Swings and roundabouts. A Polo may be better built (can't say it felt it particularly, but I bow to common wisdom), but in GTI form feels leaden and unexciting to drive. The Fiesta will not rust in the two years or so I will own it, and if it does, that's what the corrosion warranty is for. My friend owns an N registration Si model which is still immaculate, so I'm quietly optimistic.
In the meantime, I'll keep driving around in a car which is ten times as much fun as the equivalent VW, as well as being perfectly well screwed together in its own right. As for the possibility of rust in 6 years, quite frankly, even if I did believe it, I couldn't care less. I intend to be well shot of it by then.
VW, Audi and BMW, extremely expensive cars all with the same germanic styling, and I think you'll find the fiesta has changed somewhat since 1989, and seeing as the MK5 has only been around for nearly 4 years you know nothing to predict it'll be covered in rust after 5 years, you've proved your uneducated ignorance by your comments.
Check out the 1997-onwards Polo reports on this site if you think VW's are always well built. Some good reports, but plenty of bad ones too, with reliability and quality issues all over the place. Dealers no better than Ford by the look of it either.
I agree with the fact that Fiesta cars are badly built. My vehicle a 1.25 N Reg Mark 4 Fiesta has just failed its MOT. This was due to the fact that there was a hole under the passenger seat! The tester actually showed me this. As a result my car now needs £120 worth of welding. The factory build quality needs to be improved.
Lets get one thing right, the UK model Fiesta's 1995-1999 MK4 and the 1999-2002 MK5 are all based on the MK3 1989-1995 platform. The body panels have had revisions and an extra panel has been attached under the floor near the middle exhaust sections, but that's it!!
The suspension, engine choices differ, but the platform dates back to a 1989 design. So it is quite clear the build quality will not be up to modern standards due to the age of the design.
The comments from the 3rd of jan.
Your opinion is that this guys Fiesta is gonna rot and is poor because it has an old build design. This then surely must also apply to the Ford Puma, which strangley doesn't have many critics saying what a load of old crap it is and that it's going to fall apart.
I own a Ford Fiesta MK4 1.4 SI 1997 on a R reg and I have rust on the rear wheel arch. I have owned it since new and its only covered 20k. Ford say the 6 year anti corrosion warranty is not valid as it has not undergone yearly inspections at a Ford dealership.
Ford build poor cars and then refuse to do anything when they fall apart.
I agree with the bad build quality. As someone has already stated The sheet metal used to construct the vehicles needs to be galvanised and better protected. Even Fiat do this and there cars in general are cheaper than Fords and they use wax on the underbody as well.
With Ford its all about how cheap they can make cars they are corner cutting short term cowboy's.
Funny - my mate is currently trying to take Fiat to court for rust on his 3 year old Punto.
An update on the original review:
Car has now covered 22,000 miles and been has been utterly reliable apart from a slight knock from the front end over harsh bumps.
20,000 mile service plus a requested brake / clutch fluid change carried out by my local dealer (Dagenham Motors, Uxbridge) for £180 all in, including changing a rear wiper blade. Dealer courteous, efficient and very thorough. Diagnosed a problem with one of the anti-roll bar links as the cause of the knock and this was replaced. The £79 bill for the link was picked up by the dealer warranty without any hassle or argument. Car was finished 2 hours earlier than originally quoted and feels superb. No more suspension noise, and the little Zetec SE lump, now running on a fresh sumpful of oil, sounds and feels sweeter than ever.
My original opinion on this car hasn't changed. It's still a storming little warm hatch, and so far has proven to be a hassle free and relatively cheap car to run. After 22,000 hard driven miles, it's all holding together beautifully, and there's nothing to suggest it won't stay that way for the forseeable future.
I've owned a Zetec S from new, and while they are great to drive the long term durability is questionable, but in all fairness I gave up on it and bought a new car.
Any rust on a 3 year old Punto will mean the car has had an accident and it has suffered a bad repair. When was the last time you noticed a Punto with a rusted wheel arch? I never have.
I own a 1994 model which has no rust. How much rust would you spot on a 1994 Fiesta?
He's had the Punto from new and it has never had any bodywork damage. I could list several Fiestas of 92-94 vintage that are rust free. It's the luck of the draw.
I've owned a UK spec Zetec S from new (Mar 2001). It's a cracking little car for all the reasons mentioned in the first review in this thread. Some small faults: The steering wheel blue 'leather' started to come off. Dealer replaced it at no cost. Rattling sound like a loose CD case in the glove box. Diagnosed by dealer as loose exhaust heat shield behind the manifold. Mended at no cost. I stayed with Ford Insure after the first years free insurance. VERY competitive price. Had a scrape in a car park. Took a few days to fix, minimum hassle, perfect repair, courtesy car was a brand new fiesta. Car collected and returned by dealer. Matlock Ford, by the way. Since buying the car I've experienced their sales (best price by nearly £1000), service and repair. Can't fault them, love the car. Am I dreaming? someone, pinch me...
I get similar service from my dealer (Dagenham Motors, Uxbridge). I was recommended these by a work colleague who is on his 3rd Fiesta from them and has always had sterling service. My experience so far in terms of service, standard of work, and honouring of the warranty for the only fault I've had, have been truly first class.
I get the impression that a lot of people, particularly owners of more expensive German brands continue to put down Ford in order to feel better about the inflated price they've paid for their cars. The days of Ford inferiority, while undoubtedly having existed at one point, are now long gone, but some people just can't seem to accept it.
Any magazine will tell you that modern Fords are the equal or better of anything in their class in terms of what they do, and certainly better than most in terms of driver enjoyment. If word were to get out that they were well built, well supported by dealers and reliable with it, as I have found in the only two I've owned, who knows what this would do for sales of the so-called "prestige" brands with their inflated prices and badge snobbery.