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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For The Ford Fiesta is a stunning supermini that's both enjoyable to drive and sensible to own.

Against Economical diesel models will stay in demand, so prices are high, and the rear seats don't fold completely flat.

Verdict One of the best used superminis you can buy, and there are plenty for sale, so you can make sure you get the ideal car for you.

Go for… 1.25i Zetec 5dr

Avoid… 1.6 TDCi Titanium 5dr

Ford Fiesta Hatchback
  • 1. It's bigger than the older ('02-'08) Fiesta, and just about as spacious as most supermini rivals. Rear seats have restricted legroom, making them best for children. Those in the front have more room
  • 2. The 59bhp 1.25-litre petrol model is acceptable, although the 81bhp 1.25 is more usable and the better bet. For more performance try the 95bhp 1.4-litre, or the 118bhp 1.6.
  • 3. The Fiesta comes with two types of suspension: standard and sports – with the sports found on Zetec models. All Fiestas are entertaining to drive and smooth out bumps well, but Zetecs have the edge.
  • 4. The Fiesta is a small car, with running costs to match. The petrol models are best for those who drive fewer than 12,000 miles a year or who spend most of their time in the urban jungle.
  • 5. The Econetic model is also exempt from road tax, because it emits just 98g/km of CO2. The other models aren't environmental villains, though.
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Ford Fiesta Hatchback full review with expert trade views

Just because you're buying a sensible supermini, it doesn't mean it can't be fun to drive. The Fiesta is a riot on the open road, and it's very refined for this class of car, so much so that it almost feels as if you're driving the Fiesta's bigger brother, the Ford Focus.

It's bigger than the older ('02-'08) Fiesta, and just about as spacious as most supermini rivals. Rear seats have restricted legroom, making them best for children. Those in the front have much more room, while the driving position should suit those of all sizes. The boot is a decent size, although the rear seats don't fold completely flat.

There are plenty of Fiestas to choose from on the used market, with car supermarkets, franchised dealers and larger independent dealers a good place to shop.

Trade view

A great supermini that looks set to become even better value on the used market as it ages and more cars become available.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The 59bhp 1.25-litre petrol model is acceptable, although the 81bhp 1.25 is more usable and the better bet. For more performance try the 95bhp 1.4-litre, or the 118bhp 1.6 – which is particularly entertaining to drive.

Diesel engines include a 67bhp 1.4-litre and a 89bhp 1.6. We'd stick with the 1.4: it's powerful enough and slightly cheaper than the 1.6. The 1.6 is also available as an ultra-frugal Econetic version. These are worth looking for, even though used values are high.

Opt for Style trim over the sparsely equipped Studio and you'll get goodies such as electric front windows and remote central locking, but stretch to the Style+ and you'll be rewarded with air-con. Zetec models have all that you could reasonably want in a supermini, including alloys and traction control. The Fiesta comes with two types of suspension: standard and sports – with the sports found on Zetec models. All Fiestas are entertaining to drive and smooth out bumps well, but the Zetecs have the edge for fun.

An automatic gearbox is available only with the 1.4-litre petrol model.

Trade view

The Econetic models promise to save you money on fuel and road tax, but their higher prices may upset your bank manager.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The Fiesta is a small car, with running costs to match. The petrol models are best for those who drive fewer than 12,000 miles a year or who spend most of their time in the urban jungle. They'll cost less to buy than a diesel model, and you won't see much of a difference in fuel costs.

The 59bhp 1.25-litre petrol delivers an official average of 52.3mpg, but that falls to 49.6mpg for the 89bhp version. The 1.4 also manages 49.6mpg; the 1.6 does 47.9mpg. The diesels trump these results, with both the 1.4 and 1.6 producing just over 67mpg. The Econetic delivers an impressive 75.3mpg.

The Econetic model is also exempt from road tax, because it emits just 98g/km of CO2. The other models aren't environmental villains, though; the petrols' emissions range from 128g/km to 139g/km, while the non-Econetic diesels emit 110g/km.

Other running costs are also low. Servicing is cheap, while insurance ranges from group one to six.

Trade view

A great supermini that looks set to become even better value on the used market as it ages and more cars become available.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

It's a little too early in the Fiesta's life to know how it's going to fare long-term, but reliability is good so far. However, that's not to say that the Fiesta is fault free.

The plastics used for the dashboard and door cards mark easily. Some owners have complained about the quality of the materials used in the cabin. The stereo also has a habit of failing, along with the heating and ventilation system, which can develop a mind of its own. Dealers can fix both under warranty.

There have also been several reports of water leaks, resulting in damp front footwells – this can cause mould in cars that sit for long periods of time. Lift the mats and check carefully when inspecting a car.

Also check to see if the service history is complete. Some ex-fleet and lease cars may have missed maintenance work.

Trade view

The Econetic models promise to save you money on fuel and road tax, but their higher prices may upset your bank manager.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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