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I bought my Fiesta 1.4 Finesse, Durashift, brand new, in October 2003. It was Ford's latest attempt at producing an automatic small car after their earlier disasters with auto gearboxes.
My car is a five door, I would have preferred three doors but at that time the durashift was only being produced with five. It is a 2004 basic Finesse model but came with the added bonus of ABS as standard, otherwise the only posh bits are the cd playerand manual central locking! It does not have electric windows,remote central locking or air con - but I have to say that for the amount of time I would use these features they seemed very expensive add-ons!
The cost? around £9500 - it always costs £1000 more for an automatic or durashift - I have never understood why people who cannot drive a manual vehicle are discriminated against in this way (sorry, rant over!), and I bought the car on the Ford Options finance plan.
To explain - I am buying half the car on finance over two years and a guaranteed future value is allocated to the car, this value stays until you take up your options choice at the end of the term of finance when you can choose to: Give the car back, and walk away Finance the other half of the car Hope that the car is worth more than the guaranteed value and use that excess as a deposit on another new car.
In my case as the Fiesta Durashift has not sold as well as expected I am unlikely to gain anything unless my cars pristine condition and very low mileage is taken into account.
The Gears? The durashift is classed as a semi automatic, this means that the gearshift can be used in auto mode or 'touch tip' manual mode. The ony time I have used this has been in icy conditions when I needed to hold the car in gear, (Fully auto vehicles do not have this kind of control and I have a vivid memory of trying to control a previous car through a downhill spin on ice!) these touchtip gears are easy to operate and for people like me who know nothing about driving a manual car there is a handy screen on the dash that shows which gear you are using.
The drive? is amazing - not as smooth a change as fully auto - in that it hesitates slightly between first and second gear but the kickdown works brilliantly - smooth acceleration to high speed just when I need it - holds the road beautifully which is probably why the Fiesta has been around for so long,and the fuel comsumption is good. I have discovered though that when I stop at traffic lights, juctions etc, if the car is on an incline when I release the handbrake it will roll slightly forward or back before taking up the drive. Apparently this happens with a manual gearbox too so perhaps its only a surprise to me.The power steering is light and an absolute must for my wrist problems, and the steering column is adjustable, as is the seat height - all in all a very comfortable drive. The cd player is great and plays all my cd's beautifully.
The interior - I think my Fiesta is slightly higher than my previous vehicle as I can get in and out with ease and the car is roomy with head restraints for all, easy controls and a simple dashboard make driving easy - (I drove the new Astra recently and it was like being in the cockpit of an airplane - so many controls!) the usual lights for oil and handbrake and an alarm when there is only 50 miles worth of fuel left!
The warranty - this car came with a three year warranty - the first year is from the manufacturer and covers all concerns with the vehicle, the second and third years are dealer warranty and the cover is not so comprehensive - trims etc are not covered during this time, however, should there be a problem that isn't covered there is a helpdesk at ford where the operators may decide to assist during this time.The paintwork holds a six year anti corrosion warranty providing the paint is bubbling up from the inside - it does not cover stonechip damage.
My Fiesta is fitted with a passive anti theft system which means only a key that has been coded to the car will start the engine, and insurance is very low for me at £160 but then I am unlikely to be a high risk!
My dilemma? In October my 'Options' agreement comes to an end and I have to decide whether :
To keep it - knowing that after three years the MoT test looms and things could get expensive.
To give it back and owe nothing - but have nothing to show for two years of payments.
Or To part/ex it against another car - hoping that it has held its value and is worth more than the guaranteed value.
I originally bought the Fiesta as my first and last NEW car but indecision has got to me and I don't know which 'option' to take now.
So the old Fiestas are still going, eh. Even the Fusion is based on the Fiesta.
There are two ways to look at Fords - dump 'em quick coz they're nasty and unreliable or hang on to 'em because they're cheap to repair. Big decision!!
Bigbaz 14.01.2005 23:49
If it was mine and I could afford to change it then I would without hesitation..Baz xx
ASIL1508 14.01.2005 17:47
Not knowing a lot about cars ~ only what my Dad tells me .... and he does [know that is] he'd say stay away from British cars. The Japanese know how to build a car to last. He had a Ford once, and 'never again'. Anyhoo, good luck with what you decide ...... Happy motoring! Lisa :~)