Ford Fiesta S
Sime Darby is one of the pioneer conglomerates in the Malaysian corporate sector as it was set-up in 1910 and now operates in 20 countries. They are involved in a number of industries notably utility & energy, plantation, automotive and healthcare. Their involvement in the automotive industry entails with a number of marques locally in Malaysia and around the region as well. The Sime Darby Auto Connexion subsidiary was established in 2008 to be the sole distributor for the Ford brand after a major rationalization exercise. Although it was set-up only 3 years ago, it is capably managed by industry professional with vast experience. It was set-up with the aim of taking the brand to the next level of growth and a larger slice of the market.
The Fiesta introduced first introduced in 2008 with a One Ford global car strategy in the compact car segment and since its launch, it had taken the world by storm with impressive sales performance in many countries. Its refreshing looks and stylish design combined with a variety of features have certainly helped to make substantial in-roads into the large market share 1.6-litre category. With the assembly plant in Thailand, Ford ensues that quality standards are not compromised and the price is competitive enough to appeal to the masses. This model may just be the vehicle to take the Ford brand to the good old days of the Ford Laser which at one time was a market leader. It brings along a whole new thinking by the brand and has the DNA of even more success.
The concept of this Fiesta is its innovative kinetic design interpretation to provide the freshness and boldness in the exterior design. With the sloping A-pillar, the view offered to the driver is good and this also adds to the sporty look. The sleek and pronounced wraparound headlamps on the front with flared wheel arches add-on to the dynamism of the car. These elements are making heads turn on the local roads. The honeycombed front grille completes the impressive frontal end and it makes a bold character statement. This is coupled with a sweeping side profile and sloping roofline. A neatly designed rear spoiler enhances the rear. The rear lights have honeycombed detailing complements the stylish rear that will stand out in all environment. Overall, the exterior package will make a big impact on anyone.
When a detail analysis is made of this Fiesta Sport, it will obviously fit into the shopping cart of any fleet manager as it is very much a stylish, fun car which will suit young executives, young entrepreneurs and businessmen in any urban industry. In addition, the Fiesta will be an able alternative to the established brands in this segment. The LX variant of the Fiesta will be more suited to the average middle management folk.
There are currently 53 outlets which are a combination of 1S, 2S and 3S centres all over Malaysia and this will be reassuring for fleet owners to get fast after sales service. In fact, there is any outlet in just about every state and this will save valuable downtime which means minimum loss of revenue for fleet operators. The network is also not new but well established to offer effective and efficient services.
Once on board the Fiesta, it will be apparent that the solid exterior looks are well matched by the new & fresh looking interior. The dash with the centre console as the ‘star’ stands out and this will make an impression on anyone as it is simply a knock-out with its futuristic look. With the matt silver finish of the centre console, the steering wheel and the door handles, the overall presentation is that of a car in a luxury model. The dash holds a useful display screen that is multifunctional. Interior choice of colours and material deserve a special mention as it is tasteful. Overall, all the knobs and switches as within easy access so, the driver can focus on the road. There is a 3-spoked power steering wheel facing the 2-dial instrument panel. A real special feature is the Voice Control feature which allows the use of voice for making calls and changing radio channels or CD but this is only available in this Sport model. A USB port is also in place together with a number of storage compartments including one under the front passenger seat and this will have a high utility value especially in our ‘nasty’ local roads. The seats are fabric and the seat legroom is 823mm while the shoulder room 1297mm for the rear passengers. For cargo, the space available is 281 litres and the loading height is only 702 mm from the ground.
The powertrain offered is the 4-cylinder, DOHC, 16-valve 1.6-litre Duratec Ti-VCT engine rated to generate peak power of 120PS at 6000rpm and maximum torque of 152Nm at 4050rpm. Our test was brief as it involved running around town and we record reaching the cruising speed of 110km/h at 2500rpm and 140km/h at 3400rpm. These figures speak for themselves and it underlines the fugal nature of the engine in terms of fuel consumption. The engine is mated to PowerShift 6-speed automatic transmission and this result in a good match. During our drive, the cabin felt comfortable and more importantly, the Fiesta felt planted and stable even at fast corners.
For suspension, the front is the Macpherson strut with anti-roll bar and rear is the twist beam. There was little NVH so, the drive was pleasant and this is another plus point underlining the built quality. The wheels offered are 16” alloys on the 195/50R16 tyres.
The area of safety is addressed with air-bags for the driver and front passenger, safety belts with locking retractor & pre-tensioners. It has the key-less entry feature, ABS with EBD, ESP and traction control system or TSC. The front brakes are ventilated disc and drum for the rear. With premetric alarm, engine immobilizer and central locking, this department is well addressed.
There is now an extended service plan (ESP) of 3 years or 60,000 free maintenance which ever comes first. For warranty, it is 3 years or 100,000 km which ever comes first while for 24 hours auto assist, the Auto Connexion Voice toll free number is 1 800 88 3181.
The choice of colours is Chilli Orange, Cool White, Metropolitan Grey, Black Mica, True Red, Audora Blue, Highlight Silver and Phantom Purple. The price is RM83,344.48 for on-the-road with insurance for company registration in Peninsular Malaysia. For fleet customers, as usual, there will special offers according to their individual needs on a case-by-case basis.
Prices valid as per 9 August 2011.