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Old 9th June 2010, 23:41   #1
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Thumbs up Ford Fiesta 1.6S - 2 yrs, 18000 Km - My experience

Summary
  • 2008 Fiesta 1.6S Aquarius Blue (Petrol). Upgraded from 2002 Santro Automatic (still have the Santro)
  • Nearly 2 years and 18000 Kms completed.
  • Mix of highway and city drives (60% city, 40% highway)
  • Maximum speed: 160 Kmph
  • Mileage: Around 10 in Bangalore's stop-n-go traffic, Around 14 on highways

Ford Fiesta 1.6S - 2 yrs, 18000 Km - My experience-road-ahead.jpg
Ford Fiesta 1.6S - 2 yrs, 18000 Km - My experience-milestones.png

Overall Impression: The Fiesta 1.6S rocks!!! Aquarius Blue is a head turner. You get serious looks sometimes with disbelief that its just a Ford Fiesta. It is really a driver's car.

Ford Fiesta 1.6S - 2 yrs, 18000 Km - My experience-profilepic.jpg

Main Criteria for buying Fiesta 1.6S
  • Had to be a sedan because of office parking restrictions (we have motorized parking bays)
  • Alloy wheels, ABS and Airbags - absolute must have - no compromise
  • Strict budget around 8L
  • Must feel really good to drive - obviously

The process

Straightaway the higher end models of some cars had to be struck off:
  • Honda City (VTec older model): over my budget
  • Verna: No Airbags
  • Aveo: somehow not convinced about Chevrolet, though the car is quite decent

Only real competition was SX4:
  • SX4 is spacious but the quality of interior was not up to the mark
  • SX4's ground clearance was a major plus but driving pleasure not as good as Fiesta
  • The rear-view of SX4 takes some getting used to - the high stance reduces visibility
  • Was also doubtful if it will fit in my office parking - it is little bigger than Fiesta

Once I took over the steering during the test drive, I realized it was actually the Fiesta that took control of my driving senses. Absolute addictive bliss. You will want more of it all the time. It was relatively easy decision at the end of the test drive. Me and my wife both liked Aquarius Blue even though it is a difficult color to maintain.

Dealer experience

I purchased from Lathangi Ford in Bangalore. There were some small issues here and there (usual delays in paperwork and final delivery) but nothing major at all. Overall it was a positive impression. Service and support can improve a bit. The team is knowledgeable and capable, but I found that Hyundai service folks are little bit more eager, more enthusiastic. Service expenses are reasonable in my opinion contrary to the popular perception.

Pictures

My Fiesta has taken me and family to lots of place and each drive left me wanting for more. Here are some pictures of my Fiesta, the places and some milestones.

Ford Fiesta 1.6S - 2 yrs, 18000 Km - My experience-tranquebarroad.jpg
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Ford Fiesta 1.6S - 2 yrs, 18000 Km - My experience-bp_petrolpump.jpg

What’s good about Fiesta 1.6S
  • Brilliant handling and precision steering: 10/10 to Fiesta here. I have driven few other cars but nothing really compares to Fiesta. Once while on business visit to US, I got Nissan Sentra 2009 brand-new model as rental car. Even Sentra's handling was not as nimble and responsive as Fiesta's. The steering feels very very sure and precise especially at higher speeds. The overall design and stiffer suspension provide wonderful stability which was little less in SX4. Fiesta is great in the city also. It can be easily maneuvered in tight city roads. I know many are worried about the ride quality due to stiffer suspensions but as a driver you do not feel that much. On long highway drives, my kid is usually in the back seat so not sure if the ride is rough for them.

  • Smooth acceleration: The 1.6L engine has got plenty of power and it is delivered smoothly as well. The noise is tad more than Aveo and Honda but it is a smooth noise thankfully. In the city or the highway, I never felt the lack of power (more is always welcome though )

  • Hugs the roads: This is where the thrill part comes into the picture. On a trip to Kumarakom, I really put Fiesta to test in the Kumily-Kottayam ghat sections. These are not the typical steep/narrow ghats roads. This stretch is flatter but winding and with good volume of traffic. I wanted to see how much I can drive around without too much braking (sounds very risky but trust me I was quite careful since I had my family with me). The goal was to see how much we get thrown around. Again because of its design and suspension, there was very less body roll. Fiesta just hugs the curves and munches the distances. Me and family never felt like we are being pushed out of our seating posture. It gives you a race car sort of feeling (guess this is what makes Fiesta a driver's car)

  • Really good interiors (this is subjective): We liked the interiors of Fiesta. The space to keep water bottles is really great on all four doors. It does eat little into your seating space but for vacation drives it is a blessing in disguise. The material is not plasticy like SX4 but is more soft-rubbery kind. There are small reading lights for the rear seats. The boot lid button is very conveniently placed next to the steering column. And since we have security checks at our office I found it very useful. The music system is really good. The CD player can play MP3 and there is an Aux port available but the USB port is missing. The large coin holder is a good idea but the location is little uncomfortable though good from security perspective.

  • Driver seat comfort: The seat height can be adjusted manually. It is not the best mechanism but it is quite useful because the seating seems little lower in Fiesta (may be due to the GC). The seats sort of curve around and they are reasonably firm. This provides very good support to the back. In most of my drives, I have never felt tired physically or had any pain in the back. Thigh support could have been little better though.

  • Air Conditioner - The AC is a chiller and fan speed is made for Indian weather conditions. In fact on most days the fan speed stays at 1 and can hardly be heard. In hot afternoon drives, you will settle down to the fan speed of 2. If rarely you need to go to speed 3, the noise level jumps significantly. Most of my drives are in South India and cannot recollect when I drove with fan at 3.

And the not so good things
  • For all its qualities, I don't think Ford has marketed it well. When was the last time you saw a Fiesta advertisement and who was endorsing it?

  • Automatic door lock on ignition: I believe that this is very useful feature and it should be provided by Ford. You can do it manually from driver seat but anyone can still open the doors.

  • Headlights: They are weak for a relatively big car. Though I have not yet changed them, I am seriously considering it. I do not drive much at nights but in rainy/dark conditions during day I have felt the need for more powerful lights.

  • Spare wheel: Ford does not give an alloy spare wheel. The spare wheel provided is the regular steel/iron wheel but size is proper. You can order one but it takes time to get it.

  • Lack of a dashboard clock: The clock is integrated into the music system display but I personally feel that a separate digital clock should be provided

  • USB port: It is ubiquitous and inexpensive these days, so I wonder why Ford is not providing it in Fiesta. May be the next upgrade of Fiesta will have it.

  • Two Trip meters should be standard for a car of this class.

Conclusion

Fiesta 1.6S in Aquarius Blue is really a rock star among cars. The skirting and spoilers give it a racing car looks and after two years I can still catch people staring at the beauty. A pleasure to drive, this car is really a boon for enthusiasts. There are some simple things Ford can do to increase its appeal. After two years of owning it, I still look forward to taking it out for long drives.

Last edited by bblost : 10th June 2010 at 13:58. Reason: Speedo Pic removed as its against the rules. Thanks.
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Old 10th June 2010, 11:56   #2
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An addition to "not so good thing"
- Forget 40:60 split, rear seat could at-least be folding.
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Old 10th June 2010, 13:29   #3
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That is a heck of a drool machine you have there! I wonder why Ford discontinued that colour.
Actually the stock headlights of the Fiesta are the best in that segment---but I do agree that for regular highway drives, an upgrade will make you feel safer.
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Old 10th June 2010, 13:37   #4
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What a car .... drrroooool ... slurrp... slurrrppp!!!

THE best ownership thread on Fiesta 1.6!
Very professional and objective, with just the right amount of detailing. Kudos!
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Old 10th June 2010, 13:51   #5
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This is my favorite machine under 8L. Absolutely love the color and have driven the regular 1.6 version and that itself was a pleasure to drive and this one would be much more i am sure.

This complain about stock lights not being not powerful is with all manafacturers. Most of them give 55/60 and it is always best for extensive night drivers to change it to 90/100

Also, for a car of your performance capabilities, i am surprised you didnt decide to change to fatter rubber.

Congrats for closing in 2 years and wishing you many more happy miles.
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Old 10th June 2010, 13:51   #6
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Very nice review. Loved the pictures. Your car looks great. I have had no issues with the headlights so far but my car has not yet gone on a highway in the night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dipen View Post
An addition to "not so good thing"
- Forget 40:60 split, rear seat could at-least be folding.
The rear seat can be folded if you remove the bolt at the back. My ICE guy showed it to me. It's not user friendly but it can be done.

Last edited by Gilead : 10th June 2010 at 13:53.
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Old 10th June 2010, 13:55   #7
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oh thats nice writing - and 18000kms -wah!

the not so good things - yes you are correct, Ford should have taken care of all
these items. May be next model will have all these features including steering wheel mounted audio controls?

A general question asked by all - Why Ford has to discontinue the BLUE colour?
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Old 10th June 2010, 20:38   #8
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sriram

two queries,

1. i dont think i saw bottle holders on all doors
2. dont the doors automatically lock on ignition? thats really crazy! !?

wonderful crisp pictures and review.
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Old 10th June 2010, 23:38   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dipen View Post
An addition to "not so good thing"
- Forget 40:60 split, rear seat could at-least be folding.
I thought of it but then I realized that I have never really felt the need (so far) to fold the rear seat for the want of more space.
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Old 10th June 2010, 23:40   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssriram75 View Post
I thought of it but then I realized that I have never really felt the need (so far) to fold the rear seat for the want of more space.
Nor have in my 3+ years of ownership.

BTW, I am not sure if you can fit water bottles in the rear doors---I need to check because I hardly ever got to sit behind.
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Old 10th June 2010, 23:41   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
This is my favorite machine under 8L. Absolutely love the color and have driven the regular 1.6 version and that itself was a pleasure to drive and this one would be much more i am sure.

This complain about stock lights not being not powerful is with all manafacturers. Most of them give 55/60 and it is always best for extensive night drivers to change it to 90/100

Also, for a car of your performance capabilities, i am surprised you didnt decide to change to fatter rubber.

Congrats for closing in 2 years and wishing you many more happy miles.
Thanks Mobike.

Remember I switched from Santro Automatic. So that time my only concern was stick-shift and good ride. But now I know how to enjoy this 4-wheel-wonder, I think a type upgrade makes lots of sense.
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Old 10th June 2010, 23:46   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekSrik View Post
sriram

two queries,

1. i dont think i saw bottle holders on all doors
2. dont the doors automatically lock on ignition? thats really crazy! !?

wonderful crisp pictures and review.
The front doors have good space for decent 1L bottles - the space is clearly marked.

The rear doors can hold the slimmer ones fairly easily. My daughter's water bottles and some 500ml Pepsi/Coke bottles can be stowed.

Oh yeah - doors do not lock on ignition. When you read about all the mugging news, you really wonder - what is the cost of putting that feature in?
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Old 11th June 2010, 00:08   #13
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Are you saying that even with an autocop the doors wont lock while starting up? if autocop is installed separately? :(
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Old 11th June 2010, 10:30   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekSrik View Post
Are you saying that even with an autocop the doors wont lock while starting up? if autocop is installed separately? :(
The Autocop can certainly be programmed to lock the car once started.
My Ikon came with central locking, which didnt lock itself when the car was running. However, with the Autocop Cobra installed, it automatically locks about 10 seconds after the car is started, and no door is opened in between. It should be the same on the Fiesta as well.
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Old 11th June 2010, 12:15   #15
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^^ Same here,
even in my Ikon , all the doors automatically locks itself after around 10 seconds of turning on the ignition. I found it very neat. I too have remote central lock installed.And if the ignition is on and you open the door, the hazard light automatically comes on .
BTW, Sriram , a very well maintained 1.6s there, I can imagine how enthralling it must be to be in that blue beauty.
Have fun.

Last edited by Fordmanchau : 11th June 2010 at 12:16.
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