November 21, 2014 @ 11:35 PM

Feature: Is the Ford Fiesta EcoBoost as feisty as is reputed?

The feisty Fiesta EcoBoost is here to play, who better to test it out but the feisty Jerrica Leong?

Words by: Jerrica Leong
Photographs by: Jerrica Leong & Chris Ng
The feisty Fiesta EcoBoost is here to play, who better to test it out but the feisty Jerrica Leong?
Who doesn’t love the Ford Fiesta? If you’re not a petrolhead then you probably wouldn’t know that this current generation of Fiesta with its Aston-ish grilles is the seventh generation. Yes, you didn’t read wrong, seventh generation. The Fiesta model actually recently celebrated its 35th birthday!
The latest Fiesta is lovingly known the EcoBoost thanks to the awesome award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine that powers the car. The engine comes with a tagline “Less Fuel, More Power”. Which begs the question: how much power can a 1.0-litre three cylinder engine give you?

Honestly, I was sceptical about the claims that the EcoBoost has a max power of 124bhp at 6000rpm and a max torque of 170Nm at 4500rpm. Although I was ready to put it aside because of the praises sang by almost everyone around the world.

I got behind the wheel of the EcoBoost and eased out of the showroom, out onto the highway and drive it like I normally would. My eyes widen as the rear of the car in front rushed towards my windscreen. I immediately applied the brakes! Acceleration, which took me by surprise, was so swift that I hit 60 in no time. I guess I should have paid more heed to the engine write-up titled “More Torque than you can imagine.” Or maybe I haven’t entirely put my scepticism aside…

120kph on an empty highway? No problem. In fact, I thought I was cruising at 80kph. In my opinion steering is a little heavy in D so I changed to S! The car responds like a purring panther, one with red metal coat, and is happy to give me all the speed I ask for. Next thing I know, I was keeping up with them faster cars on the fast lane with no effort at all.

The EcoBoost is easy to get used to despite its rapid acceleration. It didn’t take long before I started thinking it as the funny best friend that would join me on road trips all over the country. I even nicknamed it “the little red baby” but then changed my mind and called it the awesome power monster instead.

This car also has very good soundproofing. You would be surprise at how high a decimal the small EcoBoost engine can go. As the driver I had no idea that it is that loud until I had the EcoBoost play model to pose for photos.

I’ve always been told to drive at my own pace. An advice that has been given to me since I joined and one I take to heart, after all we need to take baby steps when learning something new. I’ve never driven narrow, winding roads and uphill to boot! So when I was required to follow a certain pair of SUVs up said narrow roads, I made sure to inform everyone (who would listen) that I will not be tail-gating their bumpers on the way up.

So it was supposed to be me and my snail pace, driving up those scary uphill and winding roads, but the thing was I wasn’t as slow as I thought, despite me being the typical unskilled careful driver. After getting used to the roads, I left those behind in the dust and caught up with them SUVs. The EcoBoost handled those roads brilliantly. I might have mentioned that the car’s steering was on the heavy side. Solution? Change it to S! And easier went the EcoBoost around those bends!

Unfortunately for the EcoBoost, it has a dual-clutch gearbox. And like all dual-clutch gearboxes, it responds slower than you would like. As if the car is asking “are you sure?” before carrying out your orders. With the hesitant first gear and the heavy steering wheel the EcoBoost is your pet Great Dane that refuses to walk when driving around slow junctions.

Those fish-eye side mirrors… It takes a lot of straining to see all sides of the car. And before I got used to them, I was pretty much a hazard on the road because cars are conveniently out of my line of sight.

I know what you’re thinking, RM96,551.65 (OTR with insurance) for a 1.0-litre car with only three colour choices (red, white and black) is madness. But think of it this way, it may be a 1.0-litre car but you get a 1.6-litre car’s horses. Power aside, you also get a whole carload of specs. The low side skirting and daytime LED lights comes as standard. Keyless entry with push button start and S with Sync comes as standard as well.

I also suspect that we are paying more for the safety features than for the car itself. The EcoBoost has not two nor three but seven airbags, including curtain airbags for the rear passengers, that of which the Fiesta Sport and Titanium do not have. Add in ABS, EBA, ESP just to name a few, along with the F1 style refuelling system (Ford Easy Fuel Capless Fuel System). Yes all these comes as standard to the EcoBoost.

How about the fuel economy, you ask? Well the best answer I can give this is: it depends. It’s all about how heavy your right foot is when it comes to saving fuel in the EcoBoost. With a lack of anticipation skills I managed a 9l/100km. For heavy footed people like the Writer, he used quarter of the fuel gauge in the 20 minutes he drove the car, while the needle barely dropped when the Editor took it for a drive.

When a person puts on branded clothes he or she would feel more confident. Ask a lady why she would choose to wear Prada or Chanel and her response would include words like stylish and good fit and confidence. The EcoBoost is much the same because the car inspires the same kind of confidence when wearing Dior, stylish, good fit and confidence. 
Ford Fiesta 1.0-l EcoBoost
RM96,551.65 (OTR with insurance)
On sale
998cc, GTDI, EcoBoost 3-cyl, 124bhp@6000rpm, 170Nm@4500rpm
6-speed PowerShift Automatic
Macpherson Strut front, Twist Beam rear

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