A DIY mechanic can run one on pennies
New water pump (drive belt still squeaking though, and I suspect the pump was probably still OK).
New rear brake pads.
New rear suspension pivot bushes (used as a bargaining point when the car was bought).
Tappets continually go out of adjustment.
Has been crunched by other people three times. Rear hatch has not shut properly since the second shunt (poor quality repairs by an "approved repairer", a Rover dealer who went bankrupt two months later).
Engine not as smooth as my previous Mk II Fiesta, although 5 gears makes it quieter. Could be a worn camshaft, although it does not appear to be getting worse. Same can be said of slight clutch judder.
Tappets need adjusting frequently.
Ford dealers can get most parts, apart from some trim. Do all the work myself as I have zero faith in garages.
Passengers say the seats and legroom are OK, with enough headroom and boot space. Later Ford seats are better though.
Ride pretty good, considering the basic simplicity of the design, and much better than the Mk II.
Handling and modest performance won't satisfy "keen" drivers, although big tyres give good grip.
Clutch and steering are rather heavy.
Fuel injection is trouble free, but use injector cleaner every month or so. Not likely to be repairable, though, if it does go wrong.
No timing belt to worry about.
Some rust spots.
Not particularly economical.
No breakdowns in 24,000 (mainly motorway) miles over 16 months.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 3rd August, 2001