The Fiesta’s dashboard looks much less cluttered than the previous car’s, as there are far fewer buttons, while the instrumentation is easier on the eye thanks to its sharp graphics. The ‘floating’ iPad-style touch-screen
, which is standard across the range, is quick to react, intuitive to use and it’s easy to hit the various menus when you’re driving, thanks to large icons. It also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which allow you to sync your phone and control selected apps through the screen.
The materials used in the cabin aren't all that tactile, especially when compared with those in the Fiesta’s poshest rivals. They are, however, solid, smart and of a reasonable quality. The driving position has a wide range of steering wheel and seating adjustment, and pedals that are neatly aligned, so everyone from little old grannies to bean-sprouting teenagers will have no trouble adopting the perfect driving position. The one word of caution is that the seat adjusters are jammed low down between the seats and the doors, making it particularly tricky to reach the rotary controller and adjust your seatback angle. Apart from this, everything feels just right: the heater controls, lights and indicator stalks all operate with smooth, easy precision, the pedals are beautifully weighted and the steering wheel rim feels reassuringly complaint and chunky.
It's reasonably practical, too. Rear seat space is identical no matter whether you go for the three-door or the five-door, but obviously, getting into the back of the car is a lot easier the more doors you have. The space itself is pretty average when compared with rivals; headroom is fine, but legroom is a little on the tight side, especially if your passengers are tall. Similarly, although the Fiesta’s boot
is deep and more than capable of coping with the weekly supermarket shop, it's rather narrow, which means you’ll have to fold down one of the rear seat backs if you want to take a baby buggy
There have always been subtle variations in the way different Fiestas drive and, if anything, these differences are even more pronounced with this latest model. The three-cylinder petrol-engined cars strike the best compromise between comfort and agility, delivering a smooth ride, sharp, connected steering and impressive levels of grip. Go for one of the diesel versions, however, with their more compliant suspension, and the car feels less sharp to drive. If you’re prepared to sacrifice a degree of comfort and accept a fraction of additional road noise, then the ST-Line cars are the ones that will probably ring your bell. Fitted with stiffer, lowered suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels shod with low-profile tyres, they provide sharp turn-in and excellent front-end bite in corners.
At the other end of the scale, the Active models have a raised suspension that make them softer, waftier and more comfortable than your average Fiesta, but less sharp in the corners. It's still very capable though, and has the added bonus of being able to get up kerbs and down gravelly tracks with relative ease.