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No compromise Fiesta is the automatic choice.

Byline: Val Jessop

THE biggest surprise of the automatic version of Ford's new big-car Fiesta is its smoothness.

Experience has proved that most auto transmissions jammed into the tight space available in a small-bodied car usually results in something of a compromise.

They do the job but appear to operate almost reluctantly and progress through the auto box is anything but fluid.

And they often mimic the drone of a petrol-driven mower about to take its last gulp of fuel. But not the 1.4 petrol automaItic version of the all-new global Fiesta.

It is easily the smoothest operator in its class and size, but that doesn't mean to say it is rapid.Most automatics in this sector sacrifice on spurt and the Fiesta is the same - with a 0-62mph labouring at just under 14 seconds.

Nevertheless, the 1.4-litre engine is perky for most of the time, in or out of the urban jungle and it summons up a decent amount of power from the 16v Duratec engine.

It used to be the case that small automatics were chosen by middle-aged people - and those for whom mobility was limited. But the uptake has significantly increased across the customer spectrum, particularly with commuters facing crawling and stop-start traffic.

According to Ford, about 10% of small car drivers opt for the "convenience technology" of an automatic.

The Durashift auto transmission is only offered with on 1.4 petrol 95bhp version of the sixth generation Fiesta, but its a good combination - offering perky but not hot-hatch performance, while returning an agreeable average fuel consumption of 43.4mpg.

It handles just as sprightly as its manual equivalent and rides well, soaking up the dents in our winter-ravaged roads valiantly.

This car came in luxurious Titanium trim which added privacy glass, 16in alloys, cruise control, remote central/double locking and driver and front passenger airbags, knee and side airbags, air-conand aluminium trim.

The Ford Fiesta 1.4 Titanium Automatic costs pounds 14,250. Its 95bhp 4-cyl petrol engine drives the front wheels. The engine powers it from 0-62mph in 13.9secs and produces CO[sup.2] emissions of 154g/km.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 26, 2010
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