Ford Fiesta 3 Door
"We’re trying to make this car feel more like a coupe, without sacrificing New Fiesta’s generous interior package, to distinguish it from the more family-oriented character of the five-door."

Chris Bird Design Director - FoE

Aimed squarely at younger drivers, New Fiesta three-door is the latest addition to Ford’s small car family and closely follows the introduction of the new Ford Fusion urban activity vehicle, offering a wider choice of new small Fords.

A more compact, agile and deliberately sportier exterior design combine with New Fiesta’s acknowledged spaciousness, comfort, safety and driving quality to create a car with a separate personality, but many aspects of New Fiesta’s character.


New Fiesta three-door has a profile that distinguishes it from its five-door counterpart, looking compact, agile and deliberately sportier.

Both have the same new Fiesta "face", matching physical lengths and are identical below the body crease line, but three-door’s sportier sloping roofline and more angled tailgate glass give it a special spark of personality.

"Creating a visual separation between the two Fiesta models was important," said Ford of Europe’s Design Director. "Our goal with the Fiesta three-door was to achieve a sportier, more agile style reflecting the aspirations of three-door buyers and signalling the dynamic driving quality of the new Fiesta."

Birds’ team first set about lowering the roof profile by modifying the roofline from the top of the A-pillar and pulling it down towards a lower C-pillar. The whole daylight opening glass area (DLO) was made sportier by increasing the wedge of the beltline and by dropping the upper line much lower than on the Fiesta five-door model. The rear edge of the DLO is also pulled forward and angled more dramatically to emphasise the car's compact and dynamic character.

Another way that the team made the car visually more compact was by bringing the C-pillar forward by 75 mm, giving a faster profile to the rear end. As a result, the tail lamp is further forward and now features an integrated spoiler at the top of the tailgate, helping to create a lower rear aspect.

"The Fiesta three-door takes on more of a ‘teardrop’ form thanks to the more dynamic lines that taper to the rear of the car," Bird said. "This adds to the three-door’s dynamic visual quality."

These design techniques buck the trend of traditional three-door design for small cars. Until recently, five-door and three-door variants of the same car would share common tailgates and roofs and possess similar window openings.

To complete its attention-grabbing visual package, New Fiesta three-door features a stylish new exterior body colour at launch: Flare, a distinctive metallic burnt orange. New Fiesta customers can now select from 11 other exterior colours, including the new Vitro Green, Ink Blue and Blue Print.

Space and Comfort

New Fiesta three-door convincingly dispels conventional wisdom that three-door cars are smaller and less comfortable than their five-door counterparts. The three-door model boasts the same feeling of spaciousness and comfort as the five-door, and provides its occupants with excellent rear-seat accessibility.

Both variants are identical in the front part of the cabin, providing generous front seat roominess in every dimension. Rear passengers benefit from class-leading knee clearance for a three-door, while no rear doors means a gain in rear-seat width, resulting in class leading shoulder room, totalling 1,355 mm.

The coupé-like sloping roof has been designed not to intrude significantly on rear headroom, with a loss of a mere eight millimetres compared to the five-door. All passengers gain extra stowage space thanks to larger front door bins and the introduction of stowage bins to the side of the rear seat.

Getting in and out of New Fiesta three-door is easy, thanks to the elongated doors – 248 mm longer at 1,359 mm – which allow a wider opening and, at the same time, improved ‘foot’ space.

The three-door has the five-door’s driver ergonomic qualities, including Ford’s latest control stalks (as on Focus and Mondeo) and high-mounted interior tailgate release control.

New Fiesta three-door continues to provide outstanding outward visibility, further enhanced by the higher driver’s hip point position - the ‘H’-point - which has been raised by 56 mm. Rearward vision is aided by Ford’s new-style rear seat head rests which can be lowered to be flush with the seats when not in use.

Load volume varies slightly from the five-door due to its revised tailgate and sloping roof profile. VDA boot volume is 268 litres (9.5 cubic feet), compared with 284 litres (10 cubic feet) for the five-door.

continues... | Part Two

Published : 30/10/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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