Generally pretty happy with this weekend’s hire car: the hybrid operates inconspicuously but giving a real brmm factor when pulling away. I drove this Fiesta ST-Line to get over the Pennines before the snow and then again for fun around the North Pennines between Teesdale, Alston and Hartside Summit.
Medium distance on cross-county A roads, the 999 cc engine plus electric is responsive enough enabling passing without undue stress. And the electric helps out at low revs when you should have changed down. That will help with the fuel economy, but as it’s a bit inconsistent I tried to change down as normal, ie to regard electric as a safety net, like with ABS. And without the electric boost the engine alone will be gutless.
It’s not the weather to rag it on curves or to make the most of Sport mode but the general handling gives confidence, though more solid and stable (ie heavier) than a petrol-only Corsa. The electric assist makes up for the extra weight but the tyres and brakes have to work harder.
The creature comforts work fine, the main heater gets going pretty soon after a cold start; this one has heated seats, heated driving wheel as well as heated windscreens, front and back. The red trim details look smart and the seats are good with leather trim so you don't slide around.
My main niggle is the centre information screen: the driver’s screen is selectable to Calm, Fuel Economy etc, but I haven’t found a way to switch off the centre screen, ie a JUST DRIVE mode. It’s quite fussy with naggy pop-ups such as “Safe lawful driving is the driver’s responsibility”. And as an owner, I would wonder how long the drive battery will last before needing replacement.
This is a 1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid mHEV 125 ST-Line Vignale 3dr 2022.