A welcome return to DTW from Chris Ward, with a final update on his Festie.
So, the Fiesta has gone. Long gone, in fact: over half a year has passed since the scarlet terror was taken away by a man bearing a clipboard and a polyester coat. Yet despite the intervening months (for which I can only apologise), my thoughts remain much the same as when the car was in my possession.
In short, the Fiesta was a joyous device. I have waxed lyrical during previous instalments about the sonorous pleasure of the Ecoboost three pot and the fine chassis it propelled, so I will not repeat myself here. What lingers in my memory most however is the inherent rightness of the major controls and of every movement in the damping.
Drive aside, other sources of surprise and delight were thin on the ground. No design Easter eggs were to be found; clearly the engineer’s diligence was geared toward honing the basics. The seats were comfortable and featured good adjustment, the squab being a touch short.
Although oddment stowage was limited, the front boasted no fewer than four cup holders – two on the transmission tunnel, and two more via sculpting of the door pockets. Ingress and egress to the rear seats was aided by long doors and easy to move front seats. Boot space was limited by a high set floor, the seats not folding particularly flat either.
Refined for its size, the Fiesta suffered none of the hollow boom that often besets small cars. Wind noise was minimal and despite the low profile tyres, NVH was admirably contained even on rough surfaces. No squeaks manifested with time, apart from an occasional sizzle emanating somewhere near the cowl covering the Sync screen.
Ah, Sync. In truth, the electronic interface was the Fiesta’s only lacklustre feature. Even with familiarity the UI remained obtuse; in three years of ownership, tuning the radio remained a mystery. The voice commands were frankly useless. Only Sync’s Bluetooth functionality proved really useful, never failing to pair with available handsets and instantly continuing music playback without intervention.
Much like Westminster or the human liver, reliable functioning acquires a much greater value when absent. The Fiesta was a paragon of service, never once failing to proceed. The bodywork resisted the patina of age despite the rigours of fair use, and the bonnet was only ever raised to add screen wash.
Running costs were reasonable. The car recorded an average 37.5 mpg which sounds faintly dismal, but is actually something of a triumph when my propensity for short lead-booted journeys is taken into consideration. Being a Ford, insurance was cheap and the road tax, a steal at £10, was swallowed by the lease. The slightly punchy price of the last main dealer service was a surprise, however.
Problems were purely of the accidental variety. Upholding Robin Hood’s tradition of highway robbery, a front tyre was slain by a Nottinghamshire pothole. A far worse incident came late in the lease, the Fiesta’s Aston-like countenance acquiring a new concavity, thanks to an impromptu rendezvous with the arse end of an Audi on Valentine’s night. A fortnight at the menders followed, £500 being the cost of all my excesses.
Within two weeks of its return, the Fiesta was gone for good. The accident was a low note upon which to end our association, but could not mar what was an otherwise fun and trouble-free tenure. Steadfast and dead fast (for something so meagrely engined, anyway), the Fiesta was a car far superior than it needed to be, and will be greatly missed.
So what of a replacement? Hopefully I will introduce this summer’s purchase while the weather is still warm. But suffice to say, the new car is a big leaper over what went before…
End of test
Term: 3 years
Engine: 1.0 3 cylinder
Costs: Tyre (£140); new bumper, headlights, front wings (£500 excess); paint damage repair (£90)