1997 Ford Fiesta Van 1.8 diesel from Portugal
Very easy to own and maintain, but certainly not the quickest car of its line
Power steering cracked in the first year, but was fixed under warranty. Never bothered me since.
Timing belt was replaced at 140000, mainly out of precaution.
Fuel lines were cracked, but were replaced and never bothered me since.
Clutch pump replaced at 165000 km. Part was €70 from Ford.
Fractured alternator at 174000 km. Seal due to overuse of bad ball bearing. Attribute this to personal abuse. Replaced with rebuilt alternator for €281. Worked fine since.
Clutch disc and pressure plate replaced at 175000 km. Replaced for €170 total.
Of all the used cars I've purchased, this one has last me the longest (almost 6 years now). It's far from being plush or luxurious, but if you need something to get you from point A to point B every day and that is very fuel efficient as well as very low cost in terms of maintenance, this is the car for you. It's not the most comfortable car out there, but it's not as cramped as a Land Rover Defender either.
It's engine, a 1.8 Endura DE Diesel engine, has some fairly decent torque and is very well built in terms of reliability, but don't expect to be in any races with this engine as it's very sluggish climbing hills. Also, remember to change the timing belt every 60000km. This is a very serious recommendation if you wish to keep the maintenance cheap and keep the car on the road and not at the mechanic.
Most of the problems are pretty much attributed to wear and tear of just about any used car, and nothing really out of the normal. If you can look past that detail, you'll be pleased with it's incredible reliability and easy upkeep.
In general, a good buy, but just remember that you are getting a used car and there are ALWAYS precautions to take into consideration before buying, regardless of the make and model.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd March, 2009