FORD recently gave Fiesta fans more choice by adding an Active SUV-style model to its already large range.
As a result theUK'sfavourite car is now offered with mini SUV looks and the same treatment is also available on theKAand will be added to the new Focus next year.
The styling changes are exactly what you would expect - a set of roof rails, some sturdy plastic cladding on the wheel arches, extra trim on the bumpers and some Activebadging.
The ride height has been increased by 18mm and the track widened by 10mm to give the Active a more rugged stance and complete the more macho look.
Inside the Active is just like the regular Fiesta and can seat four in comfort and five for shorter distances. The dash is well laid out and an eight-inch touchscreen comes with Ford's latest SYNC 3 infotainment system which is very good.
The Active is just as practical as the standard Fiesta and the driving position remains excellent - just a little higher.
Fortunately the extra height has not had too much impact on the way the Active drives and it is just as sharp as the normal hatchback although there is slightly more roll on corners.
The changes to the suspension make the Active more comfortable and it deals well with rough roads, potholes and town speed bumps.
As you would expect from a Fiesta, the steering is very accurate and well-weighted and the Active remains as agile and fun to drive as any other model in the range.
Prices for the Active start at £17,795 for the Active 1 with five doors and the 85bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine rising to £22,085 for the 120bhp 1.5-litre diesel powered Active X.
The Active treatment adds about £1,600 to the cost of the car and that means very little extra money when it comes to PCP time.
My drive was in the 140ps three-cylinderEcoBoostpetrol model which will probably take the most sales. It is a great match for the car and provides a reasonably sporty drive.
Good for a top speed of 125mph it takes nine seconds to tackle the sprint to 62mph and also offers very decent economy.
The claimed combined figure is 54.3mpg, although expect less than that in real conditions and emissions are just 118g/km. Importantly for young drivers the insurance group is 10.
The Active X is crammed with all the kit you could possibly want and also features all the latest safety equipment. Extras fitted to my car included full LED headlamps at £600 and a neat B&O premium sound system with navigation for £350.