Ford Fiesta Hatchback full 9 point review
There are plenty of engines to choose from, but the 99bhp Ecoboost petrol is the pick of the range. It pulls strongly from just above idle and revs smoothly and eagerly; in fact, it’s so strong that there’s little point upgrading to the 123bhp Ecoboost. The 94bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine is less impressive, because you have to rev it quite hard. The optional Powershift automatic gearbox is a tad pricey, but it works well with the Ecoboost engine.
Ride & Handling
The Fiesta changes direction with an immediacy that many an exotic sports car would be proud of. Factor in minimal roll in corners and plenty of confidence-inspiring grip, and you don’t have to drive very far to realise that the Fiesta is the sweetest-handling supermini you can buy. It also rides more smoothly than most rivals.
The 1.6-litre diesel engine sounds quite clattery, and the Ecoboost petrols thrum a bit when you put your foot down, but otherwise there’s little to disturb the peace, aside from a bit of suspension noise over patched-up surfaces. The pedals are consistently weighted, too, while the gearshift is slick and supremely accurate.
Buying & Owning
The Fiesta is economical and cheap to insure, and there are massive discounts available. It doesn’t have the strongest resale values in the class, but if you buy it at the right price you shouldn’t lose too much cash come resale time. Low CO2 emissions from the Ecoboost petrols and Econetic diesels also make the Fiesta a surprisingly cheap company car.
Quality & Reliability
Ford has put plenty of effort into making the Fiesta’s interior as distinctive as its exterior, but although the dashboard is mostly soft to the touch, many of the switches have a low-rent feel. Ford has a good record in our reliability surveys, though, and the Fiesta was rated above average for mechanical reliability in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction study.
Safety & Security
All Fiestas come with stability control and seven airbags, including full-length curtain ’bags and a driver’s knee ’bag. The car also received the maximum five-star rating in its Euro NCAP crash test. Deadlocks and a visible vehicle identification number help to make life difficult for thieves.
Behind The Wheel
The big-car refinement of the Fiesta is matched by big-car comforts in the front of the cabin. There's two-way steering wheel adjustment, loads of seat travel and plenty of support for your back, so almost everyone should be able to find the ideal driving position. Unfortunately, the infotainment systems aren’t very easy to use compared with those in most rivals.
Space & Practicality
There are roomier small cars, but the Fiesta will still seat four adults in comfort. There’s a decent boot, too, although when you want to enlarge it, the rear-seat backrests merely flop onto the bases, leaving a large step in the floor. The optional height-adjustable boot floor is well worth considering, because it irons out the big lip at the entrance of the load bay.
Trim levels range from cheap but spartan (Studio) to luxurious (Titanium X) and sporty (ST). Style versions are good value, but we’d go for Zetec trim, which comes with alloy wheels, air-con, a heated windscreen and a leather steering wheel. Zetec S models look sporty, and are a good choice if the ST versions are too expensive to buy and insure. The twin-clutch Powershift automatic gearbox can be specced with the 1.0T 100 Ecoboost and 1.6 petrol engines.