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Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec
Good acceleration, positive steering
Poor display of instruments, notchy/awkward gear change
Value for Money
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I recently had reason to drive my mother-in-law's 1-year-old Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.25. It is the bog standard 5-door hatchback model and I had to get used to using window winders - my car has electric windows. She didn't want "anything fancy" she said.
I found the car very quick for a 1.25, but it wouldn't pull the skin of a rice-pudding on some hills we encountered. Brakes were very good and steering quite repsonsive. The noise-levels were quite good at low speed, but there was a lot of road and wind noise at higher speeds on motorways.
On the negative side, the gears were rather notchy and I had some difficulty engaging 4th and 3rd gear as I came down from 5th. I also missed the air-conditioning although I would have opted for the higher-spec Ghia model. Something that I was particularly uncomfortable with was the intrument panel. They were of the liquid display type and were quite difficult to see as the light hit them. The mileometer and clock were particularly difficult to see. Not good if you have to get to an appointment if you forget to put a watch on! And the speedometer was obscured by the steering wheel - going through a 50 mph zone, I had to crane my neck overe the top of it to check I was doing the correct speed.
Surprisingly the Fiesta was initially not that popular in the Panda car role as the ... more
British Police are cautious when considering the purchase of their workhorse cars and time spent in the workshop is seen as wasted time. The Fiesta was Fordâs first ever front-wheel-drive car and that was a technology that had proven less than durable on other manufacturerâs offerings. Therefore forces all over the UK stuck with the tried and tested rear-wheel-drive Escort Mk2. However Hertfordshire Police realised the packaging, economy and comfort virtues of Fordâs new billion dollar baby and were among the first to adopt the Fiesta as a regular Panda car. Unsurprisingly they found it very reliable.