Ford Fiesta (2011) 1.5P Titanium Plus AT - Performance Review
Expert Reviews : DesignUser Experience Performance Safety
Performance Review of Ford Fiesta (2011) 1.5P Titanium Plus AT
Last Updated at 03:29 pm, May 20, 2013Rating :
It's fun to drive but is it worth the money?
Photography: Eshan Shetty
Lets get straight to the fact that the previous Ford Fiesta has been the handling benchmark in its category, especially in its 1.6S guise, and hence the new Fiesta has a lot to prove in terms of performance. With cars like the Hyundai Verna and Honda City upping the power game, Ford’s choice of 1.5-litre powerplants signal a shift in its focus from performance to efficiency.
We were expecting Ford to launch the Fiesta with a choice of 1.6-litre powerful engines to take on the competition but it eventually landed with a choice of 1.5-litre petrol and diesel. This 1.5-litre petrol engine feels quite smooth and refined. It revs very nicely to 6500-7000rpm but as you go towards the top you feel you should have had a lot more power at your command because it’s such a fun car to drive. It just makes 109PS of power and 140Nm of torque. In the wake of rising fuel prices, especially petrol prices, diesels make much more sense in our country and hence the Fiesta also gets a 1.5-litre diesel engine. This engine makes a mere 90PS of power but a good and thrusty 204Nm of torque. The acceleration is quite good and there’s no evident turbo lag. But the only problem is that this engine is a little too noisy.
The Fiesta is available with a inline-4 cylinder petrol displacing 1499cc. This is a 16-valve engine and features variable valve timing. The engine produces 109PS of power at 6045rpm and 140Nm of torque at 4500rpm. To be honest, this isn’t the most refined engine around and isn’t very peppy either. Obviously, the engine to buy is the diesel. The oilburner displaces 1498cc but breathes via just 2 valves per cylinder. The diesel makes 90PS at 3750rpm but an adequate 204Nm of torque between 2000 and 2750rpm.
The Fiesta sure feels underpowered but makes up a bit in terms of its handling. The Fiesta boasts a well sorted suspension set-up which not only offers a decent ride but also class leading dynamics. This actually is the car you feel like throwing into corners come out with a big grin on your face. The steering too is very communicative and nicely weighted.
Now the million-dollar question: is it as much fun to drive as the older Fiesta? To start with, it’s a brilliant handler. It goes very nicely around corners and feels poised. You can take a tighter line and it maintains the line. You push it hard and the tail gently comes out. It feels a lot of fun, but not as much fun as it would have been if there were a bigger and much more powerful engine. Yes, this car needs much more power because the chassis can handle a whole lot more power.
It’s getting a little crowded here in the mid-size sedan market and the mantra seems to be more for less. Just look at the recent price cuts and competitive pricing and you’ll know what I’m talking about. So at times like these, the Fiesta feels a bit too overpriced. The petrol range is available between 8.63 lakh and 9.87 lakh while the diesel starts at 9.72 lakh and goes up till 10.92 lakh. Ford is targeting Honda, Hyundai and Volkswagen territory with the Fiesta. Of course the car comes loaded with features but what it lacks is substantial styling and premium feeling interiors, both of which are paramount today.
First Published on 05:01 pm, August 31, 2011