FORD has given its popular Fiesta a revamp for a smarter more grown-up look, without fiddling too much with the fun and sporty character of what is one of its most popular models. The all-new Fiesta, which was launched in South Africa in May, features significant changes inside and out. It has a smarter, more grown-up look and now offers some user-friendly technology as standard, including a dashboard mounted tablet-like touchscreen, parking sensors and automatic headlights.One of the changes which is most noticeable, and which I think is a vast improvement on the former model, is the squaring out of the backside (almost Focus-like) with a wide tailgate. Another impressive upgrade is the improved look of the infotainment system. I never much liked the previous model’s wing-like design with all its buttons. The new look infotainment system, with its big and bold touchscreen mounted on the dashboard, gives the Fiesta’s interior a high-tech feel and has only half the buttons on the centre console than the previous model. Many of the connectivity and entertainment controls have been relocated to the 6.5-inch touchscreen fitted as standard on the Trend models, or the 8-inch version on the Titanium incorporating SYNC®3 with Navigation.The Ford Fiesta is equipped with the award-winning 1.0 EcoBoost engine. A 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine version is also available. Buyers can choose between new six-speed manual or automatic transmissions as well as two spec levels, i.e. the Trend or range-topping Titanium. The model test driven was the diesel version, which is only available with manual transmission and Trend specification, and which is in my opinion the one to go for. Its noise levels were impressively low, while giving a good driving performance with nippy acceleration. Ex terior I like the new exterior look of the Fiesta. It looks more elegant, yet it retains a lot of its sporty features.From the front, it boasts a bigger grille and newly designed headlamps with a new wrap-around effect. The rear is a complete redesign and features new horizontal rear lights.The new Fiesta is a little bigger than the previous model. It is 7cm longer and has more legroom for the backseat passengers.The bootsize has also been increased to offer 303 litre of stowage space. InteriorThe biggest changes are found inside the new Fiesta. It has more luxurious finishes with the tablet-like touchscreen infotainment system the cherry on top. The steering wheel has buttons to control the radio, cruise control, telephone and the trip computer which offers very useful trip and safety info.The new Fiesta’s infotainment system comes with SYNC®3 connectivity supported by the floating high-definition touchscreens.This communications and entertainment system enables Fiesta drivers to control audio, navigation and connected smartphones using voice commands. Bluetooth connectivity, two USB ports and an integrated CD player are standard on all models. The Trend models have six speakers, while a high-end seven-speaker sound system is featured on the Titanium models.RideThe Fiesta is still fun to drive. On the highway it feels confident and grown up and offers a much bigger car driving experience with confident cornering. In the city it gives a nippy ride, with keen acceleration and smooth gear changing.The diesel engine of the vehicle test driven also impressed with its low noise levels.Ford’s six-time International Engine of the Year, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, is offered in two variants in the all-new Fiesta. The Trend model with the six-speed manual gearbox, as well as the Trend and Titanium models equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission, is equipped with the 74kW version of this engine, delivering 170Nm of torque from 1 500 to 4 000r/min.The Fiesta Titanium mated with a six-speed manual transmission uses the 92kW version of this engine.Safety features Fiesta’s active and passive safety systems, combined with an impressive range of driver assistance technologies, deliver the highest safety rating yet for this model.The all-new Fiesta body features 36% more boron steel for greater strength in key areas. Front, side and curtain airbags are standard across the range.Driving aids in all the models include ABS brakes with Electronic Brake Assist (EBA) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), as well as Hill Launch Assist (HLA) Electronic Stability and Traction Control (ESC).Prices:Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6MT R269 900Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6AT R285 500Fiesta 1.5 TDCi Trend 6MT R300 900Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6MT R304 900Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6AT R319 900All models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited kilometre corrosion warranty. A four-year/60 000km service plan is included, with 15 000km service intervals.