I have been driving my X-reg (2000) Ford Fiesta for 3 years. It was my first car, and it has been completely reliable. It has never broken down on me, and when it has gone in for an MOT and service, has only required very minimal work. My car has a petrol tank, rather than a diesel, and on the whole is fairly fuel efficient. My model comes with a radio and cassette player and air conditioning. It has central locking, although this can be somewhat annoying as the boot cannot be opened without manually unlocking it. The insurance is very reasonable. Obviously, this is not a very powerful car, and I have noticed when the car is very heavy (e.g. going camping), going uphill can be very slow. Another thing that is slightly annoying is the position of the spare tyre, as it is in a cage underneath the car, and would be quite difficult to get out if I needed to change the tyre. However, I am on the whole happy with my car and cannot see me changing it in the foreseeable future.
I have an S reg fiesta which has done just over 50,000 miles. I am yet to put it through its MOT this year, but it will be going through in august, and last year it went through without any hassle, and I do not have any massive fears for this year. They are pretty good for fuel consumption, I'm getting something like 35-40 mpg, and for an older car thats not too bad. It is pretty quick as well for a 1.25, i have friends with similar sized engines and they are totally gutless in comparison. I have the style previous to the picture for this article, which i don't think looks great, and it is in the same colour as it, the colour looks pretty tidy still, obviously with a few scratches picked up from tree branches and stuff but they dont show too much.
The interior is not too bad either, sometimes it feels a bit plasticy, but again its fairly cheap so you cant expect it to be covered in solid wood!
Overall, im really pleased with my car.
We acquired our Fiesta Si Zetec 1.25 back in the summer of 1997 and I have been constantly impressed with the performance it offers. Although small and seemingly diminuitive, you shouldn't underestimate the power this car is able to deliver; 2nd gear- anywhere above 10 mph- foot down- and you're off! This car is genuinely fun to drive. This said, its also extremely practical. We've been using it as a family runabout for shorter trips in and out of town and the suchlike and we've had no problems whatsoever. The fuel economy in town, even in heavy traffic is very efficient- on longer trips it remains around the 40 miles per gallon mark, or thereabouts. The bootsize is more than adequate for your average shopping trip, and because of its size you can confidently negotiate whichever spaces you need to to park. Despite the size there's still enough leg room in the back for taller passengers, which is a bonus. As for road handling- its fine, the steering is exemplary, however the suspension on the Si model is a little hard, I find- but apparently its meant to be like that. Our model came fully featured, with the absence of air conditioning- but then, at the time, that was still the exception rather than the norm, so all in all I really couldn't fault that much about the car. The interior has proved remarkably durable, in 4 years nothing has scuffed at all- it still looks practially new. So, if you want a practical yet fun, small yet spacious car, you won't go far wrong with the Fiesta Zetec. PS- its true what they say- even in freezing whether (-3 degrees) it still started in less than a second!
I got my 1998 Fiesta 16v 1.25 Zetec lx second hand last year and what a good buy it was. It was at around 16000 miles when I bought it and I have driven another 10k and it hasn't let me down once (touch wood!). I have taken it for a service and an Mot without a hitch. The car is fairly basic but it is reliable and efficient. I have found it cheaper to run than other cars of similar size. In terms of miles to the gallon, I would estimate I am getting around 45, but I have not calculated it accurately yet. On top of that , when you put your foot down it doesnt hang about. It is definately not sluggish and I have found the acceleration to be a match for more powerful cars. When you want to overtake, you feel you can go for it in this model without having to 'wind it up' first like in less powerful small cars. I'm a big fan of the 16v zetec engine. The driving experience is generally good, with a reasonably smooth ride and good cornering. Cruising on the motorway, it is stable at high speeds, unlike some of the old fiesta models. It is fairly comfortable to drive for fairly long distances, even for a tall chap like me (6ft 2)! I tried out Clios, Saxos and 106s before deciding on the fiesta. One of the main reasons I chose it was that I could fit in without being cramped. The only other small car I have found to have as much room is the Punto but I am not a big fan of the looks of the Punto. The safety features are good, with a drivers airbag, and I have found the accessories easy to find and use. There is an engine immobiliser. But make sure you get the masterkey if you are buying second hand. I didnt and paid £70 to have a complete new set of keys to be on the safe side. The radio (the 3000 model I think?) is fine, and the sound quality perfectly good with no annoying vibrations which I have found in other cars. One other little advantage I have found is the alert when you open the door with your lights
on. My families old fiesta have this and I left the lights on a number of times. Maybe thats just me! The disadvantages of my particular model include the lack of power steering and the lack of central locking. These are features I would really desire in a car but obviously you have to pay for them. It can be difficult to manoevre around the carparks and we all know what a hassle having to open the doors manually for passengers is. Also, there is no luxuries such as electric windows, air con, etc but I understand you can get these in other fiesta models. There is very little room for passengers in the back seat if the front seats are set back. Not a good car for transporting tall friends. But these are not big problems, the price you pay for a second-hand fiesta you still get real value for money. Mine was £4000 at 2 years old, which I suppose is somewhere around half the price of a new model. The image of the fiesta these days is a far cry from the boy racer image of old. It has reasonable (but not brilliant) looks. Of course, you can always pay extra for a more sporty looking model but I believe the performance of the car and value for money are far more important. Other fiesta zetec drivers I have spoken to all express satisfaction with their cars. I certainly recommend this model in particular. The evidence all seems to point to a good, safe bet for a small car.
My Fiesta was bought brand new back in 1999, and since then there has only been one thing go wrong with it. Unfortunately it was that the car kept cutting out wheneverit was put from second to first gear. A module had become dislodged but was fixed free of charge by the dealership. The car will still stall every so often, particularly when the whells are turned to a lock and the car is pulling away, take this into account when on a terst drive or when doing any type of tight manouvre. The car is throaty and lively, it is the only car myself or my family have actually liked the handling. The best thing about the car is when you turn the funny circular thing in front of the driver. The car and chassis follow your every twitch of the steering wheel, this may sound unnerving to some who might thing the the car will be unstable but once you get used to it, it's fine. Point and shoot is a good way of describing the handling, point at the corner with the steering wheel and the chassis shoots you round with minimal roll and plenty of fun. As the car is front wheel drive there is of course under steer, but it is only likely to affect the car on a tight roundabout when you are going far to fast, it really does not come into the equation. The car is not a rocket when it comes to speed, with a nought to sixty is about 11 seconds, but it feels a lot faster than it is. This feeling is helped by the awesome sound that the tiny engine produces when revved hard. The gear change between first and second can sometimes be sticky but essentially it is a slick gearbox matched to a brilliant chassis. The major problem with the gearbox is that it is very hard to find reverse sometimes. The looks will not set the world alight and there are so many of the things driving around it is a wonder people have not got sick of them, but five spoke alloys, a spoiler, white dials and front fog lights make you feel a bit more racy. The interior is classic ford, i.e. functional
but not inventive with colour or design. That is not to say that it not a pleasant experience to sit behind the wheel. The car has a good driving postion provided you are less than six foot two and front leg room should not be a problem. However what you gain in front leg room you lose from rear legroom. Even with both front seats as far forward as they can go the back seats will not fit three adults, but this is not a car for carting around five adults and a weeks worth of luggage. The fiesta is essentially a shopping trolley, or a runabout, or something small, cheap and fun to learn to drive in. Saying that it's a great car which will do what you want it to do provided ity is not too heavily packed with people and/or luggage. While the majority of people will fork out a couple of hundred for metallic paint, well I say don't, go for the flat red and trust me no one will know the difference. Power steering and a drivers airbag, immoliser and central locking are about the only things you get but that is all you really need, barring of course ABS, and possibly on my next I will go for electric front windows, simply because I am too lazy to actually roll them down myself. The options package is good with sunroof, air con, ABS, cd player, electric front windows and alarm. The fiesta is a cracking little car that will be enjoyed by anyone who likes the sheer thrill of driving, whether drive to the shops or along the twisting country lanes this car will make you realise why you don't bother walking.