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Used Ford Fiesta review: 2008-2010

2010 Ford Fiesta Zetec

There was no more crowded or competitive market in 2008 than the small car segment, which Ford contested with a new Fiesta. Despite modest engine capacity, it was rated as a driver's car and there were ample options and variants, from base CL three-door to sporty Zetec to Econetic turbo diesel.


As the car market moved away from the big cars that were Ford's bread-and-butter, the company had to change as well. The reality was that smaller cars, and small cars, represented the future.

Being the company's global small car the Fiesta was one chosen to help shove Ford into a new Falcon-less future. But was it the car to take on the big players in small cars? Given the raft of terrific littlies from Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Kia, it had to be very good.

Ford had for some time tried to be funky to appeal to hip young buyers, and the WS Fiesta certainly had the looks to appeal.

Older buyers who might have preferred a sedan were overlooked - Ford limited body styles to three and five-door hatches.

The WS range at launch consisted of three models, the entry-level CL in both body styles, the five-door only LX and the sporty Zetec, also five-door.

Two engines were available, but curiously the larger 1.6-litre was available only with the five-speed manual gearbox. If you wanted an automatic, it was coupled with a 1.4-litre.

Not only did you have to accept a smaller engine, you had to contend with a four-speed auto when a five-speed would have been infinitely better for both performance and fuel economy.

If performance was your priority the 1.6-litre manual was the way to go, zippy and frugal at the same time. The 1.4-litre plus auto drivetrain was sluggish and less economical.

There was some relief late in the WS series when Ford released the Econetic, a five-door hatch with a 1.6-litre turbo diesel four that delivered exceptional economy.

Lesser models in the range earned only four stars from ANCAP, but still had ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution. To get five stars you had to buy a Zetec, gaining extra airbags, stability control, traction control and emergency bake assist.

You could have all of that in the lesser models by shelling out extra for the option pack.


The good news for anyone considering a WS Fiesta is that it came from Germany. The WT that followed it was built in Thailand and build quality arguably slipped.

The other good news is that the WS missed out on the sometimes troublesome double-clutch (DSG) auto that was fitted to the WT.

The auto in the WS was a conventional torque converter automatic, which is largely trouble-free.

The downside is the four ratios which, in tandem with the 1.4 that struggles for torque, means performance and fuel economy aren't great.

Peter Smith and his wife are very pleased with the 2009 Fiesta Zetec they bought new. It's only done about 22,000km, it has always been serviced at a Ford dealership and it has never needed a warranty claim or any other attention. Peter's the main driver and says it's the best car that he's ever had.

The things they dislike are the aircon's performance, which isn't up to the Queensland climate, reverse gear is hard to select and there's apparent cost cutting in some areas. On the plus side, they love the handling and the fuel economy.

Tony and Aly Hicks love their 2010 Fiesta CL, which they bought new. The car has exceeded expectations - they really rate the automatic - and the road olding is excellent.

It's a real driver's car despite the 1.4, and has been trouble free over the 54,000km it has done.

The WS is standing up well in service. There's nothing that should be of serious concern to anyone looking to buy one.

Before handing over your cash make the usual checks, ensuring there's a credible service record.

Also make a thorough check of the body and paint, looking for dings and dents that might affect the value, and look closely for signs of crash repairs.

Operate all ancillaries to make sure everything is in good order and functions as it should.

A test drive is always recommended. Don't let the seller take the wheel; drive the car yourself. That's the only means by which you can tell if the car is right for you. It also gets around the situation of the seller driving in such a way as to conceal any issues.


Year Price From Price To
2010 $2,800 $6,600
2009 $2,900 $6,050
2008 $2,300 $5,390

View all Ford Fiesta pricing and specifications

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Range and Specs

Ghia 1.6L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $2,800 – 4,730 2008 Ford Fiesta 2008 Ghia Pricing and Specs
LX 1.6L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $2,400 – 4,070 2008 Ford Fiesta 2008 LX Pricing and Specs
XR4 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $3,100 – 5,390 2008 Ford Fiesta 2008 XR4 Pricing and Specs
Zetec 1.6L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $2,300 – 3,960 2008 Ford Fiesta 2008 Zetec Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist


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