Ford Fiesta review

Category: Small car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol
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Ford Fiesta 2019 RHD infotainment
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RRP £16,640What Car? Target Price from£15,411
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

If you're hoping the Ford Fiesta is a budget option, you’ll be mildly disappointed; compared with rivals such as the Skoda Fabia, it’s actually quite pricey. Discounts are reasonable, though (visit our deals section to see how much you could save), and the Fiesta is predicted to hold onto its value better than many of its cheaper rivals.

If you’re buying on PCP finance, as many small car buyers choose to do, the Fiesta will usually cost you more a month than many rivals – namely the Volkswagen Polo and Fabia – on the same terms. On the plus side, the Fiesta is cheaper than lots of alternatives to run as a company car, thanks to its relatively low CO2 emissions (especially the Ecoboost Hybrid engines), while monthly leasing rates are also temptingly cheap.

Equipment, options and extras

Entry-level Trend trim is certainly worth a look – it gets you 16in alloy wheels, air conditioning, privacy glass, a chrome surround for the front grille, automatic lights and the 8.0in infotainment touchscreen, LED headlights and heated windscreen (discussed in the previous sections). Titanium trim is also worth considering, adding cruise control, automatic wipers, ambient interior lighting, an automatically dimming rear-view mirror, power-folding door mirrors and keyless start.

However, given the Fiesta's fun-driving nature, we'd be tempted to go for sporty ST-Line Edition trim. This is kitted out similarly to the Titanium trim but adds stiffer suspension, for even greater agility, as well as a body kit and larger 17in alloy wheels, for a more aggressive look.

The posher trims levels – particularly the Vignale – are too expensive to recommend, even though you get loads of creature comforts as standard. 

Ford Fiesta 2019 RHD infotainment

Reliability

The Fiesta was rated 'poor' for reliability in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey. It proved less dependable than all its rivals, including the Ibiza, Fabia and Polo. And Ford's overall manufacturer rating corroborated that, which was also lower than many of its rivals. 

The Fiesta’s standard warranty lasts for three years or 60,000 miles; this is broadly in line with the class average, if some way short of the five-year, unlimited mileage cover offered on the Hyundai i20 or the seven-year/100,000-mile cover on the Kia Rio.

You can add an extended warranty that will cover your Fiesta for an extra one or two years, but you’ll need to sign up for it when buying.

Safety and security

All Fiestas come with seven airbags, lane-keeping warning and assistance, plus Ford’s MyKey system – a programmable ignition key that can be used to limit the car’s top speed, mute the sound system and prevent the stability control system from being disabled. This should give you some peace of mind if you decide to hand the keys to somebody who has recently passed their driving test.

However, the big disappointment is that automatic emergency braking (AEB) doesn’t come as standard on any model apart from the range-topping Vignale. It’s reserved for the options list as part of the Driver Assistance Pack, which also adds blind spot-monitoring and adaptive cruise control. Sadly, this pack isn't available on entry-level Trend trim.

All versions come with an engine immobiliser to deter thieves and a Thatcham-approved alarm.

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Overview

The Ford Fiesta is superb to drive, smart inside and well equipped, plus it offers a broad range of trim levels – from the affordable Trend to the SUV-inspired Active – to cater for many tastes and budgets. It’s one of the very best small cars you can buy, but it can prove quite pricey in higher trims and the rival Volkswagen Polo just has the edge for ride comfort, safety and rear-seat space.

  • Brilliant to drive
  • Punchy Ecoboost engines, especially the Hybrid versions
  • Good fuel economy and CO2 emissions
  • Some rivals are better value
  • Decent but not class-leading practicality
  • Important safety kit not standard

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