REVIEW: Ford Fiesta Red Edition

AFTER a 1,000 trip in a one-litre Ford Focus Ecoboost a couple of years back there was a sense that the blue oval might have been blowing hot air about its tiny turbocharged engine.

Although impressed that the 999cc capacity engine could pull the popular hatchback up challenging Highland hillclimbs it did only manage around 46mpg, much less than I’d expect from the equivalent diesel.

But when a 202bhp version of the same engine was slotted into an open-wheeled racer to set the 11th-fastest Nurburgring lap time ever (seven minutes, 22 seconds) in September 2012 something clicked.

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My week in the Ford Fiesta Red Edition brought with it the realisation that this tiny turbocharged engine has really got something.

Packing 138bhp and 155lb.ft. of torque this is a paid-up member of the warm-hatch fraternity.

Its nine-second dash to 62mph and 125mph top speed might not sound scintillating, but the way the one-litre unit delivers its power is compelling.

Revving freely, it delivering its power in a smooth and linear fashion not always the norm among turbocharged motors, all the while delivering a pleasingly thrummy three-cylinder soundtrack.

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That it is coupled to a chassis which returns class-leading poise and adjustability only makes it a more complete package.

Elements of the interior look dated — the dot matrix central display for radio and telephone functions especially — and the entertainment system is difficult to navigate through its one-dial controller.

But material and build quality are good, with soft-touch plastics in abundance, and the key elements of seating position, steering weight and pedal placement spot-on.

Out side the Red Edition looks very much like the hotter Fiesta ST, with aggressive bumpers, side skirts and gloss black wheels, wing mirrors and roof.

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With CO2 emissions of 104g/km and 62.8mpg claimed fuel economy the feisty little Fiesta even a practical drive, a point backed up by a decent 290-litre boot.

Fairly spirited driving saw me return 45mpg.

In all it is only a £16,145 — just £1,400 less than an entry-level Fiesta ST — that makes the Red Edition anything less than an excellent all-rounder.


Ford Fiesta Red Edition

Engine: 999cc, three-cylinder, turbo

Power: 138bhp and 155lb.ft. of torque

Performance: 0-62mph in 9 seconds and 125mph

Economy: 62.8mpg (combined)

CO2 emissions: 104g/km

Price: £16,145

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