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Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Zetec - Road Test

  • Petrol Fiesta is cheapest to tax at £24 per month
  • Emits 99g/km, claimed 65.7mpg mean 600 mile range
  • Still great fun to drive thanks to turbocharged engine

Normally when recommending a company car, it’s the diesel models that stand head and shoulders above the rest. Ford has even added a new 1.5-litre TDCi to its Fiesta range in a bid to attract more company users – the omission of the start/stop system found on 1.6TDCi helping to lower its list price by around £1,000.

It remains in the same tax bracket as its larger brother too, despite chucking out another 11g/km at 98g/km.

But if you want to have a Fiesta in your company car park space – and it’s a car we’d urge you to consider – then it’s the EcoBoost petrol models that make the most sense.

You see, while the 1.5 TDCi Zetec emits less than 100g/km and manages 76.4mpg on the combined cycle, the 1.0T (100PS) EcoBoost Zetec answers with an impressive 65.7mpg and only 99g/km. Furthermore, when you consider the price difference between a litre of petrol and diesel that economy gap soon shrinks.

It’s the list, or P11D, price that really matters for company users though, and it’s here the EcoBoost plays its ace. In comparable five-door Zetec trim the petrol is actually £1,000 cheaper. With the extra tax weighting for diesels that difference expands further, with the petrol’s monthly BIK at 20% tax of £24 a whole £8 less (or nearly £100 annually) than the more economical diesel.

It’s a clichéd saying, but with the Fiesta EcoBoost you really can have your cake and eat it. This award-winning engine is not only superbly economical, but it’s the absolute star of the entire Ford.

Despite having only three cylinders, and a footprint similar to a sheet of A4 paper, this 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine offers a wonderfully linear spread of performance. Overtaking slower-moving traffic at motorway speeds isn’t a problem, and in short the diminutive engine punches far above its weight.

An offset crank and oil-bathed drivebelt ensure there’s no un-wanted vibrations in the cabin like you get on some other engines of this type. While a three-cylinder thrum is present under load, once cruising the Fiesta is whisper-quiet.

In other news the Fiesta Zetec EcoBoost is just as much fun in the bends as anything else from the range, the sharp steering and perfectly weighted controls inspiring confidence at speed. Body control is exemplary as well, with little roll in corners and excellent ride comfort no matter speed or road surface. 

Talking of which, the adjustable steering column and supportive seats ensure it’s easy to find your perfect driving position. While the rear bench isn’t exactly capacious for adults, it’s the equal of most rivals in the sector – as is the 295-litre load space.

Zetec models come with generous levels of kit including air-conditioning, electric front windows, Quickclear heated front windscreen and a leather steering wheel. Sat-nav is only standard on Titanium and above though, so the £700 option on the Zetec would add £1 a month in tax.  

Fifteen-inch alloy wheels are standard on the Zetec, but the facelift brought few changes to the exterior – the Aston Martin-esque front grille the most noticeable difference.

Most other manufacturers constantly strive to change their models. In the supermini sector that’s simply a bid to keep up with the Ford Fiesta, a car that has consistently been the class leader. So although some might question the firm's wisdom in leaving well alone, when the facelifted car still does much the same as before but with greater efficiency, that should be music to company user's ears.

Check here for the full Ford Fiesta review

Ford Fiesta interior

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Vauxhall Corsa

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Peugeot 208

Sharp looking and sharp to drive the 208 is most convincing small Peugeot for a long time, though three-cylinder petrol is coarse compared to Ford effort.