Maybe the cheap­est and eas­i­est way into fast Ford own­er­ship for young driv­ers, now is a great time to buy the 1.0-litre Fi­esta Mk7...

Fast Ford - - Ff Tech - Words DAN WIL­LIAMSON / Pho­tos FORD

“Ford’s finest hour is surely the three-cylin­der Fi­esta 1.0, pack­ing huge po­ten­tial from a puny 999cc pow­er­plant”

Small is beau­ti­ful – and on the scale of diminu­tive hatch­backs, Ford’s finest hour is surely the three­cylin­der Fi­esta 1.0, pack­ing huge po­ten­tial from a puny 999cc pow­er­plant.

The EcoBoost en­gine was in­tro­duced into the Fi­esta range for its Novem­ber 2012 facelift (on sale from Jan­u­ary 2013), when all Mk7s re­ceived a new grille, head­lamps, tail lights and a re­vamped in­te­rior. Ini­tially the 1.0 was of­fered in 100PS (98bhp) form as a Zetec, Ti­ta­nium or high-spec Ti­ta­nium X. A 125PS (123bhp) equiv­a­lent was also avail­able in the Ti­ta­ni­ums, plus a funky Zetec S three­door, which boasted stiffer sus­pen­sion, 16in al­loy wheels, deeper bumpers, black mesh grille, side skirts, rear spoiler and a racy in­te­rior with con­toured seats. In Au­gust 2014 a pair of hot­ter mod­els ap­peared, known as the Red Edi­tion and Black Edi­tion thanks to con­trast­ing paint­work (Red with Pan­ther Black roof and door mir­ror caps, or Black with Race Red bits) and black-painted 17in al­loys. Re­vised ECU soft­ware gave 138bhp, 155lb.ft torque, 125mph and 0-to-60mph in 8.7 sec­onds.

The 140PS tune be­came avail­able in the reg­u­lar Zetec S from May 2015.

Oc­to­ber 2015 brought Zetec Black and White Edi­tions, run­ning the 100PS en­gine plus Pan­ther Black or Frozen White paint­work with con­trast­ing roof and mir­rors. Sim­i­lar Colour Edi­tions re­peated the for­mula in March 2016, but this time in blue or white.

June 2016 saw the Zetec S give way to the ST-Line, in­clud­ing the 1.0 EcoBoost in 100, 125 and 140PS va­ri­eties, and also of­fer­ing a five-door bodystyle. Black and Red Edi­tions re­mained in 140PS form.

The Fi­esta Mk7 was re­placed by the Mk8 in April 2017, leav­ing a sec­ond-hand mar­ket sat­u­rated with fun Fi­es­tas be­ing traded in.

Should you buy one? With an amaz­ing chas­sis, min­i­mal run­ning costs and mas­sive tun­abil­ity, only the much-hyped me­dia cov­er­age of cat­a­strophic so-called EcoBoom en­gine fail­ures could put you off.

Here’s why it shouldn’t...

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