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Journeys : Apr May 2011
Lindy George Ford Fiesta WT Having recently updated to a WS Fiesta, I was delighted to receive an invite from Ford Australia to the launch of the enhanced WT Fiesta range. I wasn’t so delighted about the 6am f light out of Hobart (being the mor ning person that I’m not) but it did mean arriving in Adelaide on a sunny 30-something degree day in time to head to the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Production of the Fiesta has moved from Germany to Thailand in order to increase volume and keep up with demand in the highly-competitive light car segment. Ford has also introduced some new var iants to the range – a sedan and a diesel model. The basic shape of the WT Fiesta hatch is still the same as the WS model, with just a few little tweaks here and there to give it a distinct WT look and you also have some new colours to choose from. The more dramatic changes are within. Fiesta is available in three models – CL (hatch or sedan), LX (hatch or sedan) and Zetec (hatch). While the entr y model CL is only available in petrol, both the LX and Zetec are available in petrol and diesel. All have a 1.6 litre engine with the auto boasting a new PowerShift six-speed dual clutch transmission. The manual is a five- speed. The Zetec will add sports suspension, 16” alloys, sports body kit and chrome finish on the upper door line. Thanks to some great logistical work on the part of our Ford team, we were able to drive all variants across the range during the course of the day. It was also a test of my navigating skills (eeek!) – a skill that was further tested when a massive storm hit during the afternoon and visibility was reduced to zero. Even with our little w ipers going full speed, they were no match for Mother Nature throw ing bucket-loads of water and bolts of lightning at us. But our fleet of Fiestas didn’t miss a beat (although I think my heart did) as we pushed them even harder through large pools of water and debris-strew n mountain roads. And my pick – well, while the drive was an all too familiar one for me, I was most impressed with the new manual diesel model. And with fuel consumption at 4.4L/100 km (combined cycle) compared to 6.1L /100km for the petrol, how could you go wrong? (Of course, the Fiesta ECOnetic continues to be Australia’s most fuel efficient vehicle at 3.7L/100km). If you prefer a sedan to a hatch, then your options have now increased. Personally, a Fiesta will always be a hatch for me. The sedan boasts 430 litres of cargo space compared to 281 litres in the hatch. Ford has also increased safety by making the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and Traction Control (TC) as well as driver and front passenger airbags, standard across the range. LX and Zetec also come standard with left and right-hand side curtain/ thorax airbags and driver’s knee airbag, giving them the 5-star ANCAP rating. Tick the box for the Safety Pack on the CL, and you will also have a 5-star safety rating. The interior is still the neat, cosy arrangement that I’m used to. However, I’m a bit sad to see the soft dash has been removed from the WT range. There is the addition of a shoe-stowage compartment under the front passenger seat (and ladies, we’re talking one pair of shoes, not your entire wardrobe full!) Be aware that there is no full-size spare tyre, or a temporary spare...or even a space saver for that matter. Instead, you have a Temporar y Mobility Kit (TMK). I must admit, I was somewhat sceptical, so I paid a visit to our local dealer (thank you Tilford Motors) and discovered that there are advantages – first, if your tyre is just low on air, you can use the compressor to pump it up. If you have a flat, then you simply plug the compressor into your power socket, attach that to your bottle of goo, attach the bottle of goo to your tyre, switch on the compressor and in no time the tyre is repaired. You then drive 10 kilometres and check the pressure again. Just remember, it is a ‘Temporar y’ Mobility Kit and you should have your tyre checked. If you are totally opposed to the idea of a TMK, you can opt for a full-size spare, which can be accommodated in the boot. But, as well as costing you a few hundred dollars extra, it w ill also reduce boot space, add extra weight and increase your fuel consumption. With a starting price of $16,990 the Fiesta offers the buyer great value and choice – and that’s a totally unbiased opinion on my part! First drives Life on the move 38 April / May 2011
Feb March 2011
Jun Jul 2011