I had the car in at the local Ford Dealer for a major service, just before Christmas, the car came back with a clean bill of health and it's first MOT, but I noticed that they're left me a gift of a punctured rear wheel.
With no redress with the dealer, I decided to replace both rear tyres.
A little over two weeks later and the car then developed a starting problem. I'm not mechanically challenged, so tried to trace the fault, concluding that it must be with the engine management and would need to go back to the dealer.
The car was returned, and I was charged for a diagnostic, but no fault was found.
The same problem then happened intermittently for nearly another three months, with the car back and forth for further diagnostic checks and investigative work.
Eventually I lost patience and involved Ford Customer Relations, demanding that the car be examined (under warranty I might add).
The car went back in again and the 'senior' technician found that the engine management flash update had not be performed. 15 minutes of work and all was sorted.
I was happy in one respect, then furious, as I was handed another bill for the work. Thankfully, Ford Customer Relations stepped in and covered the bill with the dealer.
Since then, no other faults (fingers crossed) other than a 'gremlin' with the speedometer (electronic), which I fixed myself with WD40 (I'd rather fix it myself).
My overall experience is still impressed; certainly in terms of the ride quality and driving enjoyment from what is thought by most to be a 'budget' option for motoring.
The leather seats are comfortable, but do pose a small problem with trying to fold and open up the load space of the hatch. Perhaps a better solution for the rear headrests is needed?
Fit and finish is excellent, certainly when thinking back to older Ford models. Nicely trimmed and with a quality of finish that hasn't scratched or faded.
Performance is modest, with the 1.4 Ford "Duratec" trying hard, but never really seeming to come to the boil. There's a lack of any real urgency, just a change in engine note, to a harsher pitch, but certainly a lack of 'fizz'.
The chassis is superb, and I have to say very forgiving and progressive. I've thrown many cars along country roads, and I love the response from, what feels like a very 'square' and direct wheelbase.
Initial turn-in is a little light, but then the power steering is going to be 'budget', so I can't complain.