1989 Ford Fiesta Ghia 1.1 from UK and Ireland
A cheap and competent little car, but showing its age
As with all Fiestas built before 1993, rust is a problem, though not as bad as many. Troublespots include the rear wheel arches and overhanging lip of the bonnet between the headlamps.
As my first car, my Fiesta Mark 2 is wonderful. It's still quite stylish - despite its age, and the 'Ghia' trim adds many extras that even brand new Fiestas in 2001 didn't have - e.g. velour seats; sunroof etc. Other 'Ghia' refinements include metallic paint which improve the looks, exclusive wheel trims and a rev-counter as well as 4-speaker stereo-cassette.
The downside is that as a 1.1 engine it is only a 4-speed, but the performance is remarkable - easily keeping up with and beating other motorway traffic. It can get noisy at speed, and don't rev it too much as it can be quite deafening.
Comfort is great, and touch wood, it's never let me down - despite being used daily. Build quality externally is poor if you take into account the rust protection (or lack of it) and general flimsiness of the bumpers and plastic trim. However, internally, the trim and fittings are holding up well and feel quite sturdy. The styling is quite dull inside, but my Fiesta was one of the last made before the Mark 2 range was replaced the same year by the more pleasingly looking Mark 3.
My advice to anyone buying a Mark 2 Fiesta - i.e. pre-1989 - is to get the top spec 'Ghia' model or even an 'XR2' as these have the extras you would probably take for granted - e.g. rear wash/wipe; sunroof; full sized headrests and radio.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd October, 2002