The Ford Fiesta
The impression is given sometimes that all the advantages, all the best technologies, all the latest creature comfort items and so on come with the big cars with the big price tags.
While most items do get their first run in motors at the top end of the market, all the best features eventually trickle down the line.
Few small cars today are without a strong, comprehensive even, array of features aimed at making driving easier, safer, cheaper, more comfortable or whatever.
This was the most striking thing on driving a high end, Titanium version of the latest Ford Fiesta recently.
Here is a car absolutely dripping with safety features, something verified by the fact that Fiesta has earned a 5-star rating from Euro NCap, the independent crash test authority.
Ford insist that Fiesta is the most technically advanced small car in Europe, and it is hard to argue with that.
Its Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection system, for example, can help prevent collisions in the dark.
Fiesta earned 87% and 84% respectively for adult and child occupant protection in the NCap tests, plus it scored big in the area of whiplash injury prevention and driver assist technologies.
For ages the high energy, fuel efficient 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine in Fiesta was the big, big thing, winning the International Engine of the Year for five consecutive years.
The EcoBoost engine is still a top performer in terms of driving kick and pep in the step.
Driven in a controlled and not a racy manner it will give most satisfying returns. However, if you drive with a heavy foot and are always in a hurry, expect the consumption figure to drop, and significantly.
Have to admit I don't know exactly what Ford have done with the latest version of Fiesta, but one suspects it has something to do with sound proofing.
There is an easy purr more than anything from under the bonnet now, and the drive feels much smoother.
On the cold and damp pre-Christmas mornings, one found the Quickclear heated windscreen a God send. It did exactly as promised - cleared the condensation from the inside of the screen quickly.
One liked the fashionable look of Fiesta, and the body coloured door handles and wing mirrors on our white car definitely added to its striking features.
The Fiesta offers a fine cabin, with good size comfortable seats - 60/40 split in the rear - and there is a good size boot too.
Driving Fiesta is made easier by the fact that all the controls are there in front of you, logically laid out, easy to find and use.
And the 6-speed gearbox is slick, and makes in easy to keep the drive on the boil.
The Fiesta offers driver assistance technologies that can scan the road ahead up to a distance of 130 metres.
Yes, you read that right. It is done via a combination of cameras, radars and 12 ultrasonic sensors that monitor the space 360 degrees around the car.
Fiesta's comprehensive package includes Active Park Assist with Perpendicular Parking, Blind Spot Information System, Distance Indicator, lane keeping alert and forward collision warning.
Nice car, Mr Ford, nice car.
Ford Fiesta Titanium 1.0L petrol EcoBoost, 100PS, 5-door, 6-speed manual €20,050 (ex-works), 170 Nm, C02 97g/km, annual road tax €180, max speed 185kph, 0 to 100kph 10.5 seconds, fuel consumption, urban 5.4 (l/100km) or 54.3mpg, extra urban 3.6 (78.4mpg), combined 4.3 (65.6mpg).
Titanium model - 15” 8-spoke alloy wheels, Halogen projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights, front fog lamps with cornering lights, chrome upper grille and belt line finisher, Ford SYNC 3 DAB radio with 6.5” touchscreen, emergency assistance, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Quickclear heated windscreen, leather trimmed steering wheel and handbrake handle, Thatcham alarm
Additional options on model tested - Solid paint (frozen white) €150; 16” 10-spoke alloys €300; Panoramic roof €1,000; grey interior pack (includes partial leather trim and grey interior trim) €825; B and O play audio with 8” touch screen €550; BLIS (blind spot information system) €510; EATC (electronic automatic temperature control) €320; Comfort pack (heated seats and steering wheel) €400; Active park assist and rear view camera €720; Auto High Beam (including TSR (traffic sign recognition) and driver alert €250; front seat height and lumbar support with centre armrest €195 to bring the cost of the car to €25,270.