Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - Paul Sagar

Hello everyone

I have just passed my test deep into my thirties and am keen to crack on wih buying our first car. We've been doing a lot of research and have a budget of no more than £8k, and we'll be buying used.

We will mainly be using it as a runaround but a few times a year we'll need to go on big trips to Newcastle/Essex (ftrom Yorkshire) so it needs to be able to handle long journeys.

Ideally, it needs to be an automatic. We're after a 5 door hatchback, and although the bells and whistles such as sat nav etc would be nice, the key for us is with something reliable that will drive well.

Current thinking is a 2014 Fiesta 1.6, such as this one:

However, any guidance you can provide would be much appreciated.

Edited by Paul Sagar on 06/07/2017 at 23:59

Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - SLO76
Ford's powershift automated manual gearbox has a poor reputation and has been the cause of large scale compensation claims in the US and other markets. I wouldn't touch one, unless you're buying new and offloading before the warranty is up.

The older 1.4 4 speed torque converter auto is much more robust but slower and thirstier though it would be a cheaper and safer bet. Auto Trader:

Another good option would be a Hyundai i20 1.4 auto. Buy one less than 5yrs old that has a full Hyundai service history and it'll have some of the manufacturer warranty left too. Auto Trader:

The Kia Rio uses the same running gear as the i20 and comes with a brilliant 7yr 100,000 mile warranty so again find an approved used car with a dealer history and there's little risk. Auto Trader:

Edited by SLO76 on 07/07/2017 at 06:49

Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - Paul Sagar

Thanks, we'd been reading quite encouraging things about the Fiesta and the Focus, so that's a bit worrying.

We've not really been looking older then 2014 so maybe we should extend our search.

Not even looked at Hyundais and Kias, is there a general consensus on here that these would be a better choice than the Ford models? Why is that? Different gearbox?

The Auris seems to come up a fair bit as well....

Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - daveyK_UK
Mazda 2 or Mazda 3 automatic
Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - badbusdriver

Your problem here is that the age and budget of car you are looking for puts you slap bang in the era of the dreaded 'automated manual'. Unfortunately these, in both single and dual clutch versions have pretty major reliability and driveability issues. With the dual clutch versions, it seems to be the overall complexity which causes problems. Though, from what I read, they drive great when working. With the single clutch versions, the problems I read about tend to be regarding Jerry gearshifts, and delays when pulling away, i.e, you spot a gap to get on to a busy roundabout, you put your foot down and nothing happens. At least not for a couple of seconds!.

So ideally, especially as a new driver, you would be better going for tried and tested technology like the 'old school' torque converter auto. SLO mentioned the hyundai i20, this uses a torque converter auto, as does its Kia kissing cousin the rio. So look at examples of them within your budget. One thing that needs to be pointed out though is that torque converter auto's are going to be thirstier than their automated clutch rivals. But overall reliability is likely to be much higher than dual clutch, and will be much more pleasant to drive than single clutch versions. Swings and roundabouts!. And of course, with a hyundai or Kia, reliability in general is going to be higher than most cars with the possible exceptions of Toyota and Honda.

Now there is another option which definitely seems to be a marmite choice in that some love them while others hate them. That is the CVT (constantly variable transmission) gearbox. You will find this on the toyota yaris and Honda jazz. The folks that love them do so because they are very smooth, reliable and economical. Folks than hate them do so because of the excess of revs in relation to speed gathering when you are trying to press on. Also, the CVT works by keeping the engine at its optimum speed for the condition and vary the gearing around that, but a lot of people don't like this and I have often read the noise being likened to a cow mooring!. Recently we took delivery of a new Honda jazz auto, this has the CVT gearbox, but it, and I believe the one in the latest yaris, has been reprogrammed to behave more like a conventional torque converter auto. So there are 7 'steps' like conventional auto gearchanges. But I have to say, both me and my wife love the car!.

Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - badbusdriver

Just re-read my post, stupid predictive text!. Should read 'jerky' gearchanges re single clutch auto. And 'mooing' like a cow for the cvt.

Also, just read another post mentioning the mazda 2. I don't know if you would get into the current shape for that budget, but that is a cracking little car (read the honest John review) with a 'lightened' torque converter auto. When we got our jazz, that was one of our other candidates and had the seating position been as high as the jazz or yaris, we may well have gone for one instead.

Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - badbusdriver

Been doing a little research(!). 1st, unfortunately you'd need nearer £10k to get into an auto version of the current mazda 2. The previous shape also used a torque converter auto and is also considered a great little car, but you may find it just a little too little!.

As indicated in my 1st post, there are not many options for getting a small car, in your budget and age requirements with a torque converter auto. If fact, off the top of my head, the only ones I can think of are the, already mentioned, hyundai ix20, Kia rio, mazda 2 and, another option, the suzuki swift. For the CVT option, as far as I know, it would just be the toyota yaris or Honda jazz.

On the plus side, there are plenty of the above cars to choose from without having to get something older than 2014. With regards to the CVT, I would strongly suggest you take a good long test drive in one to see what you think. Don't be swayed by anyone on this forum or anyone else you know trying to put you off, make your own decision about it, you may be surprised!.

Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - badbusdriver

Done it again!, I really should read what I've typed before posting!. Hyundai i20, not ix20 (though it may also suit?)

Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - Paul Sagar

That's remarkably helpful, thanks. I appreciate you taking the time.

I would rather not risk money on a potentially dodgy auto but there are barely any of the Hyundais and Rios within our wider search area.

Could the answer be to convince my other half to go with a manual? It wouldn't bother me and from what I can see we'd get a much better car within budget. The one litre ecoboost fiestas seem to be very well reviewed....

Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - badbusdriver

Yes and no. The manual option is certainly worth looking into if your other half is willing. But definitely no to the Fiesta ecoboost. Apparently there are numerous well documented problems with that particular engine!. Look at the honest John reviews page, select the car and go to good/bad. The 1.25 n/a petrol would be a much better option if you must have a fiesta. Also, don't even consider a diesel, too much potential problems and higher maintenance costs. To be honest, if it was my money, I'd still be looking at something like a yaris (the 1.33) before a fiesta, much more reliable!. The forum's resident motor trader, SLO, will be able to give you more options and links to particular cars on autotrader, in your area if you say where you are.

Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - Paul Sagar

Thanks, we did look at a Yaris but decided it would struggle on the longer journeys.

This one in fact:

WOuld you not agree? Still for sale!

Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - badbusdriver

No, to be honest, I wouldn't agree at all, the yaris would be absolutely fine on a long journey. There is an almost overwhelming obsession with power and performance with little or no consideration as to whether or not anybody needs it. Back in 2008 we had a daihatsu sirion 1.0se, this was our family car and in terms of space, suited our needs just fine at the time (the kids were 7 and 11). My mother in law was absolutely horrified at the thought of a 1.0 engine!. Thing is though, at under 900kg the daihatsu was a light car for its size and space and the little 3 cyl engine was very eager so the performance was perfectly acceptable. I live in North East Scotland and twice during the 3 years we had it, I drove to visit relatives in England as far away as Coventry. I had absolutely no problem keeping up to the speed limit, in fact I seem to remember a considerable amount of time being spent at an indicated 80-85mph. The only time it struggled a little was coming home, heading up Beattock summit (which is pretty steep!), even then, though I had to change down into 4th gear to maintain 70mph, I did actually maintain that speed over the top!. Now if you were to read any contemporary reviews of the sirion, they would all say avoid the 1.0 if you need to travel on the open road as it's too slow!. Rubbish!.

But if you really feel you need the extra oomph, consider the 1.2tsi vw polo/skoda fabia/seat ibiza. They don't have much more power than the 1.33 yaris, but being turbo's they do have more torque (pulling power). Stick to manual gearbox on these though, as the auto versions are dual clutch automated manuals and don't have a good reputation for reliability.

Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - Paul Sagar

Upon reading yours and other advice, I think we're reconsidering the Yaris. It was a well maintained car, we were just worried about high speeds and long journeys...

Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - SLO76
"Could the answer be to convince my other half to go with a manual? It wouldn't bother me and from what I can see we'd get a much better car within budget. The one litre ecoboost fiestas seem to be very well reviewed...."

Yes, switching to a manual would vastly increase your options, you'd get you a better driving, more economical car and as supermini autos tend to be unpopular later in life (as the age of buyer decreases) you'd suffer less depreciation too.

However I'd bodyswerve the 1.0 ecoboost Ford which has a rather nasty reputation for failure and instead focus on the excellent Yamaha designed Zetec SE units 1.25,1.4 and 1.6 petrol all of which are sweet revving, robust and longlived though the base 59bhp variant is slow. Don't be tempted by the PSA 1.6 diesel which is notorious for problems.

As mentioned earlier (I forgot it) the Mazda 2 is a brilliant brilliant little car in petrol form. As is the Suzuki Swift and the Yaris, particularly the 1.33. The Daihatsu designed 3cyl 1.0 is fine for local running but struggles at higher speeds.

Edited by SLO76 on 07/07/2017 at 19:13

Ford Fiesta - Recommend a car in the £8k region.... - Paul Sagar

(duplicate post)

Edited by Avant on 08/07/2017 at 01:45


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