Yesterday Ford revealed the Mk VII Fiesta, a crucial new model for the company as it replaces the much-loved, and still very popular Fiesta Mk VI.
What is immediately clear is that Ford tried to make the Fiesta more upscale. The styling, while clearly a derivative of the Mk VI’s look, has been toned down and is now more rounded and less swoopy. The interior too has been given a thorough update, with the promise of higher-quality materials and the integration of a large touchscreen at the top of the center console. In addition, Ford is aiming to cater to customers’ desires with four distinct trims – the base trim, the sporty ST-line, the upscale Vignale and the lifestyle Active model.
[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”22″ sortorder=”542,541,543,544,540″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_thumbnails” override_thumbnail_settings=”0″ thumbnail_width=”120″ thumbnail_height=”90″ thumbnail_crop=”1″ images_per_page=”25″ number_of_columns=”5″ ajax_pagination=”1″ show_all_in_lightbox=”0″ use_imagebrowser_effect=”0″ show_slideshow_link=”0″ slideshow_link_text=”[Show slideshow]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]However, it is not clear that the direction taken by Ford will bring the new Fiesta the success the company craves. For one, the styling of the new model is now more anonymous, and the toning-down of the previous models swoopy lines takes away a lot of the dynamic character that the previous model had. The new model finds itself in competition with the Clio and new C3, both of which are arguably more stylish, the VW Polo and Mini, both of which still probably have it beat on quality, and the likes of Skoda Fabia and Opel Corsa, both of which offer a more value-oriented package. With the new dynamic Nissan Micra it remains to be seen whether, in pursuit of an upscale air, Ford did not give up on Fiesta’s USP: its dynamic character (much like Peugeot did in the early 2000s with the 207 and 307).
Given this, it will be interesting to see whether the new Fiesta will be able to replicate the success of its predecessor, which come to market in 2008 and immediately shot up to the top of its segment in Europe, even pushing out the VW Golf for a few years as Europe’s most popular car. Even though the outgoing model is eight years old, it is still very popular, only relinquishing the lead in the Subcompact segment to the VW Polo this year.
Let us know your thoughts on the direction Ford has taken with the new Fiesta in the poll and comments section: