Review

Ford Fiesta hatchback

Price  £10,145 - £18,395

Ford Fiesta hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Stylish looks
  • Cheap to run
  • Superb fun to drive
Cons
  • Lacks versatility
  • Interior is slightly cramped
  • Automatic only available on one engine

At a glance

"The Ford Fiesta is a supermini in a class of its own – it looks stylish, it's great fun to drive and it's economical, too."

The Ford Fiesta isn’t the UK's best-selling new car by accident. It's been honed over the course of successive generations so that today's model is a strong performer in most key areas, roundly beating rivals including the VW Polo and Vauxhall Corsa.

That said, it still has room for improvement in terms of owner satisfaction (users rate its performance, but not its quality or reliability), and cabin size (the rear cabin, especially, is cramped). On that score, rivals such as the more MPV-like Nissan Note and Kia Rio are roomier.

The Fiesta is an attractive car, though, available in three and five-door body styles. The five-door is the most practical shape, while the three-door isn’t the easiest in the class to get in and out of.

The Fiesta is available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, but you need to be careful which one you choose. If your annual mileage is low, but you do the occasional long journey, go for one of the punchy yet economical 1.0-litre turbocharged petrols, called EcoBoost.

If your mileage is high and you do a lot of motorway miles, consider the 1.6-litre diesel (the only other diesel, the 1.5, is slow and not as economical). The remaining petrol engines – a 1.25 and a 1.6-litre – are a bit long in the tooth now, although they are cheap, so if you’re an undemanding driver on a tight budget, they may suit you better.

Regardless of which engine is under the bonnet, the Fiesta is an entertaining car to drive. It has quick and direct steering, an impressive suspension set-up that resists body lean in corners while giving a supple ride, and lots of grip. It's quiet, too, so motorway drives are rarely a chore.

Being a Ford, there's no end of trim levels on offer, ranging from extremely basic Studio to top-spec Titanium X. All versions have electrically powered mirrors and front windows, a handy 60:40 split-folding rear seat and a CD player with iPod and USB connections.

Our pick is mid-range Zetec, which has attractive additional body styling, alloy wheels, air-con, a heated windscreen and Ford's SYNC entertainment system featuring Bluetooth phone connectivity and voice control, plus a height-adjustable driver's seat. It's also available with a wealth of options – our pick being the upgraded stereo with DAB digital radio and the all-round parking sensors.

On the subject of safety, the Fiesta was awarded the full five stars by Euro NCAP and bristles with standard safety equipment, including electronic stability control, hill-start assistance and anti-lock brakes. It also has seven airbags. Active City Stop, which applies the car's brakes if it senses an imminent collision, is an option on the Zetec model and up – but annoyingly only on the EcoBoost and diesel engines.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.6 / 5

Running costs are low for most models and the Ford Fiesta is affordable to service, too

Engines, drive & performance

4.7 / 5

No other small hatchback can match the Ford Fiesta for driving fun and the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is thrilling

Interior & comfort

3.7 / 5

The Ford Fiesta boasts a high-quality and comfortable interior and can be fitted with a range of big-car technology

Practicality & boot space

3.4 / 5

The Ford Fiesta is not the most practical of small hatchbacks, with a small boot and cramped rear seats

Reliability & safety

3.4 / 5

The Ford Fiesta’s safety credentials are faultless and quality is good, but owners don’t seem too impressed

What the others say

4.1 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4.5 / 5
"The Fiesta blends hot hatch agility with a superb ride. It's great to drive at any speed, on any type of road. A well laid out cabin, smooth petrol engine and excellent refinement are the finishing touches."
13 / 20
"The three-door looks genuinely brilliant - especially in some of the new bold colours. The five-door doesn't look half bad either. Just one problem - the Fiesta name just hasn't got the barside pizzazz you might want."
4.5 / 5
"It has the firm-but-controlled ride of a truly rigid car calibrated by people who love driving, it leans hardly at all, and both brakes and five-speed gearbox work exactly as you would like them to."
4 / 5
"The trim is high quality and beautifully put together. If Audi made a car this size I doubt they'd have done a better job.."
What owners say 
4.0986033519553
4.1 /5 based on 716 reviews
60%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
16 Jun 2015
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