I got my Ford Fiesta LX 1997 3 door 1.3 petrol car brought for me as my first car by my very generous Mum. My car was a bargain if I ever heard of one, it cost £750, had 8 months Tax left on it and also had just had an MOT and passed with flying colours and also to top all of this had only done 39000 miles!
I've had this little car now for nearly a year and its never let me down once, it starts first time without any issues, it has been in the garage however but only for minor things such as, bulb on dash needed replacing, back window water outlet was blocked and the tracking need redoing after I drove over a rather large bolder in the road (haha what can I say it was dark?)
The interior of these cars is very modern considering the date these cars were made, the centre piece of the car (where the radio is etc) is simple yet stylish in a modern minimalistic way. Even though most of these cars do not have power steering as the car is quite light the steering is not heavy at all.
Fuel consumption on my little 1.3 litre engine is amazing considering how quick this car actually is! I put around £10 in a week which gets me to work, shops, and friends very easily. £10 also fills this car up to a quarter of a tank or just over.
All in all a tidy little car, easy to maintain, cheap parts if needing fixing but all in all has never let me down once.
Oh lord, where to begin with this one. I guess everybody has a bad experience with a car now and then. Well, the Ford Fiesta LX is my second Fiesta, so hopefully my opinion isn't too bias based on my bad experiences.
I purchased this car after my previous car, decided to just cause me nothing but problems all the live long day. I spent a lot of money buying it from probably the most recognisable dealer out there, and drove it away feeling like a million bucks. spending top dollar on a car will give you peace of mind, as it's less like to go wrong than some backstreet banger, from Dodgy Dave's Autos.
I should have guessed that, the plastic panel between the front and rear doors dropping off on the way home should have given me an indication as to how this car was going to roll. And the alarm bells certainly should have started ringing when the opposite side fell off. Oh well, I'm sure it was just a blip; a glitch in the Matrix, if you will. Back to... uhh, let's call them Bevans Blalshaw for now, shall we?
"Hello good sir, I purchased this earlier today. Would one of your fine mechanical engineers be good enough to fit it back on for me? what's that you say, it'd be just as easy with superglue, that's all they'd do? Okay then, cheerio."
Okay, I can live with that. I could also live with the missus getting in my shiny new Fiesta to have a quick drive, and looking on with some bewilderment as the rear view mirror came clean off the windscreen in her hand. Oh well, back to Blevans we will go!
"Hello again my good fellow, in my pocket I have what I'm sure is the very best of Ford mirrors which fell off today. Would one of those strapping young greasy chaps over there be kind enough to stick it back on for me, perchance? What's that you say? Superglue? Clean the back of it first with White Spirit? Hrm... okay dokey then, see you."
I suppose many a consumer may be growing vexed by now. But I would battle on; these minor cosmetic flaws pale in comparison to the top dollar bling reliability I would be driving around in from this point forward.
Okay... the radio... that's odd... it keeps on getting louder and quieter randomly. Sounds a bit rubbish... hmmm...
"Well heelloooo again my friend! It would seem that my audio player is voluming sporadically of it's own accord. Does thou have a solution? Maybe one of your stalwart overalled engine masters may have an idea? What? It's not a Vauxhall so I need to take it to the dealer? Despite the fact that you sold it to me? Nobody has even the slightest idea? I see... Very well then. Be seeing you."
A quick search online later, revealed the problem to be little other than some form of auto volume control, that adjusted itself for engine noise. It's right there in the handbook. Fair enough, although I personally find it a little hard to believe that not one single skilled mechanic at Blevans Balshaw had NEVER EVER come across such a feature on a car. But, give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe it's just a Ford Feature on the higher models.
Tum ti tum... a week or so passed... it had been an eventful twenty or so days thus far. Wait! What's that light on the dashboard? The handling feels odd... Let's check the manual...my word! Stop driving the car immediately and take your car to it's dealer? Yikes!
"I see, so this oxygen sensor panel has something to do with something I don't understand in the slightest but you can fix it, and it'll take a day or two and you have no courtesy cars? I am beginning to feel you are taking advantage of my good nature now, sir".
So I returned to the road a few days later, and ran the thing without problem. For about a month. Hmm... it seems I have some form of problem as I am traversing the town centre this busy evening; it feels as if I am driving with a flat tyre. Oh! Up pops Mr light again. I wonder what wonderful trickery my Fiesta is bedevelling me with today. Why thank you sir, I see, was that a big thing to replace? quite common, you say?... goodbye.
One sunny afternoon, I set off for a meal with a good friend of mine, parked up the Fiesta Hellex, and noticed something strange as I walked from the car park. was somebody stalking me with an industrial hoover? Whatever was that noise? It's coming from the general vicinity of my car.... oh! I must be parked on a drain or something; that hideous noise couldn't possibly becoming from my thousands of pounds worth of motor vehicle.
It was gone when I returned, so I set off home.
Aha! The hoover stalker has followed me! Show yourself!... Oh... it appears that noise is coming from beneath my bonnet... let's refer to the user manual, shall we? Right... just the engine cooling itself down... no matter... it apparently happens sometimes. I mean, despite having owned some seven cars and having never, ever experienced the hooveretic wail of the engine fan, I guess I will have to take Ford's word for it.
Hang on though... while driving happily along, should the engine coolant gauge be in the red? Oh! Silly me! A simple inspection under the bonnet reveals little to worry about other than a mere lack of engine coolant. ff to Halford's for a topup, methinks.
Now, maybe I'm wrong, but shouldn't engine coolant last more than three days? Hmm... let's top her up again... nope... definitely something wrong...
"Well HEEEELLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO my friend....."
So, now you are hopefully beginning to get the picture. And I haven't even touched upon the rear brake lights which constantly need replaced due to the poor quality rubber seal; the back windows which mysteriously slide themselves down while driving - just a fraction - just enough so that you can feel a chill and hear a whistle, but not visually locate it's origin.
I've yet to mention the plethora of goodies that needed replaced on but it's second MOT, the least of all the front suspension coil. And I certainly wont mention the engine light which is now permanently lit, due to some insane internal wiring issue which the mechanic said not to bother fixing; just leave it the way it is.
I will, however, mention that I am on my third coolant leak within three years, despite having it fixed twice.
And please, my friends, do not be under the illusion I use the car for drag racing or anything. I drive to work. I drive back. I drive to the shops.
I hate Ford, and by jove I will never allow one to darken my doorstep again.
Wait a minute! How could I forget the starter motor, which needed replaced just outside of the warranty. Ho ho, that was a chuckle, and imagine my glee when I recently was unable to get her started again, and now need to perform a Fonze-esque start rev combination to get her moving. Oh Mr Ford, whatever have they done to your once brilliant motorised vehicle on wheels. You'd turn in your hopefully more reliable than your namesake cars' grave if you could see.
I put some real thought into getting my Fiesta. It was the first car that I bought myself with no say so from my parents. It was also intended to be a car for my boyfriend and I to share, as he was getting rid of his old banger.
So, needless to say this car was very important to me. I test drove lots of cars before I decided on my Fiesta. Namely a 206, 307, Focus, Polo, Clio, Ibiza and a Punto. In the end I got a good deal on my '05 Fiesta. It was less than six months old and had 10,000 miles on the clock. So I forked out my £4 500, a fortune to a student and drove home with a huge smile on my face.
So...three years down the line and 45,000 miles later did i make the right choice?
The car has needed minimum work on it despite higher than average use. It is serviced every 8,000 miles ish and other than the price of oil and filters I haven't spent anything else on maintainence.
I still think the car looks current, something which its '05 competitors do not, think '05 clio and 206. Although this is perhaps about to change as Ford have recently brought out a new shape Fiesta. Nevertheless I still think it looks good.
The car still feels tight, with no strange noises. Mine is only a 1.25 so it is not blindingly quick. However, I went from a 1 litre Corsa to my Fiesta so I appreciate the little bit of speed that it does have. It is more than nippier enough around town, but it would benefit from a bit more on the motorway. Fuel economy is good at around 38mpg, but as I said mine is regularly serviced so it is probably a very good example. The handling of the car is largely good, but there have been a few scary moments when I have exited a roundabout a bit too quickly and I've felt nervous that it may tip.
Mine is in Moondust Silver, a colour which some would say is boring, but it hardly shows the muck and disguises any small scratches.
The interior of the car wears well as it is black and with a good hoover looks as good as the day I bought it. The dashboard comes clean very easily with some interior wipes.
The LX version is the basic model, but it isn't primitive. Mine has a CD player, heated electric mirrors, and remote central locking. It also has a brilliant heated front screen, which saves me scraping my windscreen on cold mornings, I can't tell you enough how brilliant this is. However the LX doesn not have air conditioning, granted last summer I'd have hardly used it, but there were days when it would have come in handy. It also comes with plastic wheel trims, a bit of a downer, but I bought second hand official Fod wheels. But to be honest the wheel trims were fine.
A male friend owns a Suzuki Swift which I think looks very nice. However, he hates his horn as it sounds very 'girlie'. In comparison my Fiesta sounds 'meaty' enough to earn you some respect, if you are the type of driver to use your horn that is.
Space in the car is excellent. It can comfortably fit five adults. Boot space is again very good, better than my brother's 'sensible' Renault Megane. However there are some minor points in the car that slightly irritate. The seat belts seem to be half way down the car, this is particularly difficult for my boyfriends mum as she has trouble with her back. There is also a lack of cup holders, it takes a serious amount of skill to get a drive through for two home with no pop spilt, as there is only one cup holder. These are only small things but they do start to niggle after a while.
After our Mondeo got hit whilst parked for the second time in the space of 18 months, we decided it was time to trade it in for something smaller. Much as we loved the Mondeo, it was no longer practical, having moved to a house closer to mine and my husband's work it just wasn't getting the use anymore and didn't justify the cost of running it. The struggle to find parking spaces big enough was a nightmare, as was the problem of people parking opposite our driveway and trying to manouvre the Mondeo in backwards around the lamppost and between the two brick walls without hitting the car parked opposite, it just wasn't worth the hassle!
So, after discussing the options with my husband I was sent to browse the garages. We had decided that this time we would go for a used car, maybe six months old as we had paid way over the odds for new cars in the past and lost so much when it came to trade in. We were looking for something smaller and cheaper, but not too small. It had to have enough room in the back to fit 3 passengers without too much of a squeeze, and a big enough boot to fit the average pushchair. Unfortunately, the car we really wanted was no longer in production (Ford Escort) and I wasn't keen on the Focus as the running costs wouldn't have been much different than the Mondeo. So one by one I struck cars of my list, Fiat Punto (too basic), Toyota Yaris (too expensive and too small), Vauxhall Corsa (not quite big enough, not enough power and an irritating blip, blip, blip when you put the indicators on), Peugeot 106 (God awful - we had been given one as a courtesy car when the Mondeo was being repaired and hated it). So, once again, I ended up at the Ford garage. I looked over an old shape Fiesta but just wasn't happy with the size (and had bad memories of being cramped in the one we had had 3 years before). The sales consultant tried to convince me to have a look at the new shape Fiesta (had only been out 2 weeks), I didn't really want to as I hadn't wanted to spend too much, but I followed him into the showroom and had a thorough look round. Uh oh, this was it, this was what I was looking for, but way over my intended budget. I loved the look of it, basically a mini Focus, much bigger than the old Fiesta and a far bigger boot. The salesman tried to convince me that they could do me a great deal in part exchange, so I let him have a quick look over the Mondeo and he did a bit of number crunching. Whoaaa, no way, I didn't want to spend that much. The new Fiesta (1.4 LX with air con) would cost £9,200 and they would only give us £4,600 for the Mondeo - WHAT?! The Mondeo was only 18 months old and had cost us £9,999 new (only £800 more than the Fiesta). I thought it was a terrible deal, so I told them so, and walked away.
A couple of weeks later, after no more success with finding an alternative, we discussed the pros and cons of the Fiesta and weighed out whether the cost would be way more than we were saving in petrol, insurance and road tax. In the end we decided to take the plunge, but only on the condition we could get a better price for the Mondeo. So, I went back to the Ford garage and haggled with them. After all, this would be the 5th new car we had bought from them. They agreed to give us £5,200 part exchange and even threw in mats and mud flaps. SOLD! I took the demo for a spin and that was that. No question.
Unfortunately we didn't get a choice of colour as they said they could only let us have that deal on one they had in stock, Pepper Red, not our first choice, but okay. Turned out it was the demo car, but it only had 32 miles on the clock and 12 of those were ours! So it was all arranged.
10 days later we went to collect the Fiesta. Well, the first thing I noticed was how nippy it was, the 1.4 16v engine was definintely the best choice. The space was fantastic for a smaller car, plenty of leg room, no rubbing elbows with the passenger and plenty of head room. The seating position was quite high, although more so as I had adjusted the seat to its highest position (being so short - 5'3"). I loved the fact that I could see over the bonnet short, which was something I couldn't do in the long nosed Mondeo.
The features on the LX were good too, air conditioning (optional), electric front windows, CD player, electric remote control heated mirrors, quickclear heated windscreen (unique to Ford) and remote central locking. The only thing I wasn't keen on was the look of the interior. The upholstery was beige with a grey pattern on the seats, I hate light coloured interiors. Also, the dash was part black and part beige, almost patchwork, a very bizzare idea I thought, it all looked a bit mismatched. The other thing was the amount of plastic glaring at you from the dash, the centre console and even the doors, all quite ugly after the luxury of the Mondeo, but I thought the economy of the car and the easier life made up for those things, or so I thought.
I found out as time went on that the car also suffered terribly with "body-roll" on cornering, quite scary at speed as you feel as if one of the rear wheels is going to leave the ground altogether! The other thing that began to irritate was the way they had designed the flash/full beam. Instead of pulling the indicator stick towards you to flash, you have to push it away, fine, but you then have to push through the flash to get to full beam, so end up flashing people when you don't mean to. Not very well though out I thought.
A couple of months down the line the problems started. The airbag light kept coming on. I phoned the garage and arranged to take the car in. They tested the electrics and said that the airbag was fine, but there was a dodgy electrical connection, so they fixed it.
A few weeks later we got a recall notice from Ford saying that they wanted to take the car in to check a few things. So we took it back to the garage again.
Then, a few months later, the outer door handle on the rear driver's side door gave out. It pulled out to open fine, but would not spring back into place when you let go. So, back it went to the garage.
Then, a few weeks later again, another recall notice and another trip to the garage.
On a couple of occasions, I decided to take the car to the jet wash, rather than wash it by hand, and noticed that water came in through one of the rear passenger windows, when I tested the winder handles, the window was wound down slightly. I put this down to my sister not closing the window properly when I gave her a lift a couple of days earlier, but then one day when I came back to my parked car after being at work all day and found the window wound down half an inch I realised that my sister couldn't be to blame. So, I monitored it for a week or so and sure enough, as I was driving along I would hear rushing air, and when I checked the window there was always a gap. So, guess what? It went back to the garage.
Two months later, the handle on the rear passenger side door gave out (the same as happened previously on the driver's side), and we had started to notice a slight squealing noise, but we had put this down to the air conditioning as the Mondeo had occasionally made a similar noise.
Okay, by this time I was getting pretty peeved. In just over a year the car had been back to the garage six times. Not good for a brand new car. I know you get the occasional fault with new cars, as we had experienced in the past, but not this many. This time, when I took the car to the garage I mentioned about the number of times it had been in and the inconvenience of it all. They just said that these things happened some times and it should settle down soon.
Well, the final nail in the coffin came when at it's first service (with a different garage) I mentioned the squeal to the mechanic and he said he would do a thorough inspection to see where it was coming from. He was thorough, and it turned out that this was something more major than just the air conditioning whining a little. He said I should get it seen to straight away. So, I duly booked the car back in to the Ford garage we had bought it from for them to investigate and deal with the squeal. Later that day I collected the car, they said that they had located the problem and dealt with it. Great, I thought, that should be that. How wrong was I!?!
A few days later I heard the squeal again, the one they had supposedly remedied. It wasn't a one off. Day after day there it was. Then, to my horror, a week after collecting the car back from it's supposed repair, I got a bill from the garage for £112 - £90 of which was labour charge. This was not on. I telephoned the garage and told them that the squeal was still there. They shrugged it off and said that it must be another one started up from something else. I was fuming. I telephoned the mechanic who had serviced my car and asked his opinion. He said that he had listed around different parts of the car with a stethascope and had located the squeal to be coming from the Cam Belt. I told him that the garage had been useless and had sent a bill for a job they had not done. He asked me to let him know what the bill said, and when I eventually managed to decipher the handwriting I worked out that they had changed the fan belt. My mechanic told me to phone the Ford garage and speak to the manager and complain, so I did.
The Ford garage said that they thought they had dealt with the problem and I was liable for the cost as I was now outside of my 1 year warranty (by a few weeks). No way! I explained that not only had they replaced the wrong part, and were therefore charging for something that shouldn't have been done in the first place, but the problem was still there, and had been there for several months now, and my mechanic could prove it as it was mentioned in the service papers. Eventually the garage backed down and remedied the problem and agreed to wipe out the cost.
I wrote a formal complaint to Ford as I was absolutely fed up with the whole situation with the car. I felt that we had suffered because we had chosen to buy a launch model car, one of the first 100 or so issued, and had to endure the problems that only get discovered through the course of people suffering them and was disgusted that we were now being expected to pay for any future repairs as the 1 year manufaturer's warranty had now expired. I threatened to get rid of the car and go and buy a different make altogether - bad considering we have only ever had Fords (8 in total).
One month on I had still not even received a reply. And to top it all, one of the rear handles gave out again. That was it. Off we trotted, and within two weeks our Fiesta had been replaced with a Vauxhall Astra SXi, and it was the best thing we ever did. I never realised until we had the Astra how flimsy and gutless Fords really are. You open a door and the wind catches it, you push the bonnet just a little too hard when closing and you dent it. The Astra is absolutely solid by comparison, and the power is 10 times better, I only wish we had bypassed the Fiesta and gone straight for the Astra, it even cost us less than the Fiesta - only £9,000 (originally £14,000) and just 5 months old.
The Fiesta was a big disappointment. Hopefully by now the problems that we experienced no longer exist, but if you ever decide to buy a secondhand one, do not buy one on a 52 plate unless you are willing to pay the cost of repairing all the things that go wrong!
Around a year ago I wrote an opinion on the Peugeot 106. I had just bought one from new at a decent price and I liked it. However a year later and it?s funny how you can easily fall out of love with something. That especially applies to cars, you start by liking them confident in your choice. However 12-months of driving the thing soon lets you find it?s faults. This summer I will have been driving 8 years and in that time I have had 3 Ford Fiesta?s. My first car was an old ?W? reg which was pretty basic but a good runner that rarely let me down and was inexpensive to insure and repair. I then had an E-reg model that was slightly better but still your bog standard car. In 2001 I bought a newer style P-reg and again it was a decent little ride. Now Ford has changed the shape of the fiesta, no longer is it the cheap little run around. In fact it?s a sturdy and attractive looking little car that doesn?t feel little. I remember sitting in one around a year ago and remembering how big inside it felt compared to the fiesta I?d owned in the past. That stuck with me and having driven one I was more impressed. Needless to say last week I bit the bullet, traded in the Peugeot and bought an LX model on an ?03? plate. A new model fiesta will set you back anything from £7000 to past the £10000 mark. As always it?s best to shop around however I would have to say that I?d probably never buy a brand new car again. I picked up my LX model for under £7800 with less than 2000 miles on the clock. Of course new from the dealer means you may be able to get free insurance however the staggering excesses that ford have introduced plus the various add on?s make it a very un-appealing offer. The 1.4 LX model is probably the most practical of the new shape fiesta?s. The entry level finesse is pretty basic, the LX is where the extras come in. My 5-DR model has electric windows, central locking, cd player, air con, heated mirrors and a heated front windscreen. The 1.
4 engine has some decent kick on the highway and handles the city roads really nicely. So far I have to say the fuel use has been pretty low as well but this is something you get a better idea of over time. The first thing I noticed on driving the car was the ease of the drive; the power steering is very light and effortless. Naturally I was comparing it to the 106 and I have to say there is no contest. The Fiesta is just a lot easier to drive. One of the great things I like is the adjustable seating position. Raising the height of the drivers seat makes a great difference as well as the option to move the steering column. There?s also plenty of legroom, something which was sorely lacking in the 106. I also feel safe driving the car as it just feels strong and I have faith that it would protect me in the event of an accident. Again this is something that the 106 didn?t have. As mentioned earlier, the new style of fiesta is generally a bigger car inside. There is great headroom and a lot more comfort. The rear would comfortably sit 3 passengers and provides them each with a headrest if they want to doze off! However the main negative point of the car is the interior materials. There is a lot of dull looking plastic on show, which is a bit disappointing considering the attention that has been paid in other areas. It also looks like the cd player would be a real pain to upgrade if you needed to. However it?s still a step up from the 106 and honestly as long as the car goes and doesn?t have a lot go wrong then I can forgive the interior materials. On the extras side I mainly went for the LX model as it comes with the heated front windscreen. This week there?s been a lot of snow and ice. There?s nothing worse than the morning ritual of defrosting the car. However the press of a button takes the hassle out. After a couple of minutes the snow and ice was slipping off the car like butter on hot toast. As the wing mirrors are also heated it saves y
ou a great deal of time. Air conditioning was also something that attracted me to getting the car, obviously in these cold conditions there?s not really a use for it but I look forward to the summer when I can wind the windows up and flick that button to keep my armpits from turning a bit ripe. The sound system does its job well, it?s not amazing but you get a decent sound quality. The cd player is easy enough and the steering column controls help when driving. The only problem it has is with some copy protected cd?s. I put my copy of Aerosmith?s greatest hits in and it didn?t like it. However it does work with CDR?s well enough. Insurance wise it?s cost me £260 fully comp to insure and that?s a pretty good price for a 25-year old. I?m certainly happy I made the change and Ford have certainly improved the quality of their little car. I?d definitely recommend it to anyone looking to get a big car feel in a small car.
My model is a 97 P Fiesta LX with the 1.3 petrol engine. It was bought used at 3 1/2 years old with approx. 40000 miles. The car does 60 miles daily commuting daily plus the occasional trip around town. Reliability and Quality No issues here - the car has not seen the workshop other than for normal servicing. Starts first time in all weather conditions, even when parked outside. The only small problem was an over-eager cooling system, meaning that the engine never reached full operating temperature (especially noticeable in winter!). Having been quoted in excess of £80 for an investigation, I decided to make a start myself by changing the cooling system thermostat (and no, I am NOT a mechanic!). 10 minutes and less than £10 for a new thermostat, and everything was fine. Performance Others may disagree, but I find the 60bhp 1.3 perfectly adequate, even on dual carriageways where the car cruises comfortably at speed. Acceleration is surprisingly good for a car with this size engine, especially in the 0-40 range; beyond that, it needs to be worked a bit harder. Ease of driving Thankfully, this is a light car, so the absence of power assisted steering is less of an issue. It only really becomes noticeable when parking - as soon as the car is in motion, it's no problem. Other than that, it's very easy, with a simple, logical interior layout and good alround visibility. The car is predictable in all driving situations and offers suprising levels of cornering ability. Space This is a small hatchback, remember, so do not expect miracles. Whilst the driver and front passenger enjoy ample space, things are a bit tight in the back. Since my car is mainly used for commuting, however, this is not a real problem. The boot is surprisingly generous for a car this size, and with the rear seats down you even get some load carrying cability. Don't forget that this is still a small car - families look elsewhe
re. Comfort This is back-to-basics motoring, my friend, and don't ask me what the LX model offers over and above the base model. Maybe the sunroof... No aircon, no electric anything. Just basic car. The ride, however, is very agreeable, and paired with comfortable seats makes for good short to medium distance travelling. On longer distances, some may find tyre and wind noise a bit on the harsh side... Economy and value for money On my daily commute (which is 50% dual carriage way, 25% town and 25% A-road), the car returns about 48mpg, making for a touring range of about 320 miles. Not too bad... Insurance is nice and low. Servicing is every 10,000 miles and costs about £100. Summary Reliable, enjoyable low-budget motoring that is only slightly spoiled by low-spec trim and road noise at higher speeds.
I bought this car in 1998 for £5000. Surely I'm not the only owner of this model, I think maybe the other owners are keeping rather quiet. I have never seen another one advertised, nor have I met another owner. Yes, this is the one with only one gear. I'm afraid I don't know the ins and outs of gearboxes but it seems there is a big rubber band in place of the cogs, maybe a comment from a more knowledgable member is required here. Mine is a N reg 96 model, last of the Mk 3's I believe. As clean and tidy examples of these models can now be picked up rather inexspensively I feel I must warn you of the CTX automaniac gearbox. I told my Toyota dealer friend about my experiences and he couldn't stop laughing, he assured me I was not the only one who has had this problem with the CTX Auto box.Mine started playing up at about 40k and 4 years old. It used to take me by suprise but oh no, not any more. It first happened while I was sitting at the traffic lights, I didn't hear the warning whine, maybe the chilli peppers from the stereo were up a notch or two too much, the only way I can describe it is a massive clunk throwing me into the back of my seat as if I was hit from behind at 30mph by a Transit van, in fact the first thing I did was to check my rear view mirror to see what had hit me. I don't know what caused it, I don't much care but it was frightening, that was until I put 2 and 2 together took notice of the warning whine and learned to deal with it. It only happens when the car is stationary so what I have to do now is when the whining starts turn off the ignition and re-start the engine, simply putting it into neutral will not surfice as it will wait until I select drive and then perform. This is one of them problems that can be gauranteed not to show it's face when being checked out by a mechanic. Anyway, enough about the gearbox, what about the rest of the car? Lets start inside. Comfort for a small car and big body
(6'1" of me) is fine, the driving position is good, I have driven from London to Cornwall, Cardiff, Skegness, Scunthorpe etc with no complaints (apart from those of the Mrs and kids). I quite like the interior, not too flash but everything you need and expect in a small hatch is there, adjustable mirrors, half decent sound system (but no Cd), sunroof etc. The build quality must be good as it has held together well despite the two kids doing everything possible to wreck it. This car has no power steering, not a problem for me but for a member of the fairer sex I would worry. All round visibility is average to good, put it this way, you get used to it. Economy on a run is first class but around town it's quite the opposite, in fact if you tend to put your foot down I would have to class it as dreadful. The steering is not that precise with very little feedback, It can wander and you can find yourself sometimes bottling out and reaching for that middle pedal a bit rapidly when approaching a bend at speed, I would never rely on the steering/tyres to hug a corner. Performance is ok (for me), 110 tops and a 0-60 of about 12 secs, thats alone, but start loading the car or giving lifts and those figures are severely dented. I am quite happy with servicing, parts and insurance costing and the car uses no oil between services, having said that the car still has only 53k on the dial. The car has been totally reliable and has never let me down. The car has quite a big hatch space for it's size but I wouldn't advise using it as a family car and loading it up for trips as I have. The locks, yes, the locks. The passenger door, drivers door and hatch locks all ground (literally) to a halt within 3 months of each other. Apparently this is a common fault with Fiesta's according to Twickenham Ford, not very reassuring when your car is just over 3 years old. I have had some fun times in this little car but it's had i
t's day and will soon be replaced by a proper car. I have driven newer Fiestas and the improvements are enormous, please don't acknowledge this review if you are considering a Mk4 or later.
Yes they must be very popular if there are this many of them around. There are 4 different size engines, the 1.25, the 1.3, the 1.4 and the 1.8 Diesel. The best buy of which is probably the 1.25 as it is fairly low on insurance but has a more than useful 70 bhp due to it's 16 valve engine, making it more powerful than the 1.3. The ride is very enjoyable, I do my advanced driving in the 1.25, the mirrors give you plenty of view around you, as they should, and the amount of power feels pretty immense. The car deals well at speed, the clutch is smooth, and I would really recommend this car to any potential buyer. Yes there are down sides, such as they are pretty common, but that is purely because they are successful. They look pretty good, and they handle well, especially with power steering. Also cheap to run, seriously consider one.
In the last 2 years I have bought 2 brand new Ford Fiestas. The first occasion was Jan 98 when I purchased a ford Ghia. I got a 25% discount on this with the family loyalty voucher. I took the finance with Ford Credit Options. Just before my 2 years were up I traded it in last September for a new Ford Fiesta LX. The dealer that I went to only gave me a trade in figure that ,atched the amount I owed. The car was worth a lot more as I purchased it 25% cheaper but this didn't seem to matter. The new car is more expensive monthly even though it is a cheaper model and I have taken the credit over 3 years instead of 2. I want to now get rid of this car as I am just about to move and can no longer afford the monthly payments easily. I know that unless I sell it privately I will only get back the figure that I owe. I think this whole scheme is such a rip off, as even though car manufactures are lowing the price it still doesn't make sense that at the end of your option period your car is only worth the amount that you owe. Even when like me you have had a discount of the purchase price. I have decided that the next car I buy will not be new and probably won't be a ford because of this.
My other half bought a new 1.25LX model in May99 at the same time as I bought another puma. Although a lot of the puma bits have been nicked off the fiesta the is quite difference in the two, I know this is no surprise. However I had a nice surprise when I drove the fiesta, it is a very responsive little car, more than capable of doing everything a small car should do. The boot space is very reasonable as is the cabin interior. There is adequate leg room for all four passengers and the spritely 1.25 engine does not complain with 4up and luggage aboard. Ford have managed to get their engines right, at long last and the fiesta is no different. I have a heavy right foot and tend to drive fast but the fiesta is great fun to drive and handles pretty good. The fuel economy is excellent, urban and other styles do not really affect the overall fuel performance. The build quality of the car both internal and external is very good, with heavier 'clunking' doors and less plastic crap clutering the interior. It has a much more of an upmarket car feel to it than the old fiesta. Optional extras on the car such as heated front screen, electrics and air con are a bonus really. Great little car.