By on November 29, 2016

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The next-generation Ford Fiesta had its coming out party at a corporate event in Cologne, Germany today, and there’s no mistaking the updated B-segment runabout.

Ford clearly wasn’t willing to mess with the exterior too much, but changes abound on the 2018 model year Fiesta. That includes an industry-first advancement made to its available three-cylinder motor.

Though it rides on the same Global B platform as before, the model is slightly lower and wider, with a subtly revised fascia, sculpted sides, and vastly different taillights. Those rear lamps move down from the C-pillar, and are now oriented horizontally in a more conventional location.2018 ford fiests (Image: Ford Europe/YouTube)

Inside, Ford has promised a plusher feel and upgraded content, meaning greater levels of standard technology. The automaker claims the next-gen model allows more opportunities for customers to personalize their Fiesta (has that been a concern?), as well as upgraded handling dynamics.

Because this was a Ford of Europe event, we’re still waiting on U.S.-specific details. European trims top out with the ST-line model, which was shown in a photo released hours ahead of the unveiling. That trim slots below the Fiesta ST we know and love here in North America (and here at TTAC), and joins the luxurious Vignale, upmarket Titanium (a trim Americans will recognize) and crossover-themed Active.

Yes, there’s a two-door variant, but who knows if that body style will cross the Atlantic. We’ll also have to wait to see if the Active soft-roader makes the journey to battle the faux beastly, similarly named 2017 Chevrolet Spark Activ. There’s no word yet on the next-gen Fiesta ST, though it is in development. Don’t worry, hot hatch lovers, the FiST lives.

Ford hasn’t revealed power figures for any of the new Fiesta’s drivetrains, but did announce an industry-first tweak made to the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine. Ford has developed a cylinder deactivation system for the tiny three-cylinder, making it the first time the fuel-saving tech has been applied to a three-pot. Under very light loads, one of the cylinders can be deactivated, then called back into action within 14 milliseconds, according to Ford.

Expect mileage gains for models equipped with that mill, as well as the thrill of driving on two cylinders. U.S.-market 2018 Fiestas should appear on these shores late next year.

FORD_FIESTA2016_RANGE_01

[Images: Ford Europe; Ford Europe/YouTube]

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41 Comments on “Next-generation Ford Fiesta Debuts, But Doesn’t Tell All...”


  • avatar
    Eyeflyistheeye

    It’s good to see that the design philosophy responsible for the current Camaro found a home at Ford.

    “Make it look like the old one!”

    Well, if it drives the same as the old one and has more room, mission accomplished. And FWIW, I love the whimsical fonts Ford uses on the Fiesta and Focus, glad to see they’ve kept it up.

    • 0 avatar
      blizzardNW

      I like that Ford’s global products tend to look more premium and/or sophisticated than the norm at their price point. The industry needs more good, clean design.

      The lack of enormous plastic trim pieces posing as greenhouse (DLO fail) is also welcome here.

      • 0 avatar
        Eyeflyistheeye

        Speaking of Ford design, I actually bought a Focus because I thought it was one of the best-looking cars on the road, regardless of price. The Mk2 to Mk3 leap for the Focus was pretty major and so was the Mk7 to Mk8 for the Fiesta. I was hoping that they’d do something radical again, but I guess the ovoid Taurus lessons still ring true for Ford today.

        Too bad the tradeoffs with the current generation of the “One Ford” B/C/D cars (Fiesta/Focus/Mondeo-Fusion) is that they are small for their category interior-wise and aren’t exactly to the build levels of VW for quality “feel” nor Toyota for durability, although they do offer a good compromise.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Well, it says improved handing and a plusher feel, so upgraded interior and improving what makes Fiesta a stand out in its class (handling, fun-to-drive) seems to be welcomed changes. I guess we will know if its a decent improvement or marketing buzz when it gets driven.

          This Fiesta looks better than the initial Aston Martin version, as in it looks less like a big-mouthed handheld vacuum now. And the rear is a welcomed improvement, it looks damn upmarket for a B segment. Looks to me to be kind of what a tiny Infiniti hatchback would look like from the back.

          I will welcome the Aston Martin face’s retirement. As I said, and the Fusion facelift is included, its getting better, but its not my favorite look.

          Oh how I wish the 3 door would find its way here. A 3 door 1.0L EcoBoost would make my day. Just have to pry off those cheesy wheel covers and paint the steelies silver, with chrome lug nuts and beauty rings (gotta Stay Classy, San Diego). Would love to find a set of chrome Ford center caps for it.

          *edit, I zoomed in on the “group photo” at the bottom, and it may just be the resolution messing with me, but it looks like the license plate on the white 3 door reads “NO ATX”. Sounds good to me. I wish it said “NO DCT” on the others.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Ford, in terms of quality, reliability, durability, design, NVH, build quality & manufacturing advancements, is the new Lexus.

          • 0 avatar
            threeer

            Yeah, a three-door hatch, manual trans and just a few basic options would make an ideal commuter…for all three of us that would consider buying such a thing.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          The Fusion / Mondeo, at least, is above-average in terms of spaciousness. The others, yes, are a bit cramped.

          Also, as far as the ovoid Taurus, it’s not a drastic redesign or unfamiliar styling that killed that model; it’s the fact that it was such a bad design to begin with. The original Taurus was a smash hit partially *because* of its radical design; I think Ford could have even gotten away with putting any of its then-existing sedan nameplates on that car instead of creating a fresh new name.

          • 0 avatar
            Eyeflyistheeye

            Personally, I thought the rear headroom was a bit lacking in the Fusion I rode in.

            I think what killed the Taurus was the fact that they let the chassis languish for 20 years and it still had awful domestic car driving dynamics when people just expected so much more after the Camry and Accord. An ’04 Sable was the first domestic I ever drove and I hated the feel and handling of that car. Even though I love Ford now, the D186 Taurus in its twilight years was woefully uncompetitive. Technically, Ford saved the Taurus, it just wears the Fusion name from the stupid alliteration era.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            The ovoid Taurus failed to sell well because it, and it’s predecessor, broke down more than the contemporary Camry or Accord.

            This was compounded by the poor warranty performance of the D3 in that era: Toyota and Honda were much, much more generous in their warranty claims, and as such dealers were more willing to fix things that went wrong. D3 corporate tended to tell their dealers to pound sand*.

            If you make more cars that are, on average, worse than the competition in ways that affect customers directly, you will lose marketshare regardless of how pretty your car is**

            * Ford improved warranty performance dramatically in the mid-00s. It took GM and Chrysler somewhat longer. The Europeans still suck, to this very day.
            ** Unless you are Ferrari.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            *sigh*

            you people who don’t even know what a platform is need to stop blaming an “old chassis” or “driving dynamics.” the vast majority of Camcord buyers (not named Baruth) couldn’t care less about driving dynamics so long as the ride isn’t too harsh or the handling too wallowy.

            Taurus sales declined because that generation had some serious, endemic problems; the Essex V6 head gaskets and the failure-prone AXOD transaxle basically sunk that car.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. It’s hard to make this class of car anything better than a sharp looking hiking boot, and I think Ford has done well with both this generation and the last.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    It literally hurts to look at so little sidewall for a tiny steel resonance chamber like the Fiesta while thinking of my local roads.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    14 milliseconds = ~1/2 revolution at low speeds. Not bad, and imperceptible to the driver.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      Imperceptible to the driver–until it fucks up the engine, like how Honda handles cylinder deactivation.

      Honda has destroyed its engineering reputation with their VCM. Will Ford be right behind them, or will Ford get it right?

      • 0 avatar
        Matt Foley

        This. Honda’s 3.5 V6 and GM’s LS 5.3 V8 are two of the most reliable engines ever made – until you add VCM (Honda) or DoD (GM). No cylinder deactivation or stop-start for me, thanks.

        And with the 1.0 Ecoboost, it’s answering a question nobody asked. Has anyone ever filled up his 3-cyl Fiesta on a road trip and said, “Only 45 mpg!?! Won’t someone please add cylinder deactivation to this engine?”

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          uh, the Fiesta’s primary markets are regions where gas is $8-10 per gallon.

          • 0 avatar
            Matt Foley

            Consider a hypothetical 1.0 Ecoboost Fiesta owner who drives 15,000 miles per year at exactly 65 mph, all highway. At 45 mpg, he burns 333.3 gallons of gas per year.

            He trades his Fiesta for a new one with cylinder deactivation. Now he’s getting 50 mpg, and burning only 300 gal/yr. Even at $10/gal, he is saving only $333/yr.

            If he drives in the city sometimes, or drives less than 15K mi/yr, or lives in America or Canada where gas is $1.90-$2.75/gal, he’s going to save a hell of a lot less.

            So no way is the juice worth the squeeze here, unless Ford just wanted the marketing value of having the highest highway MPG rating of any non-hybrid gas-powered vehicle.

  • avatar
    ijbrekke

    Will this version account for actual human legs in the back seats?

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I like it. There is really nothing wrong with the styling of the outgoing version, which looks handsome and svelte, so more of the same is fine. Hopefully, they made it a little more spacious, too.

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    I’ll bet the new model doesn’t have the PowerShud-d-d-er transmission.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    A Fiesta Vignale? Oy.

  • avatar
    RHD

    In other words, Ford admits that sometimes one of the cylinders doesn’t work, but you will probably never even notice.

    Sorry for the snark, I couldn’t resist… Kudos to Ford, actually. As a former Fiesta owner, this version looks very good.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Put a V-twin in it already! And while you’re at it, make it air cooled and in the back.

  • avatar
    DearS

    Were is the improved chassis? Most cars are increasing rigidity with new models. I would have liked to see the same from Ford.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    If they haven’t fixed the back seat space it’s always gonna be a runner up to the otherwise inferior Versa

    In this price segment people want max space. Peak subcompact is the Fit. If Honda makes the next Fit less ugly and gives it the 1.5T as an option this will get knocked even further down the ranks.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      I think it goes without saying that anyone who purchases a small car is not really interested in interior space.

      • 0 avatar
        scott25

        They’re interested in most space, most efficiency, and most trouble-free ownership experience for the money. The Fiesta excels at none of those, really.

        I like the new styling, doesn’t emphasize how narrow the car is like the current look. I’m sure the sedan will look as horrific as before though. You can’t make a subcompact sedan based on a hatchback look good.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Are they replacing the broken automatic transmissions in these things? Otherwise, they can try to redesign the grill all they want, it is still lipstick on a pig.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    “If Honda makes the next Fit less ugly”

    There’d have to *be* a next Fit. If so, they’ll certainly make it even more aero, further diminishing its cargo capacity, maybe even pax volume.

    Peak Fit for cargo volume was gen-2, 2007-“2013”, and current gen for pax volume.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Running on two cylinders? Yawn. I want to hear about one running on one cylinder.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Is the US still going to be getting its Fiesta from Thailand? Or is that already happening?


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