The Ford Fiesta used to be a popular car in India when it was launched nearly a decade ago and slowly lost out on sales charts despite being a very good package. In fact, the Fiesta was one of the best handling cars in its segment when it was sold in India. It also had a set of funky interiors with possibly the best audio system and seats of any car under the ₹ 10 lakh mark but very slow sales forced Ford to discontinue it in India. India though is one of the few countries in the world where the Fiesta is sold as a sedan and not a hatchback like it is in the United Kingdom.
Ford has just unveiled a new generation Fiesta and it fits in perfectly in the global hatchback lineup that starts with the small entry level to the slightly larger Ka Plus (Figo hatchback in India) and ends with large Focus. The Fiesta lines up just between the Ka Plus and the Focus. Of course, in the U.K., you can choose from a range of engine options including a powerful Ford Fiesta ST variant and now , for the first time, a cross-hatchback Ford Fiesta 'Active'. Internationally, the Fiesta goes up against the likes of the Volkswagen Polo and the Hyundai i20.
So considering the fact that the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and the Hyundai i20 have been doing extremely well in the country and the premium hatchback market is set to boom in the next few years too, does it make sense for the Fiesta to make a comeback as a hatchback? Maruti Suzuki did the same with the Baleno name too. What was originally a sedan was brought back as a premium hatchback and we think Ford could very well follow the same trend with the new Fiesta too.
Ford could actually consider bringing in only the Fiesta Active to India as the standard offering as the likes of the Kwid has shown us that the cross-hatchback styling does seem to work wonders. And the new Fiesta in all its current forms is just a tad under the 4-meter mark and offers a relatively spacious and well designed interior too. Ford has been struggling with sales in the last few months especially since the Figo and the Aspire have not done well although they are some of the best cars in their particular segment. The introduction of the Fiesta as a hatchback could actually boost Ford's reputation and sales in the right way. Of course, Ford could also consider calling this Fiesta hatchback something completely different for India if they want to start afresh.
In case you were wondering about technical specifications, here is what the Fiesta packs under the hood. The 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine offers 99bhp, 123bhp or 138bhp while the 1.5-litre TDCI diesel engine offers either 84bhp or 119bhp depending on the state of tune. You can have both these engines with a manual or an automatic gearbox. There is also a naturally aspirated 1.1-litre engine that puts out 69bhp or 84bhp in the entry-level versions.
If Ford decides to bring the Fiesta to India, expect prices to be around the ₹ 6-9 lakh price range and go up against competition like the hot selling Maruti Suzuki Baleno, the Hyundai i20 and the Volkswagen Polo.