FOR 10 years, the Ford Fiesta has been Britain’s favourite car.

More than a million have been sold here in one of the greatest success stories ever seen in the motor industry.

Now billed as one of the most technically advanced small cars on sale today, it has been nothing less than a phenomenon. No other car comes anywhere near it in the UK sales charts.

And key to its success has been the brilliant 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, which has picked up a string of international awards over successive years.

On paper, a one-litre petrol engine packing 100PS might not look so appealing. But this turbo-charged power pack is quite possibly the most significant development of petrol engines in the last decade.

Where Ford led, many others have followed. These smaller units can now been seen in far larger cars than the Fiesta.

What let the Fiesta down in the past was its dashboard display, which featured a mobile phone-style central unit that quickly looked outdated as phone technology changed.

Now you can have eight-inch touchscreen connectivity alongside 15 high-tech features such as pre-collision assist featuring pedestrian detection, automatic perpendicular parking, blind spot alert and auto high beam.

And alongside the core range of Zetec and Titanium models are sporty ST-Line and luxurious Vignale models with 140PS engines, an Active crossover and red-hot ST version.

Ford certainly cannot be accused of resting on its laurels. Seats have been made more comfortable and durable, there’s a new premium sound system, the doors now require 20 per cent less effort to close, the steering wheel can be heated and concealed door edge protectors spring quickly in to place when the doors are opened to protect both the Fiesta’s doors, and those of cars parked alongside from dings and scrapes.

But it is that EcoBoost engine more than anything else that has won our hearts. Aligned with a slick six-speed gearbox, it is offered with 100PS, 125PS and 140PS, and there’s an optional six-speed automatic gearbox for the 100PS variant with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

I would argue that the 100PS variant is all you will ever need for everyday motoring. Its sporty character belies the sprint time of 10.5 seconds to reach 62mph, while the power delivery and quietness of the engine are such that you might well find yourself cruising in fourth gear before the gear selector reminds you it is time to shift upwards.

The stylish range-topping Titanium spec level accounts for almost half of sales, indicative of the high specification and quality sought by customers opting for a smaller car but still wanting the comforts of a bigger vehicle.

Class-leading technologies include two cameras, three radars and 12 ultrasonic sensors, which in combination are able to monitor 360 degrees around the vehicle, and scan the road ahead up to a distance of 130 metres.

The Titanium variant comes with 16-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, halogen projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights, front fog lamps with cornering lights, rear privacy glass, heated windscreen, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, automatic climate control, keyless entry and starter button and the eight-inch touchscreen with six-speaker audio.

Further features available for the first time on Fiesta are traffic sign recognition and a superb auto high beam system.

The Fiesta also became the first car in its segment in Europe to offer cross traffic alert, which warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them.

Reflecting the consumer shift towards portable digital multimedia, Fiesta delivers Bluetooth connectivity and two USB ports as standard, with an integrated CD player offered as an optional extra. DAB radio is available across the range, and for those who demand a higher quality audio system there’s the option of a ten-speaker sound system with 675 watts of power.

Have Ford thought of everything? Probably. Is the Fiesta the best buy in its class? Certainly.