Company Car

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The secret diary of a motoring journalist aged 39¾'ish


14th September 2020

I’ve driven a fair few superminis recently and most have come with small petrol engines, and a few with pokier ones in hot hatch models and even a couple of electric ones. So, the arrival of a diesel-powered supermini in the shape of this Ford Fiesta Trend 1.5 EcoBlue should feel like the reawakening of a Woolly Mammoth. Yet there is some merit in choosing this model, albeit for a small slice of company drivers.
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A quick wander around the Ford this morning before setting off shows it to be pretty stock standard in looks. A set of alloy wheels and some metallic paint lift the appearance and inside it’s kinda Plain Jane too. Nothing wrong with that in my book as I like simple when it comes to superminis – keeps the price down and there’s a certain puritanism in a pared back ’mini I find quite appealing.
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Like yesterday, today’s journey is a quick flit between local destinations. As a Fiesta, this car is ideally suited to the many country lanes as it’s narrow enough to nip past incoming SUVs without the need to flee onto the verge. It also handles more than ably, steers with precision and has strong brakes, along with lane keep assist that’s easy to disable so it doesn’t constantly interrupt on back roads.
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While the past couple of days have been about local driving and not shown the Fiesta’s diesel motor off to best effect, today is a longer drive into Edinburgh and then home via Perth. In all, about 140 miles of motorway miles and the Ford is in its element. No need to change down from sixth in the manual gearbox on inclines, it bowls along happily, quietly and returns more than 70mpg against a claimed high of 65.7mpg. Overall, the average economy comes in at a very respectable 58.7mpg.
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Another day of heading between meetings and the Fiesta is again able to show off its fuel-sipping charms. Out of a duty to scientific endeavour, I switch from the default normal setting to the Eco driving option using the button by the gear lever. Over the course of 60 miles today, the Fiesta turned in the same economy with no apparent loss of performance or flexibility. Plus ça change.
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It’s tipping with rain this morning and, with no rugby, football, ballet, swimming, cricket, viola practice to go to, it’s a chance to have a rare indulgence in a coffee and spot of reading. Today’s slim volume is Veteran Motor Cars by Steve Lanham, which is a great introduction to the early days of the car. It focuses on British makes, so Ford only gets the briefest of mentions.
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The sun is back out and it’s off to cricket with the kids this morning. Both jump into the back of the Fiesta without a moan or groan, which instantly tells me it has enough space for young children to sprawl with all the kit they usually travel with – water bottles, pads, pens and bags. While a diesel engine won’t suit everyone’s needs, the Fiesta is a cracking supermini.
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