The fancy Fiesta which isn't worth the extra money.
Although it may look smart, but it comes with a slightly hefty price tag.
Quite a while ago, I got my hands on the Fiesta Active, which is an outdoor version Fiesta. And to be honest, I wasn’t keen on it. The same goes for this Fiesta, I’m not too sure on it either.
The Vignale Edition gets leather on most surfaces, along with almost every bell and whistle as standard for the interior. As for the exterior, rather than plastic rugged trims and roof rails from the Active model, the Vignale gets chrome trim surrounds, a flusher-looking front grille and there’s also a strip of brushed chrome running along the bottom of all four doors. Classy, eh?
When the Fiesta MK8 was first revealed in 2016, Ford revealed two new trim levels, the Active and the Vignale. Funny name, isn’t it? Vignale. The name first started off as an Italian automobile coachbuilder company which was established in 1948, by Alfredo Vignale. In 1969, Vignale was sold to Alejandro de Tomaso, who also owned Carrozzeria Ghia. De Tomaso was struggling to run the two companies, so he sold both companies to Ford in 1973.
The name didn’t really get used until 20 years down the line, when Aston Martin – who was owned by Ford at the time - brought out the Lagonda Vignale concept car. Ford then revealed the Focus Vignale in 2004, but it was re-named as the Ford Focus Coupe-Cabriolet when it went into production. The Vignale name wasn’t used until late 2013, when Ford first put it on the back of the Mondeo. As time has moved on, more models have received the Vignale badge.
Driving in town, the Fiesta is comfortable and is great to use day-to-day. The steering feels lighter than the older model year MK8 Fiesta’s, making parking and manoeuvring easier. If you really want to push the boat out, the Vignale comes with the park assist feature, meaning, the car will steer itself into any type of parking bay, while you operate the gearbox and pedals. I tried it a few times and found it easier and quicker to just park the damn thing myself. But it’s there for people who struggle to park, I guess.
The Fiesta I tested comes with a 1.5-litre diesel engine with 158lb-ft, producing 84bhp. Surprisingly, it’s better than I anticipated. Although you may feel the need to give it some welly to get that turbo going, especially if you’re in Eco mode. But it’s a diesel Fiesta, it’s not meant to be thrashed everywhere.
If you’re picking the diesel over those EcoBoost petrol engines, the chances are you’ll be doing high mileage. To be honest, it’s not a bad engine for long journeys. But if you’re cruising in sixth gear and feel the need to pick the speed up, you might need to drop it down a few gears, even if you’re not in the ‘fuel saving mode’. The engine is expected to get an average of 75mpg. I wasn’t getting far off it in all fairness, and I wasn’t driving it (ahem) economically.
The diesel engine does take a sense of fun out of the corners, compared to the petrol units. But it’s not as bad as you’d imagine. Seriously, it isn’t. It still feels nimble under hard cornering. It’ll do 0-62mph in 12.4 seconds and has a top speed of 108mph. But I’d still recommend sticking to the 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engines, which now come with mild-hybrid assistance that kick out either 123bhp or 153bhp, and they’re still economical and are more fun to drive.
Once you step inside, you can see where your money goes. There’s leather on the dash, door trims, arm rest and even on the handbrake. The seats are covered in black quilted leather, with a good amount of comfort – that’s the same for the rear seats, too. There’s convenient features that come with the Vignale, like the comfort pack which gets front heated seats and a heated steering wheel, cushty. There’s also blind spot integrated system, adaptive cruise control and handy door edge protectors.
On top of the dash is the 8-inch infotainment touch screen, that now comes as standard on the base model Fiesta. The Vignale uses the Ford Sync 3 system, which comes with Sat Nav, DAB, Bluetooth, USB, and it’s compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You’ll find the system sits in the perfect position when you’re driving, and has sharp, responsive graphics with a variety of display settings. The only thing I wasn’t keen on was the ‘Dark mode’, as most of the screen turns into a deep blue colour, rather than black. Which isn’t so easy on your eyes when you’re driving at night-time.
Let’s not forget about that Bang & Olufsen surround sound system, with 10 speakers including a subwoofer that lives in the boot area. Like the older model year Fiesta’s, the subwoofer lived where the space saver would normally be. Now, even though the sub now lives inside of the offside rear quarter panel (like the new Ford Puma), you still can’t get a space saver in the Vignale, an inflation kit is there instead. Meh.
The Fiesta doesn’t have the biggest boot size in its class, but that’s not to say the boot size is small. There’s 292-litres without the rear seat area and 1,093-litres with.
The Vignale makes the Fiesta feel more grown up inside, and so it should. It comes with a tonne of features and you can tell it looks kitted out, just by looking at it from the outside. Apart from the full LED headlights, an openable panoramic roof and those 18-inch alloys, it gets every optional feature as standard. But I get the same feeling about it as I did with the Fiesta Active. It’s just doesn’t work. The Fiesta (as most of us know) are generally fun cars, easy to live with and reliable - which the Vignale is. There’re also supposed to be reasonably priced - which the Vignale isn’t, and that’s why it doesn’t work for me.
Are you ready for that price I was on about earlier? How about £23,185. Once you’ve fully spec’d it up, it’ll cost just under £27k. That’s Fiesta ST money. £27k will even get you a decent Focus. You’ll do better to stick with either the Titanium or ST-Line Edition models and add the extras that’ll actually benefit you. Sure, you get comfy seats and soft touch materials here and there. But I really, honestly can’t say it’s worth the extra money.
This review is also posted onto my website, worthreviewing.com.