Ford Kuga, Ford Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost and Fiesta ST all feature prominently in the media this week. There’s also news of a Ford legend making a comeback at the Shanghai Motor Show…
Jo Sander reviews Ford Kuga for the Berliner Kurier (Germany): “Its front-end impresses with its muscular appearance. What are also to our liking are its swept-back headlights, high waistline, and well-shaped rear-end… The interior boasts considerably better build and material quality. This applies particularly to the cockpit and the centre console. Five people ride comfortably in the adjustable seats, which offer decent lateral support…The Ford will initially be powered by engines generating between 140 and 182PS. We tested the 150PS 1.6-liter four-cylinder entry-level engine in conjunction with front-wheel-drive. It boasts plenty of low-rev power and is surprisingly agile (240Nm!). It provided plenty of oomph on the highway, where it remained calm and showed no signs of body roll.”
“Revolutionary” is how Yves Martin of Que Choisir (France) describes Ford Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost: “Surprising on paper, its three-cylinder, 125PS engine impresses us with its quiet, vibration-free performance from the moment it starts. This Ford is very pleasant to drive in the city and guarantees good accelerations on the highway. Even at 130km/h, it remains silent, and we measured only 66dB of noise inside the cabin. And with fuel consumption of 5.5l / 100km, the Focus is relatively ecological.”
Carlo Forni of Genti Motori (Italy) rates Fiesta ST highly: “With decisive lines, a honeycomb grille, muscular bumpers and a rear diffuser, the ST has an eye-catching exterior. An ideal evolution of the standard Fiesta, it is sportier without going overboard. The Fiesta ST’s character is emphasized by the Recaro seats, carbon fiber inserts, aluminum pedals and gearshift and ST steering wheel. We find a high-quality dashboard, an excellent driving position and a supportive seat. What more could we want? Sporty and fun, Ford’s 1.6-liter engine earns our admiration. At the same time, the Fiesta ST isn’t radical, and this is appreciated in routine driving situations. The suspension isn’t too firm, and the fuel consumption is acceptable at normal speeds. The engine’s roar never becomes annoying.”
Markus Schönfeld Auto Zeitung (Germany) compared Fiesta ST to Citroën DS3 Racing, the Mini John Cooper Works, the Nissan Juke Nismo, the Peugeot 208 GTI, the Renault Clio R.S. and the Seat Ibiza Cupra. Fiesta won the test with a total of 2,767 out of 5,000 points. It also won the Costs/Environment category, while placing second for Body/Interior, third for Ride Comfort and Driving Dynamics, and fifth in the Engine/Transmission category. Schönfeld writes: “Ford’s Fiesta ST may have only won the Costs category, and by a considerable margin, but it nevertheless emerges from this comparison test as the clear winner. In terms of its spaciousness and its comfort it is on par with the Seat Ibiza Cupra, while it clearly sets itself apart from the Spanish offering with its driving dynamics.”
Tom Phillips of Auto Express (UK) reports on the return of the Ford Escort at the Shanghai Motor Show: “Ford has announced he return of its most famous model name ever — the Escort. Seeking a dose of European kudos for its new, mid-size car, Ford of China picked the Legendary badge for its Shanghai Motor Show star.
The Escort concept previews a new mid-sized saloon that will slot into Ford’s Chinese range alongside the Focus. While the latter is designed to offer a decent driving experience and plenty of tech — and is currently China’s best-selling car — the new Escort aims to offer more space, particularly for buyers who prefer to be chauffeured. It bears the hallmarks of Ford’s global design language, established by the Evos concept of 2011. However, concessions to the Chinese market include jewelled headlights designed to resemble a figure of eight considered lucky in China.
The Escort will go on sale in 2015, and forms part of Ford’s plan to add 15 new models to its Chinese line-up by 2015. The original Escort hit the road in 1968 and was a near- permanent fixture among the UK’s top-selling new cars. It finally bowed out in 2000, after five million had been built in Halewood, Merseyside — that’s roughly the number of mid-sized cars sold annually in China.”