The word’s out — the Fiesta is a fun, feature-packed little car
There’s no argument that the car market has changed. The once dominant big cars are on the nose, replaced largely by other big cars in the form of SUVs, but at the same time small cars that were once shunned by all but the povertystricken are enjoying an unprecedented following.
This newfound popularity has meant that car makers have put more effort into making them attractive to a new generation of buyers instead of stripping them of everything but the basics in the hope of making a buck.
The result: the likes of the Thai-built Ford Fiesta, an attractive, fun-filled little car that drives well, is economical and has loads of neat features.
For theWTseries, the fourdoor sedan had the security of a boot and a little more body stiffness to aid handling, while the five-door hatch was more versatile. There were also two four-cylinder engine options, a 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre turbo diesel. Both were quite economical, the turbo diesel more so by quite a margin.
The only criticism of the petrol engine was that it lacked a little performance at low revs but it was still perfectly adequate.
At the same time the turbo diesel was lauded for its sparkling performance. The downside was that it came only with a five-speed manual gearbox.
For those wanting an auto there was no choice but to go for the petrol engine, fitted with a new six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox.
The turbo diesel was a winner for performance and economy but the manual gearbox put some people off. If you wanted an auto transmission you had to forgo the oiler.
All models had standard stability control. The base CL only had two airbags, with a $600 option that upgraded it to the seven that all other models had.
A downside was that the Fiesta didn’t come with a spare wheel, for that you had to pay extra.
Instead it had an aerosol kit for use on your flat tyre.
Given the auto is a twin-clutch, which can prove troublesome, perhaps the best option is to avoid the complication of technology and opt for a simple manual gearbox.
If you really want the auto, test drive it thoroughly to try to find any faults it might have. Don’t just drive it around the block— take it for an extended run, driving it under varying conditions, high, low and walking speed, accelerating from a stop, overtaking etc.
Check whether the chosen car has the optional spare and ponder what you might do if it doesn’t— and if not, make sure the aerosol kit is there.
Some owners say that their petrol models ping, which obliges them to run on 95-octane fuel instead of the cheaper 91. That increases running costs significantly.
Build quality is a complaint often heard from WT Fiesta owners, so take the time to inspect the vehicle closely.
Inspect the body for bumps and scrapes. These always
bring the value of a car down. Check the service record to reassure yourself that the required servicing has been carried out.
Questionable build quality detracts from an attractive package but the diesel engine is
worth the punt.