More ground clearance, rugged looks

After almost 10 years on the market, the sixth-generation Ford Fiesta was finally discontinued in 2017, making way for a brand-new model with a fresh and sportier design. The new Fiesta also brought new technology on the table, as well as revised engines and an ST model powered by a three-cylinder unit. Come 2018 and Ford added a new member to the Fiesta family, this time around in the form of a crossover-styled model called Active. The Fiesta Active joins the Ka+ Active, a similar version of the smaller Ka+ hatchback launched earlier in 2018.

Designed for a small niche that used to include the Volkswagen CrossPolo — a model that is no longer available — the Fiesta Active will share the market with the Hyundai i20 Active. Essentially a hatchback with increase ground clearance and crossover-style cladding, the Fiesta Active is aimed at customers who want the benefits of crossover but still need a compact car that’s easy to drive and park inside the city. A bit more rugged on the outside, the Fiesta Active shares its technology and drivetrains with the standard hatchback, although certain differences are noticeable in every department. But more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Fiesta Active.

Ford Fiesta Active Exterior

- * Crossover-style cladding
- * Higher ground clearance
- * Rugged looks
- * New fog lamps
- * 17-inch wheels
- * "Active" badges

2018 Ford Fiesta Active
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Ford increased the hatchback’s ride height and gave it a more rugged look

The design philosophy behind the Fiesta Active is pretty straightforward and we’ve already seen it on the Ka+ Active. Body modifications were kept to a minimum as far as features go, but Ford increased the hatchback’s ride height and gave it a more rugged look. The Fiesta Active sits notably higher from the ground and features SUV-style trim around the wheel arches, on the side skirts, and the lower section of the bumpers. Up front, the black trim at the bottom include a protective shield that will guard the car against rock in rough terrain.

Ford also changed the foglamps and added new bezels that are oriented vertically rather than horizontally, which makes the Fiesta seem a bit taller. We can spot minor changes to the grille too, which now seems a bit larger and has a different honeycomb mesh.

2018 Ford Fiesta Active
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The rear carries over unchanged except for the sturdier bumper and the black-painted license plate recess

Around the sides, we can notice the increase ride height and the black protective trim around the wheel arches and the side skirts yet again. But Ford also added new 17-inch, five-spoke alloys wheels and "Active" badges on the front fenders. The rear carries over unchanged except for the sturdier bumper and the black-painted background of the license plate recess, but these new features are enough to signal that this isn’t a regular Fiesta. Opt for the Active B&O Play model, and you also get a black roof and black mirrors.

Needless to say, the Fiesta Active isn’t just a perched-up model designed to give you SUV looks without the utility of such a vehicle. The hatchback looks ready for the unbeaten path, and even though it might not be ready for proper off-roading, it can definitely handle rough country roads and muddy ground.

Ford Fiesta Active Interior

- * Bespoke color accents
- * Extra equipment on certain trims
- * Two-part panoramic roof
- * Enhanced safety package

2018 Ford Fiesta Active
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The Active B&O Play trim gets yellow accents on the dashboard, seats, and door panels

The interior of the Fiesta Active retains the changes introduced with the new generation, but there are a few extra features to talk about. For starters, the Active B&O Play trim gets yellow accents on the dashboard, seats, and door panels, as well as extra features like cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, illuminated cup holders, and the 4.2-inch TFR instrument cluster with traffic sign recognition. The range-topping Active X model gets partial leather upholstery, heated front seats, power-foldable mirrors, SYNC 3 navigation with DAB radio, KeyFree system with keyless entry and start, and rear parking sensors.

The latter also has a two-part, panoramic sliding roof, but this feature is also offered on the base Active 1 trim.

2018 Ford Fiesta Active
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The Fiesta Active also boasts a few extra active safety features as standard

The Fiesta Active also boasts a few extra active safety features as standard, with the package now including lane-keeping technology, rear seat belt reminder, the Quickclear heated windscreen, and a tire pressure monitoring system. It’s also equipped with electric front and rear windows, rear privacy glass, driver seat height and lumbar adjustment, and air-conditioning.

The latest SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system introduced with the new-generation Fiesta enables the driver to control audio and connected smartphones using voice commands and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Ford Fiesta Active Drivetrains

- * 1.0-liter EcoBoost
- * 1.5-liter diesel
- * Up to 138 horsepower
- * Standard start-stop technology
- * Active Grille Shutter
- * Eco mode
- * Six-speed manual gearbox
- * ESP with Hill Start Assist

2018 Ford Fiesta Active
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The 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is available with four outputs rather than three

The drivetrains are obviously shared with the regular Fiesta, but while the standard hatchback comes with a selection of three engines, the Active gets only two. Specifically, the 1.1-liter three-cylinder isn’t offered, just the 1.0-liter EcoBoost and the 1.5-liter TDCi. However, the EcoBoost is available with four outputs rather than three.

Redesigned for the new generation, the 1.0-liter three-cylinder features high-pressure direct fuel injection, twin-independent variable cam timing, and an offset crankshaft design. These features enable the tiny mill to provide solid performance with good fuel economy. The base engine cranks out 85 PS (84 horsepower), while the next version comes with 100 PS (99 horses) on tap. Ford also offers a 125-PS (123-horsepower) variant, while the range-topping model benefits from 140 PS (138 horses).

2018 Ford Fiesta Active
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Both engines are equipped with auto start-stop technology for improved fuel economy

If you’re into diesels and the extra torque that comes with these engines, the Fiesta Active can be equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder oil burner. The unit is rated at 85 PS (84 horsepower). The standard Fiesta also has a 120-PS (118-horsepower) version of this engine, but it’s not available for the Active model.

Both engines are equipped with auto start-stop technology for improved fuel economy, as well as Ford’s Active Grille Shutter. The Eco button adjusts engine and throttle settings to save even more fuel when desired. A new six-speed manual gearbox is standard for all engine options. The Fiesta Active also comes with the brand’s latest ESP with Hill Start Assist for better rough-terrain capability. Besides the Eco mode, the hatchback can be used in Slippery and Normal settings.

Ford Fiesta Active Prices

2018 Ford Fiesta Active
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Pricing for the Fiesta Active starts from £17,790. For this amount, you get the base Active 1 trim. Compared to the entry-level model of the regular Fiesta, the Active commands a £4,095 premium. But needless to say, the difference isn’t as massive as it sounds because the Active model comes with plenty of extra features inside and out. The better equipped B&O Play trim starts from £19,190, while the range-topping Active X comes in at £20,290 before options. For reference, that’s $1,795 more than the regular hatchback in the somewhat similar Titanium X trim. All told, the Fiesta Active X is the second most expensive version of the Fiesta, after the Vignale, which costs only £50 more.

Ford Fiesta Active Competition

Hyundai i20 Active

2016 Hyundai i20 Active High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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With the latest Volkswagen Polo no longer available in CrossPolo trim with higher ground clearance and protective trim, options are pretty much limited to the Hyundai i20 Active. Launched in 2015, this model is also based on a classic hatchback. What’s more, the Hyundai i20 is a full-blown competitor for the Fiesta, so both Active versions will go head-to-head in this niche. Despite being two years older, the i20 Active looks as fresh as they get thanks to Hyundai’s latest design language. Much like the Fiesta Active, the i20 Active rides higher above the ground and features crossover-like cladding on the bumpers, wheelarches, and side skirts. The lower door sections are also protected by black plastic, which turns the i20 Active into a more rugged proposition. Engine options include a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder unit available with either 98 or 118 horsepower. Hyundai also offers a 1.4-liter four-banger with 98 horsepower and a 1.4-liter diesel with 89 ponies. The i20 Active is a bit more affordable than the Fiesta Active, retailing from £16,120.

Read our full review of the 2018 Hyundai i20 Active.

Conclusion

2018 Ford Fiesta Active
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Crossover-style versions of subcompact hatchbacks aren’t exactly new. Volkswagen has been offering a perched-up variant of the Polo since the early 2000s, initially as the Polo Fun (or Polo Dune in the U.K.) and later on as the CrossPolo. Rover sold a similar version of its 25 model, called Streetwise, between 2003 and 2005, while Fiat offers similar iterations of the Panda since 2003. But compared to other segments, this niche has yet to be explored to its full potential. Hyundai was the first automaker to realize that there’s room for more vehicles here and came up with the i20 Active. Now, Ford is joining the niche with an Active version of one of its most popular offerings in Europe. A bit late to the party needless to say, but Ford just might be able to scoop a big chunk of the market with the Fiesta. FoMoCo already has the smaller Ka+ Active in showrooms, but a similar version of the Fiesta, which is significantly more popular, is a big blow to the competition. Sure, crossover-styled hatchbacks aren’t exactly popular, but the Fiesta Active may prompt Volkswagen to revive the CrossPolo and other automakers to create their own rugged-looking superminis. More competition means good news for the customers.

  • Leave it
    • A bit more expensive than the competition
    • Late to the party?

References

2017 Ford Fiesta High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Fiesta

2018 Ford Fiesta ST High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Fiesta ST.

Press release

New three-model Fiesta Active crossover range on sale, offering distinctive rugged looks and advanced technologies
Standard specification includes bodystyling; Eco, Slippery and Normal drive modes; and roof rails
Powered by award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine in four power outputs or 85PS 1.5-litre TDCi engine
Fiesta Active range from £17,790

WARLEY, ESSEX, 19 March, 2018 –The top-selling Ford Fiesta adds a rugged new look to its line-up with the addition of the Fiesta Active crossover range for summer.

Comprising three variants – Active 1, Active B&O PLAY and Active X – Fiesta Active joins Ford KA+ Active in offering buyers an exciting lifestyle crossover with increased ride height, rugged exterior and advanced technologies.

Equipped to impress

All three Fiesta Active models enjoy distinctive looks and impressive equipment levels, including a rugged bodystyling kit with Active badging and styling cues, rough-road suspension with increased ride height, roof rails, front fog lights and 17in five-spoke alloy wheels.

There are three selectable drive modes: Eco, Normal and Slippery, while rough-terrain capabilities are enhanced by the adoption of Ford’s Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Hill Start Assist.

On-road safety is boosted thanks to lane-keeping technology, rear seat belt minder, rear centre headrest, auto headlamps, Ford’s Quickclear heated windscreen for faster getaways on frosty mornings and the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), while passenger comfort aids include electric front and rear windows, rear privacy glass, driver seat height and lumbar adjustment and air-conditioning.

Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system enables drivers to control audio and connected smartphones using voice commands, or via the tablet-inspired colour touchscreen, and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™.

The Fiesta Active B&O PLAY stands out from its siblings both visually and audibly, equipped as it is with a distinctive black roof with black roof rails and matching electrically operated and heated door mirrors, plus a B&O PLAY premium audio system with 360-degree sound and 10 speakers.

The Active B&O PLAY includes a yellow colour theme and additional features such as cruise control, rain sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear view mirror, a centre console with armrest and illuminated cup holders, plus a 4.2in TFT instrument cluster screen with traffic sign recognition.

Even more equipment is fitted as standard to the Active X, including partial leather upholstery with heated front seats, power-foldable door mirrors with puddle lights, Ford SYNC 3 Navigation system with DAB radio and 8in touchscreen, the KeyFree system with keyless entry and start, and a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors.

The Fiesta Active range also features dramatic and dynamic colour schemes, and the option of a two-part panoramic sliding roof on the Active 1 and Active X models.

Powered to achieve

Ford’s multi-award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine is offered with four different power outputs: 85PS, 100PS, 125PS and 140PS, allied to a new six-speed manual gearbox delivering from 105g/km CO2 emissions.

The turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine features advanced technologies including high-pressure direct fuel injection, Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing, and an innovative offset crankshaft design for unparalleled three-cylinder refinement.

All three Fiesta Active models are additionally available with Ford’s 85PS 1.5-litre TDCi engine with CO2 from 96g/km and 120PS version.

Auto‑Start‑Stop technology is fitted to all engines to improve economy, with Active Grille Shutter for both petrol and diesel engines. A new Eco button for manual transmissions adjusts engine and throttle settings to help drivers save even more fuel when desired.

Ready to reassure

The new Fiesta – BBC Top Gear magazine’s Supermini of the Year and Carbuyer’s Car of the Year – is one of the safest small cars on the market with a five-star Euro NCAP rating.

All models in the range, including the new Fiesta Active, feature as standard driver and front passenger airbags, front side impact airbags and front and side rear curtain airbags to provide maximum coverage in the event of an accident, aided by front and rear seat belt pre-tensioners.

An anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution ensures controlled deceleration if heavy braking is required, during which the Fiesta’s hazard lights and brake lights flash automatically to warn following vehicles of the potential emergency. Electronic Stability Control senses when a vehicle is losing grip and automatically applies a braking pulse to individual wheels, stabilising it.

The new Fiesta Active 1 is £17,790, with B&O PLAY for £19,190 and Active X at £20,290.

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