The story of Ford rediscovering its dynamic mojo ever since the original Focus is a well-told one.
What’s most impressive is how those dynamic standards have remained at the Blue Oval ever since, through different managements, financial crises, and anything and everything else that’s happened in the world since. You’d expect more than one different strategy to have come and gone in that time.
But no. Ford still leaves its chassis engineers to get on with it, and gives them the resources to make such fine-driving machines on what are wafer-thin margins for small cars in particular. No corners cut.
Given you see one – or more – on every street in Britain, it’d be easy for the Ford Fiesta to blend into anonymity, and to become blasé about its brilliance. You shouldn’t.
Every part of the Fiesta’s dynamic make-up is a joy. The relationship between pedals, wheels and driver’s seat. The feel of those pedals. The weighting and feedback of the steering. The quite brilliant handling. The comfortable yet involving ride. The slickness of the gearchange. The brilliance of the 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine; torque rich, yet willing to be revved. It sounds good, too.
And I’ve had plenty of time to get that feeling all over again this year, given I bought a new Fiesta myself in 2020 (something I’ve only mentioned on these pages about seven times, I think…!). But I keep going on about it because it really is a benchmark for simple driving pleasure in the most attainable of cars.
It’s my car of the year, but it could really be the car of any year when it remains this good to drive. Quality over quantity? Not here – the Fiesta delivers a quality package and delivers it to a huge quantity of buyers each year. It has done so for what seems like forever, and will likely do so for a while to come still.