New Fiesta offers 'large car quality'

Ford is seeking to attract customers who are downsizing from larger cars to the new Fiesta, which it says offers "large car quality in a small car".

Ford of Europe's chief interior designer Ernst Reim made the lofty claim that the new model will even change people's perceptions of what a small car can offer.

The car sports a new look both outside and in, including a revamped front grille with laser-cut headlamps either side.

For the first time the Fiesta also boasts an integrated navigation system, which takes pride of place on a new five-inch central colour display.

The upper instrument panel and door panels have a high-gloss finish, while a new selection of seat designs are offered including high-quality leather, partial leather, comfort fabric and sport fabric trims.

Ford has strived to achieve enhanced practicality as well as looks in the new Fiesta, which features a concealed load space underneath the boot with an adjustable floor height to help when loading heavy items.

There is also some additional storage located within a new central arm rest and the door pockets have been enlarged to further increase the potential load.

Drivers can choose from a range of striking new exterior colours for the car, such as Copper Pulse, Candy Blue and Hot Mustard, and it comes with 17-inch alloys.

And there is another major new feature that might just tempt motorists to take out car finance and purchase the new Fiesta - especially if they regularly drive abroad - and that is the SYNC Emergency Assistance tool.

Christof Kellerwessel, chief engineer in Electrical and Electronics System Engineering at Ford of Europe, explained that the function is deployed in the event of a crash when an airbag or the car's emergency fuel pump cut-off is activated - a time when it may be difficult or impossible for the occupants to call the emergency services.

Ford says its SYNC Emergency Assistance technology offers the market-leading capability of being able to alert local emergency services operators in 26 languages, spoken in 40 European regions.

It works by accessing data from the car's on-board GPS unit, map and mobile network to pinpoint the location of the accident before delivering a pre-recorded message in the correct language.

SYNC Emergency Assistance uses an occupant's Bluetooth-connected mobile phone to call the pan-European 112 emergency number.

Ford recently commissioned a survey of over 3,000 travellers across Europe which showed that in the last five years three-quarters of people had travelled in a car in countries where they would not have been able to make an emergency call in the local language.

AA president Edmund King said his organisation believes the feature could help to save lives and is pressing for an e-calling feature to be incorporated into all new cars as standard.

"It helps notify the emergency services in that vital 'golden hour' after a serious crash when rapid medical attention can be the difference between life and death," Mr King commented.

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