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Long-term test: Ford Fiesta 1.6 Ghia



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This nippy little car was a welcome addition to the AM fleet and most members of our team found it a lot of fun.

The ample specification, including electric folding mirrors and rear parking sensors, also earned the Fiesta big bonus points.

Opinions on the exterior were split. I thought it looked cool, but from others’ reactions, it could prove difficult to sell to a male audience.

Once inside there is lots of light and the cabin feels spacious and airy. There is plenty of head and leg room for all passengers, making it comfortable for small families or four adults.

Unfortunately the interior design is not as good as it could be. The leather seats felt cheap and proved to be uncomfortable when motoring over longer distances. Its redesigned dash also failed to inspire and fussy buyers will not compare the overall look favourably to the likes of the new Vauxhall Corsa.

During its stint here the Fiesta suffered from a misfire on cylinder four, leaving us with a broken coil pack. This was replaced under warranty without any difficulty by our local dealer, TC Harrison.

While there we were informed of a recall on the oil pressure release valve, which was replaced.

The Fiesta will continue to sell because of its excellent reputation, but dealers will have to offer discounts in order to shift volumes.

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: 8,826
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: Overall driving experience
Dislikes: Cheap leather seats

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