Ford Fiesta Review
It’s time to update your vocabulary to include the ‘F’ word.
- 2009 Ford WS Fiesta CL; 1.4-litre, four-cylinder, petrol; four-speed automatic; five-door hatch - $18,690*
- Metallic Paint $320 (Fitted - Moondust Silver); Safety Pack $1,000 (Not Fitted - includes Side Airbags, Driver's Knee Airbag, ESC and Traction Control)
It’s time to start using the ‘F’ word with confidence. Say it more frequently and with greater conviction; the Ford Fiesta rocks.
The Ford Fiesta CL is the base model in the Fiesta range, joined by the LX, Zetec and new ECOnetic variants. There is however, nothing basic about this entry level Fiesta – it sets a high benchmark.
The Ford Fiesta CL comes standard with a 1.6-litre, five speed manual spec, but we’re testing the four-speed automatic which is matched to a 1.4-litre engine – but don’t let that put you off, the Ford Fiesta is a solid performer.
This model Fiesta gave us significant styling changes from its boxy predecessor. Now boasting a modern design, particularly when you compare it to rivals such as the Hyundai Getz, the Ford Fiesta looks set to be a leader in light car style.
Its sleek body and sloping roof line shows hints of a fun and funky personality. In a recent light car comparison the Fiesta was voted the most ‘unisex’ of a six car line-up.
The Ford Fiesta’s 1.4-litre engine produces 71kW at 5,750rpm and 125Nm at 4,200rpm, which translates into a surprisingly eager performance, with a sweet little engine note. The Fiesta performs beautifully on long freeway journeys and amidst tight winding roads and the automatic transmission is quick to drop gears when the going gets a little more demanding on steep hills.
The Fiesta’s steering is effortless - light and easy to handle on all manner of roads. It provides just enough feedback to make it a fun and engaging drive, without too much effort. The Ford Fiesta’s suspension - MacPherson strut front suspensions and torsion beam on the rear – delivers a very composed ride. Precise steering and a very well balanced ride make for a very agile ride. Poor rearward visibility on the other hand, makes the Fiesta more tricky to park than you might expect.
On a combined route test, the Ford Fiesta CL delivered a fuel consumption figure of around 8.4L/100km - not quite the 6.9L/100km as claimed by the manufacturer.
The Fiesta’s wedge shape cuts a slick, sporty profile which sits nicely on 15-inch wheels. Sweeping headlights, fog lights, tinted windows, a rear spoiler and well proportioned panels all work together to pull off a great looking car. And when it comes to interior styling, the Fiesta does not disappoint. The angular lines of the interior create a very modern feel, the dash and instrumentation is clean and the design cohesive, while all five seats offer great comfort, with good seating position and adjustability for the driver. Knobs, dials and buttons are solid to the touch, adding to the quality feel of the Fiesta. The lack of cruise control is a downer.
Second row passengers it seems are somewhat of an after-thought, with manual wind windows and no storage options. Aside from this, the Fiesta feels well aligned with the price tag and exudes a high quality and well thought out finish.
The Fiesta boasts a great audio sound, despite having only four speakers. Audio controls can be found on the steering wheel and an auxiliary point puts your gadgets to good use. If you haven’t graduated to iPod status, a single CD player is also included!
The Fiesta CL falls disappointingly short on some safety features. Driver and front passenger airbags are standard, but side airbags and driver’s knee airbags are an option. Anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution are standard, but stability control with emergency brake assist and traction control are an option. The Fiesta scores a four-star ANCAP rating nonetheless (five-star when fitted with the optional safety pack).
The Fiesta has 60:40 split-fold rear seats that flip forward easily to reveal a good load space. It’s no Honda Jazz, but it will accommodate a decent load (281-litres with seats up).
The Fiesta puts up a very convincing show of style and substance. Option the safety package and the Fiesta ticks all of the boxes. It’s time to update your vocabulary to include the ‘F’ word.
*Pricing is a guide as recommended to us by the manufacturer.
CarAdvice Overall Rating: How does it Drive: How does it Look: How does it Go: