Ford Fiesta Hatchback review

Our Rating: 
2008 model
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

Sporty new supermini from blue oval is set to be a winner.


With distinctive looks, the new Fiesta banishes memories of its bland looking predecessor. Like before, both three and five door models are available, while a convertible version is in the pipeline. Entry-level Studio models get five airbags and a CD player. The Style+ adds air-con, with the range-topping Titanium features cruise control, power fold mirrors and alloy wheels. Pick the warmed over Zetec S for a neat body kit and sports suspension.


Fortunately, the interior of the Fiesta is just as stylish as the exterior. The eye-catching centre console layout takes its cues from mobile phones, while cowled dials are similar to those found in the Mondeo. Sadly, the quality of some of the materials lags behind rivals such as the Vauxhall Corsa, and the Ford fails to serve-up clever packaging solutions like the Honda Jazz. There’s easily enough room for five adults though, despite the newcomer taking up no more room on the road as the old model.


Bottom-of-the-range models get the smooth but underpowered 59bhp 1.25-litre petrol motor, although a punchier 80bhp version is available if you pay a little more. There’s also a 1.4-litre unit, while the sporty Zetec S benefits from a 118bhp 1.6-litre powerplant. Diesel fans can choose between 1.4 and 1.6-litre TDCi units, both of which will return over 67mpg. Pick the clean-running ECOnetic model and you’ll be rewarded with CO2 emissions of just 98g/km.

Driving experience

In recent years Ford has a gained a reputation for creating cars with top drawer driving dynamics – and the Fiesta is no exception. The all-new electrically assisted steering is well weighted and direct, while the chassis demonstrates excellent poise and agility. It’s comfortable too, the supple ride easily coping with bumpy and pot holed road surfaces. The Zetec S adds lowered sports suspension for an even sharper drive.

Ownership Costs

Incredibly, prices for the new Fiesta are actually slightly lower than the car it replaces. The two oil-burning motors (1.4 and 1.6-litre TDCi) squeeze into VED Band B, meaning an annual tax bill of £35, while the ECOnetic is exempt from the charge altogether. The Ford dealer network is the largest in the UK and servicing costs should be reasonable. Initial indications show that the Fiesta should be a star performer when in comes time to trade-in, retaining around 40 percent of its value after three years.


The Fiesta hasn’t yet been subjected to the EuroNCAP tests, but we expect a strong result when it finally does. All cars get five airbags as standard, with curtain bags available as an option. Ford’s Intelligent Protection System should ensure that the car’s structure is strong. However, you’ll have to pay extra for electronic stability control, even on the range-topping Titanium. ECOnetic version emits just 98g/km and should be good for over 70mpg at the pumps.

Our Choice: Fiesta Zetec 1.6 TDCi 5dr

Engines, performance and drive

MPG, CO2 and running costs

Interior, design and technology

Practicality, comfort and boot space

Reliability and Safety

Last updated: 6 Oct, 2008