2001 Ford Fiesta Zetec-s 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Phat, fast, posing pouch


Drivers door body strip came away, replaced foc under warranty.

Passenger door body strip came away, 50% reduction by Ford on cost, over a year old, so not under warranty.

Grating noise from gearbox when first start car, either from hot/cold engine, now on second visit to Ford.

General Comments:

I wrote a review some time ago when I first bought the car, I said "Small Pocket Rocket".

My view is generally still the same, although I think that the engine could do with a bit more power top end.

Also the ride comfort is a little harder when compared to other Fiesta's, but this is to be expected due to the stiffer suspension.

I really enjoy the car and it still turns heads, looks a lot better than the new one. Handling is superb and gives great confidence as does the acceleration between the gears. There is also a good level of quality within the car. This is a car to treasure and be proud, it is a classic, but not in the true sense, due to its lack of popularity.

This is due to the Saxo's reputation, I would advise not to follow the heard and go get a quick Fezza, a lot more fun and a lot cheaper to run.

Go buy now...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2003

9th Oct 2005, 16:56

I agree with the Fiesta Zetec S needing a tad bit more power and that's why I did some slight moddige to mine. I have a 57i k an n induction kit which gives it better response. Also I have fit a Magnex Cat back exhaust system on to it Which gives it increased response/acceleration. Appart from looking and sounding the boll**** the car has increased acceleration and a small advantage on top end!

10th Oct 2005, 07:28

Fiesta z-tech s is nothing more than a Slow runabout! To be fair you would have trouble out dragging a 1.6 focus (not much between the two) performance wise.

Bhp per tonne on the zetec s is a joke, so no childish claims please about how fast?! your little car is OK. Every one knows they are SLOW cars built for nothing more than driving around town doing the shopping etc...

2001 Ford Fiesta Zetec S 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


A luke warm hatch that's SERIOUS fun


The drivers side electric window fell off its runners when I drove it away from the dealer.

The stereo took Ford 2 weeks to fix & make all 4 speakers work.

On both front seats the material is starting to tear away from the seat release clip.

Drivers seat has creasing in the material.

I've gone through two sets of Ford brakes and pads in the first 25000 miles.

General Comments:

Despite the build quality and lack of attention to detail from Ford - this car is fantastic.

Best described as a "warm hatch"

Rather than focusing on outright speed the little Fiesta focuses itself on handling and road holding.

If you expect a (very) small fun car without any serious aspirations, then the Zetec S will not dissappoint.

There are plenty of niggles surrounding build quality, but the sheer enjoyment of driving pretty much pushes these to the back of your mind.

When replacing brakes buy aftermarket performance parts as the Ford standard kit isn't up for the job.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th June, 2003

2001 Ford Fiesta Zetec-S 1.6 Zetec SE from UK and Ireland


A warm hatch with sports car handling, steering and gearchange. Cheap insurance


Nothing at all.

General Comments:

The Zetec-S isn't the quickest in a straight line compared to Saxo VTS's or Pug 106 GTi's, but will keep up in the twisty stuff.

The handling is really good, and it's cheaper to insure than the above examples.

The car has to have the best steering feel and feedback, although the car's turning circle is pretty poor for such a small car!

The gear change is excellent, and the braking is very good for a car with drums at the rear.

The car returns good MPG if you drive sensibly. If you get a Zetec-S with air conditioning and drive hard, your fuel gauge will drop very quickly, you have been warned.

Servicing is cheaper compared to my previous car, and the Fiesta has a larger engine!

The car needs more power and better seats, as they don't hold you too well when pushing hard across country.

There are parts available to modify the Zetec-S to increase power, handling and braking.

All in all, I am glad I bought my Zetec-S. I test drove a Saxo VTS and Pug 106 GTi. I was impressed more with the GTi than the VTS, as it felt more solidly built.

But when I took out a Zetec-S, the steering, handling and gear change just blew me away. I had to have one, although it didn't go as fast as the VTS or GTi, but I pay less insurance for my Zetec-S compared to the quotes I got for the VTS and GTi, and the Fiesta is cheaper to service and run.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th February, 2003

4th Mar 2003, 14:47

Agree with all your comments, although I can't comment on the effect the air-con has, as mine doesn't have it.

I had the same problem - would have probably gone for the 106 GTi, but insurance was twice as much. To be honest, apart from the storming performance of the 106, I thought the Fiesta had better steering and gearbox, equally good handling, and infinitely better build quality. Just a shame they never thought to drop the old RS1800 engine in it!

23rd Mar 2003, 13:48

Ford should have put the Puma 1.7 in the Zetec-S or as you have said the RS1800 16v, the puma engine just slots in the Fiesta, you only need the driver sides engine mount, engine, ecu and manifold for it fit in a Zetec-S!

16th Aug 2003, 18:25

I've had 120 out of mine and it still felt like there was some more!

15th Dec 2006, 06:26

Great handling hot hatch. Bit poor on performance though. The 1600 Zetec SE engine can produce upto 220bhp, but not ideal for road use. The 16v Zetec E from the RS1800 can produce slightly higher power (240bhp). The Zetec SE is lighter as it is an all-alloy engine and revs quicker due to its crankcase design so it is probably better to keep your 1.6 Zetec SE engine. The 1.7 from a Puma is already "tuned" and will only give minimal performance increases over a tuned 1.6.