I was very nervous when buying this car. I wanted to downsize and get something small and economical (after a big Zafira 2.2 auto before), but I wasn't actually sure I could live with a Fiesta, especially with this tiny little engine.
Thankfully, the 1.25 engine is a joy to use. It makes a pleasant sound and revs very freely. It may not have much power, but what go it does have is easy to make use of. It'll never win any traffic light grand prix, but I don't have an issue with that. Engine and road noise is a little intrusive after 60mph, it's not a car you'd want to use on the motorway every day. But it will do it if you ask it to.
Fuel economy has been a little disappointing. After getting a creditable 47mpg on the long test drive, I'm confused to find that I'm now struggling to get around 40-45 mpg, no matter what I do. That's roughly comparable to the 1.8 Toyota Avensis I owned, a much bigger and more powerful car. Perhaps it's the colder weather causing the problem? The official 60mpg extra-urban figure seems impossible to get anywhere near. This is unusual for me, as I normally manage to get excellent fuel economy figures, thanks to my driving style and habits. I hope things improve as the weather gets better.
However, I can forgive the car's fuel economy issues as I've been really enjoying driving it. After years of very heavy MPVs and larger saloons and estates, to be back in a small, nippy car is a real joy. Ford seem masters of making cars pleasant and involving to drive, without making the suspension too firm. How they do it, I don't know.
Parking is a real treat. All the parking spaces seem huge compared to how they felt before. It's like all the lines have been painted 20% further apart just for me. Parallel parking into a street space is a doddle. Something of a sport, seeing just how small a space I can squeeze into that others have passed over. What fun!
The only real downside to this car compared to my older cars is the low rent interior. Apparently Ford improved this car over the pre-facelift version; I can't tell where or how. It's very cheap in terms of material feel and quality, and many of the major controls have barely changed since the Fiesta of the 1990s. On the plus side, equipment levels are OK. My car has heated windscreen, plus auto lights/wipers, air con and a nice feeling steering wheel. The trip computer and part digital dash is pretty good for a car of this class. It could really do with rear electric windows mind.
My one major complaint is the lack of a rear interior light or a glovebox light. What is this? 1975? Come on Ford! Have you ever tried strapping a squirming toddler into a rear facing child seat on a pitch black winter night? Not fun I can tell you.
I notice the latest Fiesta still has this issue, even the Focus, Mondeo and S-Max don't have rear courtesy lights in anything but the top spec cars. Why?
Another mark against the car is the cheap paint. A rust spot is visibly bubbling up on the boot already. This appears to be a common problem with Fords that most other manufacturers seem to have solved 15-20 years ago.
Don't get me wrong though. I like the car and I like driving it. It does well for a family runabout, and should prove reliable and cheap to own. Fingers crossed!