A great value for money head turner!
Some minor things wrong with the car when it was collected from the dealer, now rectified.
I collected my Fiesta Black one week ago, and so far am very impressed with it! Other than a few minor faults on the car when I went to collect it, all of which have now been rectified by the dealer, the car is brilliant! The main problem on collection was that all four of the alloy wheels had been damaged by somebody removing the center "caps" with the ford badge on with a screwdriver!
Having looked at all similar cars in the price range nothing could beat the Black in terms of sheer amount of top-spec kit: leather seats, air con, RDS CD/Radio, heated windscreen & mirrors, electric windows & mirrors, alloys, metallic paint, alarm, deadlocks, remote locking, foglights, etc - all for a touch over £10000! The car feels very well engineered and built, the feel of the interior is at least on par with the VW polo which I also looked at.
Performance - the car is fantastic, the 1.4 16v petrol engine pulls really well, especially in the first 4 gears where the torque distribution is perfect for town and city driving - very quick getaways at traffic lights/roundabouts! The car is perfectly adequate for motorway driving, but in fifth gear inclines will sometimes require a lot of revs or a change down to fourth to keep the speed up.
Dealer - dealer reliability and attitude is something which I value very much having previously having real problems with a Renault dealer over my girlfriends 2002 Clio, and the ford dealer could not do enough to please us - very good levels of customer service.
Styling - yes, it looks like a "little" focus... or does it?! While I would agree that it has resemblances to the focus, especially at the back end, this car is deceptivly large - to a point where there is really very little difference between the two models, this is a much bigger car than the Fiestas gone by. All I would reccommend is that anyone who buys a new shape Fiesta is to make sure you have the front fog lights, they make a big difference to the overall asthetic of the car from the front. The chrome grille on the Black looks really cool as well, and really makes the car "stand out from the crowd".
Handling/Control - it is here that the influence of the focus is even more evident than the styling! The car handles brilliantly for such a small car, very precise steering with loads of feedback though the wheel - you know exactly what the wheels are doing as soon as they are doing it, it inspires a lot of confidence in the driver and makes you feel like you are 100% in control of the vehicle at all times. The brakes are sharp and responsive as well, and have handled the car very well in some extremely wed/mucky road conditions since I got the car. The gear box is very smooth, and the raised position not only looks good, but feels very natural to the driver.
Comfort: The seats are great, with height adjustment on the drivers seat - which makes a big difference to us 6 footers! The car will happily seat four adults without rear passengers feeling cramped, and the boot - while not huge is a very good shape for fitting boxes and suitcases into without wasting any room. The suspension settins are spot on as well, the ride is sporty and firm, but not to the extent where the ride quality is reduced and long journeys are still a joy.
Image: Yes, its just a Fiesta. True, but with the black metallic paint, chrome grill, smart alloys and black leather trim the Black looks great - very classy for such a small car. The "individual" aspect is nice as well, because you do not see that many "Black" models on the roads.
Criticisms: To be honest I have not had the car long enough to see if there are going to be any things which really bug me long term, but nothing initially jumps out. The only thing I do not understand is why Ford choose not to include ABS braking as standard accross the range, like many other manufacturers are doing with their superminis, it must lose them a number of sales if people are looking to do a lot of miles in their car, but as I am not then I decided that it is somthing which I could live without.
Overall verdict: Brill! I would definitly recommend this car to anyone who wants big car luxury in a smaller package and at a reasonable price.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st October, 2003