1999 Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.4i from UK and Ireland


Cheetah in Tortoises Clothing!!!


Passenger side electric window motor sluggish.

Brake Disc's Warped after 25000 miles.

General Comments:

An excellent example of how to build a small car.

Engine is generously powerful yet economic for its size.

Steering is superb, especially when optional spoiler and alloys are present.

Brakes are excellent with optional Automatic Braking System package.

Not a family car, hence very little room when the front seats are moved back.

Parts are relatively expensive for customer bracket.

Interior is very dated.

In car entertainment only comes with two front speakers including separate tweeters.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th January, 2003

1999 Ford Fiesta Finesse 1.3i from UK and Ireland


An entertaining, but ultimately unreliable car


Exhaust (back section) had to be replaced at 18,000 miles.

Front wiper electrics blew at 21,000 miles dues to water seeping into unit. Fixed under warranty.

Starter motor and battery failed at approximately 26,000 miles.

Power steering hose replaced at approximately 40,000 miles.

Seats becoming saggy.

General Comments:

This car is still quite pretty (especially at the back), but is starting to date a little now.

The Finesse was based on the basic model, but added metallic paint, tilt sunroof, and power steering.

This is a basic car with a rather basic engine. Don't be fooled by the 1.3 designation - the engine is based on an ancient design from the Anglia and it thrashes at times and does not develop huge amounts of power.

On the positive side, the car is built on a great chassis which means that handling is superb for a small car.

Comfort levels are fine for short journeys, but a strain on a longer haul.

Build quality is OK, but the cabin plastics are quite poor and the seats don't last that well.

Fuel consumption is appalling for such a small car and oil needs to be topped up every 4,00 miles (this is on a fully serviced example!).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th August, 2002

19th Apr 2005, 14:44

I agree that interior build quality on these models is poor, as my seats are beginning to separate from the plastic fittings used to move them forward. However, I disagree with the comments made on fuel consumption. Mine is also a fully serviced 1.3 Finesse, and I regularly get 100 miles or more from a quarter of a tank of petrol. I also do not have to replace the oil very often, and have done over 700 miles so far without having to top it up. In fact, the level has barely gone down, despite the fact that the car has a slight oil leak!

5th Mar 2009, 06:13

Your comment that the engine is based on the old Anglia unit is incorrect. The Zetec engine is an entirely different engine. Designed in conjunction with Yamaha in the early 1990's and introduced in 1250cc guise a few years later. The first 1250cc versions had an iron block (certainly not related to the old Anglia 105E pushrod unit) and changed to all alloy construction around the '98 model year.

23rd Nov 2009, 09:27

But this isn't the 1.25 Zetec engine. This review is for the 1300 pushrod "Endura-E", engine which is in fact based on a Kent block.

1999 Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.25i 16v from UK and Ireland


A nippy little motor


Handbrake cable stretched easily and had to be replaced after 10,000 miles.

Handle for adjusting the seat is stiff.

Rear bumper starting to come-away.

Passenger door lock became stiff.

General Comments:

The car is really quick through the first 3 gears. Beats most other cars upto at traffic lights.

Good, firm handling.

Seats are very comfortable even after long journeys.

Cheap to run.

Cheap to insure.

Very quiet.

Large variety of parts available, but not a lot of mods available.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st July, 2002

1999 Ford Fiesta LX Zetec 1.25 16v from UK and Ireland


Wolf in sheeps' clothing??!!


The passenger side electric window jammed open, resolved with a little lubrication.

Low mileage per gallon when I first picked the car up, simply needed re-tuning which was covered by my warranty.

General Comments:

This car is such a joy to drive, it is very nippy and despite the small engine, has no problems keeping pace on the motorway. Cornering is no problem either...there's virtually no need to slow down!

I do find that first gear is a bit short though and pulling away at roundabouts or junctions from a standstill can feel quite sluggish.

The seats are very supportive and the car is comfortable even on long journeys although rear passengers might feel a bit cramped.

The CD player fitted is fine although rear speakers would mean a huge improvement in sound quality.

Overall I think the car looks great, better than the face-lift model, but above all it's fun to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th July, 2002