Used Ford Fiesta 2017-present review

Category: Small car

Section: Advice for buyers

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Advice for buyers

What should I look for in a used Ford Fiesta hatchback?

Top-spec versions of the Fiesta have larger alloy wheels that can be susceptible to kerb damage, so check the wheels carefully. Also, look for any dents, dings and scratches to the bodywork, because paint and body repairs can be expensive. Make sure the clutch engages smoothly and that the car goes into gear easily.

The 1.5-litre diesel engine is fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). To ensure that this can regenerate (burn off trapped soot), frequent longer journeys are necessary because this process is only triggered when the exhaust is hot enough. Check how the previous owner has used the car if you are unsure because making lots of short, slow journeys can clog up the filter, potentially leading to an expensive repair bill.

Other potential problems with the DPF can come if the engine has been shut off part way through regeneration. Contamination of the oil system with fuel can result, leading to the oil level rising gradually over time. This can cause damage to the engine, so it’s worth checking the oil level or having the car inspected if you're unsure.

Infotainment test Ford Fiesta

What are the most common problems with a used Ford Fiesta hatchback?

Steering column

Some Fiestas built from 15 May 2019 to 17 June 2019 were fitted with steering columns that weren't up to specification, so speak to your Ford dealer to find out if yours is affected. If it is, the whole column will need to be replaced to prevent potential future issues.

Rear seatbelt latches

The bolts on the rear seatbelt retractors on a small number of examples made between 18 - 25 September 2019 might not have been tightened down correctly at the factory. Speak to your local dealer to find out if your car is affected by this; it'll need to be inspected by a technician if so.

Brake servo failure

This recall applies to Fiestas that were manufactured between 5 December 2017 and 20 December 2017, on which you may notice that more brake pedal effort is required to slow the car down. Contact your Ford dealer for further information because a technician will need to check the manufacture date on the servo itself to identify if your car is affected. They will then be able to arrange to have the servo replaced if it is found to be one of those affected.

Is a used Ford Fiesta hatchback reliable?

The Fiesta finished in 17th place in the small and city car class of our most recent reliability survey: a fairly average result. Ford as a brand finished in 14th place out of 31 car brands. 

If you would like to see the full reliability list for small cars, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.

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