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Ford to take next-gen Fiesta upmarket: report

Party favourite: The next-gen Ford Fiesta will ride on a heavily revised version of the existing platform according to a UK publication.

Next Ford Fiesta to be more mature but unlikely to hit Australia until 2018

12 Aug 2016

FORD is set to take its baby Fiesta hatchback further upmarket with the next-generation version that is expected to be revealed before the end of the year, according to a report out of the United Kingdom.

GoAuto understands that while it is set to go on sale in Europe next year, it is unlikely to make it Down Under until 2018. This would make the existing model nine years old when the replacement arrives.

Autocar is reporting that the seventh-generation light hatch will gain a more premium interior than the seven-and-a-half year-old current model, with a simpler fascia that will ditch the overly button-heavy centre stack.

Some of the changes to the cabin and dash could follow that of the Mondeo and the facelifted Focus that arrived late last year, bringing a cleaner, more high-end look to the city runabout.

The British publication has quoted a source within Ford of Europe that says “it has earned the right to evolve” given the success of the current Fiesta in Europe and the UK – where it is currently the best-selling car in the country.

The report says that the Fiesta will continue to be based on Ford’s Global B platform that also underpins the smaller European market Ka+, which means that it will likely retain similar dimensions of the outgoing car, but it could get slightly wider tracks.

Spy photos from overseas hint at an evolutionary design but with what appears to be a wider grille and less dramatic headlight design which could make for a more mature look.

At the rear, the Fiesta will adopt all-new tail-lights that will carry across to the tailgate, while the side profile is reminiscent of the current model.

Powertrain choices are unclear at this early stage but Autocar says the 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol unit and 1.5-litre TDCi four-cylinder diesel will be revised, while the six-speed Powershift dual-clutch transmission will carry on.

Underneath, the updated Fiesta features a revised version of the existing MacPherson strut front suspension.

The publication also reports that while other car-makers such as Renault have dropped three-door versions of their light hatches, the next-gen Fiesta will be offered as a three- and five-door.

While the Fiesta is hugely popular in the UK where it has been the overall top-selling car every year since 2009, knocking its Focus stablemate off the top off the charts, it is a different story in Australia.

Following its launch in early 2009 it recorded strong sales, clocking up 8861 units in its first year on sale, but has dipped in recent years and last year fell to just 4526 sales.

To the end of July this year it has dropped by 41.8 per cent over the same period in 2015 to just 1707 units. It is now well off the pace of segment leaders such as the Hyundai Accent (10,084) Mazda2 (8399) and the Toyota Yaris (7436).

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