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The Ford Fiesta range has expanded yet again with the arrival of the all-new Active, the first in a new family of crossover models inspired by the very much in fashion SUVs. The yearning for SUVs and Crossovers continues at quite a pace and it seems that no vehicle range is complete without one or the other.

The Active combines rugged styling and enhanced versatility with fun-to-drive dynamics and sophisticated comfort and driver assistance technologies. There is more practicality to the multi-award-winning Fiesta in five-door body style, featuring raised ride-height which delivers greater ability over rough road tracks and a higher driving position for more confident urban and highway driving and it is easier to access. There are a number of SUV-inspired exterior features including additional cladding, stylish and unique 17-inch alloy wheel designs, and roof rails to help carry bicycles or sports equipment. So you will easily recognise the new model from the rest of the Fiesta range.

Moving to the well appointed interior, you will discover sports seats with exclusive materials and designs, standard SYNC 3 voice-activated connectivity and entertainment system, and available B&O Play premium audio for ultimate sound quality and music and news on your drive. The driving experience is enhanced with Drive Mode technology which enables you to choose between Normal, Eco and Slippery modes to match driving characteristics to the environment with the press of a button.

The sophisticated powertrain options include Ford’s multi-award-winning one litre EcoBoost petrol engine offering up to 140 PS, and 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine offering up to 120 PS. I had the one litre engine on test and no complaints from me, it’s a very eager little unit, with a surprising power output. The Active delivers confidence for drivers whether on smooth tarmac roads, gravel tracks or in slippery conditions, while retaining the fun-to-drive character of the multi-award-winning all-new Fiesta. The optimised front shock absorbers feature a new hydraulic rebound stopper to smooth out bumps or jolts when driving over rough surfaces. Unique knuckle geometry for the suspension and bespoke settings for the springs and shock absorbers combine with revised electric power-assisted steering and electronic stability control (ESC) tuning for enhanced comfort and responsiveness across a multitude of surfaces. The comprehensive range of sophisticated driver assistance technologies introduced to the all-new Fiesta range last year are featured. The technologies are supported by cameras, radars and ultrasonic sensors, which are able to monitor the vehicle’s surroundings and scan the road ahead up to a distance of 130 metres, more than the length of a football pitch. Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection can detect people who are in or near the road ahead, or who may cross the vehicle’s path, using light from the Fiesta’s headlights at night. Further features available include Traffic Sign Recognition and Auto High Beam, which now performs more effectively in situations where a central barrier divides opposing carriageways, and can detect oncoming trucks to avoid dazzling drivers positioned above the central divide. A soft-ramping feature improves comfort for drivers at night with soft transitioning between high- and low-beam. Other available driver assistance technologies include Adaptive Cruise Control, Adjustable Speed Limiter, Blind Spot Information System, Cross Traffic Alert, Driver Alert, Lane Keeping Aid Lane Keeping Alert and Forward Collision Warning.

Further good news re safety the all-new Fiesta achieved a 5-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, and offers safety features including side airbags designed to lift the occupant’s arm away from an impact zone; rear outer seats load limiters and pre-tensioners; and front passenger seat airbags that can be deactivated to allow for child seats. This latest addition to the popular Fiesta family offers more choice, certainly an enjoyable all round driving experience.

Ian Lynas

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