4.5 out of 5 4.5
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

Still the best small hatchback for keen drivers

Ford Fiesta Hatchback Review Video
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At a glance

New price £16,640 - £28,770
Lease from new From £175 p/m View lease deals
Used price £5,780 - £18,535
Used monthly cost From £144 per month
Fuel Economy 40.4 - 65.7 mpg
Road tax cost £150
Insurance group 2 - 30 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Great fun to drive
  • Cheap to run
  • Packed with the latest tech
  • Safer than ever

CONS

  • Some rivals are more practical
  • Finance deals are competitive, but not class-leading
  • Some cheaper-feeling cabin plastics
  • Glass roof severely limits headroom

Ford Fiesta Hatchback rivals

Written by Lawrence Cheung on

Generations of people have grown up with the Fiesta nameplate firmly ingrained into their minds - mostly because of its ubiquity. It was the bestselling car of 2019, and you'd struggle to travel more than a few miles in the UK without seeing one.

Why is it so popular? In short, it looks good, is built well, is reasonably priced, spacious, and more fun to drive than it needs to be.

What’s more impressive is the level of competition it goes up against every year, with accomplished offerings such as the Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Vauxhall Corsa and SEAT Ibiza all counted as rivals. Further additions to the Fiesta range, such as the superb ST performance model and Active version, have broadened its already wide-ranging appeal.

Engines and specifications

At time of writing, there are 10 trim levels available, plus, petrol and diesel engines are on offer. Trim levels include Trend, Titanium, Titanium X, Active Edition, Active X Edition, ST-Line Edition, ST-Line X Edition, ST-2, ST-3 and Vignale Edition.

The most popular model in the line-up is the Titanium while the most favoured engine is Ford’s impressively capable 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol. This engine is available with a choice of 95, 125 or 155hp outputs, plus there’s a 1.1-litre with 75hp available lower in the range.

If you prefer diesel power, you'll have to seek a used version as the range became petrol-only in 2020. There’s a 1.5-litre TDCi diesel, with 85hp, and a higher-powered 120hp version initially offered at launch.

Ford Fiesta ST and Active broadens appeal

Fast Ford fans can seek the Fiesta ST model. This is the fastest version in the range and builds on a reputation largely created by the excellent previous generation car. For 2018, the Fiesta ST debuted a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine producing 200hp and 290Nm of torque, meaning 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 144mph.

It’s not all about the straight-line speed, however, as the Fiesta ST also displays superb handling ability right up there with the best hot hatches on the market. Sharp steering, high grip levels and excellent overall feedback means the hot Fiesta is staggeringly rapid over a twisty country road, while still retaining much of the usability that makes the regular car so popular.

A special edition ST, snappily called the Fiesta ST Ford Performance Edition was released in 2019. However, you'll do well to find one as only 600 were built. They're distinguishable from the regular STs because of orange paint, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a coilover suspension pack that brings the ride height down. If you missed your chance, another version of this was released in late-2020, this time in blue paint.

At the other end of the spectrum and widening the Fiesta’s appeal further is the Active, aiming to snag sales from the burgeoning SUV sector. This higher-riding version with some external differences such as roof bars and tougher exterior trim targets those with active, outdoorsy lifestyles.

Mild hybrid tech fitted in 2020

In a bid to improve on the Fiesta's fuel economy and emissions, mild hybrid technology is fitted to the 125hp and 155hp Ecoboost engines from 2020. This utilises a battery pack and generator to electronically assist the petrol engine with additional torque. This also improves how the stop-start system works, allowing the engine to switch off sooner when coasting below 15mph. This won't dramatically reduce running costs, but these are small improvements nonetheless.

What’s the Ford Fiesta like to drive?

Very good indeed. It’s as enjoyable to drive as the previous version but now comes equipped with some of the latest tech and driver assistance features – if you pay for them. Sure, there are some cheaper-feeling materials in the cabin, and the glass sunroof is an expensive option for what it is, but it remains among the class leaders for its drive and cabin. 

Is the Ford Fiesta cheap to finance and run?

From launch Ford’s PCP finance deals were a bit off the pace, but have since improved dramatically. The Buy Online service on the website often includes large discounts that make the Fiesta much better value than pretty much any other supermini. Entry level Skoda Fabias are better value, but the upper half of the Fiesta range is extremely competitive when financed. 

Interest-free credit has been available on the Fiesta, however, and if you can find one of these deals, there's no cost penalty for financing a Fiesta compared with paying cash. As this is an extremely competitive class, though, keep your eyes open for deposit contribution discounts in future, as it's possible that Ford will throw these in alongside 0% APR to boost sales after the initial fanfare has died down.

Insurance groups range from 2E up to 15E, so it’s at the cheaper end of the spectrum here, and fuel economy and tax bills are very low indeed thanks to a recent range of high-tech engines.

Ford is currently offering new car buyers up to six months of payment holidays in a bid to keep customers buying cars during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Fiesta is included in the deal, as is the popular Focus model. The company is also offering payment holidays for current Ford Fiesta owners too.

Dealwatch special

Our leasing partner, ZenAuto is offering the Ford Fiesta for £175 per month. The usual terms and conditions apply.

View deal

 

Read on for the full Ford Fiesta review including its practicality, if its interior measures up, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive - and whether we recommend buying one.

Ford Fiesta Hatchback rivals

Other Ford Fiesta models: