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Fiesta time on the freeway

That was until the weekly workout on the South-Eastern Freeway. Destination: Murray Bridge. Cargo: a wombat, three roosters and a chick. I'll explain.

Thursday-night treks to football and netball training have become a ritual in winter for some city folk, including myself.

My first impression of the Fiesta was that there was no way it could handle my heavy car load, which consisted of my mate "Wombat" and three Rambler "the Roosters" Football Club players.

The freeway can be punishing at the best of times on an average engine and you'll often find cars with Fiesta-like engines hogging the left lane to let others pass.

The Fiesta Zetec ruled the roost in the right lane.

It zipped past them all, without breaking the speed limit.

By the way, two of the roosters were also cops so I had to be on my best behaviour.

The usual car conversation which, let's say, can be quite blokey despite my feminine touch, automatically turned to the Fiesta's performance. Now, I know blokes like talking about cars, but a Fiesta?

We all agreed that, for a small car, there is sufficient room – even if from the outside we might have looked a little squeezy in the back. The interior is pretty sporty. Just as well, given we are sporty kinda people. the instrument panels are nicely placed and tilted slightly for easy access. The boot space, while not massive, is OK for a small car (and let's put things in perspective – it is a small car) but the automatic open-boot function is the real winner. However, we were less than impressed with the absence of the centre storage console. Maybe it's more out of habit than anything else, but I missed it.

As we passed Mt Barker, we were really cruising.

The Festiva was in need of some fuel but, like most girls, I pushed it to the limit. The digital kilometre countdown to empty did wonders for achieving this and gave peace of mind that we weren't about to stop on the freeway.

The sound-system volume adjustment on the steering column is also a welcome change to the usual push button on the steering wheel. This was also handy to drown out the inevitable return to blokey topics as we neared the football oval.

With the plethora of small cars on the market, the Fiesta Zetec definitely packs a competitive punch.

As for the weekly freeway trek, it's back to basics.


Fiesta Zetec

Price: $18,490 (Metallic paint $280 option)


Sporty, 16in alloys and funky colours give the Fiesta an edge.

The interior automatic pop-up boot button is within easy reach and makes life easier.

Good value for what you get.


No centre storage console.

For a small car, it chewed up fuel a bit faster than I had hoped but I was carrying a pretty big load.