When the Fiesta first appeared, memories of all the many dull superminis to have gone before it were banished in an instant. Fords design language is perfectly suited to a vehicle of this size, and its one of the best looking cars on the whole market.
Entry-level Fiestas seem to be there mainly to feature in adverts on your local radio station saying Prices from as little as With a bare minimum of creature comforts, wed certainly not fancy driving them. There are five models in the range, and air-con doesnt come in until the third of them; beneath this, Bluetooth, parking sensors and even an alarm arent even available as options. Only the pricey Titanium range-topper looks really well equipped. But headline safety gear is standard on all models, for which Ford deserves respect.
The 1.25 petrol engine tested here picks up a lot of sales, and the range also includes 1.4 and 1.6 units, the former with an auto option. Diesel fans get a choice of 1.4 and 1.6 TDCi engines; unusually, neither is offered with varying power outputs, but if you want that theres a de-tuned version of the 1.25 in the Studio model the cheapest in the range.
Its easy to get comfortable in the Fiestas roomy front seats, but the dash in front of you looks disappointingly boring. In comparison to the cars exterior styling, its conservative to the point of being bland, and the plastics in which its carried off dont look or feel especially exciting. In the back, the rear seats are on the snug side for tall adults and when they fold down, they leave a big step in whats not the most conveniently shaped of boots.
The Fiesta sets new standards in the supermini class. Its handling is beautifully fluid, with plenty of steering feel and excellent control in corners. It rides very smoothly, too, soaking the harshness out of pot holes around town and moulding itself to uneven surfaces on faster roads without jogging or bouncing you around. The higher-powered version of the 1.25, as tested here, feels brisker than the bare figures suggest and only raises its voice when pushed hard in general, the Fiesta is a very refined car. If you can afford the upfront investment, theres also a 1.6 TDCi Econetic diesel, which bowls it along nicely while returning almost 90mpg on a run.
Equipment levels on cheaper Fiestas are sparse enough to force a lot of customers into the higher-spec models. Thus its a more expensive car than the headline prices might suggest. But you shouldnt struggle to get a discount, and it ought to be big enough to make a real difference to what you can afford. All models are easy on fuel and cheap to insure, and maintenance costs should be modest. Depreciation wont be, though, so dont expect to get much back when you sell it on.