New Ford Fiesta revealed, but can it continue the success of its predecessor? [w/ poll]

Ford Fiesta range

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. 

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:

How well will the new Ford Fiesta do in 2017? (combined sales between Europe and US)

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About Krzysztof Wozniak

Kriss grew up in Poland reading German car magazines, before moving to England and graduating to the British magazines, which he still considers the best in the world and continues reading them after he'd moved to the US. In college he promised himself he's buy himself a used Porsche before he turned 30 (not to be accused of having a mid-life crisis), but instead family needs dictated a Subaru Outback. Still waiting for that perfect moment to buy a used 2008-ish Cayman...
You can find all his articles Here.

Comments

  1. Bart Demandt says:

    I don’t think the Fiesta will match the volume of its predecessor, simply because of the fact they’re abandoning the entry-level trim levels and going for a more upscale positioning of the Fiesta. The introduction of the Ka+ as a budget subcompact has given them the opportunity to move the Fiesta upmarket in content and price, which means sacrificing volume (hoping to pick this up with the Ka+, which I doubt) for margin.
    I’m also not yet convinced by the exterior design of the front end, I think it’s too similar to that of the outgoing version, and the ST-line has the face of a sad guppy now.
    The interior is a vast improvement, though. And with that they’ve fixed what was most “wrong” with the outgoing version.
    Undoubtedly this will remain the best selling car in the UK, and one of the top players in its segment in Europe. It’s just a shame it’s going to take Ford another 6 months or so to get this car into their showrooms. It looks perfectly ready to me now. By that time, VW has the new Polo ready too.

  2. I really like this new Fiesta. The interior looks a lot better than the previous but the competition in the segment is enormous.

  3. How can you say the others have it beat on quality?

    • Because Richard, old habits die hard and journalists/bloggers, in every industry, are unaware they use prejudices on a daily basis which results into biased articles/statements. You’d think by now with all things happening in the industry VW lost part of its ‘quality’ image. Independent research (e.g. Consumer Reports) shows VW scores below average (i.e. less reliable) concerning quality. Ford and Mini are considered reliable brands.

      About the Fiesta, apart from the interior I don’t like it. Again Ford recycles the Fiesta. Why are we not allowed to see a new car? Why are some car designers not willing to stimulate our senses anymore? They simply use the old model and improve the technique. Just as the ‘One Ford’-strategy, it’s not working for me, I want the entire package.

  4. Bart Demandt says:

    I think there’s a difference between perceived quality/quality of the materials and quality in the sense of reliability. VW and especially Mini are masters in perceived quality, giving their interiors a premium feel with soft materials, while Ford interiors are known for their hard shiny plastics which have a bit of a cheap feel. I guess this is what Kriss means here.
    In terms of reliability, I don’t think there have been any major issues with the Fiesta, and it should be near the top of its class, above or at least on par with the Mini and Polo.

    • True, but don’t forget perceived quality is 100% subjective. I myself don’t like the cheap light switch used by VW Group from Skoda’s to Bentley’s. It reminds me of old cd/cassette recorders. About the ‘premium’ feel of soft materials, well as you probably know, I don’t believe in mainstream products being ‘premium’. The only people who’d like you to think as such are the marketeers by usually offering the same for more money.

      Take the new Fiesta for example. Now available as Vignale with lots of extras. Ford just gives the car a slightly different look compared with the standard model, but why oh why do I have to pay more for that? Can’t a top of the range car look the same with only more luxury on board? No, and I know why: misplaced individualism. Because Ford wants buyers of the Vignale to think they drive a special car. Right! It’s still a Fiesta so tens of thousands of people will buy the same car. At least Ford makes more money by letting people think they bought a special car. When a person doesn’t want the Vignale, they simply offer the ST-Line or Active instead. Now they’re positioning the Fiesta higher in its segment due to the new Ka+. But you can still get the Fiesta with the same entry-trim level with regards to power and performance as the Ka+. I don’t call that a higher position, but equal at most.

    • Bart: inductive reasoning might lead one to expect a certain level of quality from Ford. However, that doesn’t give grounds to say the Fiesta will be beat. I grant there was the word “probably” included (which I missed first time). I suppose despite my lack of enthusiasm for the car, they deserve the benefit of the doubt.

  5. I’m impressed that the new FIesta doesn’t kill the previous one, as the previous two generations did.

    Also I’m happy that the taillights are fine, unlike the Focus and B-Max which are ugly.

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