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The Mercury Cars Guide : February 7th 2009
16— CARSguide Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, February 7, 2009 Cutie pushes the right buttons Ford’s cutebaby mixes style with economy.Neil Dowling reports W HY do people say something is ‘‘as cute as a but- ton’’? A button isn’t cute. It’s a fiddly, slippery thing thats entire life is dependant on a strand or two of cotton thread. A Fiesta, however, IS cute. Even the first model easily fell into the cute-category and was so alluring that thou- sands were sold to ladies seeking style and sensibility. The latest is a bit more edgy in shape, but it still has the characteristics of the first. Teardrop headlights and high, slim tail lights combine with the ‘‘bunched up’’ wedge profile of the Fiesta. Subjectively, the three-door is prettier, conveys a sporty nature. The five is obviously more practical. The CL manual model testedcomeswith 15-inch steel wheels covered by silver- painted plastic covers. Again, practical though not necessar- ily an elegant look. Yes, there is a conflict of materials and colours—but it works. There is even sections of soft-feel material on the dash that really lifts the car’s perceived quality. There’s also plenty of stor- age spaces, including a hinged pocket on the lower right-side of the dash and a glovebox capable of accepting more than a glove. The driver’s seat is height adjustable and the steering wheel can adjust in both tilt and telescopic. The front seats get surpris- ingly long cushions to support the thighs which is very wel- come for anyone spending a lot of time behind the wheel. Shoppers will rejoice, with a huge boot that is both deep and long. The seat is split and folds to boost cargo room. BABY-FACED: The Ford Fiesta CL is a gorgeous, little piece of work. The boot’s hatch is gener- ous in the sizeandheight of its opening but may be difficult for smaller people to close. The test car had an optional ‘‘full-size’’ 80km/h-limited 175/50R14 Goodyear Duraquip spare tire that appears physi- cally as big as the 195/50R15 road wheel. If you drive in the country, get this Duraquip version or, better, ask for a proper tyre. The CL five-door manual model tested here is the entry- level version valued at $16,490. You may save $740 by for- going two doors but if you have more than two friends, you may regret that saving. Ford add more goodies for the LX ($18,490) and Zetec ($20,990). Autos add $1500 but the engines are only 1.4 litres. Electronic stability control, traction control and five extra airbags —taking the number to seven — cost $1000 and no owner should leave without it. The Fiesta is basically like a Mazda2, which is good news. The front-wheel drive baby gets an 88kW/152Nm 1.6-litre engine for the manual trans- INSIDE VIEW FORDFIESTACL5-DOOR Body: Five-door hatchback, five-seats Price:$16,490 Engines: 1.6-litre, 4-cyl Power:88kW@6000rpm Torque:152Nm@ 4050rpm Fuel tank:43litres Fueleconomy(official): 6.1 litres/100km Fueleconomy(tested): 6.9 litres/100km Transmission: 5-speed manual; front drive Brakes: Disc/drum Safety:Twoairbags,ABS brakes withEBD Warranty: 3yr/ 100,000km Service interval: 15,000km mission model. But opt for the auto and the engine is a smaller 71kW/ 128Nm 1.4-litre unit. Ford claims 6.1 litres/ 100km for the manual and 6.9l/100km for the auto. The chassis has a conven- tional design and components that indicate simple and inex- pensive servicing and repair. The CL’s list of features includes air-conditioning with a pollen filter, electric front windows, heated and electric mirrors,a single-CD withMP3 compatibility, an iPod jack and audio controls on the steering wheel. ON THE ROAD The Fiesta performs a lot better than expected. The 1.6-litre engine is a torquey, quiet and frugal little unit that has a pleasing kick at about 4000rpm. The gearbox is a conven- tional five-speeder with accu- rate shifts and, together with the clutch, a light operation. Fuel economy on test was 7.2-litres/100km but I was en- joying the engine and could have done a lot better. Handling is surprisingly se- cure. A light car, it can move about in sidewinds, however displays none of this nervous- ness through the bends. The steering is overly light but it all feels comfortably connected. The brakes are front discs and rear drums but there’s no complaint about performance. BOTTOM LINE Features: Air-conditioning, electric front windows/mir- rors, four-speaker single-disc CD, iPod jack. Summing up: A nimble and trendy city car with a big fun factor. ?Score:80/100 ?Rivals: Mazda2Neo($16,500): 81/100 HondaJazz GLi ($15,990): 84/100 Toyota YarisYR($16,890): 80/100 Holden Barina ($16,290): 70/100 Nissan Done Deals. $15, No repayments for 12 months›. 08 build Tiida ST 08 build Micra ¦ Dual front airbags ¦ 5 DOOR AUTO ABS brakes ¦ MP3 player input ¦ ABS brakes ¦ Dual front airbags ¦ 08 build Dualis ST ¦ ALL MODE 4x4 ¦ Dual front airbags ¦ ST MANUAL FROM DRIVE AWAYˆ ST CVT AUTO FROM $26, ¦ 6 airbags $34, DRIVE AWAYˆ * Price excludes dealer delivery of $1,650 and govt charges. 990 www.djmotors.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org 08 build X-TRAIL ST ¦ ALL MODE 4x4-i ¦ Hill start assist and descent control ABS brakes ¦ Cruise control 990 Metallic colours $495 extra. 3,000kg braked towing capacity ¦ ABS brakes ¦ Dual front airbags TURBO DIESEL MANUAL FROM ˆ Offer excludes govt. contract, special assistance and rental fleet sales. Team NissanDealers 235 ARGYLE STREET HOBART PH 6213 3300 EASY FINANCE AVAILABLE WITH DJ FINANCIAL SERVICES DRIVE AWAYˆ DRIVE AWAYˆ 08 build Navara D22 ST-R 4x4 485 $17, 990 ABS brakes * Metallic colours $495 extra. ¦ Common-rail turbo diesel engine ¦ ¦ Dual front airbags ¦ FROM $29, $39,990 $52, * 2,800kg braked towing capacity Metallic colours $495 extra. FOR ABN HOLDERS 08 build Navara ST-X 4x4 Dual Cab 08 build Patrol Wagon ST ¦ 126kW of power ¦ ¦ Common-rail turbo diesel engine ¦ ¦ Dual front airbags ¦ ABS brakes ¦ 3,200kg braked towing capacity TURBO DIESEL ST MANUAL FROM Metallic colours $495 extra. FOR ABN HOLDERS DRIVE AWAYˆ 990 990 › To approved applicants of Nissan Financial Services Australia Pty Ltd ABN 70130046794. Offer ends 28th February 2009; all contracts must be settled by 31st March 2009. Only at participating Nissan Dealers. Minimum Deposit of 35%. First repayment is due 12 months from date of contract signing. Terms and Finance conditions apply. Offer excludes Rental Fleet buyers. All Nissan vehicles come with 3 year/100,000km warranty and 3-year 24-hour roadside assistance. Nissan reserves the right to withdraw, vary or extend any offer. NissanDealers 235 ARGYLE STREET HOBART PH 6213 3300 AFTER HOURS Keith McIntyre Cameron Gibson Ben Steedman Doug Goss AFTER HOURS Keith McIntyre 0408 430 748 Doug Goss 0418 124 158 0417 510 842 0438 121 377 0418 124 158 0408 430 748 Air conditioning ST MANUAL SEDAN OR HATCH FROM 7-seater Metallic colours $495 extra. NIS276 1 ONLY 6 ONLY 5 ONLY 3 ONLY 2 ONLY
January 31st 2009
February 14th 2009