By Mike Torpey on 2018-06-30 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Ford Fiesta 1.5
ACTIONS speak louder than words or so they say.
Well big numbers can shout out a message too, and when it comes to the Ford Fiesta those numbers are pretty mind-boggling.
Across the country more than 1,000,000 Brits have ordered new Fiestas since 2008 and over 4,500,000 since the car first arrived in 1976.
Now we have an all-new Fiesta, billed as the most technologically advanced small car on sale and one that has left no stone unturned in its quest to stay top of the sales charts.
For instance Ford is confident the seats in a new Fiesta will remain comfortable for the lifetime of the car.
It's all down to robot buttocks sitting in the seats 25,000 times and the bolsters undergoing 60,000 test cycles to ensure wear-resistance.
That's not all. The cars' heated leather steering wheel has been tested by engineers to ensure a resistance to staining from sunscreen on the driver's hands.
Leather seats are also designed to resist coffee spills, soil from dirty sports kit and even the dye from denim jeans.
And for the audiophiles, the team spent a year listening to more than 5,000 tracks to ensure the 675-watt 10-speaker B&O PLAY system sounds spot-on regardless of volume or location.
All big features for a small car that's continuing to expand its appeal with more customer choice than ever.
The last few weeks have seen sporty ST-Line and more luxurious Vignale models, both offering the brand's 1.0 EcoBoost 140ps engine, join the Fiesta's core range of Zetec and Titanium models before a new Active crossover and hot ST arrive in the spring.
While the petrol models are attracting the lion's share of sales - 90 per cent to be exact - the best economy purportedly still comes from diesel, the tested 1.5 TDCI variant boasting a combined return of a whopping 80.7 miles per gallon.
Unfortunately our own admittedly urban consumption almost cut that figure in half, the 44.5mpg pretty disappointing by comparison.
Otherwise the new Fiesta is a small car of considerable appeal, one with plenty of space up front, enough for two adults to relax in the back and a decent-sized boot.
The cabin has a classic Ford layout but more minimalist, the Titanium trim bringing touches like piano black dash inserts, a leather steering wheel, electric panoramic sunroof in two sections and that premium Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Pride of place goes to the large iPad-like touchscreen that looks smart but needs to have its sat-nav display on show - and if you don't have a higher spec Fiesta then the nav's a £300 option.
Overall though Ford has done a fine job in making the Fiesta look and feel more upmarket - it's also a dynamically superior car to drive, very well damped and also benefits from having a six-speed manual gearbox.
Ford Fiesta 1.5 Titanium
Mechanical: 120ps, 1,499cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 122mph
0-62mph: 9.0 seconds
Combined MPG: 80.7
Insurance Group: 14
C02 emissions: 89g/km
Bik rating: 23%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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