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This is a review for the Ford Fiesta mk5 Zetec-S. I had this car back in 2006. I owned it for a year until i had to part with it as i was a student and the cost of being a student and running a car was too much. I'm reviewing this car now for those who want a blast from the past, or those looking into buying a cheap but entertaining run around especially in today's economy. This was my favourite most memorable fiesta (i've had 5 fiestas in total from mk3 through to mk6).
))--Vehicle engine spec (brief)--((
- 1.6 16valve zetec engine
- 101bhp, 145Nm torque
- quoted at 38mpg, I averaged 35mpg which wasn't bad
- top speed 114mph
- insurance group 7 (at the time) 17/50 now
- 170g/km CO2 emissions
- 5 speed
-9.9seconds 0-60 time (most are modified now and touching the 9.2- 9.6 mark) very respectable
))--Vehicle features (above lower models)--((
- Sport styling bumpers and side skirts, with round fog lights to the front
- Chrome mesh front grille
- 15inch multispoke alloy wheels
- blue/black sport interior or red/black
- Lower ride height and sports suspension
- Traction control and ABS
- Optional AC and multichanger
Performance wise...An absolute joy to drive, especially in the corners most other competitors (in the same price bracket and spec) at the time kept up on the straights but not in the corners. A good mid range torque and a nice cruise range on the motorway running 3400rpm at 70mph gives a fairly quiet note. A little under steer in the wet but nothing to complain about for the price and age. With a full load the car still pulls well but watch the rear load over the wheels as the Zetec-S sits quite low and you may have clearance issues over speed bumps. Nothing to worry about with 4 or less people though.
))--Appeal and Owners Clubs--((
I've got to say there was and still is a lot of following within the owers clubs for this car. ZSOC is an excellent owners club where you'll find all your answers to questions on anything to do with this car including any of the later mk6, mk7 models of Zetec-S. There is a lot of modifications available for this car and most i'd say have had a little done here and there. But due to it's age this is common. Just watch out for the overly modified, some will require a lot of attention and spare parts.
I had a few changes to mine while i owned it of which were tasteful and didn't doubt the look of the Zetec-S shape. The mild steel exhaust had to go for a full stainless oval and along with a new manifold and a few breathing aids for the engine. Most you see these days will have these same modifications. Nothing to worry about though it goes to show the owner has noticed Ford's cheap exhausts (that rust quickly) and need this change over time.
))--Wear and tare--((
The typical signs of age do show unfortunately on this model and a lot of other Fords of the time. The following are a few things to look for on this model in particular. There are obviously other issues but will be cover the entire range.
- Arch rust, which starts typically under the rear arches and spreads to the suspension and axel if ignored.
- Back box and centre section exhaust rust, if the original exhaust is still on I'd keep clear or expect to replace it .
- Inner door sills tend to rust towards the B pillar.
- Power steering takes a little more hammer with it being a sport model along with the shock absorbers so you may find leaks from these areas.
- noisy tappets typical of all Fords around 2000 and earlier but the Zetec S was rev happy so you noticed the tappets became nosey after a year or two if driven hard.
I paid £4000 for mine back in 2006 and after a year i only lost £700 but obviously i maintained it too. In 2011 you'll find most have all rusted away and not worth buying. But you will find some well looked after ones around. These will probably be fetching around £2500 so a bargin if you can find one. It was actually quicker than the newer mk6 of the same spec and so worth buying the older model rather than the newer mk6. Doesn't compare to the latest mk7 spec wise but you pay 5x as much.
There are many positives and negatives of all cars so i won't list these but i will say that if you are buying a mk5 Zetec S be careful when picking chose one that has been looked after. Don't be afraid of a few modified versions either. Most on the owners club were very tastefully changed and benefited the cars looks, performance and lasting durability.