RAC Cars News


How Did The Fiesta Gain Its Crown?

By raccars Published

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The Ford Fiesta is, by far, Britain's best selling car. It holds the top spot with almost tedious inevitability, convincingly outselling the competition month after month, year after year. The current, seventh generation has been around since 2008, although it has since had a facelift, and almost immediately blew all the competition away. Each generation gets better and sells in even higher numbers - with more than 131,000 units sold, 2014 was the Fiesta's most successful year yet. Just how has the Fiesta achieved such a solid fan base?

In the case of the current model, good looks have a lot to do with it. While the previous edition was a competent enough car, it was dowdy looking and distinctly unexciting. In 2007, Ford introduced the sexy Verve concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and it was quite clearly the next step for the ageing Fiesta. At the time, both the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra were outselling the Fiesta by far.

Although the Verve's arrival on the market as the new Fiesta coincided with the start of the global recession, the car was a success from the off. 95,000 units were sold in 2008 - which was, nonetheless, not quite enough to be the Vauxhall Corsa and the Ford Focus. However, the following year saw the Fiesta take the top spot with 117,000 unit sales - a very convincing victory over the Focus at 94,000 sales and the Vauxhall Corsa at 84,000. The picture has changed very little since then.

Drive one and it's easy to see why. The Fiesta is quite simply the sharpest handling small hatchback on the market. The ride is smooth and the steering responds like that of a far more expensive car. It offers a superior driving experience in the guise of a practical everyday runaround, with a spacious, comfortable and user friendly interior.

Then of course there's the price - the Fiesta is great value for money. The standard equipment list is generous, filled with features that are expensive extras on rival motors, while there's the added assurance of a five star rating in Euro NCAP safety testing.

The auto press was quick to recognise the virtues of the Mk7 Fiesta and awards poured in. The 2013 facelift only made it sleeker and more technologically advanced. The range includes the racy ST model, doing the 'hot hatch' tag proud. In fact, the Fiesta is almost like the irritating, too good to be true teacher's pet of the auto world. Arguably, the only criticism that could be levelled is at the rather clunky dashboard.

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