We bought our Ford Fiesta 1.4 Zetec in July 2009 having previously had Fiesta 1.25 Zetec, so we knew that we would be buying a good little car. There are 6 models of the Fiesta and the Zetec is the middle one.
The first thing that strikes you when you get in is the dashboard, designed to be like a mobile phone apparently. All the controls are laid out a very orderly manor, unlike some dashboards which just look like the designers have just thrown them together. The lines are very clear and work really well, the seats are very comfy and very supportive, making long journeys a pleasure. In the front there is very little road noise at all, even when on the motorway, the only noise of any note is the little sporty grunt of the engine when you rev it, however in the back there is a little more, especially in the wet when the water comes up from the tyres and hits the wheel arch.
The overall driving experience is very good, the little 1.4 engine is punchy and is perfect for city driving and cruising along the motorway. The handling is BRILLIANT, very responsive and you can feel a lot through the wheels. It does tend to struggle a bit when you have a full car, but that is the same with all small engined cars. The average mpg is 44.5mpg, which is very good.
The overall build quality is good, however we have developed a few rattles in the windscreen pillars. The doors feel good and heavy, which makes it have a feel of being expensive, rather than having cheap flimsy light doors.
As of yet, being 9months and almost 9,000 miles, down the road, we have had no problems what so ever (touch wood) Overall, we are very pleased with the car and would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a reliable, well built, fun, but cheap little car.
After some volvo estate driver had ploughed into the side of my baby tiga and put it off the road for two months, the garage repairing my car gave me this baby ford ('03 plate model) to run around in. I have to be honest, at first I was not that thrilled with the prospect of driving around in it. How wrong was I! First impressions of the car when I got the keys were ok. The shape is unoffensive, if a little dull for what was at the time the sporty model. The alloy wheels did make a difference after comparing it with others on the road. When you get inside though, it is really good. Everything seems to be exactly where it should be and I felt the quality of the materials was really quite good for such a car. I did feel that the while the space in the front was good, the back seats were too cramped and since a lot of the buyers of this car will be mothers for the school run, this may cause a problem. Ford have since added the fusion to the fiesta range to compensate for this however which while not as good looking (bit like a box on wheels!) it does have a lot more room in the back seat and boot. The equipment level was good too. It had an integrated stereo cd player (which sounded great), full electrics as well as air conditioning. the absense of a sunroof did annoy though as I had the car in the height of summer and don't like using the air con due to the fuel it uses up! The only thing I felt it was missing was remote central locking, it did have central locking but feel this would have made it a lot better. The big surprise was how it drove. I LOVED it!!. First time I set off I nearly went into the car infront of me, the acceleration in first gear was fab! You can tell that the car was developed with city/town driving in mind as it really does do very well in this situation. Due to the size of the car it is VERY easy to nip in and out of traffic (aslo due to the high driving position which was strange at first but great
once you are used to it) and the peppy engine has enough oomph to get you out of any situation. On the open road it wasn't quite as good, but it was acceptable and since it wasn't really built for long motorway journeys I see no problem with that. Parking was very easy as well with good all round visablity. Compared to my tiga, which had the same size of engine, I did feel that it was a bit heavy on the fuel, but think that may be because of the newer design, the safety features had made it heavier. The only thing that annoyed me was the stereo feature that meant that as the speed increased, so did the volume. May just be my personal preference but it seames to rise in volume far too much and found myself turning it down all the time. Now, I am not really in a position to give a reliability report because I did only have the car for two months, my friend bought one about a month after I had handed it back and she has had no problems with it at all. The car comes with a three year warrantee in anycase so if anything does crop up, Ford should fix it for you. My friend had the car serviced and it did pay to shop around the Ford dealers as she managed to get its first one done for just under £100 compared to £130 quoted from another garage. All in all, my two months with the Fiesta, I had no problems and honestly enjoyed driving about in it. Nearly went out and bought one because of the price (£8995 at the time) and the fact that it came with free insurance, which would be a really good selling point for the young drivers. Finally didn't buy it though because at the time I felt that it would basically become the most common sight on the road, and i was right! don't blame those who have bought it though, very fun honest motor for a very good price!
In June 2000 my wife and I decided to look for a nearly new car (only criteria being that it was supermini size approx), and went out shopping with an open mind. We looked around a number of local dealers and it became clear quite quickly that due to the discounts already at that stage being offered on new cars and the fact we were not trading in that we would get a better deal buying new than a year or two old. Since my wife was going to use the car more than me, she had ultimate say on what we purchased and we quickly narrowed down the choice of a Fiesta Zetec 1.4 or a VW Polo 1.4, these were the only two cars we looked at that she felt totally comfortable in and I was happy either way. Due to the significant discount being offered at the Ford dealers and much smaller offering at VW we started negociating at Ford. Now we both knew that the Polo would be worth more than the Fiesta when we came to trade in after 3 years or so so were under no illusion about the true discount levels we would need to make the Fiesta a better buy. In actual fact we managed to negociate a discount including cashback of approx 25% which basically blitzed the paltry offerings from VW. We were very soon the proud owners of a metallic State Blue Fiesta Zetec 1.4 3dr. This little car has sat on our drive and served us well for the last three years. We had one initial problem in that the dealer fit sunroof leaked the first time it rained but that was put right without fuss. Apart from that we've had absolutely nothing go wrong with the car and it's only been back to a Ford dealer once (for it's first annual service), I carried out the second annual one myself as it was easy enough and Ford were only offering a one year warranty back in 2000 so it wasn't necessary for warranty cover. This car has an excellent engine in the 1.4 Zetec that seems to provide just enough power to put a smile on your face (90bhp) in a pretty light car, without tempting you
to overdo things and get yourself in trouble. The Zetec engine is smooth and very rev happy pulling really well from 4,000rpm upwards while not becoming too noisy in the process. The other thing that impresses in the Fiesta is the handling, it suffers very little body roll without being too harsh and is ideally set up for twisty flowing roads, it seems to encourage the driver to stretch the engines capabilities wherever possible to get the benifit of this well balanced chassis. On the downsides there isn't much room for rear seat passengers and there could be one or two more gadgets to play with to keep idle fingures happy on long trips, but I think that to focus on that would be to miss the point of this car, it was for a long time aknowledged as the drivers choice in the supermini class and desevedly so. It's interesting to note that after driving this cars replacement recently Ford seemed to have lost some of the driver appeal that made the outgoing car such fun when updating things and left the new car feeling a bit bland in comparison.