2000 Ford Fiesta Zetec s 1.6 16v from UK and Ireland


An absolute belter


The rear speakers were not screwed in tightly, so bounced around on bumps and bends, two minutes with a screw driver sorted this.

General Comments:

My previous car was a Saxo VTR, which finished up upside down in a field, so I set out looking for another, but came across the Zetec s.

I liked the looks, and the performance impressed more than the VTR.

The car has better handling and is better balanced than any car I have ever driven, even those with more than double the price tag, and I often find myself driving for the fun which comes as standard.

The feel of the car is solid and you fell you are buying quality at a low price.

This car has to be driven to be appreciated.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2003

2000 Ford Fiesta Zetec-S 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Fast car, affordable insurance


Leather trim on steering wheel "melted" during hot weather. However, despite the car being out of warranty, the dealer replaced it free of charge, without the problem recurring.

General Comments:

In the Republic of Ireland it is practically impossible to insure a performance car if you are under 25 years of age. The Fiesta Zetec-S is on the performance-limit, which is why I bought it. It has proved reliable, quick, fun and practical during the last two years.

Performance-wise, it has more than is sufficient for town use. It is only on a straight, open road that one would desire extra punch.

The dealer deserves particular praise, as they really have been impeccable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th December, 2002

3rd Jan 2003, 08:18

I am sorry to burst your bubble, but the Fiesta Zetec-S is not a fast car. It is slower than the MK2 XR2 and MK3 XR2i Fiesta's. For a 1.6 16v engine the power output should be at least another 15BHP.

16th Jan 2003, 05:01

I own an XR2i 8v model. My wife owns a Zetec-s and I prefer the XR2i it has better acceleration, more mid-range and top end speed is a world of differance.

OK there is no doubt that the Zetec-s has better handling, but the XR2i has shorter gear ratios which demands more skill to drive quickly. You need skill to handle the XR2i as it is an old school hot hatch.

The Zetec-s takes the skill out of driving. I find the XR2i despite being 10 years older a far better hot hatch.

2000 Ford Fiesta Zetec S 1.6 16v from UK and Ireland


Ford have given credibility to the old adage, 'you get what you pay for'!.


Anti roll-bar bushes failed at 7000 miles.

Rattling from the dashboard.

Replacement engine.

Anti roll-bar bushes will need replacing shortly, 14500 miles.

General Comments:

Engine has been irreparably damaged after it took in water from the air intake which is located behind the front skirt. It has now been replaced by my insurance company as FORD will not acknowledge any design flaws, but have confirmed that the car should not be driven through any more than three inches of water.

As one of the worlds largest car manufacturers in a highly competitive market, I find it absolutely amazing that Ford can produce cars that have such poor build quality. Recent advertising campaigns would have the consumer believe that reliability and quality issues are a thing of the past, however from my experience I believe that problems are ignored and not well published.

I have owned my vehicle from new and it has covered around 14,500miles in little over two years and yet I am considering replacing it for an older vehicle from an alternative manufacturer, as I am so disheartened and disappointed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th December, 2002

5th Dec 2002, 07:16

Sounds like you have been very unlucky mate.

22nd Dec 2002, 14:23

I agree you've been unlucky. My experience of Zetec S ownership (a 2001 X reg) has been a pleasure. I bought it with 13,000 miles on the clock, and have added 10,000 to this in just 6 months. The car is always driven hard (although not mercilessly), yet it has been totally faultless so far. It's also a cracking car to drive IMHO, and even now I still find myself coming off main roads in search of twisty B-road routes, even if it adds 20 miles to a journey. I looked at a Polo GTI and a Saxo VTR but the Zetec S is ten times more fun than the Polo, and much better built than the Saxo.

My only problem with the car is it seems to attract the attention of vandals, but that's society's fault, not the car's.

1st Jan 2003, 08:58

Just to quote you "Ford have given credibility to the old adage, 'you get what you pay for", so your saying the car is a load of cheap rubbish, well I'm sorry YOUR car has been poor and aftersales service terrible, but the car is fantastic, just a shame you didn't get the chance to see it.

30th Jan 2003, 07:22

As the saying goes, 'You are never bored with a Ford'.

30th Jan 2003, 11:19

Whereas a Polo, Corsa or Clio would bore you to tears. Quite literally.

12th Feb 2003, 18:01

I agree that Ford build quality sometimes leaves a bit to be desired, but they are streets ahead of Peugeot, Citroen and Renault, and the equal of the likes of Vauxhall, and dare I say it, some of the more recent VW's. The Focus has also recently won a respected German reliability survey, and apparently Fords regularly feature in the top 10. They're not perfect by any means, but they are certainly nowhere near the worst out there, and are better than a lot of people give them credit for. If you want to criticise build quality, have a pop at the French!

22nd Aug 2003, 07:11

Read some of the more recent reviews, it seems now there are more Zetec-s's around with some mile on them, the poor build quality & generally Ford low quality are starting to show through. Don't buy a Zetec-s they are total lemons!!