It looks as if the Ford Fiesta has been the UK’s greatest promoting new automotive for an eternity – regardless of the very fact it is a supermini, not an SUV. However with the assorted 4×4-inspired segments in such excessive demand, Ford has seen a chance to spice up gross sales additional with this: the brand new Fiesta Lively. A mixture of off roader-esque appears utilized to the nation’s hottest automotive is a nailed on gross sales hit, absolutely?
Ford has lofty targets for the Lively, predicting 15 per cent of latest all Fiestas will likely be specced up in its chunkiest configuration. It’ll be a part of what’s set to turn into a three-strong lineup of Lively fashions which additionally contains the Ka+ and, from early 2019, the Focus too.
The styling modifications are typical SUV fare: there’s some sturdy-looking plastic wheel arches, additional trims on the bumpers, a set of roof rails and a smattering of Lively badges. To finish the SUV look, the experience peak has risen 18mm and the observe widened by 10mm, giving a extra burly stance total.
Inside, there’s not an excessive amount of to separate the Lively from the common Fiesta. That is no dangerous factor although, as a result of the dashboard is logically laid out, effectively constructed, and the eight-inch touchscreen runs Ford’s newest SYNC three infotainment system. If we’re being choosy, a Volkswagen Polo nonetheless edges the Fiesta for each construct high quality and tech, but it surely’s not dangerous in any respect.
Normal roof rails apart, little has modified from a practicality level of to the usual Fiesta. That signifies that it’s bought an awesome driving place and might seat 5 at a squeeze although, once more, the Polo has it overwhelmed when it comes to each legroom and boot area.
Out on the street, that additional experience peak does change the way in which the Fiesta drives, however not drastically so. Luckily, it’s virtually completely excellent news: a brand new set of hydraulic bump stops up entrance take the sting off the worst impacts, significantly over potholes and huge pace bumps. Noise from the suspension isn’t fairly as effectively suppressed as within the Polo, however the Lively is nearly a match for smoothness.
It’s nonetheless extra pleasant to drive than a Polo, although. In truth, the modifications have completed little to dim the Fiesta’s sense of enjoyable. It rolls by way of corners ever so barely greater than the common automotive, however the wider observe has helped to maintain the identical class-leading mix of composure and agility. The steering is correct and well-weighted, too.
The 1.5-litre diesel engine is a stable match for the smoother character of the Lively. It’s a refined unit by supermini requirements, turning into a bit gruff solely beneath arduous acceleration. In 118bhp type as examined right here, it feels clean and greater than fast sufficient – helped by a six-speed handbook gearbox with a quick shift motion. Ford claims this model will do 64.2mpg, which is perhaps nonetheless a bit formidable – our check drive suggests a determine within the low fifties is extra life like.
There are three trim ranges to select from. The Lively 1 kicks off the vary, providing barely inferior package ranges to a Fiesta Titanium (the Lively will get bigger alloy wheels however does with out an eight-inch touchscreen and cruise management). The B&O Play does get that touchscreen, plus an uprated hi-fi, cruise management, and yellow inside trim. It additionally boasts a contrasting black roof and rails on the skin. The highest spec Lively X is closest in spec to the Titanium X, getting half leather-based seats and a variety of driver help methods.
You do should pay barely additional for the Lively trim in comparison with the closest like-for-like commonplace Fiesta, however you’ll barely discover the distinction over a three-year PCP deal. Evaluating an Lively B&O Play with a Titanium B&O Play on an identical settlement confirmed the Lively to price £four extra monthly, with simply a few hundred quid additional due on the finish of the deal.