Ford Fiesta van review (2003-2008)

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5


  • Versatility
  • Compact body
  • Low running costs


  • Not as practical as a proper van
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Small business owners looking for a practical and compact van should give the Fiesta serious consideration. It rightly won acclaim for its transformation from car to van, and offers versatility and enjoyment in equal measure.

Ford Fiesta Van (2003-2009) rear view

The van has inherited many of Fiesta’s loveable characteristics, namely good looks and agility, while adapting to its new task well. The cargo area is sufficiently sized for light commercial use and Ford has introduced some clever additions to make life easier.

A facelift in 2005 reworked a few exterior features and upgraded the cabin.

Ford Fiesta (03-08) driving experience

4.5 out of 5 4.5

There are two engines to choose from in the standard range – a 1.3-litre petrol and a 1.4-litre diesel – while the racier Sport Van is powered by a 1.6-litre diesel unit. It is the quickest in the range.

Ford Fiesta Van (2003-2009) driving experience

Fiesta van handles as enjoyably as the car, and, likewise, it’s best suited to city driving. It’s nimble for busy town centres and zippy at traffic lights. The steering is precise enough to take B-road bends confidently, too.

All models get power steering.

Ford Fiesta (03-08) cabin & interior

3.5 out of 5 3.5

It’s easy to get comfy quickly as the steering wheel and driver’s seat are both height-adjustable.

Ford Fiesta Van (2003-2009) cab interior

Older models may feel a little cheap on the inside but the facelift improved the cabin considerably. Rattly plastics were replaced with plusher materials for a smarter and quieter interior.

Ford also swapped the digital fuel display with an analogue gauge.

Rearward visibility is obscured by the rear panels, though reverse parking is made easier by Fiesta’s small body, tidy turning circle and light steering. Parking sensors are an optional extra.

Ford Fiesta (03-08) running costs & value

4 out of 5 4.0

Fiesta shouldn’t cost a fortune to own; it’s frugal, hard-wearing and cheap to repair, plus insurance costs are very low.

The petrol 1.3 returns about 45mpg, while the 1.4 TDCi and Sport Van both achieve over 60mpg.

Ford Fiesta (03-08) reliability, common problems & faults

4 out of 5 4.0

Fiesta is a reliable runabout. Its engines have proved to be dependable in other popular models, too.

Facelifted Fiesta vans benefit from tougher interior plastics and should withstand wear-and-tear better.

Ford Fiesta (03-08) safety & security

4 out of 5 4.0

The equivalent Fiesta car was awarded four-stars in Euro NCAP crash tests in its day. The van is untried but ought to perform similarly.

All models get two front airbags, anti-lock brakes and three-point seatbelts, as well as remote central locking, an immobiliser and an anti-theft audio system. Front side airbags and a perimeter alarm are optional.

Which Ford Fiesta (03-08) is best for me?