2003 Ford Fiesta Reviews - Page 3 of 6

2003 Ford Fiesta Black 1.4 Duratec from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.4 Duratec Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired20300 miles
Most recent distance22400 miles
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

Perhaps one of the best appointed and best value small cars on the market at the moment

Faults:

Fingers crossed, but nothing so far.

No mechanical or electrical issues have occured to date.

The nose does appear to be prone to stone chipping, which will soon be rectified with a little touch-up and then some paint protection.

General Comments:

Initial impressions are good and improving with each passing day.

I bought the car as reasonably basic transport. Having owned larger cars and more performance orientated machinery, I thought that the step-down to a 1.4 might be a bit of a shock.

The local Ford dealer was very helpful, arranging a test drive in a 1.4, as they did not have one available on my initial visit. They did call back, as promised, a week later to say that they'd managed to get one on loan from another dealer.

Impressions on the test drive were pretty good, and although not the 'Black' special edition that I was looking for, the general fit and finish is far superior to my experiences of Ford's of the past. No squeaks or rattles, which is a good sign. The experience was certainly enough for me to commit to buying the 'Black' special edition.

The engine is a little harsh on start up, but seems to come up to temperature quite quickly. Although, I'm not sure how much of that can be put down to an optimistic or conservative digital gauge.

Engine does pull well through the first four gears, with no great gaps in the ratios. Fifth seems to be a little bit more of a stretch and is only really suited to a cruise. There is a definite lack of urgency in fifth, should you wish to try and nip past anything on the motorway. Overall, certainly geared for around town and lacks the longer legs for serious motorway miles. Selection is positive, but not too firm. Nicely balanced and not trying at all.

All I can say is that, I managed to rack up 450 miles travelling from Scotland to London in one day. Steady travel, with no complaints. No back ache and I'd be more than happy to do it again.

Fuel economy at a cruise is very impressive. I'll certainly be thinking twice before upgrading to a larger car again. I've still to work out the Mpg, but I didn't have to fill-up (45 litre tank?) again on my trip South.

The 'Black' special edition seems to be the perfect compromise, with full leather interior, heated front windscreen, air conditioning and few other nice touches.

Unfortunately with the special edition there was no choice as to the alloy wheels that would be fitted, and I've found the finish to be quite poor. The lacquer is already starting to show signs of premature wear on the front wheels. Easily sorted, but a little annoying.

Tyre sizes seem to be perfect. No ultra-harsh kick back from the tyres or suspension. No tram-lining or wandering either.

Ambient noise is also quite good. No nasty road noise. The ride is firm, with reasonable turn-in. Turning circle is excellent.

I'm still in two minds with regards to the weighting of the power steering. I find that the initial turn-in is positive, if a little vague to begin with. I'm sure that my confidence will grow though and this is probably more a reflection of the cars that I've been used to driving.

The only other little niggles that I can think of, are the instruments. I'm 6'2" and find that with the wheel adjusted to the correct height, to sit comfortably at the wheel; the wheel then obscures my view of the upper parts of the clocks. Nothing major, I'll get used to it.

The visibility through the rear quarter glass (rear passenger glass, when checking blind spot) is very poor. I can see almost nothing through that side without leaning over and across. I've adjusted the mirrors out a little, but may look at getting a small blind-spot insert, just in case.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2006

3rd Jan 2007, 12:54

How much would a 2003 Ford Fiesta Black be worth. I am meant to be buying one in March? Any ideas?

1st Jul 2008, 08:44

Where can I see some pictures of the limited fiesta black? I would like to buy one, but haven't seen it.

2003 Ford Fiesta LX 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired20000 miles
Most recent distance42000 miles

Summary:

Rock Solid

Faults:

The seat-tilt handles in the 3dr version tends to break very easily, so people wanting to sit in the back need to climb between the seats. Ford charged me 92 pounds to replace just one!!

Recently an electrical fault has arisen in the fusebox, where the fuse for the left sidelight/tail-light keeps blowing every time I replace it. Shouldn't be more than 50 quid to fix.

General Comments:

As my first car at the age of 17, (in ink blue) both me and my dad knew this was not going to be looked after very well anyway. After all, I had pretty much no idea how to look after a car. To this date, it hasn't been serviced or oil changed for about 2 years and about 20,000 miles. (It's still going strong before you ask) It's had a new clutch at about 30,000 miles and that's about it... Add to this a 17 year old driver with a heavy right foot and you get what it takes to wreck an engine. Since I've had it, it's never cut out and I've never seen any warning lights on.

Then in the summer of 2005, racing a pug-206 in the rain caused an almighty smash down a main road. (I went into the back of him) I was shocked to see the state of the other car, there was absolutely nothing left of it. My car had a slight crack on the front number plate, the rest of the body was perfect. At least Ford give a true statement about its Fiesta - It's Rock Solid.

The beige interior is almost impossible to keep clean (If you're always eating McDonalds/skinning up in the car that is) and stains show up and don't go away. This was justified by its beefy exterior looks, especially when rolling on its 17's that I bought for it. Ford have put flared wheel-arches on all Fiesta models, which look great.

Right now for the performance bit. It has its nice bit of pace in gears 1&2, and definitely gives you plenty of confidence. Enough to amuse the new driver anyway. The 17's did dramatically reduce the top speed it gave though. (110 down to about 90, originally had 14' steels) Not a good choice if you're a motorway driver. It runs out of puff at about 70 and the needle crawls at snail pace to about 85. Corners and roundabouts seem to be its favourite spots though, getting stuck right in with no nasty snap at the apex. Good brakes too. Fuel consumption is definitely affordable though, as is insurance. I would highly recommend this as anybody's first car.

However the time has come for me to move on, and I'm now looking forward to collecting my '04 Ford Sportka. Then 18 months later, its me in an ST150 I think. Ford have won me over.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th January, 2006

28th Jan 2006, 15:57

Try servicing your next car. It'll go better for it.

3rd Nov 2006, 21:09

Interesting, my clutch went after 22000 miles - replaced under warranty of course, but still pretty worrying.

Need to agree with you on how well it handles and accelerates in lower gears - perfect for the country roads at home in Scotland :)

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 20 reviews