Car tested: 2011 Ford Fiesta Classic 1.4 & 1.6 LXi
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 6,55,000/- (Petrol), Rs. 7,58,000/- (Diesel)
The old Fiesta, or Fiesta Classic as we call it today has been a popular midsize sedan in the market for sometime. Available with both a petrol and diesel engine option, it has made the second largest volumes for Ford, no prizes for guessing the largest volume maker. With age catching up and the All new global Fiesta hitting the Indian market, Ford decided to downsize it a bit and place it into the entry level sedan segment, where competition is intense and Ford has no competitor in the segment after the Ikon retired for good. We drive the Ford Classic and find out where it stands.
As far as exteriors go, the Ford Classic is pretty much the same as the older version. No fog lamps and no alloy wheels. This car has been downsized, hence its obvious few of the goodies will be missing. The left hand corner of the boot reads Fiesta Classic, one of the ways to know its identity.
Come to the interiors and a feeling of Deja Vu sets in, yes, you have seen these interiors before and its not long when the Figo comes to mind. The interiors have been picked straight from the Figo, the plastics, the audio system as well as the knobs are identical. Three spoke steering is also similar to the one seen on the Figo. The biggest change is evidently in the interiors and this has drastically helped Ford bring down the pricing. Higher levels of localization and sharing parts with the Figo have done the trick. The plastic quality is not the best one would expect.
Air conditioning is quick and efficient. As mentioned earlier, the music system is identical to the one used in the Figo. Audio controls on the steering would have been appreciated but not provided. No electrically adjustable mirrors, surprisingly the Figo has them. Front seats are comfortable with height adjuster option for the drivers seat. Rear seats are short on legroom and even thigh support is not the best. Ideally suitable for kids.
Neat and clean instrument cluster.
Bonnet release on the front passenger side, not very conveniently located.
The Fiesta is a great handler from the beginning and is frequently used in rallying, the Fiesta Classic is no different and Ford has kept its driving dynamics absolutely intact. Even at high speeds, it responds to quick change in direction and rarely will let you down. Take it around a track and you will be amazed with the handling, acute turns are sure to be its favorites. Sharp handling with excellent steering feedback makes it a pure drivers car. Gearshift is slick and throws are short making for a comfortably driving experience, though it takes some time to get used to it.
Build quality is good if you pardon the interior plastics. NVH levels are average, maybe part of the damping has been cut out due to higher costs. Road noise and the horn is heard almost as loudly on the inside as outside. On another note, the All new global Fiesta has best in class NVH, having driven it, we can confirm, its far better than its nearest competitor. Ground clearance is sufficient too with the Fiesta sailing over most of the speed bumps. 175/65/14 tires are suited for the job, but lack of ABS can pose to be a problem on spirited driving stints. Over the Mumbai potholes, it sails comfortably without transferring much inside the cabin, even at high speeds its only the occasional irregularity on the road which can upset the Fiesta.
Ford is using two powerplants on the Classic, the 1.4 Duratorq TDCi Diesel and the 1.6 Duratec petrol. The 1.6 litre Duratec petrol engine produces 101 bhp @ 6500 rpm and 146 nm torque @ 3400 rpm. Low end grunt is lacking but the mid and high range are enough to get you addicted. Power delivery is smooth and gear ratios are suited for city driving. Even on the highway, this engine does not feel power hungry at all and comfortably accelerates from 0 – 100 in 11.5 seconds. It delivered a mileage of 11.5 kmpl, which is not bad for some rev limiter driving.
The 1.4 Duratorq diesel gives out 68 horses @ 4000 rpm and 160 Nm of torque @ 2000 rpm. Its the low end toque which clearly makes this engine a winner. Power rating appears meagre on paper with only 68 bhp on tap but get behind the wheel and its a competent engine for sure. Low end is noisy but once you get beyond 2000 rpm, power comes in more smoothly and performance is crisp. Expect about 16 kmpl (city). If you had to choose between the two, it wont be hard to pick the diesel over the petrol, for better fuel economy and performance.
Summing it up, the Fiesta Classic is built to a price and is perhaps the best all around package in the entry level sedan market. It is a tried and tested product and offers exceptional ride and handling dynamics with good fuel efficiency figures, what goes amiss is airbags and ABS. It competes with the likes of the Toyota Etios and the Maruti Suzuki Dzire. The Etios defiantly has the space but the interiors are a big let down with less than average handling characteristics. The Dzire is extremely tail happy and its tail just wants to get out dangerously at high speeds making it unstable and the 165 spec tires only add insult to injury. This further cements the Fiesta Classic as an all around package and considering the booty you pay to get one, you cant really go wrong.
* Ride quality
* Fuel Economy
Whats Not So Cool
* Interior Plastics
* Lack of ABS and Airbags
Ford Fiesta Classic Specifications : –
* Engine: 1.6 Ltr Duratec Petrol & 1.4 Ltr Duratorq Diesel
* Power: 101 BHP @ 6500 rpm & 68 BhP @ 4000 rpm
* Torque: 146Nm @ 3400 rpm & 160Nm @ 2000 rpm
* Transmission: 5 speed manual
* Top Speed: 180kmph (Est)
* Fuel Consumption: 11-12 kmpl & 15-16 kmpl
* Suspension: Independent McPherson struts with offset coil spring / twin tube gas damper units & lower L-arms with optimized bushes mounted on separate cross-member with stabilizer bar. Dual-path body mounts (Front), Semi-independent heavy duty twist-beam with low package height coil springs & separate twin tube dampers. Dual-path body mounts.(Rear)
* Tires: 175/65/14 Tubeless Radials
* Brakes: Discs (Front), Drums ( Rear)
Ford Fiesta Classic Dimensions : –
* Overall length x width x height: 4282 mm X 1686 mm X 1468 mm
* Wheelbase: 2,486 mm
* Front/Rear Track: 1474/1444 mm
* Ground clearance: 168 mm
* Turning Radius – 4.9m
* Boot Volume: 430 liters
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 45 litres
* Kerb Weight: 1110kgs