Used Ford Fiesta Hatchback 1995 - 2002 review

Category: Small car

Britain's favourite supermini back in its day, and it's easy to see why

Ford Fiesta Hatchback (95 - 02)
  • Ford Fiesta Hatchback (95 - 02)
  • Ford Fiesta Hatchback (95 - 02)
Used Ford Fiesta Hatchback 1995 - 2002 review
Star rating

What's the used Ford Fiesta hatchback like?

This generation of Ford Fiesta has everything that was great about a supermini. It was, and still is, brilliant fun to drive on any type of road. And remember, this is where the amazing Puma coupe took its chassis from.

The 1.25-litre engine fights way above its weight, the 1.4 is another keen engine, while the 101bhp 1.6 in the Zetec S has just enough power for this warm hatch to be smile-a-minute fun. The non-turbo 1.8 diesel is sluggish, while the 1.8 turbodiesel delivers fine economy


Britain's favourite supermini back in its day, and it's easy to see why

  • Great comfort and handling
  • lively engines
  • Rear seat space could be better

The interior is simple, and Ford has a wonderful knack of placing all the controls just where they should be. The driving position, too, is excellent; all round vision is good and all of the controls are light and precise. It's a little cramped in the back, but the boot is a generous size.

Ownership cost

What used Ford Fiesta hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Ford Fiesta hatchback?

The Fiesta is one of the cheapest cars to run, thanks to fuel economy that ranges from good to downright superb. And, all of the engines are tough, too, so don't expect to shell out a fortune to keep them ticking along as they should.

Ford main dealer service departments are pretty cheap, but an independent garage will keep the costs down further and, because of the Fiesta's mechanical simplicity, any good mechanic will carry out a sound job. Parts and replacement tyres are not expensive either.

Insurance is unlikely to break the bank, even if you live in a high-risk area, unless you are young and have just passed your test. Even so, the Fiesta is one of the most affordable first cars, thanks to its excellent record for security compared with rivals'.

Our recommendations

Which used Ford Fiesta hatchback should I buy?

You can't really go too far wrong with any of the Fiestas, although it's best to avoid the 1.3-litre petrol and non-turbo 1.8 diesel. It's also wise to steer clear of the basic Encore models.

For us, the best model is the 1.25 LX 5dr because it's superb fun to drive and has excellent fuel economy. The five-door body allows better access to the rear seats, although if you need to carry adults regularly it might be wise to look for a Focus instead of a Fiesta.

Those looking for more excitement will love the Zetec S, which has unique alloy wheels, sporty seats and body kit. It also came with traction control and anti-lock brakes as standard.

The non-turbo 1.8 diesel was superseded by the 75bhp 1.8 turbodiesel in early 2000, bringing greater refinement and much improved economy, but it's still no match for that cracking 1.25.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Ford Fiesta hatchback?