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Old 9th November 2010, 15:16   #1
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Smile My Ford Fiesta ZXI Diesel: 15 months 24,000 kms review

I’ve been going Fida for the last 15 months and to summarise, it has been a wonderful experience so far.

The decision
After serving me loyally for 5 years and 1 lakh kilometres, my beloved Indica V2 DLS started showing signs of ageing. I started looking around for a good sedan though I was running short of crucial vitamin-M.

Consideration Set
It had to be a diesel as I knew I would clock 20k+ kms/year. Narrowed down to Verna, Linea & Fiesta.

First TD was Verna. The whole experience was very good. Professionalism at all facets from Trident Hyundai – right from attending the call, prompt replies, flexibility to suit your schedules for TD, executive’s knowledge depth – all in all, a very pleasant experience combined with the initial high you experience of 110 horses! I was thrilled with the turbo kicking in around 2000 rpm – something that I could compare with the initial run of a Boeing/Airbus down the runway during take off. It was addictive. The sales guy was generous enough to let me drive almost 40kms on city roads and the outer ring road. While I thoroughly enjoyed the power, Verna was almost like a boat when I took a sharp turn at 60-70kmph on the ring road. That really scared me and got me thinking again.

Next was Fiesta and I took the car to the same roads that I tested Verna. Tried the same sharp stretch on the ring road at similar speed and I was impressed with the control I had (felt) with Fiesta. The steering feel was great and the car was firmly holding on to the road . Also tried some hard breaking to experience the ABS. And I knew it had to be Fiesta for me.

Though I had almost decided on Fiesta, Linea was something that I couldn’t ignore completely. Booked a TD and landed at the showroom promptly only to wait for 30 minutes before the car arrived. The sales guy who sat with me during the drive just didn’t know anything about the car and on my probing, he admitted that he only deals with Vista. Add to that, he wouldn’t let me drive more than 4kms as per his ‘company policy’ . I was no stranger to Tata dealers but was definitely put off by this experience. Though I would’ve ignored all of that, I still rated the Fiesta drive quality and handling better than Linea.

So there it was, paid advance for 1.4 Zxi (I took no time deciding among the variants), waited for another 22 long days before SBI could give an APPROVED stamp. And the black beauty was finally with me. I’ll never forget that drive from showroom to house.

I wouldn’t say I was smart in negotiating with the dealer, but I did manage to get 3rd year warranty + RSA (worth around 11k) free apart from the standard floor mats and sun film. First year insurance was also free as part of a promotion at that time.

Initial days
Few things I ensured during the initial days and some of which I continue even now:
  • Kept RPM levels and speeds under check for first 1000 kms.
  • Did not cross 2500 RPM/100kmph during this time.
  • Idling for 30-40 seconds while starting and before switching off the engine to ensure RPM level dropped to 800 (before/after operating the AC)
  • Stuck to normal diesel from the same HP petrol bunk (whenever I’m in town)
  • Avoided sudden accelerations at traffic signals
Modifications

Nothing much except for:
  • G-sport seat cover
  • Steering cover (leather, hand-stitched)
What I didn’t like in Fiesta

There are a lot of good things about Fiesta. Across the last one year of owning it, here are three things that I didn’t like:
  • Mud flaps – especially, the rear ones are really small and leaves all the dirt on the bumper.
  • Door handle – wish if they were a bit smaller and placed elsewhere to give wider leg space. Since my right knee is always in contact with the hard plastic edges of the door handle, I use a small cushion during long drives.
  • Significant power drop in second gear – specially when fully loaded.
And if I had to list down all the good things about Fiesta, I’ll only be repeating most of it shared by other Fiesta owners in this forum. But what is it that I like the most? The drive! I just enjoy driving the car and I’m always on the look out for opportunities. That probably explains why I was not behind the wheel only for around 300kms out of the 24000+ kms on the odo so far.
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Old 9th November 2010, 15:27   #2
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Ah at last! High time you had started an ownership thread. Good to know that all is well with your Fiesta. I agree with you on all the points you have mentioned. Even with full load on, the car handles pretty well. The rear does tend to wallow a bit, but nothing non-manageable. The second gear drop in power is evident especially when you are going uphill with load. It just bogs, prompting you to downshift. Talking about gears, try the third out some day like I told you, the range will amaze you. Keep adding the miles.
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Old 9th November 2010, 15:39   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unni.ak View Post
Talking about gears, try the third out some day like I told you, the range will amaze you.
You are right Unni. I've been doing that offlate on highway drives. 3rd is defenitely the best to rev and the range is indeed amazing. Have you ever pushed the RPM closer to redline in 3rd gear? I always thought that will have an impact on the mileage during long drives.
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Old 9th November 2010, 18:17   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sv1976 View Post
You are right Unni. I've been doing that offlate on highway drives. 3rd is defenitely the best to rev and the range is indeed amazing. Have you ever pushed the RPM closer to redline in 3rd gear? I always thought that will have an impact on the mileage during long drives.
What exactly is the technique you are talking about? I'm not clear how you'll be able to use 3rd if you are at RPMs appropriate for 2nd. thanks
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Old 9th November 2010, 18:59   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sv1976 View Post
You are right Unni. I've been doing that offlate on highway drives. 3rd is defenitely the best to rev and the range is indeed amazing. Have you ever pushed the RPM closer to redline in 3rd gear? I always thought that will have an impact on the mileage during long drives.
The max I usually go to is about 3500 and have taken it to 4000 just once or twice. It will surely have an impact on mileage if you rev it high a lot. I use it just to overtake some slow moving traffic on the ghat sections or after entering Kerala, where traffic is dense and I need to shoot through fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadget.fr View Post
What exactly is the technique you are talking about? I'm not clear how you'll be able to use 3rd if you are at RPMs appropriate for 2nd. thanks
You have misunderstood. We are just talking about the range available in 3rd gear, it pulls clean from 30kmph all the way to about 80kmph.
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Old 9th November 2010, 19:40   #6
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Default Service costs incurred

1st service @ 4964 kms: Nil
2nd service @ 9365 kms: Rs. 1450
3rd service @ 18298 kms: Rs. 3501

Next service is due in Feb 2011. A faulty indicator switch was replaced under warranty during the third service.
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Old 18th February 2011, 12:45   #7
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Default 4th Service update

Got the 4th service done at 27698 kms. I had reported a noise from the front left side - something which i felt more often on uneven roads. The SA agreed to check this and later called up said the front shock absorber is 70% worn out and will have to be replaced. I was shocked to hear this and asked him how can the shock absorber just wear out in 18 months and less than 30k kms? According to him, some cars have reported this problem in 35-40k kms and less than 2 years and then he agreed to get it replaced under warranty. However, i had to pay for the front left ball joint replacement.

I happily agreed. Later in the evening SA called afer the road test and said both rear shocks also have a problem and he's replacing them as well under warranty. Though I didnt feel anything wrong with rear shocks, i didnt mind getting a new set

Bill break up:

Parts:
Wash fluid : Rs. 52
Fuel Filter Assmebly: 1129 (this is a mandatory replacement for 30k kms service)
Oil filter : 335
Ball joint : 974
Strap wiring: 71
Engine oil : 851
Shock absorber front Left : Rs. 0 (worth Rs. 2018)
Rear Shock absorbers : Rs. 0 (worth Rs. 3488 for the set)

Labour:
General Service labour : 960
Wheel alignment : 300
Ball joint replacement: 200
Consumables etc : 285

Tax: 650

TOTAL : Rs. 5805

No other issues as of now. The SA's observations/remarks suggests replacement of stabiliser bar bush.
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Old 18th February 2011, 12:59   #8
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Smile Re: My Ford Fiesta ZXI Diesel: 15 months 24,000 kms review

@sv1976,

Sad to know that the shockobs had to replaced within one year ownership. Too bad. What was the reason given by the SA apart from their std statement that this generally happens. Good to know that this was replaced under warranty.

My Fiesta's 4th service is due in May 2011, maybe I need to keep this issue in mind when I deal with the Ford guys.

What was the issue with the stabiliser bar bush? BTW where is it located? When are you planning to have it rechecked?
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Old 18th February 2011, 13:31   #9
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Default Re: My Ford Fiesta ZXI Diesel: 15 months 24,000 kms review

Despite my repeated questions, SA didn't give any specific reason apart from saying this happens due to wear and tear. 3-4 months back I had once encountered a fairly large stone getting stuck underneath. And I had to take out the car scraping the front underbody. But I dont think this would've affected the shocks - especially the rear ones.

Stabiliser bar bush - need to discuss this again with the SA. Strangely, he didnt bring this up during the post service discussion and bill payment. I saw this remark only today when I checked the bill copy.

Btw - found this simple explanation while browsing: "A stabilizer bar, also called a sway bar, is used to hold up a car during turns. When a car turns around a bend, the weight of the car shifts to the outside tires, reducing the weight and grip of the inside tires. The stabilizer bar helps keep the car level around turns. The bushings connected to the bars can wear out over time and need replacement."
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Old 21st February 2011, 20:02   #10
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Default Re: My Ford Fiesta ZXI Diesel: 15 months 24,000 kms review

So you got the rear shock absorbers also changed under warranty!! Good for you. You dont have to worry for a long time to come now. You sure are getting lucky with the warranty. Usually Ford is not very forthcoming with warranty changes.
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Old 25th March 2011, 17:30   #11
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Default Re: My Ford Fiesta ZXI Diesel: 15 months 24,000 kms review

My remote key was having wierd 'mood swings' off late and I thought the battery would've gone week. Today while passing through MG road I decided to get it changed from Metro Ford. They replaced the battery and charged me Rs. 114 but I had to wait for almost 1 hour.

SA said even when you change just the battery, they need to re-program the whole remote. I could see the guy switching on and off the ignition key several times continuosly with buttons pressed - one at a time. The same exercise was repeated for each button. And by the time they opened a job no, closed it and the bill was ready, it was almost an hour.

No other issues and she's happy cruising just above 30k kms.
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Old 19th July 2011, 20:56   #12
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Default A 68 BHP Rocket!

I had the opportunity to be with sv1976 for a Bangalore - Cochin and back trip. It was a display of what a meager 68 BHP (when compared to the current generation of common rails diesels, which run in excess of 100bhp) can do when mated to a well handling chassis. The control he had on the car at all times is why Fiesta manages to be on top of the chart in the handling department even after all these years.

I may have clocked more miles, but have never used the gears and the rev range this well to make progress. Hats off to your driving. And hats off, to a great car. A word of advice to fellow Fiesta owners, do try out the rev range. Its a rewarding experience.
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