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Old 2nd March 2009, 17:27   #1
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Default Ford Fiesta 1.6S - The "S" is truly special

Think of it as a car meant for people like us on Team - Bhp, those who crave for driver's cars and yet, I hardly see anyone on the forum posting ownership reports or even test drive reports for that matter. This is a special edition, not a mere facelift or addition of colours or decals but a proper full blown upgrade from the regular Fiesta 1.6.

For starters, there is a lovely blue colour that is available only on the "S" called aquarius and it looks fantastic is the real. It may be a bit over the top for those who prefer subtle, but if you liked the Canary Yellow on the Palio S10 will definitely fall in love with this one. The stock 175/65 R14 tyre/wheel combo is replaced with 195/55 R15, making the Fiesta S a promising car with high speed corner carving capabilities and straight line stability. The suspension setup has been modified appropriately and a stiff set up provides a sporty drive.

Then there are the exterior bits like a lovely sounding chrome tipped exhaust, the spoiler and side skirts. Safety has'nt been compromised with dual airbags, Abs with EBD as standard. In essence, this car is today what the Palio S10 was in 2002, an opportunity to own something above the ordinary. If today I had to upgrade from the S10, this car would probably be it. From one special edition to another.

My hands were itching to take a drive of this much appreciated enthusiast's machine since the time it was launched last year. Yesterday I finally took to the wheel of the Fiesta 1.6'S', followed by a drive in the ANHC. One was a revelation, the other, well.... thats for another thread.

More to follow...
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Old 2nd March 2009, 17:33   #2
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congrats mate.guess pic's speaks more than writings.do post them immedatly.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 17:35   #3
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There are a few guys who have owned and posted their reports about the Fiesta S.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 17:47   #4
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Originally Posted by Ramsagar View Post
congrats mate.guess pic's speaks more than writings.do post them immedatly.
I wish I could buy one now, unfortunately its just a test drive report that is to follow.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 19:39   #5
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wait for more on the test drive report.

also waiting to see if your signature changes
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Old 2nd March 2009, 20:50   #6
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Hey Roms.. this is unfair mate.. wonderful teaser and no update to it even after a couple of hours... and this despite you having verbally updated me yesterday on this topic. I can't imagine how the rest of the group might be feeling right now.

But in a way I was correct when I said that it could very well have been your next car
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Old 2nd March 2009, 23:49   #7
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The worst possible thing anyone can do while going for a test drive is to not take a decent camera along, especially when the car in contention manages to look like a million bucks. But it so happened that I was on a lazy sunday afternoon outing with wifey and driving towards Atria mall. All of a sudden, I realise that its a weekend, its noon which means roads are mostly clear of traffic and I'm at Prabhadevi, a place where most car showrooms are at my disposal. What the heck, I need to drive the Fiesta 'S' nowww! So wifey reminds me of the. Rule No.1 - Never talk cars when she is around and Rule No.2 - If you take an hour at the showroom, you have to compensate atleast 5 hours back in shopping. Rule No.3 - You must not for those 5 hours move around day dreaming and lusting for what you drove and give,rather try giving proper attention to her shopping/window shopping.

Ok then, with rules reminded we enter the Shaman Ford showroom at Prabhadevi. Since, I dont have any pictures to share, here are two pictures from the Ford website.
Attached Images
  

Last edited by roms : 2nd March 2009 at 23:50.
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Old 3rd March 2009, 01:20   #8
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The Shaman Ford showroom is now in place of the old Shaman Tata Fiat showroom. The showroom itself is pretty small and can house just about 3 cars inside. There were no customers and just a couple of sales people around. However, the guy attending me was a nice chap. On enquiring about the "aquarius" Fiesta 'S' waiting outside, he replied that it was a display vehicle used for car shows and exhibitions. It had roughly 2000 kms on the odo and was available for a flat 80K discount, but could be negotiated further.The S version costs Rs.8,30,874/- on-road Mumbai. Moving on the car finally -

The interiors - I prefer full black interiors with silver inserts and this car provides just that. The quality of materials used on most parts of the dashboard is pretty decent, save for the slightly iffy looking central console that houses the in-dash cd/mp3 player. The buttons and stalks on the dashboard are'nt the best in class either, the ANHC has the best quality steering column stalks IMO, while the Linea's stalks and buttons come a close second and are built to last. The Fiesta's doors do not close with a reassuring thud, neither do they have the sofisticated (for want of a better word) soft click like the ANHC, they end up clunking instead. The power window and electric OVRM buttons are of pretty good quality however and are well placed as well. The Linea IMO fares the best here with top quality illuminated power window switches and the ANHC comes last here. The sales chap while explaining the interiors actually squeezed the top part of the dashboard over the instrument binnacle and it is made of an extra soft touch fabric that feels great to touch.

Visibility all round is great but it is a low slung sedan, atleast in comparison to the Linea and ANHC, which further accentuates the sporty feel. I drove the ANHC right after this one which has the "sitting on" rather than a "sitting in" feel to it. The Fiesta S does not boast of too many gadgets with just a manual aircon, a cd/mp3 player and a distance to empty meter that does not show instantaneous fuel consumption or average fuel economy. So in that sense, one can say that neither the Fiesta, nor the ANHC come close to Linea which has far more gadgets to play with, a few good ones and a few that one could manage without. The seat fabric is good and the front seats hold you snugly, very similar to the Baleno, while lower back support and thigh support is decent. Surprisingly, I did not find the rear leg space bad at all. With front seats in the position I drive in, the rear leg space was pretty decent, more than my S10. But the car is narrow so shoulder room with three abreast will be a problem, actually the hump in the middle will not allow the third passenger to sit comfortably.

The leather clad steering wheel is by far the best thing to touch in this cabin, just the right size with top notch quality.

Last edited by roms : 3rd March 2009 at 01:27.
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Old 3rd March 2009, 03:21   #9
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Default Coming to the part where "S" stands for "Superlative"

The drive - A look at the specs reveal that the Fiesta's Duratec should make it a fast car with unmatched driveability -

Its a 1596 CC 4 cylinder 16 valve DOHC motor 101 PS @ 6500 rpm and even more impressive 146 NM of torque @ 3400 rpm, while the ANHC's i-Vtec Motor has 118 PS @ 6600 rpm and 146 NM @ 4800 rpm, so the 'S' makes the same pulling power at 1400 rpm less than the NHC, making it more sprightly and driveable. The Linea's 1.4 FIRE does not stand a chance with these two around.

It does not matter what gear you are in, a dab of the right foot is enough to give you a firm shove in the back and the Fiesta starts moving really quickly. However, I must add that it lacks the initial urgency of the S10's 1.6 motor. Around 3K rpm the Duratec enters its peak torque range and takes on a wild character. Its very addictive and pulls harder from thereon. What an engine, probably the most driveable of all the 1.6 engines around.

The Duratec is a supremely refined motor and it remains so throughout its powerband, giving you the impression that it never feels strained at any point of time. NVH levels too are best in class, with very little road or outside noise filtering in the cabin, followed by the Linea and then the ANHC.

Steering feel/Handling/ Gearbox -

The steering feel is instantly recognisable, its very similar to the Palio, heavy and communicative, giving you sufficient information about the road below. Its fun to hold with both hands and is never vague. Though I have to mention that the Linea petrol betters it, but not by much.

The handling could'nt be tested much frankly due to city limits except for this fast left hander on the Worli sea face done at a 100 kph, but it was a cake walk with almost zero body roll and the car not even hinting for a loss of traction. But then, what else would you expect from the fantastic 195/55 R15 tyre/wheel combo? Fantastic body control there.

The only negative would be the hard shifting gearbox. It slots positively, but takes some effort and is not intuitive. It is of good quality however. The best steering wheel/gearbox combo of the three is the Linea's IMO, followed by Fiesta and then ANHC. The Fiesta wins hands down in handling/body control.

Suspension - With such low profile tyre set up, you'd expect the 'S' to thud and crash at low speeds and allow a lot of road noise, especially on the cement roads to filter in the cabin. But it just does'nt. The ride is firm but not at all unsettling and the set up is much better than my stiff riding Palio at low speeds. The Linea's set up is better and is a perfect compromise between ride and handling, while the Fiesta is a corner carver with a ride only slightly below the Linea. Its the ANHC however, which has the worst body roll even at 80, thanks to its soft suspension for city speeds and there is excess road noise filtering in. The handling is decent though and improved over the NHC.

Just after finishing my drive, a driver stepped in and pareked the car. Thats when I realised standing behind the car, the exhaust sounds gorgeous. The chrome tipped muffler at work, just the way it does in my S10.

Its been hours in front of the PC now and I really need to end this here. I do not intend to buy the car now since the Palio is giving me good service (touchwood), but I will upgrade next year and the Fiesta 1.6 S will be on top of the list,unless Fiat gets better engines for the Linea/GP.

For someone needing a VFM car that can move you around in style and comfort with a lot of features, it has the be the Linea. For those who prefer a scintillating drive at not so big price , look no further than the Ford Fiesta 1.6S.

Last edited by roms : 3rd March 2009 at 03:23.
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Old 3rd March 2009, 09:22   #10
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Nice report, seems very tempting. How do you rate it against the erstwhile 1.6 ZXi Ikon (which I owned in 2004). That car was also quite a mover & a good handler. But a comparison would be nice if possible.




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Old 3rd March 2009, 09:27   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky_63 View Post
How do you rate it against the erstwhile 1.6 ZXi Ikon (which I owned in 2004)
I agree the 1.6 is an awesome machine. Been experiencing a dose of its power and handling quite a bit lately. Roms, Is there any comparison available between the S and 1.6 Ikon.

And, what areas the S has improved over the Ikon would be indeed interesting to know.
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Old 3rd March 2009, 11:35   #12
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Nice and passionate TD review. Enjoyed reading this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky_63 View Post
Nice report, seems very tempting. How do you rate it against the erstwhile 1.6 ZXi Ikon (which I owned in 2004). That car was also quite a mover & a good handler. But a comparison would be nice if possible.
Cheers
tyre upsize and suspension mod seems to be the only major change. Handling improved but what about FE. Any figures?

Fiesta is anyday a neat looking car. Did the TD once, felt like the initial surge was missing to make it a real drivers car.
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Old 3rd March 2009, 11:35   #13
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Yes the Fiesta is right there on top of my list when i go for an upgrade. Unless Fiat decides to throw in the T-jet which I am sure they are planning to.
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Old 3rd March 2009, 11:56   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
I agree the 1.6 is an awesome machine. Been experiencing a dose of its power and handling quite a bit lately. Roms, Is there any comparison available between the S and 1.6 Ikon.
Har har, looks like Brajesh has been keeping you busy these days.
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Old 3rd March 2009, 13:16   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roms View Post
It had roughly 2000 kms on the odo and was available for a flat 80K discount, but could be negotiated further.The S version costs Rs.8,30,874/- on-road Mumbai
A discount of 80K over the existing OTR of 8.3L, and can be negotiated further?!
What could be the reason -- not many takers for this model?

The high-end petrol variant of the Hyundai Verna costs 8.3L, with no discounts.
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