sporty bits to enhance the looks and driving experience.
Ford Fiesta Sport is a definite CarShowroom.com.au Favourite and a car we’d happily have in our garage permanently.
Ford Fiesta Sport The Competition
In any consideration of compact hatchbacks, the top-selling Mazda2 must be…well the top actually. If you reckon Mazda’s product range has been revitalized in the last few years, you’d probably toss-in the ‘3’, the ‘6’ and the ‘CX-5’ - but don’t forget the diminutive Mazda2 which is doing massive business for the Japanese giant.
Mazda2 sells well because it’s damn good and great value - but the fact is there is no ‘2’ to match the Ford Fiesta Sport. Closest is the Maxx Sport ($16,930 and $18,580) but there’s no sports body kit of sports seats just for starters.
We’d nominate the slightly more expensive Renault Clio ‘Dynamique’ ($23,290) with its 88kW/190Nm turbocharged 1.2-litre as a contender. Sure it’s not as outright sporty in the looks department as the Ford Fiesta Sport but Renault’s global compact is oh-so European in its style and definitely sporty in flavour.
Suzuki Swift Sport has a fantastic reputation and packs a punch with 100kW/160Nm but it’s pricey (from $23,990) and doesn’t have the interior style or leather-highlighted sports seats of the Ford Fiesta Sport.
Of the Toyota Yaris lineup, the ZR three-door ($18,990), while nowhere as racy as the Ford Fiesta Sport, does introduce some sporty overtones to the Yaris. The Toyota Yaris ZR is good value but it’s exclusively a five-speed manual.