1997 Ford Fiesta Ghia 1.4 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


Great to drive, but had constant problems


Leaking heater matrix (cheap and surprisingly easy to replace)

Would overheat at random. A full cooling system flush, two new thermostats, a new radiator, full pressure test and a new water pump never found the problem.

Stalling when hot (intermittent)

Rear wash wipe intermittently didn't work.

Front lower arm bushes replaced twice.

Front anti roll bar bushes replaced once.

Oil leak from sump gasket.

Rear view mirror sheared off.

General Comments:

Great car to drive, but let down by constant niggling problems. Suspension bush failure is common on these cars, yet still Ford will sell you the exact same replacement part they know fails after as little as a year and 12,000 miles.

Had constant problems with the cooling system too which would intermittently cause the car to overheat. I replaced every major component and had the system pressure tested, but it still couldn't be fixed. This meant I never could really trust the car. The car also suffered from oil leaks and electrical problems.

Awkward to work on too. The Zetec engine isn't a particularly tight fit under the bonnet, but many components that you don't need to get to for basic maintenance are inaccessible. This seems deliberate in some cases, and very unusual for Ford.

Great engine, surprisingly lively and brilliant in the corners. The basic build quality is good too, but the package as a whole was too unreliable and jobs that would take ten minutes on most coars seemed to take hours on this one due to a poorly designed underbonnet layout.

After a string of Fords, this was my last. Very disappointing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th January, 2006

15th Mar 2007, 06:20

I love my Ghia. I bought it nearly 4 years ago. She has passed all her NCT's and aside from brake pads the usual that need to be replaced, the only problem I had was with the heater. An element that goes on all fiestas apparently. Easily resolved at only Eu5o!!

1997 Ford Fiesta Ghia X 1.4 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


Very good, and much better than our old Polo


No faults.

General Comments:

Bought to replace an unreliable 1997 Polo CL that was a living nightmare, not to mention showing signs of rust.

Gets used as a second car, so basically for carting things around, local trips and the occasional commute. Copes admirably with everything we throw at it, and has proven frugal, reliable and very good fun to drive.

Ghia X trim gives amazing spec for a small car. Electric windows, air conditioning, sunroof, heated front screen, electric mirrors, a decent CD player, power steering and alloys. Not convinced about the mottled brown plastic "wood" on the dash, and the interior isn't the last word in modern styling, but it works and is well put together. The car still feels very tight and "together" after 63k, and everything still works perfectly.

The little 1.4 Zetec engine is a peach and blows our old 1.4 VW Polo's stodgy 8 valve unit out of the water. It's smooth and eager whether ambling along at idle, or screaming past 6,000 RPM, and delivers acceleration that you could easily describe as lively. It doesn't rattle or smoke, and a sump full of genuine 5W/30 Ford oil doesn't need topping up between services.

The gearchange is short throw and slick, and the power steering gives lots of feel as well as quick gearing. The handling is exactly what a small car should be, with a lovely chuckable feel. It's not a sports car, but it really does have the energetic and fun feel that small cars nowadays lack.

Paid UKP 2000 for the car in November 2004 with 49k, a full Ford history and in immaculate condition. For the money, it's great value.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 21st December, 2005

22nd Nov 2006, 12:17

Fiesta better than a Polo? Are you sure you owned one?! I recently got rid my flimsy old 'P' reg fiesta after having nothing, but trouble with it. Problems I've experienced include mold/ rain water ingress in the boot and foot-wells, interior trim falling to bits, various electrical faults, rear wheel arches rusting away to nothing. I now have a 2000 'X' plate Polo TDI and it's in a completely different league, leaps and bounds ahead of the fiesta in terms on space, refinement and any other aspect you could think of. Just glad I'm not still stuck with that tin can on wheels. Lol.