. . . but per­fectly formed

Ford took a small pack­age and filled it with char­ac­ter

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Car -

The Fi­esta looked funky, had a funky in­te­rior and was packed with all the funky fea­tures a young per­son on the move could wish for. There were two body styles, a three­door hatch and a five-door hatch, and three mod­els, the price-lead­ing CL, the LX and the sporty Zetec. The midrange LX was only avail­able as a five-door; the oth­ers came with three or five.

There were three en­gines— two petrol and a diesel. The petrol en­gines were a 1.4-litre and a 1.6-litre but the diesel made the big noise with claimed con­sump­tion of 3.7L/100 km. There was also the choice of man­ual and au­to­matic trans­mis­sions with the fi­nal drive be­ing through the front wheels. On the road the Fi­esta was poised when cor­ner­ing, the ride was com­pli­ant and its en­gines were smooth and flex­i­ble.

Inside, it was quiet and re­fined, the seats were com­fort­able and there were nifty fea­tures such as voice­con­trolled Blue­tooth and a USB slot for an MP3 player.

NOW

Few com­plaints have been re­ceived at Cars­guide, sug­gest­ing Fi­esta own­ers are gen­er­ally happy with their pur­chase.

The most com­mon com­plaint re­lates to engine ping­ing and, de­spite dealer rec­om­men­da­tions to switch to higher oc­tane fuel, it doesn’t seem to go away.

Fuel econ­omy is also a con­cern for some own­ers, par­tic­u­larly with the 1.6-litre engine, which doesn’t come close to the of­fi­cial Ford fig­ure. Any­one buy­ing for fuel econ­omy should strongly con­sider the diesel, which does de­liver very good econ­omy.

We have also had the odd re­port of the engine cut­ting out for no ap­par­ent rea­son, and deal­ers have not been able to find the cause of the prob­lem. Ran­dom fail­ures of this sort are quite com­mon on to­day’s cars, given all their elec­tron­ics. It only takes a poor con­nec­tion some­where, or a sen­sor that mis­be­haves oc­ca­sion­ally and you have a car that does things that are dif­fi­cult to ex­plain.

The per­for­mance of the air­con has been called into ques­tion by a num­ber of own­ers who say it blows cool rather than cold on hot days. Rat­tles are also a bug­bear, which would ap­pear to be the re­sult of vari­able build qual­ity.

As in all mod­ern cars, ser­vic­ing the Fi­esta is vi­tal to en­sur­ing a long and re­li­able life, so check that the car has been ser­viced reg­u­larly and ac­cord­ing to the book.

SMITHY SAYS

A smart-look­ing, great-driv­ing and fun-filled lit­tle hatch that’s packed with char­ac­ter.

Fi­esta: It’s a good looker and as fun­filled as the name sug­gests

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