When it comes to dealerships that have been around for decades, Consolidated Auto in Boksburg is high on the list of experienced and seasoned hubs for all things relating to Ford. Often featuring in the top 5 Ford dealerships in South Africa, Consolidated Auto has a knowledgeable team of experts on board to meet all your new and pre-owned vehicle needs. Proudly showcasing the brand-new Ford Fiesta, Consolidated Auto graciously hosted me for a test drive of this incredible little vehicle.

Good leadership inevitably produces good service, and none more so than here at Consolidated Auto. With Neil Boonzaier as the Dealer Principal, an overarching sense of pride exists in providing clients with a full package when it comes to vehicle purchases: financing, new and used vehicles and a fully-fledged after care department exists to cater to client needs. With forty years of history in this motoring industry, Neil upholds a work philosophy that drives service excellence for a brand that Neil is proud to represent.

Pride in the brand itself is clearly a common thread at Consolidated Auto; new vehicle Sales Manager Johan Vogel is equally devoted to the brand. Johan notes with a smile that he believes Ford-lovers are born into the industry, and as the living example of this, he has over twenty years of service in the field. As a product specialist, Johan loves being surrounded by high quality vehicles that are also practical and sensible. With his characteristic hospitality and kindness, Johan always leave me with a sense of being taken care of, and I can only imagine how much more attentive he is with his clients.

Excited about the changes that Ford have made to their brilliant Fiesta, Alistair Fridey (Sales Executive) was brimming with enthusiasm about the new release, noting that as a brilliant seller the improvements to the new Fiesta are sure to change its place in the market. With its predecessor designed as an entry-level hatchback originally, the new Fiesta is moving up into a more mature, better specced and much more comfort-oriented place in the market.

Always accommodating and hospitable, Alistair showed me to his own Fiesta for a test drive. Immediately taken by the enhanced good looks of the new Fiesta, I took note of the new sports-car-like grille and sexy styling that really make the new Fiesta stand out. Although built on the same platform as its previous incarnation, great mechanical improvements have been made to this variant, including better insulation and a firmer body structure.

The interior is a massive improvement on what was already a decent cabin. Cloth upholstery is classy and looks great and the seating is comfortable – there is a lot more space in the front than I had anticipated, and a definite sense of upmarket finishes is noticeable. Having literally driven a competing hatch to this test drive, I felt a world of difference seated in the Fiesta in terms of comfort, space and allocated features.

The previous Fiesta version was a little cluttered for my liking, and what I personally enjoy about this variant is that it is less “gadgety”, with a large touchscreen at your fingertips through which most functions run (thus eliminating unnecessary buttons and dials around the console). Depending on the variant, the Fiesta has a 6.8-inch or 8-inch infotainment screen that includes Satellite Navigation as standard and is compatible to all android and apple systems. Keeping you superbly connected with USB ports and the like, the Fiesta is innovative and modern without being overwhelming.

The new Fiesta is released in both petrol and diesel options, with force-induction technology across the range. Six-speed gearboxes for both manual and automatic variants are paired to either a 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine or a 1.5 litre turbodiesel, with the Manual Trend and Auto Trend and Titanium producing 74 kW of power and 170 nm of Torque. The Manual Titanium variant kicks out a bit more power (92 kW) although the torque remains the same. The 1.0-litre petrol engine is turbocharged and earned the title of International Engine of the Year for three consecutive years. Resulting in phenomenal fuel consumption ratio of 4.9 litres to every 100 kilometres, this vehicle is excellently designed to be both affordable, and exciting to drive and would make a superb starter family vehicle.

Speaking of drive experience, I found myself quite literally swept off my feet. Arriving at the dealership in a hatchback, I was awed at the difference between the two as the new Fiesta honestly provided a much happier, more comfortable, and entirely more dynamic drive experience. The reworked chassis gave a great control and handling sensation throughout the drive, and I enjoyed the slightly weighted feel of the steering that prevented hair-trigger over-corrections on my part. Ultimately, I found it to be a most engaging drive that prompted me to feel as though the Fiesta was an extension of me and my quirky nature.

Built on a boron steel frame to reinforce the body, the Fiesta scores a 5-star NCAP safety rating; key points are subsequently strengthened to optimise passenger safety and remind me that this vehicle is designed to protect and preserve, whilst allowing passengers and the driver the opportunity to experience freedom and fun on the road at the same time.

Back at the dealership, I hear from Johan that there is much excitement about the impending release of the Figo and EcoSport facelift launches. With a good standing in the local community, Consolidated Auto continues to make a name for themselves through involvement in local events such as their Saturday Carnival held earlier this month which included appearances by Lions Rugby players and a showcase of Ford vehicles.

In anticipation of the new releases (and for more information on the new Fiesta) keep your eyes on this dealership to catch their specials:

By

Journalist: Desh Bechan

Reporter: Inge Stols

Editor: Belinda Anderson