Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
  • Fewer engine options than hatchback
  • Still a good spread of choices
  • Our pick is 125hp 1.0-litre Ecoboost 

Ford Fiesta Active: what engines does it have?

You’ve got a choice of six engine options for the Fiesta Active: two 1.5 diesels and four power outputs for the 1.0-litre Ecoboost turbocharged petrol. All come with a six-speed manual gearbox except the 100hp petrol, which has the option of a six-speed automatic that we’ve yet to sample. Ford expects the petrols to be considerably more popular.

Ford Fiesta Active Ecoboost petrol engine

The three-cylinder Ecoboost motor is used in many Ford cars. It’s turbocharged and comes in 85hp, 100hp, 125hp and 140hp power outputs. They all have the same 170Nm maximum torque figure except the 140hp model, which has 180Nm.

Ford Fiesta Active rear driving shot

The performance figures stack up as following:

  • 85hp manual: 0-62mph in 12.7 seconds, 106mph top speed
  • 100hp manual: 0-62mph in 11.0 seconds, 112mph top speed
  • 100hp automatic: 0-62mph in 12.8 seconds, 110mph top speed
  • 125hp manual: 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds, 119mph top speed
  • 140hp manual: 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds, 124mph top speed

We’ve tried the 140hp Ecoboost, and it doesn’t feel as exciting as it does in the ST-Line Fiesta. At the lower end of the rev range you do have to be patient to make progress, but the characterful three-cylinder warble and turbocharged surge in acceleration as you stay in gear and use higher rpm means it’s just as characterful.

Ford Fiesta Active driving front view

You could save some cash by going for the lower-powered engine with 125hp. You don't really notice the lower power output, and the the engine always feels eager to rev and enjoyable to make use of. It never becomes raucous and unruly, with good high-speed refinement, too. 

It comes with the same slick six-speed manual gearbox, which you'll have to make use of on a twisting, turning country road, but the best part about the Fiesta Active is that it retains the regular Fiesta's playful driving experience.  

Ford Fiesta Active 1.5 TDCi diesel engines

Depending on trim level you can have 85hp or 120hp from the 1.5-litre diesel motor, with torque of 215Nm and 270Nm respectively.

The lower-powered diesel will cover 0-62mph in 12.6 seconds with a 106mph top speed, while the other will do 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds and go on to 118mph.

Ford Fiesta Active drive modes

The Active has a trio of drive modes. Normal is the default, while Eco turns down the engine’s responses so you save fuel. There’s also a Slippery mode that adjusts the engine along with traction and stability control settings to make it easier to drive in rain and snow. 

  • Taller stance makes for more bodyroll
  • But it’s still a Fiesta underneath
  • Easy to park and zip around town

Ford Fiesta Active: how does it handle?

Using the Fiesta as a base for handling is undoubtedly a great start, but this is a model that isn’t quite as much fun as the rest of the range. The Active uses what Ford calls ‘Rough Road’ suspension, with a raised ride height (18mm taller) and a wider track width – the distance between left and right wheels - by 10mm over standard car. It sits on 17-inch alloy wheels.

We found there was a little more bodyroll compared with the standard Fiesta, which detracted from some of the composure we’re so keen on, but it's still better than most other hatchbacks.

Ford Fiesta Active cornering shot

The Fiesta still inspires confidence in corners, while the re-tuned steering is still accurate enough to make nimble direction shifts. It may ride higher than the regular Fiesta and other superminis, but it retains its composure well. 

The turning circle is far tighter than the Fiesta ST, which makes parking easier. Rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera are standard only on top-spec Active X models.