RAC Cars News


Buying a Ford Fiesta

By raccars Published

Ford Fiesta

What do you need to be aware of when buying Britain's best-selling car, the Ford Fiesta?

There's a reason the Ford Fiesta is by far and away Britain's best-selling car, and that is, essentially, that it's very good. It's well known for its class-leading handling and offers chic good looks, reassuring reliability and a wide choice of models at competitive prices.

Is there anything not to love about the Ford Fiesta?

Honestly? Not really. Not everyone is a fan of the Durashift gearbox, the fascia could be cleaner and tidier and it probably doesn't get the appreciation it deserves in terms of its image.

Ford released the Fiesta in 1976, and as the company's first small, front wheel drive hatchback it was something of a departure from Ford's conservative norm. However over the years it's the Fiesta's 'everyman' quality which has made it such a best-seller. It's incredibly user friendly but its sparkling performance makes the Fiesta acceptable for those who prioritise driving dynamics. It has dominated the UK's best-selling cars list for a long time now, and the current model range includes super frugal and sensible variants plus the brilliant ST hot hatch.

It's a great buy brand new but the Fiesta's popularity also means that it's plentiful on the used market. The current seventh generation model was introduced in 2008 as a three or five door hatchback. Since then Ford has been generous with the updates, including new trim levels, lower emissions and wider gearbox availability. The Fiesta was given a facelift in 2013, when the award-winning 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine was also added to the range.

Buying a used Mk7 Fiesta

If you're buying a used model it's a good idea to find out where it comes from; driving schools and car hire firms are rather fond of the Fiesta. Young drivers are also frequent Fiesta buyers, so check for modifications which could affect your insurance premium. The diesels can be a little hesitant to pull away, so don't expect a fast getaway, and windscreen washer failures have been reported - it's only the hose getting caught in the bonnet hinge but can be annoying. The Fiesta can also be a little recalcitrant going into first or reverse.

Check the integrity of door seals and the alloy wheels, as the 16 and 17 inchers can buckle. There have also been some reports of short-lived steering racks, although these are a relatively inexpensive repair job.

One of the Fiesta's main selling points is cost, or rather the lack of it. Parts are cheap and easily come by, but it's a reliable enough motor so you shouldn't need too many of them. Look after it well and it will look after you. Pretty much any garage can take care of a Fiesta and dealerships are plentiful. The service schedule for the Mk7 Fiesta is 12 months or 12,500 miles on a sequential minor, intermediate and major rota.

The timing belt has an eight year or 100,000 mile replacement schedule for the Duratech models, 10 years and 125,000 miles for the TDCis and the 1.6 EcoBoost and 10 years or 150,000 miles for the 1.0 EcoBoost. The cost for this job is about £300 in most cases but the EcoBoosts are much more expensive.

Earlier models were less than clean and green but the EcoBoost and Econetics are superbly efficient. In most cases the Fiesta prioritises economy over performance but all are pretty willing nonetheless. However if you do a lot of motorway mileage you should probably avoid the smaller engines. The 1.6 TDCi is a winner, combining pulling power with fuel economy, while the 1.0T EcoBoost is excellent but expensive compared to lower tech variants.

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