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Long-term test: Ford Fiesta 1.6 Ghia



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Ever-present near the top of the monthly sales charts, the Ford Fiesta sets the standard for rivals.

It offers an enjoyable driving experience, solid build and attractive design.

In fact, the driving experience is more than enjoyable – it’s a real hoot. Ride and handling was originally benchmarked against the Focus and it tells when scooting around B-roads.

Although it now faces intense pressure from a revitalized Vauxhall Corsa, the Fiesta still has enough verve to appeal to young and old alike. It also has plenty of interior space for passengers and their luggage, which makes it a highly practical car.

The 1.6-litre Ghia will sell 2,668 units this year, out of Fiesta’s 103,000 total sales (a figure that is up from 83,803 last year).

Next year, Ford wants to maintain this sales level. But it does not intend to invest any more in marketing or advertising to counter the threat from Corsa.

The five-door Fiesta went on sale in 2002, but was facelifted in November 2005 with a new interior dashboard (it’s still bland) and some exterior modifications, including new head- and tail-lights.

Fiesta still appeals, but new competition could see its sales slip next year. Dealers will need to work hard to retain their share.

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: 7,265
MPG: 44.1 combined
Test: period October 2006-January 2007
CAP RV 3yr/30k: £4,050 (33%)
CAP RV 3yr/60k: £3,600 (27%)
Likes: Driving experience, space
Dislikes: Bland interior

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