Ford Fiesta (2008 – 2013) Review

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Ford Fiesta (2008 – 2013) At A Glance

Well built with an upmarket interior. Enjoyable and involving to drive. Cheap to run 1.6TDCI ECOnetic. Exceptional reliability record. Very few problems reported despite more than 500,000 sold.

Back seats don't fold flat. Spare wheel is a £30 optional extra. High boot lip. More refined but not as sharp to drive as a Mazda 2.

Insurance Groups are between 5–14
On average it achieves 80% of the official MPG figure

The Ford Fiesta is a stylish and well built car that leads the way among small hatchbacks. No car this size manages to match its all round abilities, from the keen handling to its refined interior and stylish looks. It really does have it all. In fact, it's so good, the Ford Fiesta is a genuine rival to larger hatchbacks in the class above.

On the road, the Fiesta feels like a much larger car than it is. The handling is composed and neat, helped by great steering, while the high-quality ride soaks up uneven and bumpy roads with minimal fuss. It's a revelation on the motorway where it's amazingly quiet and stable, so - unlike some other small cars of this size - long journeys needn't be tiring.

If you're downsizing from a larger car, the Fiesta is a great choice. The interior is way ahead of the competition with a stylish but user-friendly design, the highlight of which is the stylish central console that houses the stereo and simple ventilation controls. The seats offer plenty of support and there's plenty of adjustment so even taller drivers will find the perfect driving position. However, one criticism is that rear headroom is somewhat limited.

There's a good choice of engines though from the entry-level 1.25-litre petrol up to the 120bhp 1.6-litre which is the quickest version. But for economy, the ECOnetic model steals the show thanks to claimed fuel economy of 76.3mpg and free road tax. There are plenty of clever innovations too such as 'stall prevention', a neat feature that increases revs in low speed manoeuvres and means you won't find yourself caught out at the traffic lights.

Ford Fiesta 2009 Road Test and Video

Looking for a Ford Fiesta (2008 - 2013)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Ford Fiesta (2008 – 2013)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

26–78 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Why does the Ford Fiesta have sensitive brakes?
"I recently bought a 2011 Ford Fiesta 1.25 petrol and it has pretty sensitive brakes - they suddenly grab and it's hard to avoid stopping far more quickly than intended. Is this a common issue? Can you suggest a fix?"
This model usually has a very strong reputation for reliability. Have you had the brakes checked? This isn't really what I'd consider a handling characteristic of this model. I suspect there is something wrong. My advice would be to get it checked as it may be an issue with the pads or the mounting bolts. Either way, it could be a serious safety issue caused by wear and tear. I'd recommend that you get it checked by a garage. You should be able to find one with our Good Garage Guide:
Answered by Dan Powell
What small cars do you recommend?
"I have a Citroen C1 that has been amazing but I'm thinking of changing it. I have about £1600 to spend and need something with good mph, comfortable and reliable. Should I change? If so, can you recommend three cars which would be great and relatively cheap to run? Thank you."
It might be wise to keep the C1 - better the devil you know, especially at this price point. If you do wish to change, a Honda Jazz could be a good choice. Also consider a Ford Fiesta with the bulletproof 1.25-litre petrol engine, or a Toyota Yaris. Any of these should be very reliable.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is the Volkswagen Polo a good first car?
"I'm 17 years old and am looking for a car to buy once I've passed my driving test. I have researched a bit and found that all-in-all, a Volkswagen Polo from around 2010 may be the perfect car for me. However, I'm unsure how reliable they are and what I should pay. Do you know if a Volkswagen Polo is a good first car? "
The 2010 Volkswagen Polo wouldn't be my recommendation as a first car. It has a patchy reliability history and isn't as good to drive as some of its rivals. I think you'd be better with the Ford Fiesta 1.25 petrol or Suzuki Swift 1.2 petrol. Both engines have a strong reputation for reliability and both cars are better to drive than this version of the Polo.
Answered by Dan Powell
I need to buy an diesel car on a £1000 budget. What's going to be reliable?
"I'm looking to buy a Ford Focus diesel as I drive an average of 600 miles per week for my job. Budget of about £1000 so 2004 to 2009 model years. Which is the best, most reliable diesel engine at this price? I know the miles will have to be high so what should I look out for? Thanks."
Most diesels for sale at this price will be worn out with sky high mileages. I do not think you'll get much value. I would recommend buying something smaller and petrol-powered, like the Fiesta 1.25 petrol. Ford's four-cylinder engine returns 50mpg on-the-road and has a bullet proof reputation for reliability:
Answered by Dan Powell

What does a Ford Fiesta (2008 – 2013) cost?

Buy new from £13,231 (list price from £16,620)
Contract hire from £163.63 per month