Car manufacturers love three-letter signifiers – initials from ABS to ESC to MPV and many, many more comprise an automotive lexicon that seems to grow by the day.

One of the favourite three-letter ingredients in this motoring alphabet soup is SUV, or sports utility vehicle, especially when it is followed by the word ‘crossover’.

For that is the description given to today’s must-have family car, a motor with a slightly raised ride-height, enhanced practicality and certain rugged styling cues, all adding up to a dash of adventure.

Ford have enhanced their best-selling model’s appeal by introducing the all-new Fiesta Active crossover, which brings SUV styling and versatility to its multi-award-winning small car.

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There are three variants – Active 1, Active B&O PLAY and Active X. Ours was the last of these, offering a wealth of features.

The exterior style is the first indicator of a foray into SUV crossover-land.

Design features include additional dark cladding that flows from the front bumper lip, through the wheel arches and side profile to the rear, bright scuff plates front and rear, and unique-to-Active X 17-inch alloy wheels.

A dark grille with unique mesh pattern also features a dark surround, and front fog lamps are housed within bumper recesses.

Selectable ‘normal’, ‘eco’ and ‘slippery’ drive modes help deliver driver confidence in a variety of road conditions, while powerful, fuel-efficient engines include the turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost, fitted to our test car.

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There’s top tech too. Advanced driver assistance technologies help avoid and mitigate the effects of accidents using sensors that scan up to 130 metres ahead – more than the length of a football pitch
Ride height is increased by 18 millimetres over the standard Fiesta with track increased by 10 millimetres, delivering a more imposing stance alongside greater rough-road capability and a confidence-inspiring driving position.

The exterior’s distinctive touches are complemented by a cabin with high-quality materials, seamless surfaces and an intuitive layout.

A leather steering wheel and gear knob, and satin aluminium detailing deliver a high-quality feel, contrasting with body-colour decorative elements for the central and passenger-side instrument panel.

The driving experience is as smooth as your morning latte, with intuitive controls, a slick six-speed manual gearbox and an eight-inch touchscreen for satnav, phone, audio and other functions that is so easy to use. 

Auto start stop technology is fitted to improve fuel economy.

Offered with 85bhp, 100bhp, 125bhp and 140bhp, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost’s most powerful variant delivers 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds and a top speed of 125mph. Combined fuel consumption figure is 54.3mpg (manufacturer’s figures).

Bluetooth connectivity and two USB ports are standard. You will also find heated front seats, power-foldable door mirrors with puddle lights, the KeyFree system with keyless entry and start, and a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors. 

Fiesta Active X: £20,290. 

Your local dealer: Bristol Street Motors Ford, 54-56 Higher Bridge St, Bolton BL1 2HQ. Call 01204 271386