1998 Ford Fiesta Finesse 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland
A canny supermini choice
Faulty airbag warning light.
Rear wiper not working correctly, causing damage to fuses.
Small tear on the interior cloth trim on both front seats.
This car has been a surprisingly good little performer for us. It was originally bought to fill the gap until we could afford a new car, but it now looks like it will be staying with us for much longer than we thought.
Exterior looks are simple, functional yet pleasing to the eye. It's basically a revision of the pre-1995 Fiesta, this time more rounded and curvy.
Inside, the cabin is finished with pale blue plastics and a grey cloth trim, giving it a light an airy feel. Legroom is good in the front, but below average in the rear.
The driving position is good. There's no adjustment for the steering column, but this doesn't annoy since it's well placed anyways. Seat adjustment is limited to reach only, as basic models don't have height adjustment. The foot well is a little on the cramped side - there's no place to rest your left foot other than above the clutch pedal.
The controls of the car are easy to use. The sharp clutch pedal takes some work to master, but it's sound after that. The brakes are a little slow to respond, but you can adapt to that too. Gearchange is smooth enough, but reverse gear can be difficult to engage.
Ride handling is the real mega-bonus with this car. The power assisted steering is sharp and precise, but without being overly light.
Engine noise is a tad intrusive whilst accelerating, but once you reach a constant speed it more or less disappears.
Fuel economy is excellent. A full tank of petrol costs around £25 and will do in the area of 320 urban miles.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th June, 2004