For a fair few years, the much-loved Fiesta dominated the league table of best-selling cars in Britain.

That all changed in 2021 when Ford’s iconic supermini plunged out of the top 10, with the Vauxhall Corsa taking over at the summit of the charts.

But the Blue Oval was never going to let one of its most successful models drift off into the sunset without a fight.

A revised and facelifted version of the seventh generation Fiesta has emerged - aiming to breathe new life into a story that started with the Mk 1 model back in 1976.

Bicester Advertiser: The facelifted Ford Fiesta

However, sales of the new Fiesta have been hindered by the need to temporarily close the order book due to lack of availability. Ford blamed a shortage of semiconductors and high customer demand. For the future of this ‘hero’ of UK roads, you’d have to hope it’s more of the latter.

This week, I was lucky enough to get my hands on one to gauge what’s on offer in 2022.

For starters, there’s a new exterior design to catch the eye, with a more prominent grille among the noteworthy changes.

Bicester Advertiser: The Ford Fiesta in moorland surroundings in West Yorkshire

It’s also better equipped than ever before, with the quality of the cabin enhanced by a digital dash and other improved tech.

There are several petrol engines in the line-up, including mild hybrid tech to boost acceleration and fuel economy. However, the lack of a full hybrid might reduce its appeal for buyers mindful of petrol price rises.

The EcoBoost Hybrid engine, powering the test vehicle, provides good fuel economy, low emissions and a responsive drive. The system recovers energy that would otherwise be wasted when slowing down. That energy is then stored in a small battery and then reused under acceleration.

Bicester Advertiser: The facelifted Ford Fiesta

Significantly, the Fiesta remains the best car in its class to drive. Cementing its reputation as the small car that brings a big smile, it offers sharp handling and quick, precise steering.

The quickness of the ‘turn in’ when cornering makes you look forward to driving on tight and twisty roads. Agility and grip are a great combination in any circumstances.

Once inside, you’re greeted with a smart interior. Comfy seats offer a decent amount of adjustment, while many materials are soft to the touch, including the leather steering wheel. Look lower down, though, and you’ll still find some scratchy plastics.

Bicester Advertiser: The Ford Fiesta in moorland surroundings in West Yorkshire

The 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system is intuitive and easy to operate, even if it isn’t quite as responsive as that found in some rivals.

A 12.3in digital instrument cluster displays driver information in high definition using easy-to-read icons. It’s a set up that’s not dissimilar to that found in the Puma - and it works well.

Interior space remains much the same as before, with decent legroom and headroom. For front seat occupants, a slightly more cramped feeling in the back and a 311-litre boot that isn’t class-leading.

In terms of the exterior, the Fiesta looks the part, with the styling tweaks giving it a more contemporary appearance.

Like the updated Focus, a more prominent grille is at the heart of the changes. There are also some smart new headlights, while the bonnet has been re-profiled to appear more imposing.

In conclusion, the Fiesta remains one of the best cars on the market, offering a fun and efficient drive and good levels of tech.

Ford Fiesta EcoBoost Hybrid 125

ENGINE: 1.0-litre turbo with mild hybrid tech

ACCELERATION: 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds

TOP SPEED: 124mph

ECONOMY: 56.5mpg combined

EMISSIONS: 114g/km

TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual, front wheel drive

PRICE: £18,655 for Trend version