I have one of the newer models of the finesse and have had it for just over a year now, however now i am starting to have a few issues with the car and have had to have a service recently. Here are the qualities broken down -
How is it to drive? - This car is very easy and comfortable to drive and is a quiet car with little vibrations and easy gear changes.
How fuel economic is the car? - This is mainly determined by how you drive the car however i find that a full tank of fuel lasts me about three weeks, mainly to get me to work and back 5 days a week and some casual driving on my days off.
Interior - The seats on the inside of the car get stained very easily which does not look great however there is a lot of space to store your CD's and any other items you wish to have in your car, and the boot space is very good.
The reason i have had to put the car in for a service is because there is an oil leak and the tyres are bold so needed to get them replaced, and then there is the general servicing of cleaning out the filters checking brakes etc.
Overall i feel this car is very nice to drive however if you are looking to have a car for a long period of time i would not recommend paying as much as you have to for the problems you may get.
I've had this car for nearly a year, originally it had 45000 miles on the clock and I've done another 10000 on top of that.
This type of Fiesta has a 1.3 (or 1299) litre engine, so it's cheap to insure, but if you're doing a lot of motorway driving you may want something with a bit more power. It is very economical and currently is costing me about £40-50 to fill the tank.
The interior is mostly blue plastic and isn't terribly pretty, however it is easy to clean. I had to get used to the teeny tiny steering wheel but apart from that it's perfectly good in terms of control layout.
It's been looked at by a couple of garages because the thermostat on the dash wasn't working and there was a leak in the hose coming from the coolant expansion chamber. A common fault with Fiestas is the heating valve breaks which means you can't control the temperature. Mine has been replaced but I still can't control the temperature. I have still done a lot of miles despite these problems and it seems to run completely fine.
Seeing as I only paid £1200 for this car it's more than paid for itself. I'd recommend it for anyone looking for affordability and economy. Just watch the heating valve issue.
A 1999 Ford Fiesta Finesse was my first car and is still the car I drive 7 years later. I have seen no reason to change because this car is exceptionally reliable and cheap to run. The MOT inspectors have constantly commented on how it has a good little engine, probably while cursing that the car has not made them much extra money from faults.
I use the car every day to get to work and back and an aged car is never protected from general wear and tear. It has needed the standard changes for an old car, battery, tyres, filters etc. But it simply cannot be faulted for reliability, even when some kids decided to pull off a wing mirror it didn't need any costly work I just popped it back in.
The cheap insurance, modest fuel consumption and lack of major faults has saved me vast amounts of money.
What I will say is I have found it difficult to find replacement parts, when I bought it the rear view mirror was missing and finding a cheap replacement was a challenge.
The driving experience itself is comfortable, I have driven both animals and other people in the car and it handles smoothly, I live in an area with multiple speed bumps and it goes over them gracefully and there's comfort in safety too as the car has airbags in case you have a knock which makes this a good first time buyer as statistically most people have an accident in their first few years of driving.
It's not stylish, it's not flash or powerful but if you can find one in good condition with a full history I highly recommend this car as a run around or a first car.
I'm a 18 year old boy who only past his test last month. I received this car as a present last christmas (2009). This is my first car and I got bought it before I had past my test because my parents were very keen on me getting as much driving practice that I could get outside of the usual one hour a week driving lesson. This worked because I past my test a few weeks ago.
Pros and Cons
Spare parts are cheap
Very enjoyable to drive
Fuel consumption could be better
The headlights look like fisheyes apparently
What I think
I really like this car and I'm really lucky that I got such a great car for my first car. The car is fairly old and only has 40,000 miles on the millage clock. The car runs fine and looks very good.
Is it good value for Money?
My car second hand cost about £2,000 that is a very good price. I've got the three door hatchback 1.4 Finesse edition. Typically the Finesse is fairly basic. It's got air conditioning fans, a Cd player radio but that's usually normal for any car this day. Second hand or not. The 1.4 litre engine is a bit bigger than the basic 1.2 engine that they have provided. The car runs fine, we've had almost no problems, the only small problem that I have had is the car needing some more oil, the oil warning light came on one day so I had to replace the oil. When the car went in for it's service their were a few small issues that they found but nothing major. When the car went in for it's for service, the garage told me that my car has at least two years of life left and I think that I will be able to get more than two years of life out of my car just yet. I think that I have gotten very good value for money.
Is it comfortable?
The car drives really well, it's really easy to drive compared to the other cars that I have driven when I was taking my driving lessons. It is really easy to drive which is good for a new driver like me. The car handles really well and is surprisingly comfortable for a older car. It's a really nice place to be in and very relaxing.
Does it look good?
I think that the car does look very good, it has a sporty feel and is known to be a boy racer car. It had looks that are sporty but also has looks that are very calm and basic. It does have a basic hatchback feel to it but I like that.
Is it green?
While I have been driving around one of my main concerns have been fuel. Fuel is getting more expensive which is a pain because being a student I don't have that much money. I have found that fuel consumption is very good and I have found that I can get about 350 Miles out of a tank and that's just driving like normal if I tried to drive more economically then I'm hoping that I will be able to get about 380 or even 400 miles out of a tank but that's just a estimate.
What do I think in the end?
I really like this car, it's got a lot going for it. It's fairly cheap to buy now, good value for money, easy to drive, is very comfortable, looks good and has a decent amount of fuel consumption. I would recommend this car to you if you are thinking about buying one or even considering buying one.
This review is also on Ciao, Dooyoo and many other reviewing sites
I have had my Ford Fiesta Finesse for two and a half years now. I paid £4495 for a 2003 52 Reg with 21,000 miles on the clock and if you wished to purchase one now, privately they are between £2500 and £3200 obviously depending on condition , mileage etc. Our previous car was a 1998 Ford Fiesta Zetec which was also an excellent car both cheap to run and maintain. Therefore we decided to upgrade to the latest model. This particular model comes with a sunroof, CD player and radio. Driver and passenger airbags. Having owned an older model I was really suprised by the quality of the interior, the materials used are much better quality than before and the general layout of the interior has been really well thought out. The engine is probably slightly underpowered for its weight compared to our previous Zetec. But we have found it economical and extremelly reliable apart from one major fault which was repaired for under a hundred pounds. The car started to judder and misfire when ever you tried to accelerate, eventually it became a constant fault instead of being intermittent that the car was repaired by the local garage. I was told it was the ignition coil and that this is a common fault with Fords. Apart from this small problem so far we have been very happy with our Fiesta Finesse.
I have had my FFF for nearly six years now, it was two years old when I bought it and had 55,000 miles on the clock. I was using it for work up until a year ago and it has now got 142,000 on the clock.
This car has been wonderful, only the normal wear and tear. My MOT in December came back with nothing again.
The only problem I am having with it is the heater which after being looked at my two different friends, changing the thermostat which was done in a garage and another garage managing to get it to blow out cooler but not cold air whilst on cold. I have sort of given up, so if anyone knows of anyway to change this I would be grateful, as the summer months are coming and I would love to be cool in my car as my Ernie still looks good even though he is old!
Excellent Runner, I owned my K reg finesse since about 40K and its now getting on for 80K. Its been a fantastic runner starting first time everytime. yes it has gone wrong at times. bits and bob's need replacing. Brake parts, Suspension parts. at its last MOT it failed due to £13 worth of lighting bits if your looking to buy a Mk 3 check out Covers all models 1989-1996 Bodywork Front end Check the gaps between the bonnet and the top of the wings, if these appear gappy or very narrow on one side there is a chance the car has been in a frontal impact. You've heard it before, that slam panel is very hard to put back on correctly and affects the way the bonnet locates at the front. After an accident the headlights and indicators rarely look spot-on, check for brand new headlamps and how level they look, and how well the indicators fit to the wings. Open the bonnet from inside, in most accident repair cases people don't get the tension correct on the cable and the bonnet release lever has to be pulled right out. Check for overspray on the lip of the wings under the bonnet and in bad cases even on the engine itself or other components. Bonnets can rust underneath on the leading edge. Look around the seal on the front windscreen, especially around the base, as surface rust can take hold here after a heavy handed windscreen replacement. Check the external seams on the front valance, this rusts through from the weld at the back, also examine the bottom side, this area also seems to go quite badly. On XR2i models check the condition of the driving/Fog lamps. One crack or stone chip and they will begin to corrode internally, and at £60 a side from Ford that is not good news. Engine bay Check for a manufacturers stamp on the wings, non-ford wings mean it?s a repair, but that?s no bad thing if it has been done correctly. Look down th
e left and right sides of the bay where the wings join the front Valance, this seam is to prone to rusting, especially after a poor repair. Also examine the condition of the back of the Valance, if a new panel is required it can be costly, as the seams are hard to part. The long running battery tray problem still remains on the MkIII, this can rust quite badly. Although access is very tight on the larger engined models check underneath where it joins the chassis member. If deep rust has taken hold here it is bad news, as the rust becomes structural and means the car could eventually fail its MOT. Sides Lift the seal between glass and metal at the top of the doors for any overspray or sharp paint lines. On XR2i models rust can start here from attempted break-ins. Open the doors and examine the paint finish around the doorframe, if it is matt or a different colour to the rest of the car? This would point to a respray. Although this is to be expected on cars the mk3's age theres no excuse for a bad job. It is vital to check the sill seams, so get on your knees and check! The seams may be brown with a little surface rust - but NEED to be solid; if they aren?t you will soon be looking at having new sills welded on which always rot through again. If neglected, bad seams can spread to the floorpan and chassis. While you are on your knees check for plates welded underneath to cover rust and especially around seat mounting points and where the chassis number is stamped on the drivers side. Due to the crap Ford jack you may find dents in the floorpan and crushed sill seams around the jacking points, do not worry as long as rust hasn?t taken hold It is hard to get a good look at the condition of the models with the bodyside mouldings, as these tend to cover up the most vulnerable parts of the car. Feel for rust around the bodykit bolts and gently lift the mouldings from the car around the wings to check as best
you can behind them. Filler or rust should be fairly easy to spot. The sole reason mk3 Fiesta's rust on wheelarches and filler caps is a build up of mud, most cars have a thick layer of mud inside the wheelarch lip and around the filler cap, but scrape this off and feel the condition of the metal behind - it should be a smooth surface right the way around. This will also enable you to feel any plates that may have been welded in. MK3.5 cars have a redesigned filler cap and are not as prone to rusting. Rear Look on the bottom lip of the tailgate, around the wiper arm and the lock for rust. 1989-1990 Models have grooves on the bottom left and right of the tailgate facing the lights, 1992 - 1995 models do not have this, so this would be a quick check for a replaced tailgate. The worst panel on the rear, as on the front is the Valance. Just like the front it rusts along the welded seams and along the bottom edge. A replacement rear Valance only costs around £20 from Ford and is not too expensive to replace, if you are buying a car with full length bumpers and have to get this done it might be worth going for the mk4 valance which is shorter and made of thicker metal. Lift the carpet in the boot and check for rust, if there is any will be in the two rear corners. Take off the side trims and check around the suspension turrets for rust, examine the side closest to the road, if you can see rust here stay away, this is structural and would be very expensive to successfully repair - they rot through from the seam inside the rear wheelarches. Roof No problems really, except surface rust can appear at the front of the black trims running either side. On sunroof models check the aperture for rust. Interior Just check for the obviousy really, cigarette burns, mussy carpets etc. If you stand well back from the car with the door open you can spot filthy interiors as the edges of the seat
s have a brown sheen to them. Not a big problem but points to neglect on low mileage cars. On turbo models check for a grey leather steering wheel and gearknob, these are turbo specific parts. The side bolsters on Recaro front seats usually sag also, if the odometer is less than 50k and the seats look worn then walk away. Mechanical Suspension McPherson struts all round operating a twist beam at the rear. Anti roll bar front (XR2i 8v, 16v, Turbo and all Zetec engined mk3.5 cars) and rear (Si, 16v and RS). Sports models had twin tube gas dampers up front and Turbo models had 1" lower suspension all round. The largest suspension problem to look out for is neglected wishbones, which should be replaced at 36,000 mile intervals. You cannot really judge their condition from sight (unless they are very rusty), but when worn the front end feels even more vague than usual! When badly worn the ball joint, which connects wishbone to hub, separates under low speed cornering forces, and separates. Take it from me it can do do a fair bit of damage! Dampers will be well worn by 60,000 miles, and will probably bottom out at the rear under load. Again when worn these components will make the cars handling very vague. Steering A common problem on pre 1994 cars is the steering U joint (UJ). This can cease up on earlier models, making steering progressively harder. The solution was a modified joint, with a cover over the UJ. This unit isn't expensive to fit or buy. Zetec engined mk3.5 cars have power steering as carried over to the mk4. Steering should be incredibly sharp with absolutely no 'play' in the rack, walk away from cars that feel vague unless you are definate it is lower arms. Brakes If the car judders under braking dont worry, its nothing more serious than warped discs - a very common problem as the 240mm standard discs are simply not up to the job.
The switches on simplistic ABS sytem usually break leaving the dashboard light illuminated permanantly. Under hard braking the pedal pulsates - this is jsut the system working. Gearbox rarely give trouble except on tuned cars. Life expectancy is not great - 65-100k depending on the driver. The one thing I can reccomend is stick to FORD gear oil. This is fully synthetic and suits the gearbox much better - ep80w and other cheap oils degrade gear selection quality and have been known to cause selector plate problems. Engines 1.1/1.3 HCS (High compression swirl) and CFi (Centralpoint Fuel injection) The 1100 Valencia is a very unrefined, although reliable and economical engine. Based on the old Kent engine found in the first Fiesta?s, With regular oil changes the proven technology should give good service to around 80,000 miles. Look out for the tappet noise from this pushrod engine as it has solid tappets, a ?tap,tap? sound is the only thing you should hear, if the noise is particularly loud and more like ?knock, knock? then suspect a worn cam. Early cars, particularly the 1300?s suffered from this and later Ford released an improved oil feed system. Not really suitable for high-speed motorway mileage as the crankshaft only has three main bearings, more a town engine. Most cars will have been used for short journeys, and this means the oil should be changed more regularly than Ford suggests, so check the filler cap for mayonnaise. Leaking rocker covers seem to come as standard with the earlier Ford?s, so don?t let a bit of oil at the top of the engine bother you. Also the standard radiators are plastic for some reason, so inspect for leaks along each side and the bottom, evident by steam or a pool in the area of the leak. 1.6 CVH (Compound valve angle - Hemispherical combustion chamber) and Turbo models A completely new engine back in 1981, with an alloy cylinder head, hy
draulic tappets and a five main bearing crankshaft, it makes for a fairly smooth engine. Ford EEC-IV management with electronic fuel injection (EFi) The engine should be very quiet at idle, just a whirring sound. Look out for noisy water pumps and alternators, which make quite a noise. Any tappet sound can be attributed to a lazy tappet or at worst worn cam and followers. On engines which have covered 60,000 miles plus this is likely to be a worn cam. Infrequent oil changes murder the CVH, sludge builds up in the head and damages the camshaft quite badly. Get a good look inside the filler cap for mayonnaise and sludge. On ABS equipped models check the operation of the system, failed pumps are not uncommon, as are corroded brake and fuel lines - they are mild steel! The thing to look out for on this engine is boy racer abuse, the 1st gear to 40mph brigade! Check for smoke on start-up, and once the engine is warmed rev it hard and listen for a rumbling sound as the revs decline - main bearing wear. The most usual thing to wear is the cam - it is an inherent design problem with CVH engines, it is usually valve lobes no 7+8 that wear first. A lack of low-down power can usually be attributed to this. Also most important that the cambelt is changed every 36,000 miles, although some specialists recommend a 20,000 mile change. Turbo models are the same engine with a few modifications. Check for smoke at cold startup as per n/a cars. Take the car for a long run to get it up to temperature and after the run rev the engine whilst stationary and check for smoke - white smoke points to a worn turbo. When this has happened the exhaust tailpipe soot usually has a grey tinge to it. 1.6-1.8 16v ZETEC Based on the CVH engine, redesigned by Yamaha for Ford in 1992. Originally named the 'Zeta' engine and later renamed Zetec. Although the engine was based on the CVH, the block is the only thing that closely r
esembles the older engine, and even this has been strengthened. The engine has twin overhead camshafts directly operating 4 valves per cylinder. Ford EEC-IV management with oxygen sensor loop and sequential fuel injection (SEFi). Engines from the 1992-1993 era could have been affected by the sticking valve trouble, Ford put the cause down to 'poor fuel'. Ford exchanged heads on a goodwill basis with modified items. Si Fiestas will not be affected with this as they were 94 on, but check early 16v XR2i and RS1800 models. The water rail specific to Fiestas tends to rust at the metal to hose join, situated at the drivers side front of the cam cover. The dipstick tube also rusts next to the pipe. Basically a good engine with no problems. Cambelts last 65,000 as do the plugs. Oil should be changed regularly with FULLY synthetic oil, Ford recommend 10w 40 but 5w 30 is much better. Several mechanics I have spoke to have reccomended using the synthetic oil and avoiding the cheaper supermarket fuels. They reccomended buying Super unleaded from a main garage, this apparantly cuts down carbon deposits inside the engine which can lead to valve trouble. Diesel The 1.8 uni is very reliable and gives no problems with regualr maintenence. It will sound like its going to shake itself to pieces when starting from cold but once up to oil pressure its fine! Cambelts are the only major worry, they should be changed at 36k along with the injection pump drive belt. They are VERY prone to snapping if left unchanged.
This is a brilliant car. I have a new Fiesta Finesse and I am very, very happy with it. I had a '95 Fiesta and it gave me a lot of trouble, but this car has been a dream since I got it. The engine is so quiet, and the car is very smooth and easy to drive. The fuel efficiency isn't exactly wonderful, but that is just a minor irritation on an otherwise super car. I have had my car for three months now and I have yet to have a problem with it. Add two years free insurance and you have an unbeatable package. I would recommend this car to everyone.
Compared to the old style fiesta, the styling of the car is far better and the build quality is far superior. The road handling is very good for a car in its class, and although the car is not particularly fast it gets you out of most tricky situations. The free insurance deal is very useful for younger drivers, and is available for any driver 17+ although some of the excess charges are quite high. The only frustration is the cigarette lighter adapter, is permanently on - so using mobile chargers can be a problem as the battery may drain.
I am now on my second of the "newer" type Ford Fiestas, and with the Ford Finance Deals I am able to change the cars every two years. This is quite a good scheme, but I would advise anyone wanting to join this scheme to "haggle" for 2 years free insurance and road tax, as this saves you money in the long run. The present model I have, the basic 1.1L is exactly that, very basic. I was rather disappointed as although it has a sunroof and body coloured bumpers, there is no central locking or electric windows, which I do miss. The carpet isn't even stuck down in the boot and keeps coming up. Now I have a young child, I am finding the size of the Fiesta quite small - a travel cot and suitcase fill the boot and I have no room left for anything else on long journeys. However, I am always able to fit my shopping in the back, so that can't be too bad. My first model was the 1.25 Flight which was a little zippier - that engine size does make a difference when I overtook tractors on these quiet Norfolk roads! I would be prepared to try one of the evn "newer" style Fiestas, although I think they look an even older style, but for space, I think I may try a Focus next year.