The Ford Fiesta Active is designed for those who fancy a hint of off-road ability from their compact hatchback, but it’s more expensive than the standard car as a result
The new Ford Fiesta Active is a chunky looking family hatchback with raised suspension designed to make it more adept at tackling the odd muddy farm track. You’ll probably spend more time in it on the school run or popping to the shops that traipsing across rutted fields, and in this respect, it’s a decent alternative to the likes of the VW Polo, SEAT Ibiza and Citroen C3.
Unlike the standard Fiesta, the Fiesta Active comes with five doors to make it easier to live with. The interior isn’t quite as roomy as the likes of the VW Polo and can’t match the C3 for funky design features, but the materials feel plusher than the Ibiza.
Entry-level cars come with a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard, but you can get a bigger 8.0-inch unit in Fiesta Active B&O and Active X models that’s easier to read on the move. Sadly, it isn’t as intuitive as the Polo’s slicker setup, but you do get smartphone mirroring for Apple and Android phones.
Standard across the range is adjustable lumbar support for the driver’s seat – something your lower back will thank you for on long journeys. There’s lots of space to stretch out in the front, too, but room in the back is a bit more cramped. Headroom is tight and there isn’t as much space for carrying three passengers side-by-side as you get in the Polo.
It’s a similar story when it comes to boot space. The Fiesta Active’s loadbay isn’t as spacious or as easy to load as those in the VW and SEAT and a height-adjustable boot floor costs extra across the range.
You can think of the Fiesta Active as a small car that’s put on a pair of hiking boots – it’s more at home going off-road, but only just
If you regularly pack your car full of luggage, you’ll want to pick one of the more powerful 1.0-litre petrol models with either 125hp or 140hp. These pack more than enough punch to cruise along at motorway speeds and return decent fuel economy, too.
There’s also a 100hp petrol that’s ideally suited to inner-city driving and a pair of diesels that return even better economy, but they feel pretty sluggish by comparison. Whichever model you pick, you get a slick six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but not automatic emergency braking like many small hatchbacks.
Despite this, the Ford Fiesta Active is worth considering if you happen to like your practical hatchbacks to be comfortable and come with a healthy dollop of eye-catching SUV styling. If you prefer the understated look, however, you’ll be better off with the standard Fiesta.