Ford Fiesta Zetec Blue (2008) review

It’s no secret that Ford is preparing to replace its top-selling baby in 2008. And that can mean only one thing...

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Ford is a past master when it comes to specials, and the end-of-line Zetec Blue is just what you’d expect, combining useful goodies with attractive cosmetic add-ons. However, the Fiesta will be replaced by a sleek all-new model later this year which promises to be bigger and safer. Bear this in mind if you are in the market for a fashionable supermini.

With the launch of the new Verve edging ever closer, blue oval bosses were keen to give the 32-year-old Fiesta name a winning send-off, and this is what they have come up with.

Called the Zetec Blue, the new-comer boasts a selection of additional goodies, including smart 16-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured trim and a rear spoiler. Yet surprisingly, despite the model’s name, the metal­lic blue paintwork is a £350 option.

Inside, the changes range from the useful to the cosmetic. Both the electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors and the Quickclear wind-screen are welcome winter extras, while the auxiliary input for the single-slot CD player will appeal to the MP3 generation.

Visual modifications include a distinctive blue-finished dashboard, taken from the hot ST model, while matching surrounds for the air vents, gearlever and stereo further lift the cabin. Otherwise, it is all standard Fiesta fare, and compared to the car’s modern rivals the interior is beginning to feel dated. However, out on the road it’s a different story, and the Ford is still among the class leaders.

Sharp steering and agile handling are trademarks, and the Zetec Blue does not disappoint. There is plenty of body roll in tight bends, but with lots of grip available the Fiesta can still put a smile on your face. Buy­ers get a choice of 1.25 and 1.4-litre petrol engines, or the 1.4 TDCi diesel fitted to the model we drove.

This oil-burner is incredibly economical, with the Ford returning a claimed 62.8mpg. The CO2 emissions of only 119g/km are also impressively low, but the trade-off comes in terms of raw performance, because the diesel takes a patience-testing 14.4 seconds to get from 0-62mph.

At high cruising speeds it struggles to keep up with fast-moving traf­fic. However, it’s fine for the urban grind, where light controls and good visibility come into their own.

Buy all the extra kit separately and it will cost £800. But the Zetec Blue is priced only £200 higher than the Style Climate version on which it’s based. So, if you can live with the garish blue interior trim, the latest Fiesta special edition is an appealing prospect.

Rival: Fiat Grande Punto The pretty Grande Punto is bigger than the Fiesta and comes with a broad engine line-up. It is very competitively priced, too, although the Ford still has the dynamic edge over its younger rival.

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