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The new Fiesta set to make a buzz

The new Ford Fiesta is making a big entrance, betting on its award-winning 1.0 liter petrol engine performances and a sleek, stylish look. Ford invited The Diplomat – Bucharest on a two-day test drive to sample some Fiesta flavor.

April 2013 - From the Print Edition

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As I had previously driven the B-Max and the Focus with the same engine, I was expecting nothing but the best in terms of performance, in a smaller and lighter car. The 85 HP version of the engine is respectably powerful and if there are fewer than three people in the car, in day-to-day life you don't need more power. The 123 HP is a punchy engine that will also thrill sportier mums who want an adrenaline rush when putting the pedal to the metal.

Ford expects its brilliant engine to win a lot of clients from the competition, but the company has not neglected the design part, which actually sells the car. The oversized Aston Martin-type front grille, which will also be seen on the new Mondeo, dominates the entire vehicle. The headlights are equally large, giving the impression of a larger and wider car. The biggest drawback is that the 1.0 liter engine model will not benefit from an automatic transmission; the old 1.6 liter engine version will be the only one available with an auto box. ■

Another A from Audi

Prolific carmaker Audi makes every effort to meet every desire of a car buyer, expanding the version range of every model. While just two generations ago, the A3 was only available in a three-door version, now this compact Audi car class is available as a three-door, five-door hatchback, convertible and soon as a five-door limousine or saloon. The five-door hatchback I test drove, called the A3 Sportback, is a good-looking car, especially if you tick the right boxes with extra design features. The impressive build quality for which Audi is renowned is present in all the interior materials, leaving competition such as the BMW 1 Series or Mercedes A Klass behind. It also has more legroom and interior space than its rivals.

The A3 Sportback engine range goes from a 104bhp, 1.2-litre turbo up to a 181bhp, 2.0-litre diesel. The A3 is made from lightweight aluminum so feels nimble, and the tires provide masses of grip. Audi is known to offer a stiffer and a little bit too firm drive train setup, but the Sportback feels supple and more comfortable than the three-door version.

I did like the automatic transmission, which complements well the car's driving feel. The only thing that might be upsetting is the price tag, as the Sportback is a nice but expensive model to configure. ■

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