Look mate, I realise your frustration and I own a Fiesta Zetec myself, but you have just had rotten luck. Take away the appalling customer service which I received myself, and it would just be totally unlucky, which you probably don't want to know about.
I am currently looking for a decent second hand car. Fiesta was on my list but I have read most of the reviews here and there is a disturbing number of rust problems. That really puts me off.
I think I will go for a Peugeot 106 or a VW Polo.
I totally agree that Ford build poor quality cars, however I am disturbed to find people defending Ford quality as bad luck. He must be a trader!.
Have to say that I'm not overly pleased with my Fiesta Zetec. Poor build quality, poor fuel economy and poor customer service. Luckily I've found an independent Ford dealer to service my car who seems a lot more helpful than my local main dealer (who says "yes, they do that" whenever you go in with a problem.) Don't think I'll be going back to Ford when I can afford to change my car.
I agree that Ford build quality is not all that great, I must admit that apart from the seats the interior feels 'cheap'.
My uncle bought a Fiesta Zetec a few months ago and talks about how great it is. I currently own a Nissan Micra 1.0 and I would say that in most aspects my car is a lot better. My car has not got poor build quality. His car is the five door model and my car is a 3 door, yet Nissan have still managed to give more cabin space (Front and rear) in my car, where his car is cramped. I also have the japanese reliability factor on my side.
All that I would say to anyone considering buying a first car is to go for a Nissan Micra - they are totally under rated. You have great performance for a small engine, reliability and more space. Ignore the "Feminine" image looks, it is just the fact that the automotive press in this country are image crazy. I mean who wants a good looking car if it has problems i. e poor reliability, small cabin and reading the reviews RUST!
My dad has a 1996 1.3 fiesta. It has done just under 200,000 miles with no problems. which shows ford do know how to make a good car!!!
I would agree on the Micra point! =D.
I got a Micra 1.0 Celebration as my first car, love it and would not buy another until my Micra dies (probably this side of the millennium, but not sure ;D)
Seriously, reliability is great, it is very nippy, easy to throw in a parking space, and really cheap to run and insure, also extremely quiet, and looks great with the rear spoiler and a good set of rims...