By Mike Torpey on 2022-11-05 - 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 1.0
IT has been the go-to model for thousands of motorists buying their first motor - and many more have stuck with it in the subsequent decades.
Right first time it's the Ford Fiesta, Britain's favourite small car for what seems like an eternity (at least until the latest Vauxhall Corsa came along) though in reality it's almost 46 years.
The beauty of the Fiesta is that it is terrific to drive, doesn't cost the earth and there's always been plenty of choice in terms of power, spec, dynamics and comfort.
Given the rise of compact SUVs as well as smartly designed small hatchbacks, things have become increasingly competitive for models like the Fiesta.
But Ford has stuck with what it does best and, true to form, the latest Fiesta remains a small hatchback that really gives you something to smile about even though Ford has announced production will come to an end in 2023.
Available exclusively with petrol engines, some boosted by mild hybrid technology, the model line-up comprises five trim grades of Trend, Titanium, Active, ST-Line and ST, some including X variants providing extra kit.
Our model featured the 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder EcoBoost mild hybrid unit which works in tandem with an electric motor to provide stronger acceleration and a bit better fuel economy.
It develops 125ps, so there's plenty of punch there, and you can also opt for Ford's PowerShift auto transmission as well as a six-speed manual gearbox.
Some 200 miles of mixed urban, rural and motorway driving resulted in an average fuel return of 48.8 miles per gallon, which compared well given the conditions with the official Combined return of 56.5mpg.
While this sort of economy may not be unusual what makes the Fiesta such a star is the way it drives and that means fun with a capital F.
Other small cars have attributes of their own but the Fiesta combines the lot - positive steering, a slick manual gearbox, sharp handling and interior comfort.
Don't expect any space age cabin features or arcade-style graphics, it's all trademark Ford interior design - simple, durable and effective, with plenty of head and elbow room for all.
Up front the seats are comfortable and adjustable, the driving position slightly raised and while things can get tight for three passengers across the back, legroom is not a problem. The boot is also deep enough to load a few suitcases as well as oddments or shopping.
In time-honoured Ford manner the switchgear is straightforward and simple to use and though there is a fair amount of plastic in and around the dash, there are some desirable soft-touch plastics too.
As for tech, there's a seven-speaker sound system in all models bar entry level Trend and you also get a pair of USB ports, a heated windscreen and rear parking sensors.
The eight-inch touchscreen is easy to operate and most models, including Titanium, have a built-in sat nav and pin-sharp reversing camera. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also standard across the range.
Even with the Fiesta there are still options that can hike up the tab, our tested version including Chrome Blue metallic paint at Â£525, Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment set-up with wireless phone charging at Â£825 and a Parking Pack for Â£400.
Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost MHEV Titanium
Mechanical:125bhp, 999cc, 3-cyl petrol mild hybrid engine driving front wheels via six-speed manual transmission
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