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Hello there. My name is Tom and I shall be writing an in-depth review on a car I have recently purchased in the North East of Scotland which is Ford Fiesta 1.8 litre Diesel. This version is the "LX" which means it has absolutely no frills, bells or indeed whistles.
I am a university student at the University of Edinburgh and will be looking to commute weekly to Aberdeen to see friends and the girlfriend.
I have read several reviews on ciao! about this car and thought to add my own so I will try to be as in-depth as possible. Please leave me comments if you feel I should add anything else!
I bought this car from an elderly lady in a wee town called Fraserburgh in North East Scotland for £650. It came with service history, MOT certificates and enough petrol to get me home. It had 88,016 miles on the clock and had been regularly serviced.
From the outside the car is fairly minimal but I liked the rear and the front of the car which still looked fairly modern if a little dated here in 2011. I'm not too fussed about looks however one thing I did notice was the lack of rust which was a bonus. From asking car experts on forums and specialists, I understand Ford skimped slightly on the quality of the paintwork for their early to late 90s Fiesta cars except for the Ghia and Ghia X versions.
Inside smelt very strongly of elderly person and I promptly blasted it with Oust or something like that. It will be getting valeted a little later on in the week. It had a Ford 3000 cassette player which was brilliant at finding all of the local radio stations but unfortunately didn't accept iTunes or Mp3 so it will be changed shortly! The speakers were surprisingly good for a cheap car and I found out that Ford chose to use composite speakers instead of coaxial ones which combine both the tweeter and woofer in one resulting in lower sound quality. I'll be replacing them, too.
The speedometer does the job just fine although my needle wobbles at anything under 30 and my fuel gauge goes up and down depending on where I am driving! Sometimes I have half a tank, sometimes I have a full tank within 30 seconds. Not sure what I can do about that. Mine didn't come with a tachometer (for the revs) which I have never had before. I am used to shifting gear about 2,500 revs but now I just guess. It is replaced with a diagram of a car and lights around it detailing if anything is wrong.
There is a brilliant little hole to put your wallet or purse and phone in just by the gearstick. Ford have used their brains it seems with the design of the glove compartment and given the passenger ample room for their legs. My girlfriend is quite short which is fine and my leggy mates always have plenty of room. Nice going Ford!
The key (oddly enough) feels quite satisfactory when putting it in the ignition and the orange diesel light comes on and goes off promptly to tell you when to start the car.
All of the controls (of which there are five!) are easy to reach and well laid out. The heater is fantastic and getting this wee car nice and toasty on those frozen Scottish mornings. Perfect! It's also good at defrosting the windscreen and there is a button to de-mist the back one, too.
The trim and seats looks quite basic but are surprisingly comfortable, too. The back ones are made of the same 90s looking grey foam stuff but again are ample for what I paid for it - no problem.
Mine has a wee sunroof which is operated by turning a large knob and make it stand up (yes...) and this is the same idea with the windows - everything is manual but works perfectly! Great for those window races...
DRIVING THE CAR:
When you wait for the little orange diesel light to go out (about 12 seconds on a cold morning and half that on a mild morn) and start it up, it sounds like an absolute tank. Having driven only petrol in my life, it does sound very much like a train or large heavy vehicle but after about 10 minutes, all quietens down and you don't even notice.
Driving the car is very slow and it takes a long time to get up to any speed. Although I am 21 I am not a boy racer and I don't really care about speed but this can be slightly embarrassing when leaving a side road onto a dual carriage way - about half a minute to 60 on a flat road. You can read the official stats but it is seriously 25 seconds or so to get up there.
Driving is pleasant and the car never seems to stall or jerk when driving except (and maybe because I am used to petrol) when I am in the wrong gear. If the gear is too high, it will jerk and shout at me until I change which is fair enough.
City driving is the most fun because the engine, albeit slow, is responsive and the clutch is really easy to use. First and second gear get up to a high rev count within several seconds so sometimes I just eco-block and change from first to third to get going a little quicker. This is meant to be better for the environment too.
The lights are good in the car and on full beam in the country they have been great. You can adjust the height and depth of the lights but I haven't marked any significant gain from this.
FUEL ECONOMY and PRICE:
In Aberdeen, City Diesel is around 129.9 which has overtaken Unleaded prices. It costs about £42 to fill up the 35 litre tank. This gets me LOTS of miles and I have been very happy about this. It evens out (doing the maths) at 55 miles to the gallon when I drive at 70mph to Edinburgh all the way (144 miles) and that costs me £15 which is cheaper than the train will ever be. This works out a little less at about 42 MPG in the city. I can forgive the somewhat poor acceleration and sooty mornings (it chucks out a little black cloud in the morning as if to complain of the cold). It starts brilliantly on those very cold mornings (in West Linton just outside Edinburgh this Christmas it was -27 outside) and has no problem at all.
Tax is EXPENSIVE however. Because it has a large 1.8 litre engine the government have decided to charge £112 and-something-or-other-pence for tax for half a year. My savings in petrol balance this out however and I am happy to pay this.
Economy is good in general for bills and repairs (I am told) of which I have had nothing to do however the Endura-E engine which sits in this car can happilh last for over 200,000 miles with regular servicing (once a year).
Overall, I am very happy with this Ford Fiesta and will be updating this in 2012 to let you all know how it went!
Thanks very much exup35. I am hoping it was a good deal.
Will definitely have a look at the ford owners club website - didn't know it existed.
exup35 14.02.2011 11:38
not bad for a first review especially considering the other car reviews on here which can be a bit too brief. Seems like you may have got a decent car thats been looked after. good luck with it :-). Probably would recommend looking on the ford owners club website (I think there should be one). to see what tips other owners may have for upkeep of the car