Ford Fiesta hatchback (2008 – ) expert review

Read the Ford Fiesta hatchback (2008 - ) car review, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.

The Ford Fiesta is a class-leading supermini boasting fine handling, good looks and decent practicality. It is very hard to fault this popular model.

Pros

  • Stylish interior and exterior design
  • Superb car to drive
  • Cheap to run

The Fiesta looks dashing with the unmistakable Ford face​, ​ the car’s looks are improved immeasurably by specifying alloy wheels, which are fitted as standard on more expensive models. Three and five-door models are available, with Zetec S models coming with a discreet body kit and larger alloy wheels. The ST hot hatch versions are sportier still, and look super-sharp.

With a capacity of 295 litres, the Fiesta’s boot is competitive by supermini standards, if not class-leading. There’s ample room in the back for two adults, making the Fiesta practical enough to be a small family’s one car, but access is much easier in the five-door model.

Whichever model you’re looking at, the Ford Fiesta is a superb driver’s car. Precise steering and well configured suspension mean it’s a joy to thread through bends​. the suspension soaks up the worst bumps and the ride never becomes fidgety. Overall, the Fiesta is a very mature car, and despite the compact dimensions that make it an ideal car for the urban grind, it is still perfectly stable and composed at speed on the motorway. The ST, meanwhile, is the daddy of the small hot hatches.

The Fiesta received a maximum five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests, but the real headline-grabbers are the bits and pieces that are available on top of the seven airbags that come as standard on every model. This includes Active City Stop – which helps drivers avoid low-speed collisions – and Emergency Assistance, which forms part of the SYNC system. Also available is MyKey, a system that allows several keys to operate the car, but with various settings (such as the car’s maximum speed, the volume of the stereo and so on) uniquely programmed to each key by the owner. This lets parents, for example, reduce the dangers faced by teenagers at the wheel.

The Fiesta is available in very wide range of trims. Studio covers the basics, but little more, with Ford Easy Fuel (which prevents misfuelling), MP3-compatible CD player with aux and USB connections, front electric windows, electric mirrors and a 60:40 folding rear seat. Style adds remote locking, air-conditioning and a more adjustable driver’s seat, while Zetec models come with 15-inch alloys and a Quick Clear heated windscreen, and Zetec S adds a bodykit, 16-inch alloys, sports seats and sports suspension. More luxurious is the Titanium with its power folding mirrors, chrome exterior trim, automatic wipers, digital radio, automatic air-con and cruise control, while range-topping Titanium X models feature keyless entry and part-leather upholstery.