Ford Fiesta Review 2023

Ford Fiesta At A Glance

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 £20,930
Insurance Groups are between 5–17
On average it achieves 78% 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.

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.

Looking for a second opinion? Why not read heycar's Ford Fiesta review.

Ask Honest John

Can my Ford Fiesta mild hybrid really do 70mpg?

"I purchased Ford Fiesta Titanium mild hybrid in April. Have made two journeys from Cumbria to stafford, 350 miles return, and on both occasions I am averaging 76/77mpg driving at a steady 55/60mph. Always use E5,and consumption must be accurate as the tank still half full after the journeys. Very pleased, but surprised by the economy. What do you reckon?"
A brand new Fiesta driven at the optimum speed for economy is more than possible of achieving this kind of impressive fuel consumption. If you want to check how accurate the car's economy display is, we would suggest brimming the tank, noting the mileage, make a long journey then brim the tank again and note the mileage once more so you can calculate your own figures and compare them to the car's readout.
Answered by David Ross

What battery charger do you recommend?

"What charger do I need to replenish my 2021 Fiesta Active X Edition T MHEV flat battery please "
A trickle charger is an ideal solution for a vehicle that is left for long periods. We would recommend the CTEK MXS charger which we reviewed here: There are a number of reports of Ford Fiesta and Focus models suffering from 12V battery drain issues, and it certainly isn't unique to the mild-hybrids. However, if you regularly make short journeys this may not be sufficient for the 12v battery to be sufficiently recharged, so as an alternative a longer journey at higher speeds will help to recharge the battery too.
Answered by David Ross

What's the best small hatchback?

"I'm looking for a small hatchback style car, like a Hyundai i10 size. I would like a very comfortable drivers seat, rear parking camera and as a bonus it would be great to have a heated windscreen. If there is no rear camera as standard, how much would it cost on average to get one fitted please?"
Would you consider something a little bigger? A Fiesta-sized hatchback would be more comfortable and more likely to have the features you desire. We'd recommend a Volkswagen Polo or Toyota Yaris. Alternatively, if you do want a small city car, a Kia Picanto or Hyundai i10 would probably be your best option. You can pick up a reversing camera kit from Halfords for around £120 - they won't be as good as built-in systems, but they'd do the job.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Will the stop-start system on my Fiesta damage my engine?

"Does the auto start/stop system wear out the engine quicker and turbo? Also, what kind of battery does it have? And has the starter motor been made stronger to within the stop starts? And what the system cuts the engine while stopping does it stop the oil returning to the sump so when it starts back up there is no oil in the turbo?"
Vehicles with stop-start systems should not wear the engine out any more quickly than those without, because they do not operate until the engine is sufficiently warm and cold starting is the biggest cause of engine wear. Most engines with stop start also prevent the oil from returning to the sump, and even if your Fiesta does not have this system the engine is designed to restart automatically to prevent the oil from cooling too much and returning to the engine. Your Fiesta will likely be fitted with an Enhanced Flooded Battery, which is specifically designed for the extra demands of stop start engines, while starter motors are also specified for the increased workload.
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a Ford Fiesta cost?