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New Fiesta is fab for UK motorists 

CHALLENGERS continue to enter the supermini sector as manufactures battle it out for sales.

But a car that’s probably sat on most driveways in the UK since its launch back in 1976 continues to dominate the sales charts.

The Ford Fiesta is a real family favourite and it just keeps going from strength to strength.

It’s been a massive trophy winner over the years and the model launched last year is no exception.

It was crowned Best Supermini in the Scottish Car of the Year 2017 awards, myself and fellow members of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers voting Ford’s little beauty tops just months after its arrival.

More trophies have followed – the latest being Auto Express magazine’s Supermini of the Year.

Ford has the recipe to keep the Fiesta top of the tree with the car evolving over the years.

The first hot hatch Fiesta arrived in 1981 and this XR2 model was also the first 100mph Fiesta.

The range of petrol and diesel engines has got more refined to meet market demands.

And that mean there’s a Fiesta for everyone – speed merchants, economy conscious and eco friendly drivers.

What’s never changed is the fun factor in what has always been a stylish little model.

There are three and five-door models with seven trim levels – Style, Zetec, Titanium, ST Line, Vignale and recently arrived ST and Active.

I’ve sampled a few of these and my latest test car was an ST-Line X three-door.

The ST-Line has the sporty looks of the ST but with a lot less power – and also a lot less insurance cost.

Under the bonnet is a 1.0-litre 140PS EcoBoost petrol engine and it was pretty perky.

It moves smartly enough out of the blocks with a zero to 62mph time of nine seconds and is capable of 125mph.

A slick six-speed manual gearbox ensures it is ideal in town traffic and when out on the open road.

It proved nippy gong up and down the gears and didn’t disappoint when cornering at speed.

The Fiesta handled well with its sports tuned suspension, and the ride comfort was never too hard.

It might not be the fastest in the range but its turn of speed and agility means it is a supermini well worth looking at

And it’s easy on the pocket as well with excellent claimed full consumption figures of 56.5mpg combined, 46.3mpg urban and 64.2mpg extra urban.

Its sporty looks, including side skirts, large body-coloured rear spoiler and rock metallic 17-inch 5×2 spoke alloys, continues inside.

This includes ST-Line flat-bottomed steering wheel, sports pedals and partial leather sports seats

As new technologies came along, Bluetooth was added some years ago followed by lots more high-tech features in the Fiesta.

This ST-Line X model had Ford SYNC 3 navigation with a dash top mounted eight-inch touchscreen DAB radio, emergency assistance, Apple CarPlay and android auto, two USB sockets and six speakers.

And driver assist features on a 4.2-inch instrument cluster screen displays traffic sign recognition, auto high beam and driver alert.

There’s a host of other top standard features on this model, including stop/start, cruise control, lane keeping alert, speed limiter and rear privacy glass.

You also get halogen projector headlamps with LED day running lights, front fog lamps with cornering lights and LED night signature to rear lights.

On-the-road prices start at £13,715 with the ST-Line X three-door costing £19,315.

The new Fiesta is proving just as successful for Ford – being the UK’s most popular car with 67,189 models sold in the first eight months of this year.