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Fiesta's face-lift; Eighth generation packed with features.

Byline: Chris Russon Motoring Writer

BILLED as Ford's most important model in decades, the new Fiesta is a little hatch bristling with big car features.

The eighth generation Fiesta goes on sale in October and even the most basic models will be packed with class-leading features.

Priced from pounds 8,695 - pounds 155 cheaper than the previous version - the eighth generation of the Fiesta will feature advanced crash protection, central locking, electrically adjustable door mirrors and a device to prevent misfuelling.

Sweeping lines, wrap-around headlamps, a pronounced double-grille and a sloping roof are accentuated by sharp body cuts which give the Fiesta a sporty presence unlike any of its predecessors.

Beneath the stylish bodywork is a hi-tech arena of modern manufacturing techniques. 55% of the Fiesta is made up of high tensile steel which makes it 40 kilos lighter than the outgoing model yet 10%stiffer.

That adds up to better handling and much improved fuel economy.

A new 1.6-litre petrol engine is making its debut in the Fiesta and is capable of averaging a claimed 47.9mpg with CO2 emissions of 139g/km putting it in the pounds 130 a year road tax bracket for private buyers. But that brings an added bonus next year since cars with emissions lower than 150g/km will actually benefit from significantly lower road tax bills.

Combine that with low insurance bandings of one to six and the latest Fiesta certainly has cost-effective motoring at its heart.

The engine line-up may sound familiar with 1.25, 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol engines and 1.4 and 1.6-litre diesels but all have been tweaked to deliver more power but with added economy.

Average consumption from any of the manual petrol versions should be in the 50mpg region while the diesels are closer to 70mpg - and the ECOnetic has a target mpg of 76.3 when it arrives later in the year.

A lean burn 1.25-litre petrol engine delivering 60bhp and 52.3mpg is also being introduced but, with a 0 to 60 acceleration time of almost 17 seconds, it is definitely aimed at those who spend a lot of time in city traffic.

The new Fiestas also feature electronic power steering tuned to make them as easy to park as they are responsive at cruising speed and an anti-stall device to help while manoeuvring. Both three and five door versions will be available from launch as will six trim levels with the top range Titanium models priced from pounds 12,095 and featuring automatic lights and wipers as well as cruise control - a first in a car of this size.

Inside, the Fiesta style revolution continues with a mixture of textures and colours the likes of which have never been seen on a little Ford before. The central controls resemble a mobile phone keypad and are surrounded by a metal-effect panel which extends into the console and sits below a 3.5-inch display screen.

Additional power outlets are provided for music players etc while keyless entry, starter button ignition and ambient interior night lights which bathe the cabin in a red glow are also available. So is a Bluetooth phone connection, but sat nav will have to be provided by the individual.

The newFiesta is bigger and more comfortable than previous versions and luggage space is now up to 295 litres compared with 284 in the last model.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 29, 2008
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