We've owned this for about a year now, and it's an ideal car for anyone living in the city. At $6000 for a 52,000km example, it's terrific value.
At the same price you could get an odd-looking Yaris with 100,000km, an older first-gen Mazda 2, or a slightly newer Getz or Daewoo Barina.
The Fiesta sells by the pound in Europe, but light cars haven't replicated that same popularity here which seems strange, particularly given our low and heavily enforced speed limits.
Every time I drive the Fiesta I'm left wondering what more could anyone want in a car?
Sure, a bit more power would be nice, but the 1.6 is a great revvy engine, and more than peppy enough to keep up with traffic up to 80km/h. At 100 it's responsive enough, and fairly relaxed for a little car.
I haven't yet tried overtaking a truck on a two-lane road. I'm sure it would require some planning, a couple of downchanges and plenty of throttle, but that's part of the fun. And what's more, it's far better on fuel than any big 6.
I'd hate to imagine how slow it is with an auto. The manual gearshift is good and the clutch is light with a smooth take-up.
The Fiesta's handling is great. The previous owner unfortunately skimped on tyres so wet weather grip is average. With some new Continentals on, though, I have no doubt it will be a revelation and add to the fun. As it stands on Chinese rubber, the Fiesta is still chuckable, with great steering.
The base LX is a little rolly when really pushing it, but it has a much nicer ride than more sporty little cars, like the Peugeot 206 GTi we had in the family. It's fairly comfortable in the front, although the seats are a bit flat and lacking in support. For this reason it probably wouldn't be a car to drive to Perth and back.
Features wise, it lacks ABS which is probably the biggest negative. It was optional on the base model for the WQ series, but like most optional safety features, few would bother to tick the box. The radio is good, with aux connection. The air-con works well, and the headlights are bright.
Space in the back is perfectly fine for those under 6-foot on a shorter trip and boot space is also very reasonable. On the flipside, visibility is very good compared to many more swoopy light cars, including its successor. It's incredibly easy to park and great in tight inner city streets.
It's a fairly simple car, with a proven drivetrain and chassis, and few electrics. Being a Ford, parts are cheap and servicing can be done cheaply at the local mechanic. No issues to report so far, although the parking light on the passenger's side needs the occasional tap to turn on.
Given around 85% of Australians live in cities, it staggers me that cars this small aren't more popular. For singles and childless couples, it's really all the car you need.