What's the used Ford Fiesta hatchback like?
Just because you're buying a sensible small car, it doesn't mean it can't be fun to drive. If you need proof, just look at this 2008 to 2017 Ford Fiesta. What's more, while the latest Fiesta continues to receive praise from all corners, its immediate predecessor packs the same sense of fun at a very tempting price.
This sixth-generation version looked great, too, and arguably even better after a mid-life facelift in 2013 brought to it the familiar large grille now commonplace in the Ford range. That update also introduced the 1.0-litre Ecoboost three-cylinder engine to the car, a marriage some see, with good reason, as made in Heaven.
There's actually a huge selection of engines to choose from. And because the Fiesta was such a popular car, there are loads of them around, meaning plenty to choose from. Aside from the three-pot 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine, in two power outputs known as 100 and 125, other powerplants include a naturally aspirated 1.0, a 1.25, a 1.6 and turbocharged 1.6-litre petrols, as well as a single 1.5-litre diesel engine in two different guises.
Trims were plentiful, and were tweaked and updated throughout the car's life. Choose Style trim over the more 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 15in alloys, a DAB radio, a 4.2in screen infotainment system, heated front windscreen, air conditioning and hill start assist. There were also the Zetec Colour Editions which were predominantly a Candy Blue Fiesta with a white roof and vice versa. The mid-range ST-Line replaced the Zetec S models and for the first time appeared on five-door versions of the Fiesta too. Key highlights included an ST-styled bodykit, sports suspension, pedals and a large rear spoiler, while the Titanium models add more luxury equipment to the supermini, including climate control, cruise control, lumbar support, velour floor mats and a Sony DAB stereo, as well as automatic headlights and range-sensing wipers. The range-topping Titanium X models receive mainly safety features such as a rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, and keyless entry and start.
From all those excellent engine options, for almost all people almost all of the time, the 1.0-litre three-cylinder motor offers all the engine you’re ever going to need. In whichever guise you choose, this is a quite remarkable little unit and it's smoother, quieter and more responsive than the other engines in the range. The diesel is a good engine too but you have to ask whether the savings in fuel over the already frugal 1.0-litre engine is worth putting up with the inevitable diesel rattle.
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.
With sharp steering, excellent grip and a lively chassis, the Fiesta is an absolute hoot in the corners. Usually, that'd suggest there's a trade-off to be had in terms of ride quality, but that isn't the case here. The Fiesta rides remarkably smoothly, whether you're tackling a long motorway journey or just pottering around town.
It's also quiet and stable, making it a very reassuring and relaxing car to drive for any length of time. In fact, the Fiesta feels so grown up that you'd be forgiven for thinking you were driving the larger Ford Focus most of the time.
If it's space you're after, some rivals like the Vauxhall Corsa and Skoda Fabia offer more. But while the Fiesta's rear seats have restricted leg room, making them best for children, those in the front have much more room, and the driving position should suit those of all sizes. The boot is a decent size, too, although the rear seats don't fold completely flat.
But those minor flaws aren't enough to outweigh all of the Fiesta's good points. This is a superb small car, and all the more tempting as a used proposition.
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