Only particular fault I had with the car was complete electrical failure on two occasions in wet weather. This was obviously potentially hazardous and fault was never really found. It never re-occurred though...
There is a reason there are so many on the roads - it's an excellent car in almost every way.
Styling is love or hate, but you gotta applaud Ford for being a bit adventurous back in the late 90s.
The handling of the car, especially on the stiffer sprung Zetec is absolutely superb. You always feel in total control, and there is very little body roll, so the grip levels are amazing, especially with some half-decent tyres.
Performance-wise the 1.6 is surprisingly quick, though it does need lots of revs to overtake or accelerate swiftly. There is good torque low-down too, and the engine can be very economical (42mpg everyday driving, more on long cruises).
The cabin is comfortable, and build quality is excellent - very few rattles. Everything is laid out logically. Seats are maybe a bit hard, but good support.
A small complaint is Ford radio is a double DIN, so you need a slightly ugly blanking plate for fitting an aftermarket unit. Plenty of room for 5 adults, boot is good size. Load capacity with seats down is enormous!
Running costs are excellent - can't comment on main dealer prices, but probably best to get independent garages to use Ford parts for cheapest repairs. Insurance is cheap, tax is fairly low bracket too.
I wouldn't hesitate to buy another if I needed a bog standard hatchback. I would be very interested to try the 2 litre ST170 for a combination of practicality and performance!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th April, 2009