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This review discusses the newer model of the Ford Fiesta Zetec and not the one as shown in Ciaoís photograph. However, I have not made a product suggestion for the new model due to the fact that it has the identical specification.
Have you ever heard of the expression ďFound On the Road Dead?Ē If so, you may recall this was frequently used for FORD, particularly as many years ago their cars were notorious for breaking down and you would very often see an abandoned Ford on the side of the road! However, the popularity of Ford vehicles has considerably grown over recent years and I feel extremely proud to own 1.4 16v petrol Ford Fiesta Zetec with a 5-speed manual gear box, which I purchased from new in July 2009. My previous car had been a Daewoo Kalos, which for me was a totally unreliable heap of junk (but thatís another story!).
I can vividly recall the television advertisement that introduced the new style Fiesta and was pleasantly surprised that Ford has manufactured such a fantastic looking car. Some people may have dreams of their fantasy cars being a fast flashy Porsche or a Jaguar, but all I admired was the new style Ford Fiesta Zetec. I have to say that I had never previously believed in purchasing a brand new car due to the fact that they lose a couple of thousand pounds the minute they are driven from the forecourt. However, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge, particularly as Iíve always liked Ford with my very first car being a very basic red Ford Escort.
THE HISTORY OF FORD
Last year I successfully completed my HNC in Supported Housing where I attended University on a weekly basis for a period of two years. It was during the management module of my course that I learned about Fordism and how Henry Ford (30 July 1863 Ė 7 April 1947), an American industrialist founded the Ford Company. It was Ford who developed the assembly line technique of mass production of expensive goods and high wagers for his workers. I could go on and on discussing Fordism, which amazed the whole world as in 1914 Ford doubled the daily rate of pay for his workers. You may not be aware but the first car manufactured by Ford was the Model T, which was introduced on 1 October 1908 and was soon copied by every other company with itsí left hand drive and the entire engine and transmission being enclosed.
The new style Ford Fiesta Zetec is extremely sleek and very contemporary in appearance, with itsí sexy smooth curved exterior. The familiar blue and white Ford logo can be found hidden quite discretely in various locations on itsí exterior, such as the front and rear bumpers, radiator grille, rear and side windows and windscreen, rear lamps and head lamps, bonnet, wing and doors. Iím not generally someone who has a passion for cars, but I have to say that there is something about this model that is extremely eye-catching and itsí stunning alloy wheels are simply the finishing touch.
This section of my review discusses the stunning interior of the Ford Fiesta Zetec, whereby my car has fairly dark grey seats. Whilst they do not feel velvety to the touch, they are extremely comfortable and as I suffer with a back problem following a car accident from 5 years ago, long journeys are never an issue for me.
When I first sat inside the showroom display model I have to say that I felt I was stepping inside the cockpit of an aeroplane, particularly as there were so many buttons and knobs! I was somewhat taken back and couldnít quite believe my eyes. Of course now that Iíve got used to them (almost!)
it is quite second nature and I now see them as a real necessity whereas I initially thought of them as a luxury. The instrument panel is absolutely immense and beautifully streamlined with itsí sleek chrome coloured finish. Whilst I do not intend discussing each and every feature, as obviously it will then make this review resemble that of a user manual I will provide a brief overview of some of the features. There are circular air vents located on the far left and far right hand sides and these are easily manoeuvred to provide both the driver and passenger with an adequate airflow.
Embedded in the centre of the dashboard is your digital clock, which is extremely easy to see with itsí red digits. When either the radio or CD player is in operation, it is in this area that you will see your selected channels or CD tracks. What I absolutely love about this car is that I can operate both the radio and CD player from the steering column, whereby I can change the radio and CD tracks by simply pressing one small button.
The radio and CD can also be operated from the instrument panel where you simply need to press the appropriate number pad to change your selection. You can also chose to press the ďTAĒ, traffic alert option, which is an extremely useful feature, particularly if you spend much of your time travelling on busy roads. When I initially purchased the car I was rather confused, as I simply could not find where I had to place the CD, which I later discovered is neatly located underneath the clock. I cannot fault the sound quality of the system, as it is simply superb and provided through four speakers; two of which are located inside the front doors and the other two on the rear parcel shelf.
An extremely useful feature on the car is the windscreen wipers, which have an intermittent mode that can be set to a frequency of your choice by simply turning a small dial. This is very useful indeed, particularly at times when it is drizzling, as I would find that the intermittent mode on my previous car was too slow, yet the wipers in the normal mode were scraping on a rather dry windscreen. There are a number of other features concerning both the wipers and washers, but for obvious reasons I do not intend discussing them in this review.
Security of the Vehicle
Another very useful feature is the panel, which locks and unlocks the vehicle. Imagine the scene where Iím sat in the car and itís pouring down with rain and Iíve sent hubby into the shop to purchase a few items. He comes out of the store and I would have to pass him the keys through the window to unlock the boot. Consequently, my hand and arm gets wet! This model will allow the driver to press the unlock button for the boot, which will subsequently open. I think I best set the record straight at this point and would advise that the scene is in fact hubby sat at the wheel in an extremely dry car and itís ME thatís just walked out of the supermarket! I will never drive alone with the doors unlocked and in order to centrally lock the four doors I simply need to press one button located on the instrument panel, so I also have the assurance that nobody can gain access to my car whilst it is stationary. The vehicle doors and boot can also be locked and unlocked by using the radio frequency remote control key.
In order to minimise the risk of theft of your vehicle the engine has been installed with an immobiliser, which is automatically armed within a few seconds after you have switched off the ignition. The minute you switch on the vehicle the immobiliser automatically disarms. Another great security issue is the steering wheel, which can be turned clockwise into a locked position and can only be moved again once the key has been placed in the ignition. Whilst I sometimes find this a little awkward and heavy to move, particularly if the tyres are not positioned correctly, this adds additional peace of mind to the owner.
The car is fitted with an alarm, which I donít believe is much of a deterrent these days, particularly as car alarms are constantly sounding and the majority of passers-by seem to take no notice whatsoever! However, when the alarm is set it will automatically sound if somebody attempts to gain access via any of the doors, bonnet or boot or if they attempt to remove the audio system. It was only recently I discovered that the alarm will also sound if someone attempted to move the ignition switch without a valid key. The alarm automatically sets the moment the car is locked.
As I spend much of my time on the road it is essential that I am able to answer my mobile. Consequently, I opted for the Bluetooth facility, which cost me an additional £400 and when my mobile phone rings the system will automatically answer via the steering column and the callerís voice is projected through the stereo speakers.
The car does not have a sunroof and this is a feature that has never really interested me with any vehicle. However, one feature that this car has, which is the most important feature of all and that is air conditioning. Whilst air conditioning eats the fuel like there is no tomorrow, it was an absolute necessity for me during the heat wave that we experienced earlier this year. I simply need to manually adjust the climate control setting and press the air conditioning button, which allows a comforting steam of cold air to enter the car within just a few seconds. A problem I found with my previous car is that the moment I hit the air conditioning button, the car would lose a little acceleration power. However, I am pleased to advise that this is definitely not the case with the Fiesta Zetec.
Steering Wheel and Seats
As with the majority of new cars the steering wheel can be adjusted to a more suitable position and whilst this is not something that Iíve needed to do, I understand that this is relatively easy. You simply need to disengage the locking lever to move and return it to itsí original position when the steering wheel is in the correct position. The power assisted steering is simply perfect and extremely easy to use, which subsequently makes light work of any awkward manoeuvres.
Both the driver and passenger sides of the car are fitted with airbags and fortunately, this is a feature that I am unable to discuss, particularly as I have never used them. However, I would state that the passenger airbag can easily be disabled if you wish to fit a child restraint on a seat protected by an operational air bag.
You may think this somewhat strange that I am discussing this feature, but a problem for me with my previous cars is that the seatbelt would rub the side of my neck. Whilst I am only 5 foot 3 inches, I do not think that I am particularly short and despite altering the height of the seatbelt, I would always experience a problem. Fortunately, the seat belt on the new Fiesta is perfect on both the driver and passenger sides and it feels extremely comfortable when worn. As I have never sat in any of the rear seats I cannot comment on the comfort of wearing the seatbelts.
Pictures of Ford Fiesta 1.4i 16v
Ford Fiesta 1.4i 16v
The vehicle is fitted with both rear and fog lights, which should only be used in the case of actual fog and not for posing in front of the opposite sex! The lights on the car will remain on for 30 seconds after you have removed the key from the ignition, which really took some getting used to at first, as I would keep returning to the car thinking I had left the lights on! As with the majority of newer vehicles the headlamps can be raised or lowered to the most appropriate position.
An extremely useful function is that both of the side mirrors can be adjusted to the most suitable position and what I find perfect for roadside parking is that I can push the mirrors in, which obviously reduces the risk of a speeding car taking your mirror, which happened to me on my previous car!
Why did I purchase Ford?
Whilst Ford has previously been known as ďFound Dead On the RoadĒ I have always found their cars extremely reliable and excellent value for money. Another reason I have opted for Ford is that parts are easy to obtain and whilst car parts are generally quite pricey, Ford parts are much cheaper than imported cars.
My opinion and experience
The Ford Fiesta is an extremely reliable and comfortable car and in my opinion the best car I have ever owned. I find its' road handling perfect and the engine is extremely quiet. Sometimes I'm unsure if the engine is operating, as it can be difficult to hear at times. Whilst fuel prices are currently at an all time high I feel that it is fairly economical on itsí unleaded fuel, as it will give you an average of approximately 50 miles to the gallon. The car can reach high speeds quite quickly and whilst I donít always put my foot down I would advise that it is rather rapid when it wants to be! What I absolutely adore about this car is that the instrument panel illuminates when the natural light fades and it is then that you will see everything in red, including the foot wells. I have like to have included some photographs to show you this, but unfortunately, the flash would not allow a clear photograph to be taken in the dark.
Unfortunately, the only fault that my car has developed is more annoying rather than a nuisance and that is the squeaky gear stick! For some strange reason this occurs within a few days of it raining and as soon as the weather dries up the problem disappears. It doesnít bother hubby if he drives my car, but it drives me absolutely mad and I find myself having to turn up my music so I cannot hear it!
The boot is considerably spacious and much roomier than the old style Fiesta. I can easily fit in a dozen large carrier bags if I happen to have been on a spending spree!
There is a spare wheel provided with the vehicle and this can be found in the boot underneath the carpet covering.
As all car owners are aware, it is wise to always have your vehicle serviced at regular intervals and as my car is within the initial 3-year warranty that is standard with all new cars I take it for an annual service. Ford recommends that we should carry out daily checks to ensure that all of the lamps, lights and indicators are working correctly. However, I have to be honest and say that this is definitely not something I carry out on a daily basis and generally tend to check every couple of weeks. Other regular checks to be carried out on the vehicle are the engine oil, brake and clutch fluid, washer fluid, engine coolant and the pressure of your tyres.
It is very difficult to provide an up to date price for a car because obviously it depends on where you purchase and the mileage on the clock, but you can generally purchase a brand new Fiesta Zetec for around £10,500.
I cannot recommend this car highly enough and when I look at changing it I will most definitely be placing it with a newly model where I may opt for the Titanium. Consequently, such a reliable car receives a full 5 out of 5 stars from me.
I have provided several photographs of my Fiesta Zetec, which is a light blue/grey colour and I have obscured the registration plate to protect my privacy.
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A review of a totally different style to mine, but probably far more useful to your average Ford Fiesta buyer.......such a pity you took those pictures on the one day in the year that it rains in Wales! R. xxx
pinky50 01.12.2010 20:01
Looks really nice, I like the sound of it, nice review hun x