ONLY a few years ago you would have been mad to have bought a 1.0-litre car with an automatic gearbox or at least not in a hurry to get anywhere.
With turbo-charging small engines are now much more powerful and as a result more are being combined with automatic gearboxes.
Ford's 1.0T EcoBoost engine is capable of producing 125ps and works really well with its seven-speed DCT automatic gearbox.
I sampled it in the fairly new Vignale spec which sits right at the top of the range.
Vignale was an Italian design house that Ford purchased at the same time as they took over the Ghia operation but they have only started using the name recently.
The popular Fiestahas been Britain's favourite car for many years and that is because it has always been fun to drive, reasonably priced and very practical.
In Vignale trim it also offers a bit of luxury because it boasts all the latest kit and infotainment equipment that you could possibly want in a stylish package.
And if you can't afford the asking price of a Vignale there is a range of lower-priced models to suit from the very young to the most mature and that is why the Fiesta will always be near the top of the sales charts.
The current generation Fiesta is available in awide range of good-looking three and five-door body styles with a choice of trim levels and is offered with a choice of petrol and diesel engines - so there really is something for everyone in the mix. Buyers can also choose from manual or automatic transmissions.
Entry level models start at relatively affordable prices but the luxuryVignalemodel I drove cost £24,535 so there is a considerable price difference to pay for the exclusive badge. That said the only option you need to add is for paint.
Powered by the 1.0-litre EcoBoost three-cylinder turbocharged unit with stop/start you get a great blend of performance and economy.
It reaches 62mph in 9.9 seconds and can go on to a top speed of 124mph, with emissions of just 129g/km.
With its smooth changing automatic gearbox and stop/start technology it offers according to the latest WLTP figures economy ranging between 39.2mpg to 57.6mpg. Over a week of mixed motoring I averaged just under 50mpg.
As in all Fiesta models the steering is nicely weighted and the new suspension set-up deals well with our bumpy roads with ease.Slightly larger than the last model, the new Fiesta provides more room inside and four adults can travel in comfort.
Finished in special paint - a Â£250 option - the stylish Vignale looks particularly nice thanks to smart 17-inch 10-spoke alloys, unique grille, badging and privacy glass.
Inside you get special Vignale touches including premium padded leather seats, 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.
You also get a B&O premium sound system with an eight-inch touchscreen with DAB radio and Ford SYNC 3 navigation, two USBsockets and six speakers. In addition you getkeylessstart, cruise control, Ford Easy Fuel, and aThatchamalarm.
It also comes with Vignale front door threshold plates, Vignale front and rear floor mats and a heated steering wheel.
It also boasts all the latest safety equipment including hill start assist, lane-keeping alert and lane-keeping aid, speed limiter rear seat seatbelt reminder, tyre pressure monitoring system, traffic sign recognition and much more.