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The Mercury Cars Guide : June 20th 2009
20— Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, June 20, 2009 Ford in a festive mood firstname.lastname@example.org with KEITH DIDHAM T HEfierce battle for compact car supremacy in this coun- try can be a minefield for the buyer. There’s the good, the badandsometimes eventhe ugly. If you believe the advertising campaigns, today’s crop of littlies are the safest, the sexiest, the most frugal, are clean and green and promise to make any envious by- stander turn their heads with puppy- eyed admiration as you cruise by. We wish. The reality is there are small cars out there which don’t quite deliver on the advertising promise. There are plenty of good cars, of course, and a few which really stand out as being leaders of the pack. Enter Ford’s cute revamped Fies- ta, a star car which has become the benchmark. It comes with a range of three and five-door hatches and a choice of two engines (the autos make do with a 1.4-litre instead of a 1.6). This week we went to the top of the class, driving the bells-and-all Zetec ver- sion which has a list price of $21,490 plus on road costs. The Fiesta is not perfect—no car is and you can find holes in the Ford package if you want to be picky. Let’s face it, previous versions of the Fiesta were ho-hum. But this one, with more than a dash of Euro-chic and added sophistication, is a differ- ent story. What makes this a great car from a good one is how it scores as a complete package — scoring high marks for styling, comfort, safety, performance, features and at the end of the day, value for money. It is the new benchmark for the compact class, pushing aside strong opposition like the Mazda2 (with which it shares many components and mechanicals), Honda’s Jazz and Toyota’s big-selling Yaris. There’s a whole bunch of others in there as well, like the VW Polo, Holden Barina, Suzuki Swift and Hyundai Getz. Fiesta leads with sound dynamics, perky performance, five-star safety features and good fuel economy. We thrashed a five-speed manual ver- sion for a week in typical stop-start city driving and paying no attention to driving frugally, and it still re- turned 6.7l/100km. That’s impres- sive. On the road, the little Ford feels tight, nicely balanced with positive steering feedback.Thefront seats are comfortable and the storage space generous. FIESTA: Playful, clever, cute and chic — and good value — it’s the winning package among compacts. small torque Ford Fiesta Zetec Howmuch:$21,490. Drive: Front Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol Power:88kW/152Nm Emissions: 143gCO2 /km Transmission: Five-speedmanual Howthirsty: 6.7l/100kmontest As for safety, it comes with five airbags (front and side plus a driver’s knee airbag), anti-lock brakes plus stability and traction control. But if you are buying cheaper versions of the Fiesta you have to tick the options box to get the full set of airbags as well as ESC ($1000). This is a fun-styled car, aimed at a youthful fun-loving market. The Zetec came with plum- coloured dashboard instead of the oh- so-conventional grey. Ford is not the first to go down the coloured dash- board route — Mercedes-Benz gave us pastel -shaded dashboards when it launched its A-Class. I drove a spearmint green version inGermany and still shake my head in wonder today. WEEKENDS AWAY: The new Fiesta is styled to appeal to young buyers. There are points of the Fiesta’s But somehow being bold works in the Fiesta because it fits in with the car’s image, as does the over-the-top suspiciously Honda-looking centre dash control panel for the audio and ventilation system. It does suffer from some problems with functionality but there are plenty of buttons to play with and in at the end of the day it all works. styling which left me cold: the steering wheel sticks out too far from the dash which influences the seat- ing opposition, switches on the driv- er’s door are mounted too far rear- wards so they are awkward to use; the rear seat is far too soft in terms of side support, and when you open the tailgate you look at the painted metal on the rear seat backs. There are no complaints about the size of the boot nor the versatility of the load space and there’s plenty of storage space as well in the cabin. $8.25 per day† SCOOP PURCHASE! • automatic 08 NISSAN Micra City • Economical 1.4 litre 4 cylinder engine • front, side & curtain airbags • 6-disc CD stacker ONLY 5, • ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution & Brake Assist • remainder of new car warranty • power windows $1 990DRIVE †To approved business clients only, with a $2,500 deposit over five years with a 30% residual payment. Interest rate 10.50%. AWAY! • alloy wheels Enough of the bad points. Where the Fiesta wins is on value. With the Zetec version at least, you get all the desirable stuff like Blue- tooth phone connection with voice- activated controls, USB port and iPod connection. You can also tick the boxes for powerwindows, remote central locking, air con, alloy wheels, steering wheel-mounted audio con- trols, fog lamps, cruise control, lane change indicators and cabin and park lights that come on when you unlock the doors from a distance which is terrific on a dark night. www.djmotors.com.au email@example.com Easy finance available with DJ Financial Services Hobart 1a Brisbane Street,Hobart Phone: 6213 3300 Warren Amos 0417 544 829 Luke Mitchell 0408 545 146 Glenorchy 275 Main Road,Glenorchy Phone: 6213 3315 Brian Anning 0418 531 853 Chris Wakefield 0400 635 446 Allan Gebel 0428 729 659
June 13th 2009
June 27th 2009