Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
  • Clear, easy to use layout with appealing style
  • Slightly dated now, and some cheaper plastics
  • Quality is present where it counts

You don’t expect surprises or confusing controls in a Ford, and the Fiesta is about as accessible as you can get for a wide variety of drivers. The interior layout is clear and reasonably uncluttered, with a few variations of material for different trim levels though uniform charcoal grey plastics dominate, complemented by similar hues (or lack thereof) for the fabrics. It feels professional and solid, which for a small car is quite welcome.

Higher trim levels feature a 12.3-inch fully digital dashboard, but all of them have the same layout of central infotainment screen, proper heater controls below that, a traditional handbrake and a good driving position with a wide range of adjustment. Little touches, like the button on the indicator stalk to switch lane keeping assistance on or off, make the Fiesta a thoroughly intuitive car to live with.

Infotainment and tech

When launched the Fiesta was one of the most technically complete small cars you could buy, with adaptive cruise control, a connected infotainment system with OTA (over the air) updates and the option of an impressive B&O sound system. It’s evolved, so the latest models have digital instruments except on the basic versions, the option of adaptive headlights has been added, and Ford Sync 3… well, that’s unchanged, but still very impressive.

Although the 8.0-inch central screen can display heater control status, there’s a full set of physical controls, and there are buttons for related comfort features like the Quickclear windscreen (standard on all models), heated seats and steering wheel. On higher-specification models there’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument display taking the place of analogue dials and 4.2-inch info display; both options are clear and easy to understand but the latter feels more up to date and can display more focused or varied information, as well as changing graphics to reflect mode. All models support Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and DAB radio as well (built-in sat-nav is included as well), with six-speaker sound – so the Trend is far from a bare-bones option.

Comfort

  • Supportive seats in a thoughtful layout
  • Passengers get more flexibility on higher-spec
  • Rear passengers won’t appreciate the sunroof

This is a small car, and it does the best it can with the space available. Ford’s seats are supportive – perhaps too much so in the ST – but basic with few adjustments. Even so, it’s easy to get a good driving position for most builds and preferences, and there’s enough space around the driver to not feel hemmed in. Visibility is good for the most part, though the quirky thick A-pillar base means an extra, small window ahead of the door mirror for checking the passenger side.

The ST-Line’s sportier-looking seats are identical to the rest of the range underneath the snazzy covers, and the fractionally lower ride height doesn’t appear to have a detrimental effect on the ride quality, which remains among the very best in the sector. It’s certainly fimer, but only enough to keep the body in check, reducing body roll and pitching without bouncing around or thumping all over the place as a result.

Engine and road noise are well-contained, and the excellent suspension not only does a great job of soaking up bumps, it settles back down so quickly that it’s always ready for the next one. Ford’s engineers spend a huge amount of time on this, and it pays off. The 17-inch wheels on the cars we’ve driven work well on our poor UK road surfaces, but the 18-inch wheels are a little choppy.