Ford draws inspiration from SUVs for new Fiesta Active crossover
Ford has reinvented the Fiesta as the all-new Fiesta Active, which the company says is the first in a family of "Active crossover" models planned by the company. Inspired by sport utility crossovers, the Fiesta Active jumps into the active sport activity vehicle market popularized in Europe by BMW.
The Fiesta Active model combines the popularity of compact crossovers with the more urban-friendly styling of a hatchback. The Fiesta Active beefs up the Fiesta hatchback into a more robust vehicle akin to a crossover without actually crossing the vague line that defines a crossover-SUV.
Despite a taller ride height, more ground clearance, beefier wheel wells, and a thicker body style, the car manages to retain the look of a Fiesta hatchback in its general body styling and size. With wheels thrust to the corners and a deeply sloping rear roofline, it remains as much car as it is crossover.
This singularly European trend of hybridizing the already-hybrid crossover-SUV into an even less SUV-like vehicle is where things seem to be headed in places where tiny roads and expressways dominate driving. Ford of Europe's Roelant de Waard articulated the idea thusly:
"Car-buyers love the versatility, bold styling and confidence-inspiring abilities of SUVs – and demand has never been higher – which is why we've fused these qualities with our all-new Fiesta's class-leading driving experience and advanced driving technologies to deliver a Fiesta Active crossover that seamlessly fits with our customers' active lifestyles."
Given that one in five Ford vehicles sold in Europe is a sport utility, blurring the line between a utility and a car seems like a good idea. This is bolstered by the fact that the Fiesta Active has a host of driver assistance technologies available, but does not have all-wheel drive. Pre-collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection is standard, while features such as Traffic Sign Recognition, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, cross traffic alert, and more, are also available.
Powering the new Fiesta Active will be two engine options with six power outputs. The gasoline engine is a 1.0-liter EcoBoost that provides 85, 100, 125, and 140 PS (84, 99, 123 and 138 hp) in each of its configurations, with up to 5.0 l/100km (56.5 mpg) in fuel efficiency. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard and a six-speed automatic is available for the 100 PS option.
Also available is a 1.5-liter TDCi diesel engine delivering 85 or 120 PS (84 or 118 hp), depending on configuration. This engine is also mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and delivers up to 4.0 l/100km (70.6 mpg) in fuel efficiency. This engine also utilizes what Ford calls Smart Regenerative Charging, a system that allows the alternator to capture energy during coasting or braking to charge the battery.
Auto start-stop and active grille shutters are also available for both the gasoline and diesel engine options. Also included are various versions of Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment system. This is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and features Ford's AppLink to allow voice activation of smartphone apps.
The Fiesta Active enters European markets shortly and will be followed by other new models in the Active line, including the KA+ Active and the Focus Active, later this year.