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Ford Fiesta Metal

The Ford Fiesta Metal is a 'warm hatch' that's anything but tepid. Andy Enright reports.

Ten Second Review

The Ford Fiesta Metal offers a perky 134bhp 1.6-litre engine coupled with some well-judged styling accessories and a black leather interior. It's a fun car to drive with modest insurance ratings. If you can negotiate a discount on the rather optimistic pricing it won't disappoint.

Background

With small hatches routinely topping 200bhp, it's a wonder that Ford has never dived in with its Fiesta. An RS Fiesta would undoubtedly be something very special, but instead we've had to content ourselves with less rabid models. The old 148bhp Fiesta ST is remembered with fondness by all who drove it and now Ford has wheeled out another hatch that while not threatening to strip the gears on a dynamometer, nevertheless promises some fun behind the wheel. With 134bhp on tap from its 1.6-litre engine, the Fiesta Metal special edition offers younger drivers the chance to own a hatchback that's anything but dull. This tradition stretches right back to the iconic XR2 and it's produced some memorable cars that usually offer extremely good value for money. That path may be well worn, but here's what's new with the Fiesta Metal.

Driving Experience

It's worth mentioning that the current Fiesta is a brilliant car to drive. Even if you choose one with an 82bhp 1.25-litre lump, you'll still have a bit of a hoot .There's a suppleness and fluidity in the way the car rides that makes many of its rivals seem crassly overblown. The variable power assisted steering provides weighty reassurance at speed and a light touch when manoeuvring. You even get a huge degree of adjustment in its driving position and even lankier individuals will be able to get comfortable behind the wheel. The Metal's 1.6-litre Duratec Ti-VCT engine develops 134bhp at 6,700rpm and 160Nm of torque at 4,250rpm. It's a development of the 120bhp engine found in the Fiesta Zetec-S but instead of taking 9.6 seconds to get to 60mph, it shaves more than a second off that performance, detaining you for just 8.4 seconds. To put that figure into perspective, it's over half a second quicker than a Clio Gordini 128 and will comfortably outsprint a MINI Cooper, so it's no slouch.

Design and Build

As well as giving the engine a shot in the arm, Ford has given the Fiesta Metal's styling a little more testosterone. The 17-inch Black alloy wheels and the lowered suspension mean the wheel arches look nicely overstuffed. A big part of creating a convincing sporting hatch is getting the stance right. That relationship between wheelbase, track width, height, rake angle front to rear and amount of gap between tyre and wheel arch is key. So many cars get this wrong, looking gawky or tensionless when static but the Fiesta Metal gets the proportioning spot on. The Metal features front aerofoil, front grille surround and front fog light bezels in silver with chrome twin exhaust pipes giving the rear a flourish. Drop inside and you'll find a piano black centre stack, with the same finish used on the air vent rings and the door pulls. The Ebony Black leather sports seats with silver contrast stitching are a very welcome feature and silver piped floor mats complement the seats very effectively. The aggressive wedge profile of this three-door car doesn't bode well for the rear seat passengers but the Fiesta counters with decent legroom and headroom that's manageable even for a six-footer. The windows are small and set high up, so light isn't abundant in the back but the shopping bags, coats and road atlases that owners will store there most of the time won't be unduly worried.

Market and Model

The asking price is £15,695 on the road. This is quite a big ask for such a modestly powered car. Suzuki's latest Swift Sport offers the same amount of power for a lot less although the Ford counters with a very competitive insurance rating which may well pique the interest of younger drivers. It still works out more expensive than a MINI Cooper, which might well raise a few eyebrows. As well as the styling addenda and the leather seats, the Fiesta Metal features a comprehensive array of safety equipment as standard. This includes Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Home Safe headlights, Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS), Intelligent Protection System (IPS), front, side and knee airbags and anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). Three colours are offered; Panther Black, Midnight Sky and Frozen White.

Cost of Ownership

The key to driving down running costs may well be to negotiate a discount from new. Ford is only building 1,000 examples of the Fiesta Metal so your dealer may well be initially reluctant to budge too far on price, but a little persistence may well pay dividends. Otherwise there's really not too many surprises when it comes to running costs. Fuel economy won't drive you to the wall at 47.9mpg on the combined cycle and emissions of 139g/km aren't too scary either. You won't get stung when it comes to insuring the Metal, which is crucial in the corner of the market where this car campaigns. An insurance rating of group 17E means that it's insurable for some younger drivers looking for their first sporty hatch. . The Fiesta also holds its value reasonably well, which is worth bearing in mind when negotiating a possible discount.

Summary

Make no mistake, this is a very good car. All Fiestas drive well, but this Metal edition has enough poke to bring a smile to your face without lapsing into the realms where the costs start to outweigh the performance benefits. It looks the part too, with its black 17-inch alloy wheels and leather trimmed interior. What it isn't is a bargain. At £15,695, the 134bhp Metal is over a grand more than the similarly powerful Suzuki Swift Sport and is comparable with a MINI Cooper and options. On that basis alone, the Metal is really up against it. Its modest insurance rating works in its favour, but it's a tough car to recommend at that asking price. If you're able to get your dealer to shift on price, we'd be the first to recommend it though.

Make no mistake, this is a very good car. All Fiestas drive well, but this Metal edition has enough poke to bring a smile to your face without lapsing into the realms where the costs start to outweigh the performance benefits. It looks the part too, with its black 17-inch alloy wheels and leather trimmed interior. What it isn't is a bargain. At £15,695, the 134bhp Metal is over a grand more than the similarly powerful Suzuki Swift Sport and is comparable with a MINI Cooper and options. On that basis alone, the Metal is really up against it. Its modest insurance rating works in its favour, but it's a tough car to recommend at that asking price. If you're able to get your dealer to shift on price, we'd be the first to recommend it though.

Make no mistake, this is a very good car. All Fiestas drive well, but this Metal edition has enough poke to bring a smile to your face without lapsing into the realms where the costs start to outweigh the performance benefits. It looks the part too, with its black 17-inch alloy wheels and leather trimmed interior. The Metal's 1.6-litre Duratec Ti-VCT engine develops 134bhp at 6,700rpm and 160Nm of torque at 4,250rpm. It's a development of the 120bhp engine found in the Fiesta Zetec-S but instead of taking 9.6 seconds to get to 60mph, it shaves more than a second off that performance, detaining you for just 8.4 seconds. To put that figure into perspective, it's over half a second quicker than a Clio Gordini 128 and will comfortably outsprint a MINI Cooper, so it's no slouch. What it isn't is a bargain. At £15,695, the Metal is over a grand more than the similarly powerful Suzuki Swift Sport and is comparable with a MINI Cooper and options. On that basis alone, the Metal is really up against it. Its modest insurance rating works in its favour, but it's a tough car to recommend at that asking price. If you're able to get your dealer to shift on price, we'd be the first to recommend it though.

Make no mistake, this is a very good car. All Fiestas drive well, but this Metal edition has enough poke to bring a smile to your face without lapsing into the realms where the costs start to outweigh the performance benefits. It looks the part too, with its black 17-inch alloy wheels and leather trimmed interior. The Metal's 1.6-litre Duratec Ti-VCT engine develops 134bhp at 6,700rpm and 160Nm of torque at 4,250rpm. It's a development of the 120bhp engine found in the Fiesta Zetec-S but instead of taking 9.6 seconds to get to 60mph, it shaves more than a second off that performance, detaining you for just 8.4 seconds. To put that figure into perspective, it's over half a second quicker than a Clio Gordini 128 and will comfortably outsprint a MINI Cooper, so it's no slouch. The asking price is £15,695 on the road. This is quite a big ask for such a modestly powered car. Suzuki's latest Swift Sport offers the same amount of power for a lot less although the Ford counters with a very competitive insurance rating which may well pique the interest of younger drivers. It still works out more expensive than a MINI Cooper, which might well raise a few eyebrows. As well as the styling addenda and the leather seats, the Fiesta Metal features a comprehensive array of safety equipment as standard. This includes Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Home Safe headlights, Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS), Intelligent Protection System (IPS), front, side and knee airbags and anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). Three colours are offered; Panther Black, Midnight Sky and Frozen White. What it isn't is a bargain. At £15,695, the Metal is over a grand more than the similarly powerful Suzuki Swift Sport and is comparable with a MINI Cooper and options. On that basis alone, the Metal is really up against it. Its modest insurance rating works in its favour, but it's a tough car to recommend at that asking price. If you're able to get your dealer to shift on price, we'd be the first to recommend it though.

Scores
Performance 8
Handling 10
Comfort 8
Space 8
Styling 9
Build 8
Value 7
Equipment 8
Economy 8
Depreciation 8
Insurance 8
Total 90
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