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Old 25th August 2010, 22:26   #31
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Part Two - Fiesta Sport driving experience Part 1

Let's start with the basics.

Steering.

The wheel itself is larger and not small and thick as Ikon's, but I got accustomed to it quickly. It is covered in a thin and hard leather that requires some effort to hold because it has less grip. But as I use it more and more, I feel it is exactly the right size. Trust Ford to get these things right! I like it to be thicker and softer, so I'm adding a soft real leather covering (just as I did for my Ikon). IMO, this lessens the effort required to hold the wheel and is good for long hauls.

The steering is lighter and also doesn't have the very visceral, direct feel of the Ikon's. However, in town the steering is very nice, just light enough for comfort, yet without any hint of vagueness. After an hour of driving in heavy traffic, there's no fatigue. There are times when I've felt fatigued hauling the Ikon around in heavy traffic and bad roads for an hour.

Out on the highway, it's reasonably weighted. In fact, it's very well weighted at speed. There's no vagueness or wobbly feeling whatsoever, even though the lack of physical directness is noticeable. At higher speeds (above 100 kph), it gives plenty of confidence to the driver.

In cornering the accuracy is good. I had the opportunity to explore this driving up the Tirumala ghats, where it proved itself. I didn't really push it very fine at this early stage when I myself am in the learning curve, but judging by its performance that day, I expect it to be just as accurate as the renowned Ikon steering. I do think that the Ikon's is sharper and more precise, but after a month I think this really doesn't matter in real world driving.

After a month of varied driving, my opinion is that it's a very good steering, so typical of Ford.

All things considered, Ford has thought this out this well, giving it the right balance between town, highway, and ghats, making this a very good allrounder.

Brakes.

They work well. 'Nuff said! The Ikon's brakes were truly scary, and there's a lot of improvement here, giving a great deal more confidence to the driver. However, it lacks the instant "bite" that I would prefer to have in a car that is a hard performer.

Gear shift.

The Fiesta's gear shift is set high on a box, bringing the lever higher and so closer to the driver's hand. Thus there's a shorter throw, and it has the same accuracy. Only thing is that it's notchy, not completely smooth. But it's quick and slots in precisely; so light, precise, and short that quick shifts can be accomplished with just thumb and two fingers; just go "flick, flick, flick". It's a joy to use. Changing rapidly up and down while on the ghats is as if it's a rally car; it's very reminiscent of a sports gear shift add on I've seen in a VW Golf. In fact the high set box does make me feel like it's a rally car. The quick shift helps getting the best out of the Duratec, which develops its power higher up the rev band.

No noticeable vibrations come through the lever, and this too has a well shaped knob that's very comfortable even after extended driving sessions.

Overall, a great gear lever and shift - great design and well made, bar the slight notchiness.

Front visibility.

Very good. In spite of the more sloped A pillar that extends a long way forward, there's no real blind spot. It's a little more difficult to see what's ahead of the left headlamp, for example, when parking, because it seems to me that the Fiesta has higher waistlines all around. I feel like I'm a small kid peering out of the side windows because of the sill height.

All round visibility is very good, adds further to confidence level on highways.


Road noise, tyre noise.

On the highway, I've taken the S upto 130 kph till now and only heard some wind noise, but not loud enough to be objectionable; it's what you'd reasonably expect at 130 kph. Tyre noise is just not there. No engine noise either.

Absolutely silent in town. Add to this the smoothness of the Duratec for a glide ride. Not what one would normally associate with Ford; this is refinement indeed.

If you recall, I had mentioned the single beading in the Ikon in my Ikon long term test. I checked the Fiesta's door beadings and sure enough there are extra half beadings for the doors. No doubt these contribute significantly to the sound absorption and insulation.

Another piece of good work by Ford.

Seats.

This is the only aspect where I'm not completely happy. I'm just not able to find a comfortable position. I'm not able to put a finger on it, whether it's the shape of the seats or the position vis-a-vis the pedals and steering wheel. Even after a month, I'm still squirming around trying to get a comfortable position. On a positive note, I've come from "acute discomfort" to "squirming" over a month, and I think if I persevere I will eventually find a comfortable position.

Ford is known for its good driver centric seating and the Ikon is brilliant. Over 6 years of driving the Ikon, perhaps my body has just accustomed itself to a particular posture that's just not right for the Fiesta. There is a difference in the position of the pedals in the two cars, and maybe it's only a matter of my re-adjusting my posture.

In the Ikon, there were just two seat movements to consider: front/back, and back angle. Here there are two more parameters: seat bottom angle and steering wheel angle, and in trying to get the posture right, there are more variables thrown in. This could make it better if you get it right or complicate it further if you haven't got it right.

The seats per se, however, are good with very good firm support for the back. The Ikon did lack lumbar support that was apparent after several hours. This was easily cured by a small cushion, but in the Fiesta, I haven't felt the need for this measure. Under thigh support however, is less, and I do feel some discomfort under the left thigh while driving.

Having said all that, the fact is that even after a few hours driving, I suffer no aches or pains when I get out of the car.

Like its predecessor, the Fiesta too holds the driver well while cornering. Never a moment that I slid around even under harsh cornering.

On the way back from Tirupati, I spent an hour in the rear seat just to check it out. My wife had told me it wasn't as comfortable as the Ikon. That's right because of the more upright back, but otherwise, it's okay. Again the seats are firm and give good support.

Rear leg room is less, but it isn't so bad that it's not comfortable.

And once again I'll say, the fabric seat covers are just superb.


Lights.

Nice and bright, with adjustment to make life easier. Still blinded by oncoming hi beams, but I was blinded even in the tall Scorpio. Nothing can be done about this except try to educate the hi-beamers. Or execute them, which is a more appealing solution .

It seems to me that the light is whiter than the Ikon's; that was my first thought when I turned on the Fiesta's lights the first time. I wonder if the lamps have a different colour temperature.


A/C.

A/C is more powerful, perhaps this is a larger compressor. So far it's been cooling quickly, will have to wait till next summer to get a full idea. One thing I noticed is that the air dries very fast, and I get dryness in the nasal passages. So I keep turning off the a/c every now and then to allow some humidity to build up. I will look out for a car humidifier, that should take care of this dryness.


Next up will be an in depth look at the Duratec, the suspension and chassis.

Meanwhile, to keep you occupied till then, here's my fuel consumption chart, updated with today's tank fill.

fuel.pdf

Oops! Request someone to please convert that pdf to an image file, or tell me how to do it, Thanks!

Last edited by Damu : 25th August 2010 at 22:32. Reason: Request added at the end
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Old 26th August 2010, 08:07   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damu View Post
.
Gear shift.
Only thing is that it's notchy, not completely smooth. But it's quick and slots in precisely; so light, precise, and short that quick shifts can be accomplished with just thumb and two fingers; just go "flick, flick, flick". It's a joy to use.
@Damu,

Regarding the gear shift lately I have been experiencing this flick flick thing which until a past few refuelling was not there. I now find the gears shift not that slick and definitley not smooth. Is it the reason that I swicthed over to normal petrol since the past 5-6 refuels. Earlier to that I used to have Speed petrol filled. I distinctly remember the gear shift would be super smooth immediately after filling Speed petrol but now a days that smoothness is yet to be seen.

I agree to all the points you have mentioned in your driving experience, have exprerienced the same. All that makes Fiesta a much more driver's car with sheer driving pleasure written all over it.
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Old 26th August 2010, 09:51   #33
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The headunit displays the time in a fairly big font. Yours does not?
+
Yes it is there when on idle - however if the hu is switched on either for
cd or FM then the time goes off??
is it different in SXI models?
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Old 26th August 2010, 10:48   #34
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Oops! Request someone to please convert that pdf to an image file, or tell me how to do it, Thanks!
Damu, got to say you are quite observant.

Here's the image of your pdf.
Attached Thumbnails
Ford Fiesta 1.6 Sport - 5,000 km Update-ford.jpg  

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Old 26th August 2010, 11:27   #35
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Brakes.

They work well. 'Nuff said! The Ikon's brakes were truly scary, and there's a lot of improvement here, giving a great deal more confidence to the driver. However, it lacks the instant "bite" that I would prefer to have in a car that is a hard performer.
The 'instant bite' type brakes typically lead to wheel lock up. Try braking at higher speeds. You will get a lot more bite for the same amount of effort. That's the EBD working.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Earlier to that I used to have Speed petrol filled. I distinctly remember the gear shift would be super smooth immediately after filling Speed petrol but now a days that smoothness is yet to be seen.
ghodlur, you are just imagining things. The choice of petrol has nothing to do with gear shift quality. Speed is just normal petrol with some additive like System G. Just press the clutch all the way in for smooth shifts.
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Old 26th August 2010, 12:39   #36
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That's a clean crisp review. Fit to go into a car mag
Congrats on the car. I have driven the car only once and I still can't get over the 1.6's magic.
Sachin, thanks for the appreciation! It really feels like magic - keeps the driver in a spell. It's a Ford Magic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
@Damu,
Regarding the gear shift lately I now find the gears shift not that slick and definitley not smooth...
Ghodlur, as Gilead has said, there's no connection to the fuel/additive, and it could be due to not pressing the clutch in fully. In fact, the manual recommends adjusting the seat so that the legs are slighty bent so that pedal operation is correct.

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Originally Posted by nairrk View Post
Yes it is there when on idle - however if the hu is switched on either for cd or FM then the time goes off?? is it different in SXI models?
In my model, there is an option to keep the clock displayed all the time, even if CD/FM are in operation. I'm sure it should be the same for the ZXI.

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Originally Posted by nowwhat? View Post
Damu, got to say you are quite observant.
Here's the image of your pdf.
nowwhat?, thanks!
and thanks very much for doing the pdf conversion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilead View Post
The 'instant bite' type brakes typically lead to wheel lock up. Try braking at higher speeds. You will get a lot more bite for the same amount of effort. That's the EBD working.
Thanks for the tip, Gilead. I haven't experienced braking at higher speeds except gradual, planned braking, so don't know about the EBD in operation.

ABS is there to take care of brake locking, so it should be okay with some "bite"!
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Old 26th August 2010, 13:05   #37
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ABS is there to take care of brake locking, so it should be okay with some "bite"!
What I meant was that the brakes in the Fiesta are very linear. You may have noticed that in some cars there is a sudden bite at a certain point and nothing much before or after that. That's not the case here.
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Old 26th August 2010, 14:25   #38
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In my model, there is an option to keep the clock displayed all the time, even if CD/FM are in operation. I'm sure it should be the same for the ZXI.
I havent tried any setting like adjustment in the HU inorder for the clock displayed all the time. Is there any easy way???
Normally, once I start the car, I will either play a cd or FM and then I cannot see the clock function.?
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Old 26th August 2010, 17:45   #39
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What I meant was that the brakes in the Fiesta are very linear.
Gotcha!

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Originally Posted by Gilead View Post
You may have noticed that in some cars there is a sudden bite at a certain point and nothing much before or after that. That's not the case here.
No, Gilead, that was also not what I meant - I meant the "grabbing" sensation when the pedal is jabbed, one can feel the calipers doing their stuff.

But I presume if there's a microprocessor involved in the operation, if that's what the EBD is doing (?), it is likely that the quantum of pressure being applied to each of the brakes is decided by the processor. Then I guess there won't be the "grabbing" sensation, unless one really hammers the brakes, when ABS should come into play if required.

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Originally Posted by nairrk View Post
I havent tried any setting like adjustment in the HU inorder for the clock displayed all the time. Is there any easy way???
Normally, once I start the car, I will either play a cd or FM and then I cannot see the clock function.?
Nair, maybe our models are different, but this is how it's in my HU - if your clock is off when radio/CD are playing, press the "clock" button once and it will keep the time display on even when the CD/FM is playing. Press "clock" button again and it will show time only when CD/FM is off.

Hope this helps.
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Old 26th August 2010, 22:50   #40
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Yes I need to take some pics. Will do so soon.
No pics yet!!

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Keep yourself free for a day - I need a guide to Nagarjunsagar!
Sirji, I hope your trip is after 20th November, have a exam to appear for on 20th. After that any weekend barring saturday 1st half, I'll be more than happy to be your guide to Nagarjunasagar .
How would you like it, a day trip or with a night stay thrown in?
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Old 26th August 2010, 23:04   #41
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A very insightful ownership review.I like it how you highlight every single aspect,enjoyed reading it although i dont own a car myself!
A pre owned white fiesta S five years down the line when i start working sounds good
By the way dint know the S had EBD.
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Old 27th August 2010, 08:02   #42
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No pics yet!!
Coming up this weekend!

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Sirji, I hope your trip is after 20th November, have a exam to appear for on 20th. After that any weekend barring saturday 1st half, I'll be more than happy to be your guide to Nagarjunasagar .
My son is supposed to return to Bangalore in early November, so I think our trip would be either late September or early October. Will this be difficult?

We were thinking of making it a week long trip with Srisailam thrown in on the return.

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How would you like it, a day trip or with a night stay thrown in?
I don't know actually. I was looking to you to advise us the pros and cons when we finalise the trip.

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A very insightful ownership review.I like it how you highlight every single aspect,enjoyed reading it although i dont own a car myself!
Thanks avishar!

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A pre owned white fiesta S five years down the line when i start working sounds goodBy the way dint know the S had EBD.
Are you studying now? How long to go?

Keep track of this forum and you'll be able to get a good pre-owned Sport in 5 years. Methinks, the Sport will be made for a year more.

Yes, the Fiesta ZXI, SXI, and Sport all have ABS/EBD.
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Old 27th August 2010, 10:06   #43
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Nair, maybe our models are different, but this is how it's in my HU - if your clock is off when radio/CD are playing, press the "clock" button once and it will keep the time display on even when the CD/FM is playing. Press "clock" button again and it will show time only when CD/FM is off.

Hope this helps.
+

ha.. I never tried this method.
Will give it a try and let see if it is working in my car as well.
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Old 27th August 2010, 10:29   #44
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Coming up this weekend!
My son is supposed to return to Bangalore in early November, so I think our trip would be either late September or early October. Will this be difficult?
We were thinking of making it a week long trip with Srisailam thrown in on the return.
I don't know actually. I was looking to you to advise us the pros and cons when we finalise the trip.
OT : taking this off from here to PMs. Will PM you on this.
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Old 27th August 2010, 11:01   #45
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@damu
I just checked and the clock function is there even if the fm/cd is playing.
I was under the impression that the 'Clock' button is only for setting up the clock!
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