I HAVE just been driving a Ford Fiesta that got more looks than the average supercar.
The reason for the admiring looks and stares was not the car's nice lines or even its exclusive colour costing an extra £745. This Fiesta really stood out because of its number plate - CAR 1 - which is owned by Ford and worth an astonishing amount of money - probably about £250,000.
The Fiesta has dominated UK sales charts for decades and the current model which arrived last yearis better than ever and is sure toremainthe country's favourite for the foreseeable future.
Fun to drive and reasonably priced this latest model comes with more technology and fresh infotainment equipment.
A wide range of three and five-door models in five trim levels is available with a choice of five petrol and two diesel engines - so there really is something for everyone in the mix. Buyers can also choose from manual or automatic transmissions.
Entry level Style models start from just under £13,000 but most buyers will select the popular Zetec or Titanium models, while there is also a sporty ST Line car and for the first time a for luxuryVignalemodel.A hot ST model is also on the way to please the boy racers.
The petrol engines will be the big sellers but I have been trying out the 1.5-litre diesel in Titanium spec which will set you back £18,975.
It provides bags of grunt, good performance and superb economy and is also very quiet.
It reaches 62mph in 9.0 seconds and can go on to a top speed of 120mph, with low emissions of just 89g/km.
With its slick six-speed manual gearbox and stop/start technology it has a claimed combined 80.7mpg figure. I could not match that over a week of average motoring but I certainly got very close to it and the fuel gauge barely moved at times.
The Fiesta is extremely agile and provides a comfortable and composed ride. Its lighter steering means it is great to use in town and the new suspension deals well with our bumpy roads and makes this model feel more mature.
Slightly larger than the last version, the new Fiesta offers more room inside and four adults can travel in comfort. The exterior styling may not be as sporty but the interior is avastimprovement and the Titanium model I drove had all the features you could want in asupermini.
For your cash you get 10-spoke alloy wheels, Halogen projector headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, front fogs with cornering lights, LED night signature rear lights, powerfoldabledoor mirrors with puddle lights, rear privacy glass, and aQuickclearheated windscreen - a real bonus in this weather.
You also get an eight-inch touchscreen with DAB radio and Ford SYNC 3 navigation, 2USBsockets and six speakers. In addition you getkeylessstart, cruise control, Ford Easy Fuel, aThatchamalarm. In addition the compact Ford offers all the latest safety equipment and there is scope to personalise your Fiesta with a range of options.
For £600 you can add an openable panoramic roof, while an additional £500 will buy you an Auto Park assistance pack which includes front and rear parking sensors, autoparkassistance and a rear view camera. An upgraded B&O sound system with 10 speakers will cost you a further £300.