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Long-term test: Ford Fiesta 1.6 Ghia



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Our little Fiesta is shockingly nippy and more than capable of the long drives I have to cope with to get to work, covering a multitude of different driving surfaces from high-speed dual carriageways to one-car-width bumpy country lanes.

The car handles very well; it’s responsive and feels very secure, allowing you to trim the corner line and put your foot down with confidence.

It’s a ‘sensible’ choice for buyers: it’s almost the default decision for anyone wanting a large supermini. But more savvy prospects will be demanding big discounts on this little car, as there is so much competition out there, much of it cheaper.

Those who remember the Fiestas of old will be pleasantly surprised at the current model. The interior is roomier and better presented (although there is scope for dashboard improvement); and all the panels fit well and have a quality feel.

All-round visibility is good, thanks to the generous amount of glass surrounding you. The boot is a good size for such a small car, and would easily cope with luggage for a long weekend away for a couple, or the family weekly shop.

However, I found the car very uncomfortable. The seats are unyielding and not particularly supportive – and for someone whose neckbones ‘separated’ in an accident a couple of years ago, I found that I was very sore after the 45min or so journey to work.

Price: £13,790
Engine: 1.6-litre 16v petrol, 99bhp @ 6,000rpm
Performance: 0-62mph 10.2sec, top speed 114mph
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Start mileage: 6,291
Current mileage: 8,340
Book mpg: 44.1mpg combined
Test period: October 2006-January 2007
CAP RV 3yr/30k: £3,975 (32%)
CAP RV 3yr/60k: £3,525 (28%)
Likes: Peppy driving experience
Dislikes: Poor seating ergonomics

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