Ford Fiesta hatchback
Price £10,145 - £18,395
- Superb fun to drive
- Cheap to run
- Looks good
- Not very versatile
- Beginning to show its age
- Interior feels slightly cramped
At a glance
"The Ford Fiesta is one of the best superminis there is – it looks stylish, it's great fun to drive and it's economical, too."
The Ford Fiesta is the UK's best-selling car. But while it looks stylish, is fun to drive and is available with a choice of engines and trims to suit most pockets and desires, owners complain about its quality and lack of space, especially in the rear. One of its fiercest rivals, the Volkswagen Polo, certainly feels better made, while the Kia Rio and Nissan Note are more spacious.
The Fiesta comes in three and five-door bodystyles. The former looks neat and sporty, but getting into the back seats is difficult. The five-door is better in this respect, making it the best all-rounder.
You can have your Fiesta with petrol or diesel power. Typically, diesel is often the first choice for high-mileage drivers, but Ford's EcoBoost petrol engines are actually quite economical – at least if driven sensibly – and well worth considering instead. They're certainly more efficient than the cheaper and more conventional 1.25 and 1.6-litre petrol engines Ford offers.
The only diesel is a 1.5-litre, available in two power outputs. It's not especially quick, but it’ll return excellent economy with little effort, and costs nothing to tax. If you do a lot of motorway driving and rack up a high mileage, it's well worth considering.
Whether you choose diesel or petrol power, you’ll find the Fiesta is fun to drive – especially the impressive, range-topping ST hot hatchback. Standard models have quick and direct steering, a comfortable yet polished ride and plenty of grip. Engine and road noise are well suppressed, too, so long journeys aren’t a chore.
The Fiesta's cabin looks stylish, but is let down in places by poor fit and finish. It's a small car, too, so you shouldn’t expect acres of space. However, while the front is roomy enough and the driving position is excellent, the back seats are quite cramped. The five-door really is the way to go if you want to make regular use of them, while the boot is a decent size and well shaped either way.
There are seven trim levels – not including the economy-orientated ECOnetic versions – spanning very basic Studio to luxurious Titanium X and sporty ST. Our favourite is mid-range Zetec. It lifts the Fiesta's styling with some attractive details and alloy wheels, plus it brings a heated windscreen (a boon on frosty mornings) and Ford's SYNC entertainment system with DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and voice control. You also get air-conditioning and a height-adjustable driver's seat.
Although they like the car, Carbuyer readers aren’t overly impressed with the Fiesta's reliability. Fortunately, Euro NCAP was impressed enough with its safety to award it the full five stars. All versions have seven airbags, electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes. There are lots of optional safety items, too.
Running costs are low for most models and the Ford Fiesta is affordable to service, too
No other small hatchback can match the Ford Fiesta for driving fun and the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is thrilling
The Ford Fiesta boasts a high-quality and comfortable interior and can be fitted with a range of big-car technology
The Ford Fiesta is not the most practical of small hatchbacks, with a small boot and cramped rear seats
The Ford Fiesta’s safety credentials are faultless and quality is good, but owners don’t seem too impressed