The Ford Fiesta is the UK’s most popular small car. And for good reason.
It’s superb to drive, comes with plenty of space and equipment, boasts a huge engine range and in three or five-door, challenges anything else in its class for practicality on the market.
So, are there any bad points? Well, not really. It’s a touch more expensive than most of its competitors, but you still get great value for money.
And unlike some other small cars, it also looks and feels like a quality item.
Whether it’s the entry-level Trend, sportier ST, off-road-esque Active or the chrome-clad Vignale, it’s a pretty car.
As you can probably tell, we like the Ford Fiesta. But if you’re not convinced yet, read on as we go through everything you should know about Ford’s small car.
You can also skip to the part you want to read first by clicking the title below.
- Design & styling
- MPG, running costs & environmental impact
- Engines, drive & performance
- Practicality & boot space
- Reliability & safety
- Cost & deals
Design & styling
For a long time, a big front grille was reserved for either an outrageous supercar or big German saloon. But those rules went out the window when Ford adopted the idea.
Like the Focus, the Ford Fiesta sits proudly with a large Aston-Martin-styled front end, and it helps set the precedent for the rest of the car.
Aggressive front lights characterise the Fiesta’s on-the-road feel, while a flat rear gives it nimbleness around town.
Despite the Ford Fiesta only being a little car, there are several styling options to pick from depending on which trim level you choose.
The Titanium and Vignale specs focus their attention on refined quality. Chrome detailing and up-market alloy wheel designs give it a premium feel, which is carried on inside through a full leather interior in the top-of-the-range Vignale.
Meanwhile, there’s the sports-focused ST-Line. Exclusive exterior styling and trim such as side skirts, red brake callipers and body-coloured spoiler add drama. Which is then only exaggerated in the hardcore ST, which lowers the ride height to add even more fun.
Then, there’s also the off-road-looking Active, which alongside rough-road suspension to increase the vehicle’s height slightly, adds black plastic wheel arches and roof rails.
No matter what you’re looking for; be it reserved, sporty or rough and ready, there’s a Fiesta designed for you.
MPG, running costs & environmental impact
Despite not being the cheapest of small cars, the Ford Fiesta is, at least, gentle on the purse strings during day-to-day life.
An outstanding 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine will return 52.3 to 55.4mpg depending on which power unit you choose. Meanwhile, the more economical mild-hybrid powertrain can take that up to 56.5mpg.
The Fiesta is gentle on the environment, too. Ranging from 116-124g/km CO2s, you won’t face any huge first-year road tax bills and it’s also great for company car drivers.
Engines, drive & performance
As we’ve already touched on, the Ford Fiesta comes with a great choice of engines.
There are the entry-level petrol and diesel options, which although are good if you want to keep costs to a minimum, aren’t what sets the Fiesta apart from the competition.
That’s firmly its EcoBoost and mild hybrid quartette.
There are two available of each. The EcoBoosts come with either 94bhp or 123bhp. And the mild hybrids are available with either 123bhp or 153bhp.
But if you want even more power, the sporty ST-3 features a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine petrol engine making 197bhp, which will break 62mph from a standing start in just 6.5 seconds.
To drive, the Fiesta has long been a class leader.
Its impeccably-balanced chassis ensures you can push the limit in the corners, and it makes even the most mundane drives enjoyable.
If you want an even wider smile behind the wheel, the ST-Line, with its firmer suspension, will give you more control at higher speeds – even with the lower-powered 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine under the bonnet.
However, it’s important to note that the Active – through it’s higher ride height – is a bit more of a handful in the corners, albeit its handling is still superior to almost everything else in its class.
The Ford Fiesta’s interior is a spacious, bright cabin with plenty of standard tech to keep you entertained.
Even in the entry-level Trend, you get air conditioning, privacy glass, auto lights and rain-sensing wipers.
The buttons and dials all feel quality to touch too, with enough feedback to justify the Fiesta’s slightly chunky price tag.
However, it’s not all plain sailing. While the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which comes with Ford Sync, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – meaning you can use it as a sat-nav from your smartphone – is functionally brilliant, its styling is a bit of a letdown.
Instead of being neatly housed in the dashboard as it was in previous models, it’s floating – making it look a bit out of place.
Other than that, though, there’s very little to dislike about the Ford Fiesta’s interior. Cheap and scratchy plastics found in old models have been replaced with more expensive trim, and everything sits together nicely.
It’s not exactly innovative, but it’s practical and unoffensive. And that’s what you want from the UK’s best-selling small car.
Practicality & boot space
One thing that’s helped the Ford Fiesta sell in such huge numbers is its practicality.
Available both in three or five-door, the cabin feels spacious thanks to generous amounts of legroom and plenty of natural light.
The driving position, as we’ve become accustomed to in any Ford car, is precise, which helps the driver remain comfortable behind the wheel on longer journeys.
And thanks to its styling, unlike other small cars, you won’t get complaints from any adults in the back regarding a lack of room.
The surprisingly spacious interior also continues to the boot, which offers an adequate 311-litre loading bay – enough for four carry-on bags or a big weekly shop.
There are other models available with a bigger boot – such as the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza – but the Fiesta’s wide tailgate gives it the upper hand when loading and unloading.
Reliability & safety
The Ford Fiesta doesn’t have the best reliability record compared to some of its competitors.
However, from new, the small car comes with a three-year or 60,000-mile manufacturers warranty as standard.
If you’re buying or leasing a used model, you can choose to add or extend your warranty. But to lower the risk, make sure it’s Approved Used.
Shop Approved Used Ford Fiesta
Cost & deals
The Ford Fiesta should be incredibly cheap to insure, which is why it’s very popular with first-time and younger drivers.
The entry-level Trend – with the lowest-powered petrol engine – sits in group 5. If you’re looking for a 1.0-litre EcoBoost, it’ll fall into group 8. And even the powerful ST-3 sits respectably in group 28.
As well, even though the Fiesta isn’t as cheap as some other small cars, it keeps its value well. That means it’s a great car to lease.
You can lease a brand-new Ford Fiesta from as little as £218 monthly. Or if you’re looking for an Approved Used option, you can expect to pay a little over £150 monthly.