Say hello to…
…The new Ford Fiesta Active, the latest addition to the Fiesta supermini line up.
The Active is available in three trims: Active 1, Active B&O, and Active X the model we are reviewing. The Fiesta Active joins:
Zetec – core model;
Titanium and Vignale – luxury options; and
ST-Line and ST – the sport options.
With the Active comes that hint of the crossover with its raised driving position, SUV detailing (skid plates on front and rear valances, for example) and a range of unique colours.
While it might seem a little OTT for the Fiesta’s supermini status, the effect is surprisingly good, offering fleet drivers an attractive option in this sector of the market.
Don’t expect any of that crossover detailing to translate into off-road ability. That’s not what the Fiesta Active is all about. But its higher ride height will allow it to traverse rough roads capably, adding further to its lifestyle aspirations.
Other touches includes 17 inch alloys that are exclusive to Fiesta Active, roof rails, and rear privacy glass.
Is the Fiesta Active suitable for my fleet?
For downsizers the Fiesta Active is an eye-catching option. Company car tax on this 140PS version we are reviewing here starts at £96 per month (2019/20 tax year); choose the lower powered 100PS version and benefit-in-kind taxation drops to £89 per month.
Drivers certainly won’t feel shortchanged. The car feels like a more compact Focus and that’s certainly a plus point. In addition, those lifestyle styling tropes give it a desirability that takes it above standard Fiesta by some distance.
There are plenty of big car features for safety conscious fleet managers, too. Our review car was fitted with Driver Assistance Pack, which includes Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Distance Alert and Adaptive Cruise for £200; just as important but rather more expensive was the £350 option for Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert – couldn’t this important safety feature be a little less expensive Ford?
So the car can be specced for fleets with an appropriate duty of care specification, with only a minor knock on for P11D value and a £2 per month uplift in benefit-in-kind tax.
Leasing a Ford Fiesta Active X
If you want to lease a Ford Fiesta Active X, then you will need to do a bit of preparation for it – the Active X doesn’t appear to be one of the stock vehicles that most leasing brokers have on their sites – at least at the time of writing (December 2019).
However, we found a 140PS spec Fiesta Active X with Kew Vehicle Leasing on business contract hire for £263.76 + VAT per month on a 36 month/10,000 miles per year contract. Initial rental is £791.28 + VAT on a 3+35 profile.
Turning to Ford’s captive finance, Ford Lease was offering the same car on the same profile and mileage at a cheaper rate of £252.24 + VAT with an initial rental of £756.72 + VAT.
So you get the ballpark lease figure when you start searching.
Driving the Ford Fiesta Active X
The key thing about the Fiesta is its brilliant three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbocharged engine. It’s a peach.
Whichever power output you choose, the engine has an addictive quality thanks to the engine’s ability to spin effortlessly up the rev range accompanied by the racy soundtrack of the three-cylinder unit.
While it’s quite tractable in most gears, it veers towards tall gearing and you’ll notice the dashboard change down arrow appearing more quickly than you anticipate.
Still, the six speed box is easy and slick to use.
It’s possible that a combination of shorter journeys rather than a proper motorway run, plus the very cold weather, contributed to our disappointing fuel returns: just north of 36mpg, which is 10mpg short of the lowest official economy figure.
Otherwise the Fiesta rides well, corners securely and delivers a highly satisfying drive – especially with its more elevated driving position.
The car’s specification is excellent, from the B&O sound system to rear view camera with rear parking sensors.
More to the point, the (£100 option) heated steering wheel and heated seats made driving the car in the deep cold we experienced a hugely pleasurable experience. Add in Ford’s quickclear windscreen and the Fiesta Active X makes short work of the frost and ice.
Only the boot area is where the Fiesta falls down. The boot is deep with a high lip, but while the rear seats split/fold down, they don’t fold flat. It’s a pity: the car’s carrying capacity is compromised as a result.
The Fiesta Active X provides a convincing argument that small cars can work for fleets and SME small businesses. With the car’s rugged styling traits, the Fiesta receives a distinctive appearance that is both appealing and stylish.
For company car drivers that want to downsize effectively while still enjoying big car features, then the Fiesta Active X hits the spot on most counts.
And that engine is a real gem.
The idea of crossover styling on a supermini might smack of cynical marketeering; but on the Fiesta Active X it really does work. You’ll be surprised and delighted.
Ford Fiesta Active X Specification
Model: 1.0T Ecoboost 6-speed manual
Max speed: 125mph
0-62mph: 9.7 s
Lowest economy WLTP: 46.3mpg
Highest economy WLTP: 48.7mpg
CO2 emissions: 118g/km