It’s seven years since the current generation of Fiesta first hit British roads and Ford have freshened up their offering. Their latest roll of the dice is the Ford Fiesta Zetec S Black edition.
Despite the lack of S badge on the grill – a peculiar decision from Ford given the kerb appeal a well placed letter, in red of course, can bring – there are a few visual touches that separate the Black from some of the more vanilla Fiestas on offer.
High-contrast wing mirrors and accents around the front grille and the front splitter; a rear spoiler; red gloss roof; black alloy wheels on low-profile tyres and sports body-kit ought to give the uninitiated some clue as to what this car is about.
Eighteen-year-old blokes will love the look of this car, and that extends to the interior too. A red glow of LED light bathes the inside of the cup holders, there’s a stitched leather steering wheel, leather gear stick and metal ‘race-style’ pedals. The red and dark grey seat covers look and feel like they are made from wetsuit material. The dash design is a continuation of the exterior’s angular theme and, while there are a few too many buttons cluttering the centre console, the soft-touch plastics, with high-gloss accents are up there with anything else in this price range and class.
At this stage in its lifespan, there’s not a lot more that can be said about the practicality of the Fiesta. It doesn’t feel like a small car in the front, and has a well thought out cabin, with everything you need within comfortable reach of your arms at ten to two. Okay, so getting the toddler’s car seat into the back was a bit awkward, and I could only fit the golf clubs in the boot with the split-folding rear seat down, but there’s a cable for your iPhone, and the cup holders will easily accommodate a protein shake or an oversized energy drink can – or whatever else it is millennials drink on their way into town for a ‘cheeky Nando’s’.
There’s plenty for grown ups to like too though, it’s as comfortable on the motorway as it is in the town and it is great fun on the bends. It’s good for the environment as well, with start/stop technology helping your mpg figures during town driving.
Under the bonnet, it’s packing Ford’s excellent 1.0l EcoBoost engine which generates 138bhp with the assistance of a direct injection turbo. In a car just a shade over 1000kg this means a 0-60 time of 8.7 seconds – not bad for a hatchback in the B vehicle excise duty bracket with a CO2 figure of 104g/km.
The steering is considerably sharper than that in the standard Fiesta, thanks to a specially-tuned power assisted steering system and the stiffer, lower sports suspension set up means a ride that feels planted and perfectly at home on the twisty B roads.
It’s quick too. The afore mentioned 0-60 time would have put the Black firmly in hot hatch territory just a few years ago – in fact, it only has 9bhp less than Ford’s old generation Fiesta ST500, yet it’s ten insurance groups lower than the previous daddy of the line-up.
This is the warm hatch in the family however, the Black and it’s fraternal twin the Red, which is the same car with an inverse paint job, are both put firmly in their place by the uber-hatch the Fiesta ST, which is two seconds quicker to 60 and has an additional 40 bhp at its disposal.
But that’s the point. The Black is aimed at drivers who want the sporty handling and aggressive styling of the ST - with some performance chops - but without the prohibitive group 30 insurance premium. If you want your kicks without paying through the nose for them then, you should definitely consider putting it all on black.
Engine: 1.0l Turbo EcoBoost
acceleration: 0- 60 8.7 secs
Top Speed: 125 mph
Power: 138 bhp
List Price £16,845
Economy: 62 mpg
CO2 Emissions: 104 g/km