Ford Fiesta

The old Fiesta is again getting a facelift. The basic chassis could be dated back to the early 90s. The major revamp in late 1995 vastly improved its handling while added the Yamaha-developed Zetec-SE engines. This time Ford didn't give it too much fresh items. Most changes are in the restyled nose and retrimmed interior. 

The new face mirrors that of the Focus. Trapezoid headlamps and mesh grille do not coincide with the rest of the aging profile very much. Inside, the biggest change is the front seats, whose thinner back rest improves a little bit rear leg room. Yet the unchanged structure still limit the interior space, making it easily the tightest supermini. 

Due to the lack of changes in chassis and suspensions, the class-leading handling remains unchanged. However, those interested in hotter performance can choose the new Zetec-S model, which is powered by Focus' 1.6-litre 16-valve four with 103hp. It is not really a hot hatch, otherwise the "XR2" name will be used instead. Zetec-S also gets stiffer suspension and wider tyres than other versions. 

In this competitive segment, the facelifted Fiesta can hardly hide its age, no matter in interior space, packaging or styling. It still has the best dynamic ability, but people concern most is not that. Moreover, those really pursue hot hatches would find Ford has ignored this segment at all. You can't compare the Zetec-S with Peugeot 206GTi, can you ? An all-new Fiesta is badly needed. 

The above report was last updated on 29 Nov 99. All Rights Reserved.


Fiesta 1.25 Zetec
Fiesta Zetec-S
Front-engined, Fwd
Front-engined, Fwd
L / W / H / WB : 3828 / 1634 / 1320 / 2446 mm
Inline-4, dohc, 4v/cyl.
Inline-4, dohc, 4v/cyl.
1242 c.c.
1596 c.c.
75 hp
103 hp
81 lbft
106 lbft
F: Strut; R: Torsion beam
185 / 55 R14
195 / 50 VR15
953 kg
976 kg
Top speed
102 mph*
113 mph*
0-60 mph
11.2 sec*
10.1 sec*
0-100 mph
* Tested by Autocar

Fiesta: related models

  • European Mazda 121: simply a revamped Fiesta.
  • Puma: directly built on the Fiesta platform. 
  • Ka: built on a shortened Fiesta platform.
The above report was last updated on 15 Jan 2000. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright© 1997-2009 by Mark Wan @ AutoZine