Reader review rating Reader review rating – 3 out of 5 stars
Ford Fiesta Hatchback
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1.4 TDCi LX 5dr
Rating – 3 out of 5 Having turned 17 this May, I’ve begun the exciting experience of learning to drive. The car I am currently learning in is a diesel Ford Fiesta.
Being a diesel, the engine is powerful enough so that it doesn’t cut out at the drop of a hat, without being so powerful that the car tries to jump away from you as soon as you lift your foot off the clutch.
The car itself is small enough so that it is fairly easy to manouvre, without being so small that you are constantly in the shadow of monstrous 4x4s on the road.
The interior of the car is practical, if a little dull. None of the controls are in unexpected places, which is helpful if you are learning to drive in it.
However, despite it being practical and easy to drive, I would be unlikely to buy it for the simple reason that it has no character. When I go for a drive, I would like people to look at my car and think, “wow, that’s different” or “I wish I was behind the wheel of that car.”
However, if you want something that is within a very reasonable price range, is practical, reliable and safe to drive then the Fiesta is the perfect car for you.
1.4 16v Zetec 3dr
Rating – 4 out of 5 My Ford Fiesta has proved extremely reliable to date. Admittedly the mileage is still low, but it’s cheap to run and has good fuel economy. It’s a good solid drive on the motorway and nippy around town.
Although much less of a tin can than the Ford Ka (don’t get me wrong, I love the Ka but it does leave you feeling vulnerable on the motorway), there’s one thing the 1.4 Fiesta can’t do, and that’s accelerate at speed. But if you can cope with this slight lack of power, I’d recommend this engine size esp for inner city driving (bhp is 79 which is ample).
Regarding the slightly plasticky interior (updated since my version), bits do tend to fall off from time to time, eg. the seat handle, the clutch pedal clip – which once left me in an embarrassing situation stuck in the middle of a dead end road – the wing mirror, but normally these are surprisingly simple to slot back on and far cheaper to fix than any serious technical faults, which the Fiesta does not seem to suffer from.
The Fiesta has ample rear seat space and a good boot capacity for a car of its size. It’s comfortable to drive and has a height-adjustable steering wheel and driver’s seat, but does lack the extra gadgets of the later Zetec Climate version, which is a minor inconvenience.
Overall a stylish, fun and practical small car superb for city driving and comfortable on long journeys, but buy the latest version if you can afford it for extra gadgets and better interior styling.
Jemma Richards, Gloucestershire
1.25 16v Zetec Climate 3dr
Rating – 4 out of 5 For the last four years or so I’ve been driving the archetypal teacher’s car – a Ford KA. But this year I decided I needed a bit more room and a bit more comfort and so I went to see my very good local dealer, Bristol Street Motors in Stroud, and chose a new-shape, three-door Fiesta Zetec.
My father has the five-door version, bought from the same source, and is very happy with it. I am delighted with my new purchase too. It’s a bit Tardis-like, there’s lots more room than you think there’s going to be and the driver’s seat and seat position are excellent (important for me as I’ve had back problems in the past).
Air-conditioning makes the whole experience much more comfortable – although I haven’t used it all that much this summer!
I suppose for many a Fiesta might seem rather ordinary, and perhaps it is but I’ve been impressed by it and by the service I’ve received from my dealer – and anything that makes mornings on the M32 more bearable has got be a good thing.
Claire Darlington, Cheshire
1.6 16v Zetec-S 3dr
Rating – 4 out of 5 I ordered this with a few extras (climate control, heated door mirrors, curtain airbags, etc) and, of course, in metallic black. It’s such a great car to drive!
I used to own a 1.6-litre Focus, so it had a lot to live up to. I have a little one, aged three, and he fits in the back with lots of room to spare.
My husband thinks it’s great to drive around Manchester city centre: “Very nippy,” he says.
The only downside is that it’s noisy on the motorway and desperately needs a sixth gear. But I’d definitely recommend it if, like me, you can’t quite afford the ST.
Elaine Crompton, Leicestershire
1.25 16v Studio 3dr
Rating – 3 out of 5 My husband won my Fiesta at a work competition and although it’s not perhaps the car I would have chosen for myself, I do rate it. It’s the very basic version so doesn’t have a lot of extras, but it has never let me down. It was also free, so that does help me think kindly of it.