Ford Fiesta Hatchback review – read before buying your next car
The virtues of good value, practicality and being great to drive have ensured the Ford Fiesta is officially Britain’s best-selling car. Offering great value across the range with a line-up of strong engines and up-to-date technology, the Fiesta makes as much sense in your head as it does to the heart.
Ford Fiesta Hatchback design and looks
Since the original launched in 1976, Ford has carefully updated each generation to its Fiesta to stay ahead of rivals, maintaining the same priorities for value for money with an injection of fun.
Sitting between the Ka and Focus in Ford’s range, you can spot the family design character from all angles. It’s a range you’ll always recognise because Ford has carefully retained some of the previous generation each time its cars have had a makeover.
All of the latest models have the ‘trapezoid’ shaped grille and those familiar swept-back headlamps. Both the three and five-door versions have raised rear lines that hint at the car’s youthfulness. More recent cars feature slightly sharper creases and a bigger rear end, but the differences are subtle to say the least.
Are used Ford Fiesta Hatchback good to drive?
It’s by no accident that the Fiesta is Britain’s number one selling car. While the model is developed and built on the European continent, Ford engineers have always set out to make sure the small hatchback is suited to the unique challenges of British roads. Sleeping policemen, potholes and bumpy B-roads are all tended to in the Fiesta’s setup, meaning every variant feels at home here.
That’s why UK drivers generally find the Fiesta is very good to drive – the steering and gear changes are light and easy to use and give good, precise feedback. The Fiesta responds well to brisk country driving, buzzing with energy and enthusiasm, and even in the least sporting versions have punchy, characterful engines.
Ford kits all Fiesta’s with a strong suite of driving assistance technology, including lane departure warning and an adjustable speed limiter, so long-distance driving needn’t be of concern.
The Fiesta responds well to brisk country driving, buzzing with energy and enthusiasm
Ford Fiesta Hatchback interior – space, storage and style
The Fiesta range is very wide so check the specs of any model you fancy carefully. Older, lower-spec models may be geared for car hire and learner drivers. They can be spartan inside. Top spec models are full of luxuries and gadgets that are normally found in bigger premium cars – and they come with price tags to match. In the middle you’ll find the majority of Fiestas though, and they have decent equipment levels, like Ford’s brilliant ‘Quickclear’ heated windscreen and the latest connectivity options.
The Fiesta got a cabin make-over in 2017, with a step up in materials and equipment. Older cars have more buttons, newer cars have a touchscreen system. Recent versions have higher equipment throughout the range with features like air-conditioning, Bluetooth and sat-nav in most models. Top Vignale cars have heated leather seats and an eight-speaker B&O stereo.
All post-2017 Fiestas get a nice, chunky steering wheel and clear instruments, but the biggest lift to the interior is the reduction in clutter – namely buttons on the dash – for a much simpler, tidier layout. The modern touchscreen system allows several features to be integrated into one place, offering phone connectivity and iPad-like control.
The 2017 revamp increased interior space, although older models aren’t bad for room. The driving position is excellent with plenty of adjustments in all directions and good visibility. Passengers have plenty of head and legroom in the front and back.
Ford Fiesta Hatchback – practicality and boot space
The Fiesta hatchback’s boot space has always been roughly average for the class, offering room for a couple of full-size suitcases when the parcel shelf is removed or, if you’re good at Tetris, a couple of golf bags. The Fiesta gets a big wide tailgate, even wider in recent models. A variable loading floor is an option on some too, but note that the Fiesta has a rather high loading lip. Handily, the available space almost triples when you lower the back seats.
Five-door versions are obviously easier for rear seat access and have a bit more space in the back too. They generally suit families looking for roomy interiors to fit everything from the kids’ car seats to luggage for family holidays. Three-door Fiestas look sportier, are cheaper to buy and offer slightly better fuel economy (due to being a bit lighter), so they make sense if you don’t need to use the back seats very often.
The Fiesta’s safety kit has gradually been improved over the years. Since 2017 it includes high-tech options like automatic braking and adaptive cruise control. Perhaps more usefully for most users, parking sensors and cameras are offered as options on many versions.
Ford Fiesta Hatchback running costs and reliability
With such a wide range of petrol, diesel and hybrid engines, there is a Fiesta to suit most requirements. Fiesta’s with Ford’s surprisingly punchy 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine offer around 40mpg on a run, but thanks to the use of its clever fuel saving technology, the 1.5-litre of the ST model can be slightly more frugal on the motorway. Diesel models are, as you’d expect, the best for economy, averaging over 60mpg if you’re behaved on the motorway.
As the tens of thousands of examples out on Britain’s roads at any one time show, the Fiesta is a tough and reliable car, no matter the specification. Cars that are looked after properly will obviously be the most trouble-free, although if you do have any problems, Ford’s vast dealership coverage does at least ensure easy access to servicing and repair sites. For the greatest peace of mind, consider cinchCare.
What cinch loves
The Fiesta has evolved gradually through its generations to become a tried and tested formula for Britain. The range is very varied, so among a vast array of trims and options you’ll be able to find the perfect version for your needs. All are comfortable and refined, and more recent cars are very well equipped.
The Fiesta has evolved gradually through its generations to become a tried and tested formula for Britain
What else to consider? Ford Fiesta Hatchback alternatives
With three-door and five-door versions, powered by petrol, diesel or hybrid engines and a vast range of trims and options, you’ll be able to find your perfect Fiesta. The Ford supermini is enjoyable and easy to drive, has a comfortable ride for passengers and is practical and economical to live with.