Ford Fiesta review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£16,115
What Car? Target Price£15,321
Ford Fiesta 2019 RHD infotainment
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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, and the Fiesta is predicted to hold onto its value better than many rivals.

If you’re buying on PCP finance, as many small car buyers choose to do, the Fiesta will have higher monthly repayments than rivals – namely the Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Fabia – on the same terms. On the plus side, the Fiesta is cheaper than many rivals to run as a company car, thanks to its low CO2 emissions, while monthly leasing rates are also temptingly low.

Equipment, options and extras

Entry-level Trend trim is certainly worth a look; it gets you alloy wheels, air conditioning, privacy glass, metallic paint, a chrome surround for the front grille, front foglights and an 8.0in touchscreen (discussed in the infotainment section). Titanium trim is also worth considering, adding cruise control, power-folding door mirrors, keyless start and automatic lights and wipers.

However, given the Fiesta's fun-driving nature, we'd be tempted to go for sporty ST-Line trim. This is similarly specified to Trend trim but adds a bodykit and stiffer sports suspension that makes for even more agile cornering.

The SUV-flavoured Fiesta Active is available in three trim levels: Active 1 is based on Trend trim and the one to go for, Active B&O Play gets the same kit but has a Bang & Olufsen sound system and Active X adds some luxuries but raises the price considerably. In fact, posher 'X' versions of any trim are too pricey for us to recommend. The same goes for the range-topping Vignale.

Ford Fiesta 2019 RHD infotainment

Reliability

The Fiesta finished a middling 9th place out of 13 in its class in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey. This puts it ahead of close rivals such as the Volkswagen Polo and Peugeot 208, but behind the Skoda Fabia.

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’ll cover your car for an extra one or two years, but you’ll need to sign up for it before your new Fiesta is first registered.

Safety and security

All Fiestas come with seven airbags, lane-keeping assistance and 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.

Upgrade to Titanium trim and you’ll also get traffic sign recognition and driver alertness detection, while blindspot monitoring and cross traffic alert (a system that warns you of approaching vehicles when you’re backing out of your driveway) are on the options list.

However, the big disappointment is that automatic emergency braking (AEB) doesn’t come as standard on any model. It’s reserved for the options list as part of the Driver Assistance Pack – which isn’t available at all on the the Fiesta ST. 

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

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Ford Fiesta 2019 RHD front seats
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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 the rival Volkswagen Polo just has the edge for ride comfort, standard safety and rear seat space.

  • Brilliant to drive
  • Punchy Ecoboost engines
  • Good fuel economy
  • Some rivals are better value
  • Decent but not class-leading practicality
  • Important safety kit not standard