When we think of a car that’s small and fun, often times, we recall the original Mini Cooper and the Golf Mk 1; both of which have claimed cult statuses from its birth to the present time. Not many modern cars of new have been able to follow suit and emulate the sort of compact, nippy yet grunt characteristic that the two classics have been able to provided; at least not until now.
Ford in their long history of automotive production have produced some of the finest, most fun cars known to men to drive. Legends like the Ford Focus, the Sierra Cosworth and the wide range of Escorts have garnered world-wide recognition and even bigger cult following in the eyes of the public.
And now with the current turbo craze, where almost every major automotive maker is opting to turbocharge smaller capacity engines to provide more power in return for better efficiency and reduced emissions, Ford jumped on the band wagon and rode the turbo wave like a champ with their 1.0L Fiesta EcoBoost.
As a triple award winning petrol engine, winning the International Engine of The Year Award three years running in 2012, 2013 and most recently in the year 2014, the 1.0 GTDi EcoBoost engine could just could not be faulted and even more so, ignored. The class leading 3-cylinder motor showers you with the kind of power that could only be expected by a 1.6 liter engine or beyond but uses 20% less fuel with Ford claiming a 5.3L/100km stat.
It just makes you wonder how Ford did it, with 125ps of power and more impressively 170Nm of torque as anyone who tries such a feat on a conventional 1.0 motor would be lucky to hit a 100ps by turbocharging it themselves. And with such clever engineering, it’s just impressive how the power is delivered with an abundance of torque wave which makes both town driving and highway cruise a pleasant experience.
And one would not even have to be worried with constant enthusiastic driving as it has a massive 43 litre fuel tank which coupled with its efficiency, can bring you to far ends of the country without the concern of having to refuel. With little jerks at low speeds and almost immediate response on the open roads, it was tested also in the back roads in the outskirts of KL and boy did the little red hatch responded; and with a buzz! Response was superb as boost kicks in really early, providing a sweet spot of performance all the way to about 4,500rpm.
The amazing power delivery is also a by-product of the Fiesta’s impressive transmission comprised of a 6-speed Powershift with SelectShift Automatic mated to a Dual Clutch Gearshift System which could be engaged through the leather wrapped gear knob. It’s spacious interior not only can house 5 full-sized adults in a plush of comfort, but can also offer sturdy protection only possible with the provision of not two, but seven airbags all round; a first in its class. View from the interior or the cockpit is also one factor worth commending on as with its design, its provides a broad view for passengers and also little to no blindspots for the driver.
On the gadgetry side of things, Ford’s SYNC with voice activation was surprisingly easy to use when we were meddling around with the cars options and settings (Bluetooth, traction control etc). Lowering the radio’s volume at reverse for better hearing of the sensors and returning it to the original volume at drive sure was a nice little touch; be it light tunes or heavy music, the 6 speakers performed really well too. Its Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (ETAC) was a pretty intelligent piece of kit too, we had it set once, and it automatically adjusted the temperature to our liking for the rest of the time we had it.
Apart from the splendid power delivery, the EcoBoost also possessed formidable braking ability with poise and composure despite only having to make do with disc brakes in the front but drum brakes in the rear. Even at hard braking, the car bites onto its rotors with immediacy without the slightest unsettling farce with the aid of the Anti Lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD).
Such sublime handling is also owed to the Fiesta’s highly sorted chassis coupled with Sport Tune Suspension. Despite also having an Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), the leather-wrapped steering felt in touch with the road with cat-like responses in quick changes of direction.
And when you take a step back and admire the exterior, it oozes every requirement and character that makes a desirable hot hatch. Available in Artic White, Panther Black and True Red, which was the colour we had, it sure was a quite a looker having had a full body kit with Day Time Running Light and Twin Chamber Halogen Reflector headlamps.
All in all the EcoBoost offered an excitingly momentous driving experience with its surprisingly eager powerplant (still trying to comprehend the fact that its only a 1.0 liter motor) with little to sacrifice on comfort and even more so on fuel as it merely sipped through the full of tank gas that was provided. I could go on and on about how brilliant this nippy little car was but I would recommend you all to go try it out for yourself at the nearest Ford showroom near you.
Car: Ford Fiesta 1.0L EcoBoost
Engine: 1.0L 3-cylinder Turbocharged GDi with Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT)
Power: 125PS @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 170Nm @ 4,500 rpm
Price: RM 95,551.65 (OTR Retail Price with Insurance)