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Despite the name, ‘warm’, which doesn’t conjure up the most exciting thoughts of a hatchback car, the new wave of warm hatchbacks to hit the market aren’t really such a bad idea. They’ll still offer buyers plenty of driving fun, but price and running costs should be more appealing.
The first warm hatch prototype was Renault’s Clio RSi produced between 1991 and 1998, but in recent years, this type of car has started to make a comeback. For example, Volkswagen’s 148bhp Polo BlueGT has been well received, as has the Ibiza FR and there is an eagerly anticipated 1.4-litre low-blow turbo Vauxhall Corsa expected this autumn.
This new Ford hatchback car is based on its most popular iconic model, the Fiesta and is set to go on sale on August 18th. Its available in just two colours – black or red with the Red Edition featuring red bodywork with a black trim and the Black Edition vice versa.
Priced from £15,995 the warmed-up Fiesta will use Ford’s 1.0-litre, three cylinder turbocharged engine in its most powerful form churning out 138bhp and 155lb ft of torque. Sadly, its only available with a standard five speed manual gearbox, but we think it would benefit from six gears for longer journeys.
In comparison to the hot hatch Fiesta ST which can achieve a top speed of 139mph and 0-62mph in just 6.9 seconds, the Red/Black Edition can reach 125mph and 0-62mph in 9 seconds. Official average fuel consumption is 62.8mpg (versus 47.9mpg) and insurance group 18 (versus 30).
So has the Red/Black got enough to justify its £15,995 price? If first impressions are anything to go by, we’re not entirely convinced. The cabin is fairly drab looking decked out entirely in charcoal grey and the interior is very similar to a standard Fiesta car – practical and reasonably comfortable with plenty of space in the front and back for occupants. But, one of the things which does stands out when you drive the Ford Fiesta Red/Black Edition is its superior ride quality – it rides a whole lot better than the ST – with even longer distances making for a smooth ride.
The new Ford Fiesta Red/Black Edition is described by the Telegraph as a “Tigger of a car – a bit bouncy, always up for it and great fun”, and we’re in full agreement. Add in its affordable cost, impressive fuel economy and low CO2 emissions and it becomes quite an attractive option if you’re looking for genuine, economical driving fun that comes with a reasonable price tag.