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Well it’s week two with the new seventh-generation, Ford WS Fiesta Zetec and I have to say, I’m still impressed.

 

- Matt Brogan

The car performs exceptionally well in all manner of traffic situations, weather conditions and through a variety of life’s little chores including moving furniture and renovating the garden.

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As we’ve just moved house, there are a number of overgrown garden beds to contend with and the frequent runs to the nursery have proved an easy task for the little Fiesta.

The boot compartment holds 281-litres with the seats up and parcel shelf in place (only two litres less than the Corolla hatch), though when the 60:40 rear seats are flipped down this is readily expanded meaning plenty of room for bags of top soil, manure, red gum chips and plants.

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We even managed to fit myself and one passenger, two assembled tub chairs and a small side table in the back on one trip!

On the style side of things, the looks are spot on for a modern car. Ford’s kinetic design language really works on a car of such proportions and there’s not an angle I don’t like the car from – except to say I feel the 16-inch alloy wheels look a touch small in such big arches.

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‘Ocean’ metallic paint (as fitted) comes at a premium of $320 on the base price of $20,990 though is worth it in my opinion for lending the car a little more class.

Inside the layout and décor is impressive. The driving position is very comfortable and as you (can) sit rather low in the car, headroom is quite spacious, making the cabin feel larger than it really is.

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The glovebox takes a full size bottle of wine, the door pockets and centre console cavities hold all manner of knick knacks and with a minimalist feel to the dashboard’s layout, the impression of space is a credit to the design team.

Audio comes compliments of an MP3 compatible single-CD tuner that also features a 3.5mm input jack and USB connectivity. The sound is excellent, very clear and with rich bass, a shame more cars cannot offer such a stereo as standard equipment, though I can’t stand that the control buttons are still aimed toward a left-hand-drive orientated position.

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Instrumentation is sharp, and very easy to read at a glance. The red trip computer readout is easy on the eyes at night, as are the white illuminated dials for tachometer and speedo.

In the centre, the display for the radio, (Bluetooth) phone and vehicle settings (featuring steering wheel mounted controls and accessible via the Convers+ menu system as per Mondeo) is well placed and simple to understand with voice recognition proving not only a valuable asset to safer driving, but a lot of fun to show to your mates.

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Fuel consumption is rated at 6.1-litres per 100km (combined) and given the 1.6-litre engine only has to carry 1101kg most of the time; the figures are quite acceptable, even if the Fiesta prefers 98RON petrol (also E10 compliant – CO2 emissions are 143 grams per kilometre).

What’s even better however is that on a long highway run, I managed to get 851.5km from the 43-litre tank, which equates to 5.04 litres per 100km. Around town though, figures run steadily at 7.85L/100km.

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Of slight annoyance is a small ‘kick’ or surge which feels cyclic when the air-conditioning is in operation. It’s very slight, but is certainly noticeable, almost as if you can feel the compressor engage.

On a long flat road with the cruise on it’s the only interruption to an otherwise pleasant journey. Even the road noise is good on all but the harshest of coarse chip roads.

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The entire length of the car is 3.95-metres, and with a wheelbase of 2.49-metres the overhangs are quite minimal, meaning sharp steering response from the electric power assisted (or EPAS) steering, good bump absorption and damping as well as superbly balanced handling – but sadly a somewhat average turning circle of 10.2 metres.

Over the next week or so we’ll get a little more enthusiastic with the Fiesta and see just how well its capabilities stretch to twisty country roads and indeed if the disc/drum brakes are up to the rigours of a challenging drive.

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  • Twilight

    i love this car, dad’s work should be getting some in within the next week (he works for macarthur ford) and i’ve already asked his boss if i can take one for a drive =].

    should be my next car in a year and a bits time, i love it.

    panther black and ‘fox’ 18′s should set it off nicely… haha.

  • Geni

    I hope Ford sells a boatload of these, they deserve it. Sadly though I doubt it’ll stop toyota selling thousands of drony Yaris’s a month instead. Seriously think Ford should start advertising ‘hey! we sell more than Falcons’, and ‘just because your EA falcon from 18 years ago was crap, doesn’t mean our current cars are’.

    • http://dodge franz chong

      I almost bought one of these a month ago to replace a troublesome 2006 Nissan Tiida that has spent more time at the crash repairs and the workshop in the four years I had it but what stopped me was the price and how cramped it felt by comparison otherwise ford Australia deserve to sell every one of the fiesta babies they can get.I ended up trading my Tiida for a Micra.

      • nickdl

        Art thou a man?

        Nissan Micra, really?

  • Alex

    Geni, maybe Toyota will go on selling all those Yaris’ and Ford will sell boatloads of Fiestas and the large car market will take a hit. It is time.

    Why do Australians always go on about the controls being on the other side? Get used to it! It’s so simple and if you haven’t mastered it within a week, quite frankly, you’re a bit slow. I have never heard that as a minus in a UK car review because we just get on with it, you guys should do the same. If that bothers you so much, why not test a Yaris next time?

  • Alex

    Also, 143 grams of C02 per kilometer is very good, but why is BMW so far ahead with emissions? The 25d engine (3.0 V6) is only 10 grams more! It’s like that with all BMW’s. You can’t even complain about an X5 being excessively unkind to the environment. Why can’t all companies have “Efficient Dynamics” Instead of feeding us horrible eco boxes that are really just the original car but rattlier and less fun, but more expensive?

  • B-Man

    Alex,
    I assume you mean the 3.0l in line 6? BMW doesn’t make a V6, never has. They don’t offer the 25d version of the diesel 6 in Oz, or the 35d. Hopefuly they start offering them soon, although with the price and quality of diesel being what it is over here it may not be worth it. Shame…
    But i digress. I hope this Fiesta sells really well, it deserves it. Ford really seem to be getting it right in the design department in the last couple of years.

  • JasonP

    Reading with interest your thoughts on the long term Fiesta, as I have a current Mazda 2.

    I’m surprised at your fuel figures; very, very low at highway speeds, & high-ish around town.
    I haven’t calculated specific figures for highway & city, but mine returns around 6.8l/100km combined, but that includes running the aircon always (never turned off), & a fair mix of Brisbanes’ (in)famous bumper to bumper peak hour traffic.

    I have been running it exclusively on E10 Unleaded, but have recently switched to Premium (98 RON), & found it runs better, pulls harder, & uses less fuel.

    Check out an article on a rival website, comparing 3 indentical camrys (aren’t ALL Camrys identical? ) using E10, Unleaded, & Premium. Let’s call the website http://www.strive.com.au shall we? :-)

    Basically, it seems that even if the car is tuned to run on E10 or Unleaded, you may well see advantages in using Premium, that offsets any higher fuel costs.

  • Matt

    Alex,

    The controls I was referring to was those on the stereo – as pictured – not the indicators as you assumed – perhaps you should re-read the paragraph.

    The text on the buttons is clearly aimed at a LHD configuration which shows poor uniformity in what is designed as a ‘global car’.

    Matt.

  • Geni

    True Matt, however 75% of the world is LHD, so though yes Ford should have changed it over for RHD, its still fairly global. We’re just the odd ones out. And Alex, though BMW diesel engines are fairly awesome, its a bit unfair given the prices involved. If the base model Fiesta is $15700, you can assume it costs around $10 – 11k to build, so the cost of the engine is prob around $3 – 4k maybe? And whats the cheapest BMW with any diesel engine? $48000, the BMW 120d. If Ford could spend $15k on the engine for the Fiesta, you’d probably get a top of the range, ultra-fuel efficient, high performance diesel as well.

    I do think Ford really should introduce the Econetic Fiesta in Oz though, 99g/km, 1.6L diesel. Would help their image here I reckon. You only really need one halo fuel efficient car to really change your image. Look at Toyota, sells around 300 priuses a month yet sells thousands of landcruisers, prado’s and rav4′s, and yet they’re seen as environmentally friendly.

  • http://skyline The Salesman

    The current model Fiesta doesn’t capture the market it should, so why would a new Fiesta be any different? Others have been known for their small cars longer than Ford and therefore have a bigger following, It is the same story over at GM, Ford and GM were to busy making hay while the sun shines instead of investing in promoting the small car range. Now with limited resources and both companies going back to the start in the small car race it will be hard yards to catch up on what the Japanese and Koreans have achieved in their absence. A big advertising campaign and razor sharp price point would be a good start.

  • JasonP

    Salesman,

    So you’d agree with Holdens’ policy of building sales via their Daewoo supply chain?

    Bearing in mind of course your own involvement in furthering the Korean Cause in Oz?

    :-)

    I looked briefly at the current (Korean) Barina, having owned the last of the Euro ones from 05 to 07.

    And, well, even as a Holden Tragic, I just couldn’t.

    Happy enough with the Mazda 2, but in many ways, my 05 Euro Barina was a better car.

  • http://skyline The Salesman

    JasonP,
    Daewoo was the cheapest solution for Holden (already owned by GM). Don’t forget this industry is consumer driven, the constant push for cheaper prices, better quality and more features forces manufactures to out source or merge. This is not a new idea; many car companies share technology or have development alliances to reduce the cost of developing. A totally new and unique product would cost millions more. The only way to change this trend would be to convince the buying public to spend more money on their next purchase. Tough job.
    We are assuming of course that the cheap cars are of bad quality, at a price point of say $13,000 , 5 years warranty and the latest passive and active safety included, they make for a good argument. Don’t forget they must also pass every contrary’s design rules.
    My involvement in Korean cars is no mistake, Hyundai – Kia is the next Toyota and i made deliberate steps to be in a position were growth is assured. I would rather be a big fish in a little pond, than a little fish in a big pond :)

  • ZoomZoom

    JasonP,
    I would be interested in finding out how your barina is better than your current car.
    It definitely isn’t better in safety, dynamics or stlye.

  • Alex

    B Man, thank you for correcting me, I did mean in line 6 (I make that mistake all the time).

    Matt, I knew what you were talking about, however indicators are another one people won’t stop complaining about. Review after review, people complain about the buttons on the dashboard being too far away from the drivers seat and all sorts like that and I don’t see why it’s such a problem. It’s quite easy to get around.

  • summerschool

    its going to be a hard year for car dealers in 2009.
    i hope they’re well prepared
    new cars coming in and the cash is goin to stretch real thin….

  • phillip

    Even Carpoint are raving about the new Fiesta, calling it a class leader by a margin. This is an enormous compliment from a site that rarely has nice things to say about 4-cyl Fords.

    Even the previous model Fiesta was a class leader in terms of drivability, so it’s nice to see that Ford have presented such an all-round package in this new model. Ford Oz should also give serious consideration to the TDCi models, as these have always been class-leaders in Europe.

  • Mike

    I love how people want the technology of a 50k+ car in a 15 k car. Apples and Oranges.

  • Andrew M

    Geni,
    You have hit it right on the head by beating me to it.

    Ford need the Econetic model here. They need that “Green Halo car” here as it will propel the sales of the other variants aswell.

    The name of the game is Perception, and Toyota have nailed it.

  • Adam (aka Mada)

    Mike,

    Agreed.

    Also, some believe how can the fiesta be a class leader, it’s a Ford!

  • kcj

    the fiesta resembles the holden barina (TK series) 08 immensely…. i own a holden barina 08, a big mistake was not doing a reverse drive of it before buying it. Its a safety hazard when i can’t even look properly into a small narrow back view when over taking in a 100m 5 lane road. I HOPE the fiesta isn’t like it.

  • TheNameless

    Love the new little Fiesta. I was at Peter Warren Ford on the weekend and they had two there, a Zetec and CL. The Zetec looks great and the interior plastics seem very top notch as well.

  • ZANDIT

    CA, when will we be getting an update on this and the Commodore AFM, it seems like ages?

  • Dave

    I’m looking to replace my White 2004 Zetec with the new model, and I’m very pleased with the refinements in the new model which thankfully include a proper seat and cruise control. The only thing stopping me signing on the dotted line is that for my required white paintwork the only interior colour option is pink. They call it “Soho” but it looks bordello pink to me. FoMoCo (or their interior design people at least) seem to have got too wrapped in their own projections and marketing formula. They seem so obsessed that this car will sell to 25YO females that they have forgotten who buys white cars – people who live in the hot parts of the country, who don’t want to make a big “statement” with the colour of their car, who want to standout in poor light, but do not want to attract the attention the Highway Patrol. Is there anyone else out there who would also like a 3 Dr Zetec in White with the normal colour (grey – “Syracuse” in Int-design-speak)interior? Perhaps we could ask Ford to reconsider.

  • Ben

    Dave,
    I have purchased a black 3dr Zetec and have ummed and ahhed over the choice of the ‘wine’ coloured interior. Lots of the images on the net and in the brochure etc make it look more vivid then it is. I saw it on a ‘Cedar’ coloured 5 dr at the dealership and I was really put off, however after seeing it again in real life I think it is more subtle then I originally thought. I really don’t want any of the other colours except the white or the silver however the silver tends to take away a lot of the effect of the chrome finishes and I have just had a white car so it leaves black. (Black always looks good). After pondering for hours about the interior colour I think I have convinced myself that it might actually be quite unique and it does align with the contemporary theme of the interior. Your thoughts?

  • Dave

    Ben,

    Thanks for the report on what it looks like in the flesh……perhaps I might be more impressed if Ford had called the colour “Flesh”. But as I live in the tropics the thought of driving around in a warm toned interior is putting me off as much as any distaste for the actual colour. I can imagined the combo with black paintwork works well. Yes black always looks good…..when it’s clean. You’d have to really enjoy washing your car to have one in rural NQ! Disappointed you thought the silver unappealing – that was my next choice. I actually like the look of the Juice, sorry, “Squeeze” version (that word contemporary seems apt) but as my daily drive is through sugar cane, it fails the visability test. I fear ending up sqeezed by a bloody great cane-hauler. The only one at my local dealer is a CL in “Sea Grey” and that looks decidedly dull. Re colour names. What are these guys on? I’ve spent the greater part my working life on the sea and I’ve rarely seen it look that colour. Maybe for a couple of minutes before the wind picks up ahead of a front at dusk, then it goes white with foam. Neptune would claim misrepresentation. Anyhow I remain indecisive – I want one, but I want it white and I want it nuetral in the interior so I can cooly concentrate on what’s happening on the road. I want, I want, I want….(as in fully fledged tantrum, 4YO style). Are you happy with the car in other respects? I noticed a bump/thump noise from FR over tracks and I recall a review commenting on same, but otherwise it drives similarly to my old one, with a bit less grunt at low revs but perhaps a little more higher. Mine took 10,000 km to free-up fully and it kept getting more and more torquey, so hopefully the latest one will too – same mechanicals but it seems they’ve programmed things a bit differently.

  • Ben

    I don’t actually have the car yet. I ordered it 2 weeks ago so I don’t actually know what they are like. I receive the car in May (apparently) although previous posts have mentioned a June delivery..If that’s the case then I will be requesting free mats! I’m not waiting til the middle of the year for a bloody fiesta! I got my White Polo Gti 6 days after I paid the deposit, and it came from overseas too!
    PS I have unfortunately….noticed that the Ocean colour is pretty nice, it has the normal grey interior too! have a look at the one on this site!

  • Dave

    The Fiesta supply problem caused by sales success is a problem Ford obviously didn’t see coming – guess they’ve got used to the opposite – but you’d reckon that sales in Europe and the rave reviews here might have suggested a bit more confidence with the order books? Put it down to tight finances. So at the end of the supply chain the mere customer has little bargaining strength. Interesting to read the press release stating they ARE now bringing in the TDCi. Ford Customer team stated 28/10/08 “the Fiesta TDCi will not be released in Australia as part of the new range.” I’ve asked them about making a special order but I fear the answer will be a Henry-esque “any colour you like but we choose the interior colour”. A Polo GTi (in white, with a normal interior) is one of my other options, or maybe wait for the TDCi. By which time mine will over 5yo, have 80,000 k’s, need another service, a battery, full set of tyres (third set of fronts nearly done, backs due). Might have to check out the VW option……

  • Ben

    I actually just sold my Black Polo Gti 2006 model! What a coincidence..Great value car. Really quick, look great, awesome interior. Mine had a few little problems: front cv went after 14000 ks (not due to harsh driving) lots of rattles in the steering. was eventually fixed under warranty. Some small little electrical faults all fixed under warranty. But the biggest problem was at about 25,000 when the breaks started to wear they would make a horrible grinding sound when cold and eventually quiten down, however the sound never disappeared. I went to vw at least 6 times about the problem, at first they said it was nothing, then they said they had fixed it (hadn’t) then it was definately fixed (wasn’t) they said they machined the brakes. Then finally I went absolutely berserk at them and they obviously realsied the breaks were fucked and that they needed to replace them however they called me in after having it for a day and said there was no problem and that all vw brakes are noisy. The manager also proceeded to tell me that my pads had never been machined (as the service manager had advised me) as they don’tmachine pads at vw. I left a complaint at head office and sold the car. Avoid vw service department at Springwood. They are rubbish.

  • GARRICK

    Paid for a new car on 8/3/09, delivery mid July on a June build from Cologne Germany 5 door Zetec.
    Hope it’s worth waiting for, but it beats the pants on the Mazda 2 & Yaris. more features and bang for the buck. Will use the top of the range petrol to get economy down to under 6.1L/100K. Waiting, Waiting, Waiting!!

  • Steve

    I am currently in the process of buying a ford fiesta in China where you can buy them for a good price. This will be the first ford car I have ever thought about buying. I have always had japanese cars or german cars. However the ford dealer will say yes to everything and then lead you to believe them and say they are arranging the finance. assuring me that everything is fine , Only to find out that it isn’t possible and costing me a lot of money and time wasted on buying a ford. As this is my first experience with ford and this is probably going to be my last experience in thinking about ford. I am planning to go back to my old ways, Japanese or German. Simple, easy, and an experience to remember. FORD YOU ARE GOING TO BE NEXT OF THE US CAR MAKER TO GO OUT IF THESE WAYS DON’T CHANGE. MANY PEOPLE LIKE MYSELF THAT CAN EASILY AFFORD YOUR CARS ARE GOING TOWARDS JAPANESE OR GERMAN BRANDS.