Ford Fiesta Review & Prices
The Ford Fiesta has been one of the best-selling cars in the UK for a reason. It’s great value, fun to drive and efficient, although it could be roomier
Find out more about the Ford Fiesta
Other cars to consider include the Volkswagen Polo, Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208, but there’s a reason the Fiesta has, until recently, been the UK’s most popular car, and that’s because it represents such good value and is so easy to live with.
It helps that there’s so much choice within the Fiesta range. Although there’s no three-door any more, there’s the regular five-door, rugged Active versions, sporty-looking ST-Lines and good value Titaniums, each with a higher-specification X version. There’s even a small hot hatch called Fiesta ST. It’s a bit like Mike Myers in the Austin Powers movies, playing lots of different characters and nailing each one.
Your regular, run-of-the-mill Fiestas are the Trend and Titanium versions, which are smart enough and fairly well-equipped as you go up the price range. But step up to the ST-Line and you get sporty looks inspired by the proper ST, while Active versions get chunky black bumpers and a raised ride height that give off baby off-roader vibes.
Inside, the design isn’t as funky as something like the Citroen C3, but the subtler design feels a bit more grown up, and you get some soft-touch plastics and high quality materials that make it feel well put together. The 8.0-inch infotainment display is standard across the range and sits proud of the dashboard, but it’s starting to look rather dated now, especially when you consider how good the larger Focus’s updated setup looks. At least it’s pretty easy to use.
Regardless of how the cabin looks, you want to know how spacious it is, and it’s a tale of two halves. For those in the front, the Fiesta is pretty roomy, but those in the rear will find it rather cramped. Both the SEAT Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo have more spacious rear seats, while the Fiesta’s boot is smaller than those two, too.
The Fiesta is a lot of fun to drive for a small car – but you certainly won’t be smiling so hard if you’re asked to sit in the back seats
The Fiesta is all about driving, though. The ST model is known for being a lot of fun, but even the most basic Fiestas are fantastic to drive, with great control weights, a good amount of grip and lots of composure on twisty roads.
Ford’s six-speed manual gearbox is excellent, which helps. It has a slick shift action that adds to the fun, but it’s also nice and easy to use around town. Comfortable suspension and seats mean that it’s reasonably relaxing when you want it to be as well.
Engine options are almost exclusively 1.0-litre petrols. We reckon the 100hp version is the best because it has enough power for this small, light car to get up to speed easily, while also being fuel efficient and fun to use.
The Fiesta beats the VW Polo when it comes to equipment. Not only is it cheaper, it gets more toys as standard – including that 8.0-inch screen, which comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Safety kit is acceptable, with a lane-keeping aid and hill start assist even on entry-level cars, but you have to pay extra for automatic emergency braking.
There’s a lot of good news here, but it’s worth noting that the Fiesta will soon be taken off sale. This has been a hugely popular model over the years, but small cars aren’t as popular as they once were, so Ford wants to focus on higher-selling models like the Puma.
Want one before it’s too late? Head to our Ford Fiesta deals page to find one that’s right for you, or browse the latest used Ford Fiesta models from our network of trusted dealers. Why not check out other used Fords, or see how much you can get for your current motor through our Sell My Car service.
The Ford Fiesta has a RRP range of £19,350 to £26,450. Monthly payments start at £214. The price of a used Ford Fiesta on carwow starts at £6,525.
The Ford Fiesta isn’t the bargain it perhaps once was, but it is competitively priced among other cars you might consider, such as the SEAT Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo. The Vauxhall Corsa has been a huge seller in recent years and is also priced from around this £20,000 mark. The Citroen C3 is the budget option, with even the top-spec models costing similar to lower-specification versions of these other cars.
The Ford Fiesta is a lot of fun to drive on a country road, yet also quiet on the motorway and easy to manoeuvre in town. ST-Line versions aren't the most comfortable, though
Driving around town is where the Ford Fiesta feels most at home. Its small size and light controls make it easy to drive at low speeds, while its comfortable suspension means only the harshest potholes send a jolt through the cabin.
The ST-Line Edition trim makes less sense in town because it reduces the Ford’s ability to absorb short, sharp bumps, although it is still reasonably smooth.
Small rear side windows don’t help visibility when you’re glimpsing over your shoulder on busy streets, but the Ford Fiesta’s compact shape means it’s still easy enough to reverse park and you can have a rear-view camera for a little extra cost if you’d like a bit of help.
An automatic gearbox is a pricey option but (unless your licence dictates) there’s really no need to go for it – the Ford Fiesta’s controls are so nice to use that it’s very easy to drive smoothly.
On the motorway
City driving has always come naturally to the Fiesta; it was on the motorway that the old model started to feel out of its depth. Now, though, there’s only a little wind whistle and you get a six-speed gearbox (except on the entry-level 1.1-litre petrol model, which has a five-speed), which means the engine’s quieter at 70mph.
Impressively, cruise control is included as standard, so despite this being a city-friendly car it also has motorway-friendly features. Adaptive cruise control, which can maintain your distance to the car in front, isn’t standard on any trim level, so you need to buy the driver assistance pack to get that.
On a twisty road
The Ford Fiesta is a great car to drive. It gives you confidence to have fun in corners, but it doesn’t have so much power that it ever feels like it could get you in trouble. The steering is quick so the front end feels very responsive to your inputs, but it always feels safe and stable as you accelerate out the other side.
If a focus on driving fun is at the top of your priorities list, then it’s worth considering an ST-Line Edition model. It has lowered, stiffened suspension – so it leans less in corners – and bigger wheels with grippier tyres.
The Ford Fiesta is fairly spacious for those in the front, but rear seat passengers won’t be as comfortable
It’s easy for the driver to get comfortable in the Ford Fiesta, because even entry-level models have a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a steering wheel that moves for rake and reach. If you want a height-adjustable passenger seat you will need to upgrade to the higher-spec ‘X’ version of each trim.
Once you are comfortable, you will find the Ford Fiesta has a number of smaller storage areas for hiding away your day-to-day clutter.
The glovebox is big enough for a bottle of water and the door pockets will take a bottle, too. All versions get two cup holders, a place for your sunglasses in the headlining.
Space in the back seats
Space in the back isn’t terrible, and a six-foot-tall passenger can fit – but they won’t want to be crammed in there for too long. Really, you’re better off looking at the SEAT Ibiza or VW Polo if you’re planning to carry adults in the back.
The Ford’s ISOFIX points are marked clearly but getting the top of the child seat through the rear door opening is a little bit awkward.
The Ford Fiesta’s 303-litre boot is bigger than the old model’s, but it’s still a good bit shy of the 355-litre load bay you get in both the Ibiza and Polo – you might be noticing a recurring theme where both those cars are more practical than the Fiesta. It’s a usable space for everyday use, though.
It’s also handy when you’ve got the rear seats folded down, because you have a completely flat floor, which makes it much easier to make full use of the Fiesta’s 1,093-litre capacity. All Ford Fiesta models get rear seats that fold down in a 60:40 split, meaning that you can have a passenger in the back as well as a long load poking through from the boot.
The Ford Fiesta’s interior is smart-looking and logically laid out but the best quality is reserved for expensive top-spec models
The Ford Fiesta’s dashboard is made from squidgy plastics – although they’re not as thickly padded as you’ll get in a pricey Mini – and you get shiny black trim pieces and flashes of chrome.
Every model gets an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, which looks smart but is showing its age now as larger, slicker systems become available in other cars. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included as standard, which helps improve usability somewhat.
There are physical controls for the air conditioning too, which makes it really easy to adjust on the move.
The system’s colourful screen is brighter than those fitted to other cars and its clear display makes directions easy to follow. Its menus are laid out intuitively, although it does without the handy buttons that help you quickly navigate from menu to menu in the SEAT Ibiza. The graphics just look a bit old school now.
All Ford Fiestas come with a six-speaker stereo that’ll be fine if you only ever listen to Radio 4, but if you have more energetic musical tastes you’ll love the B&O stereo, though this is a paid extra offered on all but entry-level models. It has eight speakers (including a subwoofer in the boot) and a mammoth 675W output and offers the kind of sound quality you might expect from a luxury saloon.
X models have some choice upgrades, such as a premium seat upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, and automatic air conditioning, while ST-Line models add some red stitching for a hint of sportiness.
The Ford Fiesta is available with a choice of three engines – all three-cylinder petrol units. There’s a 1.1-litre 75hp non-turbo petrol at the start of the range that could be good for young drivers, but the rest are variants of the 1.0-litre petrol EcoBoost engine.
Okay, the Fiesta ST uses a 1.5-litre motor, but that’s really a different model (as tested separately here) as it’s much more powerful, but it’s still a three-cylinder petrol.
The 1.0-litre range includes 100hp and 125hp options – but the 100hp model is all you really need. The latter has the addition of mild hybrid technology to boost efficiency but it doesn’t make much difference to the way the Fiesta drives, and the 100hp model is efficient, cheap to buy and good on fuel anyway.
There’s a seven-speed auto gearbox available on the 125hp engine, but it’s really not worth paying extra for unless you really need it, as the manual is excellent to use. It’s light with a satisfying throw, so it won’t feel like a burden in traffic and is fun on a winding road.
Despite being a small car, the Ford Fiesta has an impressive Euro NCAP safety test rating, where it scored the full five-out-of-five. It particularly impressed in the adult and child occupant protection scores, where it scored 87% and 84% respectively.
Since being tested in 2017, the scoring criteria has become stricter, particularly around driver assistance aids. The Fiesta’s 60% rating here shows it lacks some kit in this regard, but lane-keeping assist is standard across the range.
It’s slightly disappointing that to get automatic emergency braking, which helps avoid a crash or mitigate the outcome, you need to pay extra for the driver assistance pack, even on higher trims. This pack also includes a driver impairment monitor as well as adaptive cruise control to help justify the extra outlay.
The Ford Fiesta has been on sale for a while now, so we have a pretty good picture of what to look out for in terms of reliability. Its overall record is okay – it’s far from bullet-proof but you’d have to be unlucky to buy a really bad one. Despite this, parts and repairs are generally fairly inexpensive if something does go wrong.
One thing to look out for if buying a used diesel model is the diesel particulate filter. This burns off trapped soot in the exhaust, but is only triggered on long journeys once the exhaust is hot. If the Fiesta has only been used for shorter journeys there might be a build up of soot, which can cause expensive repairs. Ask the owner about their typical journeys, and if they tend to only drive short distances, consider walking away.
*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.