Ford Fiesta (2008 – 2013) Review

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

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

Can I drive a car with the airbag light on?

"I have a 2010 Ford Fiesta and would like to remove the front passenger seat and not replace it. The reason being I travel a lot and would like to build a bed platform so I can sleep in it from time to time. From what I can gather, if I remove the seat, that will cause the air bag fault light to come on. Can I drive around with this light on and will it be safe? Is it easy to reset to light and will it be costly? Also, can the airbag be reset, removing the light, without installing the seat again? "
Removing the seat will not necessarily cause the airbag light to stay on, but if it does this would be an MoT failure. There would also be the issue with the seatbelt pre-tensioner for the passenger seat, which could cause further problems if disabled. Resetting the airbag light would only be a temporary fix and would likely illuminate again when the car is switched on. If you need to sleep regularly in your car, we would suggest folding the rear seats down and using the boot space and rear seat area. It would not be spacious, but a decent quality roll-up mattress and sleeping bag would be a less expensive and troublesome alternative.
Answered by David Ross

What's the most reliable car for under £2,000?

"I need a used car for £2,000 or less. Can you please tell me which petrol and diesel models have the best reliability within this type of budget?"
With a budget of £2,000 I would suggest Ford Fiesta 1.25 petrol, Toyota Yaris 1.3 petrol or Suzuk Swift 1.2 petrol. Avoid older diesels and automatics, these will present you with a lengthy and costly list of problems.
Answered by Dan Powell

Can you recommend a cheap diesel for under £5,000?

"I am on a tight budget and am looking for a diesel car which is reliable and economical for under £5,000. My yearly average mileage is around 28,000. What would you recommend?"
If you are operating on a limited budget then you may want to avoid old, high-mileage diesels that will probably present you with a costly list of problems (EGR, turbo,DPF etc). If you are covering 28,000 miles a year then a simple and comfortable petrol hatch would be the most economical option. I would recommend the Ford Fiesta 1.25 petrol or Suzuki Swift 1.2 petrol.
Answered by Dan Powell

Could you recommend a safe, reliable car for £2000?

"My son is starting his first job and needs something to use to commute 35 miles each way via the M25. His budget is £2000. I expect him to drive about 15k miles per year as we expect him to work from home part of the time. He needs something safe for motorway driving that'll be as reliable as possible for the price. What would you recommend? Thanks."
Try to find something made by Volkswagen Group (e.g. Volkswagen, Skoda, SEAT, Audi) with the reliable old 1.9 TDI engine. A Volkswagen Golf could be a good choice. Find a good one and it'll be cheap to run while it's big enough to feel safe and comfortable on the motorway. Alternatively, stick to petrol power and look for a Ford Fiesta or Focus. They're 10 a penny and cheap to run.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

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