Ford Fiesta (2013-2017) Review logo

Ford Fiesta (2013-2017) Review

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1/10

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1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2013
      Body type
      Small hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“You really can’t go wrong”

Best bits

  •  Superb to drive
  • 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine is a gem
  • Affordable to buy and run

Not so great

  • Ecoboost can be thirsty when driven hard
  • Woeful infotainment
  • 1.25-litre versions feel underpowered

Read by

Ford Fiesta Exterior

Overall verdict

Ford Fiesta Interior

On the inside

Ford Fiesta Driving

Driving

Ford Fiesta Side

How much does it cost to run

Ford Fiesta Front

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"You can’t go wrong with a Ford Fiesta. It has common-sense appeal by the bucketload, with few weaknesses and plenty of strengths. It’s superb fun to drive, looks good and has most of the features you’d expect as standard, provided you pick the right spec. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular."

Ford Fiesta Exterior

The Ford Fiesta has been Britain’s best-selling car for years. It is a national treasure, one that is fortunately as good to drive and live with as its popularity suggests. The Fiesta is just right in so many ways, from affordability, to economy, to reliability. It’s right up there at the top of the small hatch class.


This 2013 model was a heavily face-lifted version of the Fiesta launched in 2008. Five years later, that car was still so good, Ford didn’t need to reinvent the wheel. It simply updated the parts that weren’t so class-leading and added a bit of polish to the rest.


Externally, the big visual difference was the car’s distinctive grille, which many say mimics the famous shape used by Aston Martin. The lights were also a bit sharper, but otherwise it was largely the same. Not much changed inside either, apart from some new upholsteries and trim designs.


The biggest news was under the bonnet. The older 1.25-litre and 1.4 petrol engines had always been the Fiesta’s weakest aspect. They didn’t have enough pulling power and could thrash a bit when worked hard. Ford’s solution? Its brilliant new 1.0-litre Ecoboost turbo. With a diminutive capacity and just three cylinders, it sounded like a step backwards, but the reality was very different. This award-winning engine helped make the Fiesta complete.


The Ecoboost is uncannily smooth and much punchier than the older, non-turbo motors. Later versions offered up to 140PS, which is remarkable. When driven in the right way, it’s an engine also capable of some extraordinary fuel economy figures. However, when driven enthusiastically, it’s also capable of surprising thirst. You have been warned!


Ride and handling is another Fiesta strong-suit. It’s a beautiful car to drive, with a nimble, cheerful attitude. The ride is a touch firmer than something like a Volkswagen Polo, but even this isn’t much of an issue. The more poised setup is fully in keeping with the Fiesta’s agile nature.


Inside, the dashboard is well built and the design is distinctive, with cowled dials and a bold centre console. Where it lets itself down is the over-complicated, button-packed stereo and information system, which Ford modelled on smartphones – but old-fashioned smartphones packed with buttons, rather than newer touchscreen designs. The central display screen looks awful and it’s really dated by today’s standards.


Practicality is better. The Fiesta is one of the more compact hatchbacks on the outside, but space and comfort for front-seat passengers is decent. Those in the rear don’t quite have the room of some rivals, but it’s not bad, and the boot is a class-competitive size and useful shape.


Because the Ford Fiesta sold so well when new, there’s no end of choice on the second-hand market. You really can take your pick of body style (three-door or five-door), engine, trim and colour. With good-value pricing, low running costs, sound reliability and the sheer ease of use you get from running such a popular car, the Fiesta is almost guaranteed to give headache-free motoring. Read on to see how to get the best one for you.


If you're looking for the newer version, you need our Ford Fiesta (2017-) review.

Is the Ford Fiesta right for you?

Hundreds of thousands of people every year can’t be wrong. For many, the Ford Fiesta is the perfect second or even first car. It is a model with very few weaknesses and a broad array of strengths across the board.


It might be a small car, but the Fiesta offers big-car comfort and (if you pick the right engine) performance. It punches well above its weight on the road, and will eat up motorway journeys just as well as it copes in town.


If you need to often carry taller people in the rear, you perhaps ought to look at a larger option such as the Skoda Fabia or Honda Jazz. But the Fiesta can still cope, just, and it’s so good in most other ways, many seem prepared to make the compromise.

What’s the best Ford Fiesta model/engine to choose?

Style or Zetec trim is a good starting point, as Studio is just a bit too basic. Even better, choose a Titanium version, which has a better standard spec. Ford pushed things further upmarket during the Fiesta’s life with the indulgent Titanium X. We also like the later ST-Line variant, which has the look of a high-performance Fiesta ST without the overt sportiness of the hot hatch version.


As for engines, you can still buy a 1.25-litre Fiesta, with either 60PS or 82PS, but you’re much better off picking the 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine. It’s offered in 100PS, 125PS and 140PS guises. We reckon the 125PS version is a great all-rounder.


Ford sells Fiestas in both three-door and five-door formats. Our preference is for the more practical five-door, and these are represented in greater numbers on the second-hand market as well.

What other cars are similar to the Ford Fiesta?

The UK small hatchback market is vast, with entrants from almost every major brand. Big challengers to the Ford Fiesta are the Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo, plus the Polo’s closely-related siblings, the Skoda Fabia and SEAT Ibiza.


From France, there are the Citroen C3, Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio, while South Korea offers the Kia Rio and Hyundai i20. Japanese reliability comes in the shape of the Honda Jazz, Toyota Yaris and Mazda2, along with the more disappointing Nissan Micra.


The Fiesta handles so well, there’s many a MINI Hatch buyer who’d be perfectly happy to drive one. And it’s a fair bit more dependable than Alfa Romeo’s semi-premium offering, the Mito. We’d rather have an Audi A1 if we were forking out extra for a posh hatchback.

Learn more

Ford Fiesta Interior

On the inside

Ford Fiesta Driving

Driving

Ford Fiesta Side

How much does it cost to run

Ford Fiesta Front

Prices, versions and specification