22nd February 2021
A couple of plug-in hybrid models from Ford have graced the Suttie driveway of late and, it’s fair to say, I’ve been less than impressed with their EV range. This meant the Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost MHev that arrived this morning had an uphill contest on its hands to win me over. With mild hybrid technology offering a small electric boost rather than full EV driving scope, how would this Titanium spec model fare?
Things get off to a good start this morning as this is a Fiesta and I’m a fan. Handsome and just the right size for much of my driving, this one also has Ford’s excellent Quickclear windscreen that shifts the morning’s frost in short order. No heated seats here, but I can forgive this in a car with fabric upholstery that doesn’t have that initial chill of leather. The rest of the driver’s environment is spot on and makes me think you don’t really need any more than this.
A couple of days in to using the Fiesta MHev and it’s winning me over in a way the PHEV Fords have failed to. The superb 125hp 1.0-litre Ecoboost is ideally suited to the Fiesta, which helps enormously, while peppy acceleration and plenty of low- and mid-rev pull make the engine flexible in any given situation. As you’d expect, the six-speed manual gearbox is smoothly precise and pleasing to use.
A longer drive - a rare thing at the moment – to collect my wife from dropping off her car for a service. The Fiesta easily copes with the kids in the back and bowls along the motorway with good refinement. I’ve selected the Eco option from the driving modes and, while it makes initial acceleration a little more sluggish, it rewards with excellent overall fuel economy on a 50-mile round trip.
A couple of local errands on engaging, twisty back roads this morning is a chance to explore the other end of the Selectable Drive Modes with the Sport option. It adds a crispness to the Fiesta’s throttle response that makes it a sheer joy to zip along in. It may not be ST hot hatch quick, but making the most of an engine and superbly set-up chassis is every bit as pleasurable as driving a hard-charging performance model.
Normal service has resumed this morning for the supermarket click and collect shop. No concerns here as the Fiesta happily contains the week’s supplies to keep the troops fed and watered. Negotiating the supermarket car park makes me glad of this Ford’s optional £900 Driver Assistance Pack another shopper decides to zip up the inside of me as I’m leaving – the blind spot assist warned me and avoided a bumper scrape.
While many are touting full EVs as the Holy Grail, the Fiesta MHev shows hybrids still have a significant role to play. It’s an enjoyable car, first and foremost, that does everything and more you could want from a supermini. The economy isn’t hugely better than a standard petrol model, but 56mpg overall this week, and 44mpg with Sport mode engaged, is more than bearable.