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Ford Fiesta 1.4i

Broadcast dates : 20th February 2005
24th February 2005

At the heart of the Fiesta 1.4i is a modest sixteen-valve four-cylinder engine profiled more for torque than top-end power.

It delivers its 60 kiloWatts at just 5500 rpm, and the torque peak of 128 Newton Metres is at 3500 rpm.

The Fiesta for 2005 retains its simple mechanical specification, and this is allied to a strong Ford family appearance that is thoroughly modern.

The crisply-styled oval grille is flanked by prominent triangular headlights. At the rear of the car are the eye-catching vertical taillights first seen on the Ford Focus.

On the down-side, though, badging is somewhat of the plain-Jane variety.

The cabin of the Fiesta is modern and pleasing, with good levels of plastic finishes for a car of this price

Standard for R110 500 are dual airbags, a front-loading CD, and air-conditioning.

Luggage space and versatility is excellent for this vehicle class.

Acceleration is good if not neck-snapping, with 0-100 in 13,5 seconds, and a top speed of a 168 kilometres-per-hour.

As far as handling is concerned, Ford achieves fantastic ride-quality on very basic underpinnings.

Ford engineers in England spent a lot of effort in designing a rear axle that resists longitudinal deflection, and similar attention was given to the front suspension geometry.

Using narrow 165-65 tyres on steel rims, grip is modest, but predictable.

The engine has the ability to lug from as low as 2000 rpm, yet spin like a sewing machine to the 6000 redline. 

In basic 1.4i trim, this model looks slightly muted. The striking exterior body shape needs the alloy wheels fitted to the more expensive models in the Fiesta range to flesh out its form.

But itís a joy to drive despite its modest specification and a definite front runner for the Car of the Year award which will be announced on March the 15th.

An honest small car that surprises with its strong fun-factor.

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