Little bundle of joy
Ford’s smallest hatches want for nothing
THERE’S no doubt that today’s buyers, particularly younger ones, don’t feel the same need for size as their forebears who were sold on the concept that bigger was better. Today’s buyers are
more size- savvy and are happy to buy the car that fits their needs. In that context small cars, such as Ford’s Fiesta, have today become important players.
Still, buyers in this segment want their cars to be sexy and the Fiesta can claim to be that. With its slinky lines, pumpedup guard flares and slimline headlamps, it was styled was cute as a button.
Inside, there was plenty of room for front passengers but those in the rear found themselves a little snug thanks to the sweeping roofline that compromised their headroom.
The interior was flashy and the design sometimes overrode function, although certainly appealed at first glance.
Ford’s Fiesta range of threeand five-door hatches had the entry level CL, mid-range LX and topline sportster Zetec, with 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre engines.
The 1.4 Duratec unit developed 71kW at 5750rpm and 128Nm at 4200rpm, the 1.6 produced 88kW at 6000rpm and 152Nm at 4050rpm.
Buyers also had a choice of transmissions, with Ford offering a five-speed manual and a four-speed auto.
Underneath the Fiesta had MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension.
Carsguide has had few complaints from Fiesta owners yet those we have received have been rather damning.
Engine pinging is a common complaint and is something to be mindful of when test-driving a potential purchase. Running the car on the more expensive higher-octane fuel doesn’t necessarily fix the problem, and rather defeats one of the purposes of buying small.
We have also had reports of cars that simply cutout for no apparent reason and the fault hasn’t been diagnosed.
Build quality can also be variable, so cast a critical eye over any potential purchase and don’t accept anything that’s not quite right. Check the service record to make sure the required maintenance was done.
The CL and LX only came with dual airbags. To get more you had to buy a Zetec, which came with head and side airbags as well.
All models had ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution but, again, you had to buy a Zetec to get important features such as emergency brake assistance, BAS or
Appeal: Fiesta’s looks were a winner with small car buyers
Bells and whistles: Fiesta’s flashy interior