Ford Fiesta (2017) Review

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Ford Fiesta (2017) At A Glance

5/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The Ford Fiesta is the first car many people ever drive and, for many, it’s all the car they will ever need. Its versatility, low running costs and practicality are all at their best in this generation of Ford’s superlative hatchback.

+Most versions good to drive especially ST-Line but significantly more refined, comfortable and practical, comes with active safety technology as standard.

-Several Fiesta models including Vignale now list at more than £20,000.

New prices start from £13,965, brokers can source from £13,211
Contract hire deals from £156.83 per month
Insurance Groups are between 11–16
On average it achieves 77% of the official MPG figure

There’s a wide range of engines to choose from, three- and five-door body styles, a hot hatch model and even a crossover-style Active version. All of this is backed up with strong build quality and driving manners that leave all of the Ford’s rivals wondering which way it went on a country road thanks to its supreme ride and handling balance.

Looking for a Ford Fiesta (2017 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Many cars get larger as they are replaced with a new generation, but Ford has resisted this with its current eighth incarnation of the Fiesta. Instead, the present bearer of this illustrious name manages to feel more grown up and provide more interior space all while occupying much the same space on the road as the old car it replaced in 2017.

For this Ford, the more considered, mature approach is one that works ideally as you can still aspire to a Fiesta as your first car after passing the driving test or pick one as a replacement for a more expensive, larger car without feeling like you are giving up any of life’s rewards.

As with every Fiesta that has gone before, this one comes in a giddying array of trims, engines and specs to let buyers hone the car to their preferences. There are the hot hatch ST and off-roady Active versions for even more variation on the theme.

Sticking to the main Fiesta range, it comes in three- and five-door hatchback forms to lock horns with the Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo, as well as the Hyundai i20, Renault Clio, SEAT Ibiza, Skoda Fabia and Toyota Yaris. That strength and depth of competition means the Fiesta can only ever be on top form if it wants to stay as one of the best-selling cars in its class.

To achieve that aim, the Fiesta offers a more refined drive than its predecessor to tackle the Polo head-on for comfort. It also serves up more grip and cornering prowess to keep the Renault Clio at bay, while more luxurious versions even have the ability to give the MINI and Audi A1 a run for their considerable money.

Doing all of this requires the Fiesta to be offered in a broad range of trims. You can choose from the entry-point Trend, which replaced the Zetec in mid-2019, Titanium, Titanium X, ST-Line and Vignale. With the ST-Line, you get a firmer suspension arrangement that shows just how brilliant the Fiesta can be when allowed to shine on a twisting country road.

The other models in the line-up have a softer set-up that confers greater comfort on the Ford supermini, though you certainly wouldn’t complain about their nimble handling or steering with bags of feel.

More importantly for the majority of customers for these cars is they are quieter at all speeds and come packed with plenty of kit, including the ‘floating’ infotainment screen and lane departure warning as standard.

As well as the spread of trims to choose from, you have three 1.0-litre Ecoboost turbo petrol engines to select from with 100-, 125- and 140PS, plus a 1.1-litre with 85PS as the lowest rung on the ladder. For diesel fans, Ford offers two 1.5-litre Duratorq motors in 85- and 120PS outputs.

All of these engines come with six-speed manual gearboxes, except the 1.1 that uses a five-speeder. If you want an auto, the 100PS 1.0 is the only Fiesta for you.

Such a wide offering is typical of the Ford Fiesta and why it remains the small hatch for just about everyone.

Ask Honest John

How far and for how long do we need to drive our car to keep it in good condition?
"Being retired and benefitting from home deliveries during the latest COVID-19 restrictions, our 2017 Ford Fiesta has remained in the garage for some weeks. Our car’s battery has been monitored for a year now by a CTEK unit. During the lockdown, the UK Government recommends that we take our daily exercise locally, but how often and for how long should we take our Ford Fiesta for a drive to maintain its fitness? Thanks for your help and kind regards"
In usual circumstances, I would say it varies depending on how much charge is in your battery before you start driving and your driving style. On the motorway, it'll take around 25-30 minutes to charge the battery. In a town or city, you'll need to double that timeframe. However, due to the current Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown, I would advise against any non-essential road travel at this time. If you are concerned about the battery in your car then I would recommend continuing to use the battery charger.
Answered by Georgia Petrie
What's the best used, small hatchback for low mileage use?
"We are both recently retired and found that having just one car (the brilliant Volvo XC40 T3) is proving inconvenient, so we want a small used car for running around and short trips. Current thoughts are Audi A1, Fiat 500 or MINI. Prices seem fairly equal for recent models and running costs about even, but it's difficult to find information on reliability. It will probably only be doing 5000 miles per year. From those above, what would be the least likely to cause problems and prove not overly expensive? What other makes/models would you suggest in 3 to 4-year-old cars? Thanks in anticipation."
Our Satisfaction Index is a good indicator of reliability: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/honest-john-satisfaction-index-2020/honest-john-satisfaction-index-2020-the-results/ As a guideline, Audi owners are generally fairly satisfied. MINI and Fiat actually perform pretty poorly. We also list common issues under the 'good/bad' section in our reviews. Have you considered an electric vehicle? If you can charge a car at home, it sounds like one would suit your requirements well. Something like a Volkswagen e-Golf, Hyundai Ioniq or Kia Soul EV could be a good option. A little more expensive to buy but you'll save money in running costs. If you'd prefer to stick to petrol, consider a Ford Fiesta Vignale. It's essentially a posh Fiesta with a luxurious interior but low running costs.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend a Fiesta-sized automatic for under £20k?
"The PCP on our Ford Fiesta is coming to an end soon. Ford's latest price for a Fiesta automatic is ridiculous, with very little difference with the Focus automatic. Could you recommend a similar-sized automatic for less than £20,000? Many thanks."
We'd recommend the new Hyundai i20 (prices start from £19,845 for an automatic) or Peugeot 208 (from £19,695). Consider pre-registered examples to make your budget stretch further. These are as-new cars that have been ordered and registered by dealers. They're ready to go and usually available with competitive finance packages.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best first car for a tall driver?
"What’s the best first car for a tall man? He’s 6'8" and needs a lot of legroom."
Difficult one - assuming he's a young driver, anything particularly big will be expensive to insure. We'd recommend trying an insurance comparison website and searching for quotes for a wide variety of cars to see if there's anything surprisingly cheap. Try a Ford Fiesta or Honda Jazz as well as bigger cars like the Volkswagen Golf.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Ford Fiesta (2017) cost?

Buy new from £13,211 (list price from £16,620)
Contract hire from £156.83 per month