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The Mercury Cars Guide : March 13th 2010
14--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, March 13, 2010 Ford's big reason to party REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: Fiesta was a winner for Ford after the failed Ka experiment. For this week's used car pick, Graham Smith evaluates the Ford Fiesta WP 2004-2006 FORD took a long time to find a proper replacement for the Korean-built Festiva, but it finally struck gold in 2004 when it unearthed the European Fiesta. The Kia-built Festiva had been a winner for the blue oval, as had the Laser before that, but the company stumbled at the first attempt to find a suitable Festiva replacement when the quirky Ka proved a dismal failure in this market. When small car buyers went look- ing for a car to replace their Festivas what they found was the odd-looking Ka and they quickly realised it wasn't for them. In effect Ford abandoned the tra- ditional small car market when it pitched the Ka at funky young fe- males hoping they would think it cute. Traditional small car buyers also baulked when they found the Ka was only available as a three-door hatch and they couldn't get it with an auto transmission. The arrival of the Fiesta was a relief to all concerned, probably including Ford's management who must have been relieved to see the end of the Ka experiment. model watch The Fiesta was a return to the mainstream for Ford after the Ka experiment. Whereas the Ka only came as a funky three-door hatch, the Fiesta was a more conventionally styled model and buyers could choose between three-door and five-door hatch body styles. They also had the choice of three models, in the form of the LX, Zetec and Ghia. The LX was the price leader, which missed out on air conditioning. For that you needed to spend an extra couple of grand. What you did get was remote central locking, power windows and mirrors, immobiliser, leather steering wheel and a four-speaker CD sound system. In the middle of the range was the Zetec, a three-door hatch with the promise of a more sporty drive. Those who chose to spend the extra for the Zetec got air, alloy wheels, and fog lamps in addition to the gear that came with the LX. Perched atop the range was the luxury Ghia five-door hatch, which came with a six-stacker CD sound system and the option of extra safety gear. There was just the single engine available and that was a 1.6-litre four- cylinder with double overhead camshafts and sequential fuel injection. At its twin peaks it was outputting 74 kW at 6000 revs and 146 Nm at 4000 revs, enough to endow the Fiesta with quite a bit of zip. The transmission choices consisted of a five-speed manual and four-speed auto, and the final drive was through the front wheels. The brakes were disc front and rear, the suspension was independent with a typically Ford of Europe sporty feel, and the steering was by power- assisted rack-and-pinion. on the lot Pay $8000-$11,000 for a three-door LX, add $300 for the extra doors of the five-door LX. For the Zetec three-door pay $10,000-$13,500, while the luxury of the Ghia can be had for $12,000-$15,500. in the shop Owners of the Fiesta appear to be generally satisfied with their cars; very few complaints have been received at CarsGuide. If there's a consistent complaint it's about brake wear, but that's a common grizzle with most European cars, not something peculiar to the small Ford. Make the usual checks for dodgy crash repairs and a service record. on the road The Fiesta was a revelation after the Ka; it was great to drive with a punchy engine, nippy performance, and very good ride and handling. On top of that it looked good, had a bright and breezy interior, and was easy on the pocket when it came to those compulsory stops for fuel. If there was a criticism it was that the seats lacked support, but that was about it. in a crash All models were equipped with dual-stage airbags for the driver and front passenger, as well as seat belt pretensioners. ABS and EBD braking was standard on all models, except the base LX manual hatch. ANCAP rated the WP Fiesta at four stars. at the pump Road testers at the time reported they got 7.5-8.0 L/100 km on average. Fords official claim was 6.6 L/100 km. look for Attractive looks. Punchy engine. Good economy. Nippy handing. the bottom line A great little car that was a delight to drive. COMING UP: How do you rate your FG Falcon? Send your comments to Graham Smith at carsGuide or e-mail email@example.com. others to try Mazda 2 (2002-05) Well-built, well-equipped little car that delivers the flexibility of a hatch/wagon. Has bland wagon looks, but is easy to drive with a good level of safety and decent fuel economy. Pay $9000-$13,000. Hyundai Getz (2002-05) No-fuss small car that is what it is and nothing more. Affordable to buy, run and maintain, the Getz boasts good performance and fuel economy. All round this is a good little car. Pay $5500-$9500. Toyota Echo (2000-05) Typically well-built, the Echo was a roomy hatch with a sliding rear seat to suit rear passengers, but modest performance. Pay $7500-$12,000. ali Vali V dL dL1 L19 9 19 9 819 19 9 19 9 89 8 LE LEX LEX X EX X EX LE LE LEE E L0 07 07 0807 0 007 0807 0 07 8 80 80 80 80 0 80 8 0 0 6/HM 6/HM /HM HM 6/HM 6/HM 6/H / lexus.com.au During the month of March, your Lexus dealer is offering exclusive factory-backed financial incentives right across the range. So if you ve spent years wanting one, now s the time to own one. But be quick, these factory incentives must end March 31. See your Lexus dealer this weekend. MUST END MARCH 31 L EXCLUSIVE FINANCIAL FACTORY INCENTIVES ACROSS ENTIRE LEXUS RANGE. LEXUS OF HOBART 267Argyle Street, Hobart Ph: 1800 631 298 lexusofhobart.com.au After hour enquires please call Steve Westwood on 0418 174 837
March 6th 2010
March 20th 2010