fiesta1

It has arguably been the car with all the pre-launch publicity this year, having had a good seven months plus of doing so in various forms up to this point, but now the wait is over and things are finally rolling for the Ford Fiesta. The car was officially launched this evening in Malaysia at the Opera in Sunway Pyramid, and the neat surprise is that the pricing has improved on that bandied about before pre-launch.

Before today, the indicative pricing for the Fiesta, which is of course available in three variants – an entry-level 1.4 litre hatch, a 1.6 litre sedan and a range-topping 1.6 litre Sport hatch – was RM73,888, RM79,888 and RM84,888 respectively, all on-the-road with insurance.

fiesta4

The wonderful news for those looking at the B-segment offering is that the 1.4 LX manual’s price has dipped under RM70k, in this case RM69,888, while the 1.6 LX sedan goes for RM78,888. As for the 1.6 Sport, it’s two thousand cheaper than expected, rolling in at RM82,888, again all on-the-road with insurance.

Our earlier test drive report, filed by my colleague Danny Tan, already explains the Thai-made car wonderfully in great detail, but to recap, you’re certainly getting a lot for your money with the Fiesta. At the top-end, here’s a hatch with plenty of snazz about it.

fiesta6

There’s that new Duratec Ti-VCT (Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing) 1.6 litre pot for starters (which is also to be found on the sedan), offering 118 hp (or 120 PS, if you prefer) at 6,000rpm and 152 Nm of torque at 4,050rpm, and the Fiesta is the only car in its price range offering a six-speed Powershift twin-clutch tranny on both variants. Meanwhile, the 1.4 litre Duratec pot on the entry-level LX hatch turns out 94.5 hp (96 PS) at 5,650rpm and has 128 Nm at 4,050rpm, mated to a five-speed IB5 manual box.

Other items on the equipment list includes ABS with Hill Launch Assist, ESP and TCS, EBD, emergency brake assist, a six-speaker audio system offering Bluetooth/USB/iPod connectivity and Voice Control, dual airbags, Easy Fuel capless refuelling system, Isofix mounting points, power folding side mirrors and 195/50 series rubbers riding on five-spoke 16-inch alloys.

fiesta2

The kit listed is for the 1.6 Sport, but on the whole the two other variants have a decent spread of features. In terms of boot space, the sedan offers 471 litres of cargo space, while the hatch has a 281 litre capacity – getting more naturally if you fold down the 60:40 split rear seats.

A wide colour palette is available for the exterior, with Cool White, Mica Black and Metropolitan Grey common to all three models. The manual gets a fourth shade, True Red, while the rest of the sedan’s six colours are made up of Phantom Blue, Sparking Gold and Highlight Silver.

fiesta3

As for the 1.6 Sport, eight’s the total weight in this case – besides five of the colours listed above (save Sparkling Gold and Phantom Blue, which are unique to the sedan) the Sport gets two exclusive shades – the designated hero colour called Chili Orange and Aurora Blue. The eighth body colour, which I believe will only come in at some point in the future and will have a slight premium attached to it, is a very distinct looking Phantom Purple (maybe you can name your Fiesta Barney?)

The Fiesta range comes with a three-year/100,000km warranty, and to sweeten the deal further, buyers get the Ford Extended Service Plan thrown in for good measure – the three-year or 60,000km free maintenance plan covers parts and labour, and included in the list are engine oil and filter changes, multi-point inspections, engine belts and hoses, spark plugs and wiper blades.

fiesta5

Sime Darby Auto ConneXion says that more than 500 bookings have already been taken in the Klang Valley alone (the nationwide numbers are still being compiled), with the first customer deliveries going underway now that the car has been launched. Nonetheless, the waiting period for the Fiesta currently isn’t that long – with a steady stream of stock coming in from Rayong, if you book a Fiesta now you’ll likely get it in January, which really isn’t too long a wait.