1988 Ford Fiesta 1.1 from Germany
Great value, light maintenence!!
I had to replace the brake lines, and the tie rod ends when I first bought it. Since then the only problem has been a broken passenger side door handle, thanks to a drunken gorilla of a passenger one night.
First, I bought this car from a scrap yard. I looked it over and found the two faults listed above, and bought it for $300. That's right at 165 pounds for those in the UK. It is light blue, and has some rust on both sides of the inside walls of the hood (bonnet). I fixed these with a single can of Bondo. After grabbing some break lines from another junked Fiesta, and paying the $18 (9.86 pounds) for the new tie rod ends, the car was ready to roll.
I drive it everywhere, from France to Czech, from the Alps to the North Sea, and I've never needed roadside assistance. I average right around 165 kilometers on the Autobahns. Still no problem. It does take a bit of trying to get up to speed, but once she's in fifth gear, it a smooth ride.
I recommend late model Fiesta to anyone looking for a budget car, but be sure to look at what you're buying. I've seen a bunch of them in scrap yards, and have seen that time (or previous owners) is not as kind to some of the others.
Now a few of the quirks...
It will start on cold mornings, as long it I pull the manual choke all the way out. It will try it's hardest to roll when cold, but it requires some coaxing with the gas. As soon as I'm off, I have to push the choke back in a hair to keep it from stalling. But it gets be from home to work, even at 5 AM in the dead of winter.
It gets great gas mileage. It costs me around $13 (7.12) to fill up, and assuming I'm not flying down the Autobahn, I can make it for 2 1/2 weeks on a tank.
The oil filter on this thing irritates me. When you open the hood, there's about a third empty space, and Ford decided to put the oil filter right above the muffler, meaning if you let oil slip, the car smokes for a while.
It has little power going up hill, I know it's a 1.1 liter engine, but this is pathetic, I can drop from 130 kph to 80 on a pretty mild upgrade. I have to get to a lower gear and give her some gas sometimes just to keep up with traffic.
Overall, as long as you pay attention to what you're buying, this can be a great, fun little car to own. The parts are cheap, and maintenence is very easy. if you don't pay attention to the car you're buying.. just as in any model, the scrap yaed will beckon...
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th June, 2004