Ford Fiesta Zetec 2009 Review

Ford Fiesta Zetec 2009 Review

ford-fiesta-zetec-fq

There are as many different types of parties as there are types of people, so when Ford opened the doors on its sixth generation Fiesta no one was sure what to expect. The previous five Fiesta models were small and spirited, but would the sixth be gatecrashed by banality and mediocrity? Car and SUV received invites to test both new Ford Fiesta variants.

Deciding between the Fiesta models is like choosing between a wine bar and a nightclub, you can have a good time in both but there is an evident variation in pace. Take the milder wine bar option and you have a 1.4-litre engine pouring out 71kw of power and 128Nm of torque. The smaller motor is only available with a 4-speed automatic transmission and returns a 6.5l/100km fuel economy. It’s a willing power plant that’s no rocket ship off the line but can offer decent mid-range poke. The auto transmission is a hard worker and makes good use of the limited power available, seldom chopping down too soon and not shy about holding a lower gear under throttle. If you require greater gear change control the auto box has a sequential shift option.

Those wearing dancing shoes may want to take the quicker choice and will get Ford’s 1.6-litre Duratec motor serving up 88kW of juice and 152Nm of torque. The feisty engine duets with a 5-speed manual transmission to offer an excellent engine-gearbox combination that achieves an impressive 5.9l/100km fuel economy. The larger engine is flexible and free revving offering a more involved drive than its smaller capacity sibling and most competitors in the compact segment. Even in fifth gear the motor remains responsive and above 4500rpm the exhaust sings out a raspy note. The manual transmission shifts cleanly and smoothly with a shortish throw. Combined with a light clutch it’s very easy to use, and to get used to. The only small issue comes with the feel of slotting into reverse which is quite vague, making for some second-guessing before letting out the clutch.

The party doesn’t end with the different motors as both Fiesta variants share standout ride quality with a remarkable level of refinement. Like a surly doorman the Fiesta’s smooth suspension tune rejects almost all undesirable road bumps and potholes from affecting the cabin. Road and wind noise is also minimal promoting tranquillity at cruising speeds.

Ford has worked hard on the Fiesta’s steering with a progressive electronic assisted system making for easy driving. U-turns and tight manoeuvres can be performed effortlessly and it will tighten during more spirited driving.

Despite being a city car by definition the Fiesta feels equally at home on twisty roads. With a low centre of gravity and minimal body roll the Fiesta’s as focused as a fat kid swinging a piñata stick. It’s an easy car to feel confident in particularly at turn-in and with a high level of grip its handling abilities match the available power easily.

Inside the Fiesta cabin the dress code is smart-casual with Ford’s kinetic design philosophy in full force. It’s a bold, modern and unconforming layout with the main control stack resembling a flattened transformer robot. The instrument shrouds are a design feature and the contrasting mix of silver and black plastics set off the futuristic theme. A high-mounted multi function display screen let’s you know what’s happening and all buttons and knobs are within easy reach. Overall fit and finish is class-leading with quality materials that feel durable and operate with thoughtful functionality. It’s an easy cabin to get comfortable in even for taller drivers, something that can’t be said of all compact cars. The front seats are supportive and covered in a patterned cloth fabric that’s certainly unique but won’t suit all tastes. Rear legroom is adequate, it’s not best in class but is more than an afterthought and capable of accommodating three adults on short journeys. Luggage space in the hatch is a usable 281 litres and the back seat folds forward with a 60:40 split for larger items.

The Fiesta also has the interior equipment to back up its aesthetic bravado with standard features including Bluetooth phone integration with voice control, cruise control, tilt and rake steering wheel adjustment, CD stereo with USB and standard auxiliary inputs, power windows and air conditioning.

Step outside and the Fiesta’s exterior is easy to admire, thin A-pillars push fluidly back into the roofline and a deeply accented shoulder line works in with pronounced wheel arches to create a muscular impression. Up front the now familiar Ford corporate face and trapezoidal grille announce its arrival and the rear houses massive jewelled taillights and a roof mounted spoiler. The sporty look is finished off with smart 16-inch alloy rims on both model variants.

If things turn ugly the Fiesta has solid safety credentials to help out having achieved a maximum 5-star European NCAP safety rating. Five airbags are ready to pop including front, side and driver’s knee airbags. ABS braking, Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control and Emergency Brake Assist are all welcome inclusions.

Fiesta is derived from Latin meaning to feast and the Ford Fiesta has a few more dishes than it’s competitors. The Honda Jazz may match the Fiesta for interior spaciousness and arguably exterior styling but not driving dynamics and ride quality. Particularly in 1.6-litre specification the Fiesta offers a true connection between driver and machine, a rarity among new hatchbacks. That said, it never demands excessive input and is a breeze to manage in traffic and on open roads. The interior is clearly a strong suit where everything functions well and the general quality is class leading. Priced from $24,490 the invite is open to all and it’s competitively placed in the compact segment. If you can handle using three pedals the 1.6-litre model is the obvious choice being cheaper and offering better fuel economy and performance. Overall, the Ford Fiesta is so convincing that the question for many potential small car buyers won’t be what type of car to pick but what type of Fiesta to choose. That all depends on how you party.

Click through to the next page for a list of specifications

Price: Fiesta 1.6-litre $24,490, Fiesta 1.4L $25,990

What we like:

  • Smart design inside and out
  • Quality interior plastics
  • Ride quality and handling ability
  • Peppy engines

What we don’t like:

  • Interior fabrics won’t suit conservative tastes
  • Elusive reverse gear in manual
  • Rear drum brakes

Words and Photos: Adam Mamo

Ford Fiesta Zetec Automatic – Specifications

Engine
1.4L Duratec
Compression ratio 11:1
Cylinders 4
Displacement (cc) 1388
Power – maximum (DIN) 71kW @ 5750rpm
Torque – maximum (DIN) 128Nm @ 4,200rpm
Transmission 5 speed manual
Towing Capacity – Maximum (kg) Braked 900,  Unbraked 500

Brakes
Front – Vented discs
Rear – Drum

Suspension
Front – MacPherson struts
Rear – Twist-beam

Steering
Electronic Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS)
Turning circle – kerb to kerb (m) 10.2
Turns lock to lock 2.6

Fuel Economy
Combined fuel economy (L/100km) 6.52
Fuel 91-98 RON (E10 Compatible)
Fuel tank capacity (L) 42

Emissions Data
CO2 emissions (g/km) 1544
Emission level Euro Stage IV

ford-fiesta-zetec-fq

There are as many different types of parties as there are types of people, so when Ford opened the doors on its sixth generation Fiesta no one was sure what to expect. The previous five Fiesta models were small and spirited, but would the sixth be gatecrashed by banality and mediocrity? Car and SUV received invites to test both new Ford Fiesta variants.

Deciding between the Fiesta models is like choosing between a wine bar and a nightclub, you can have a good time in both but there is an evident variation in pace. Take the milder wine bar option and you have a 1.4-litre engine pouring out 71kw of power and 128Nm of torque. The smaller motor is only available with a 4-speed automatic transmission and returns a 6.5l/100km fuel economy. It’s a willing power plant that’s no rocket ship off the line but can offer decent mid-range poke. The auto transmission is a hard worker and makes good use of the limited power available, seldom chopping down too soon and not shy about holding a lower gear under throttle. If you require greater gear change control the auto box has a sequential shift option.

Those wearing dancing shoes may want to take the quicker choice and will get Ford’s 1.6-litre Duratec motor serving up 88kW of juice and 152Nm of torque. The feisty engine duets with a 5-speed manual transmission to offer an excellent engine-gearbox combination that achieves an impressive 5.9l/100km fuel economy. The larger engine is flexible and free revving offering a more involved drive than its smaller capacity sibling and most competitors in the compact segment. Even in fifth gear the motor remains responsive and above 4500rpm the exhaust sings out a raspy note. The manual transmission shifts cleanly and smoothly with a shortish throw. Combined with a light clutch it’s very easy to use, and to get used to. The only small issue comes with the feel of slotting into reverse which is quite vague, making for some second-guessing before letting out the clutch.

The party doesn’t end with the different motors as both Fiesta variants share standout ride quality with a remarkable level of refinement. Like a surly doorman the Fiesta’s smooth suspension tune rejects almost all undesirable road bumps and potholes from affecting the cabin. Road and wind noise is also minimal promoting tranquillity at cruising speeds.

Ford has worked hard on the Fiesta’s steering with a progressive electronic assisted system making for easy driving. U-turns and tight manoeuvres can be performed effortlessly and it will tighten during more spirited driving.

Despite being a city car by definition the Fiesta feels equally at home on twisty roads. With a low centre of gravity and minimal body roll the Fiesta’s as focused as a fat kid swinging a piñata stick. It’s an easy car to feel confident in particularly at turn-in and with a high level of grip its handling abilities match the available power easily.

Inside the Fiesta cabin the dress code is smart-casual with Ford’s kinetic design philosophy in full force. It’s a bold, modern and unconforming layout with the main control stack resembling a flattened transformer robot. The instrument shrouds are a design feature and the contrasting mix of silver and black plastics set off the futuristic theme. A high-mounted multi function display screen let’s you know what’s happening and all buttons and knobs are within easy reach. Overall fit and finish is class-leading with quality materials that feel durable and operate with thoughtful functionality. It’s an easy cabin to get comfortable in even for taller drivers, something that can’t be said of all compact cars. The front seats are supportive and covered in a patterned cloth fabric that’s certainly unique but won’t suit all tastes. Rear legroom is adequate, it’s not best in class but is more than an afterthought and capable of accommodating three adults on short journeys. Luggage space in the hatch is a usable 281 litres and the back seat folds forward with a 60:40 split for larger items.

The Fiesta also has the interior equipment to back up its aesthetic bravado with standard features including Bluetooth phone integration with voice control, cruise control, tilt and rake steering wheel adjustment, CD stereo with USB and standard auxiliary inputs, power windows and air conditioning.

Step outside and the Fiesta’s exterior is easy to admire, thin A-pillars push fluidly back into the roofline and a deeply accented shoulder line works in with pronounced wheel arches to create a muscular impression. Up front the now familiar Ford corporate face and trapezoidal grille announce its arrival and the rear houses massive jewelled taillights and a roof mounted spoiler. The sporty look is finished off with smart 16-inch alloy rims on both model variants.

If things turn ugly the Fiesta has solid safety credentials to help out having achieved a maximum 5-star European NCAP safety rating. Five airbags are ready to pop including front, side and driver’s knee airbags. ABS braking, Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control and Emergency Brake Assist are all welcome inclusions.

Fiesta is derived from Latin meaning to feast and the Ford Fiesta has a few more dishes than it’s competitors. The Honda Jazz may match the Fiesta for interior spaciousness and arguably exterior styling but not driving dynamics and ride quality. Particularly in 1.6-litre specification the Fiesta offers a true connection between driver and machine, a rarity among new hatchbacks. That said, it never demands excessive input and is a breeze to manage in traffic and on open roads. The interior is clearly a strong suit where everything functions well and the general quality is class leading. Priced from $24,490 the invite is open to all and it’s competitively placed in the compact segment. If you can handle using three pedals the 1.6-litre model is the obvious choice being cheaper and offering better fuel economy and performance. Overall, the Ford Fiesta is so convincing that the question for many potential small car buyers won’t be what type of car to pick but what type of Fiesta to choose. That all depends on how you party.

Click through to the next page for a list of specifications

Price: Fiesta 1.6-litre $24,490, Fiesta 1.4L $25,990

What we like:

  • Smart design inside and out
  • Quality interior plastics
  • Ride quality and handling ability
  • Peppy engines

What we don’t like:

  • Interior fabrics won’t suit conservative tastes
  • Elusive reverse gear in manual
  • Rear drum brakes

Words and Photos: Adam Mamo

Ford Fiesta Zetec Automatic – Specifications

Engine
1.4L Duratec
Compression ratio 11:1
Cylinders 4
Displacement (cc) 1388
Power – maximum (DIN) 71kW @ 5750rpm
Torque – maximum (DIN) 128Nm @ 4,200rpm
Transmission 5 speed manual
Towing Capacity – Maximum (kg) Braked 900,  Unbraked 500

Brakes
Front – Vented discs
Rear – Drum

Suspension
Front – MacPherson struts
Rear – Twist-beam

Steering
Electronic Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS)
Turning circle – kerb to kerb (m) 10.2
Turns lock to lock 2.6

Fuel Economy
Combined fuel economy (L/100km) 6.52
Fuel 91-98 RON (E10 Compatible)
Fuel tank capacity (L) 42

Emissions Data
CO2 emissions (g/km) 1544
Emission level Euro Stage IV

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