The new Fiestas are conspicuously stylish. The exterior has been redesigned with some eye-catching features – trapezoid headlamps, body coloured bumpers and mathematically precise and aesthetically appealing new lines in the bonnet and front wings.

Ford Fiesta

Designed as the perfect match for the sensible and discerning driver


The Telegraph-On Line's  Motoring Editor, Robert Govendar puts his favorite small car through its paces

 The Fiesta's sure footed agility puts  it on top of its class


The line-up is: Encore, Finesse, Zetec, LX and Ghia. The sporty Zetec-S model, apparently something of a sensation, was an absent friend. This reportedly alluring model takes its bow in the showrooms in early 2000.

The Fiesta is the first car in its division with head-and-chest side airbags. There’s also air-conditioning and ABS with new trim options, a security immobilizer and a high-level third brake light as standard.

Ian MaAllister, Chairman and MD of Ford, has got it right: "Part of its (the Fiesta’s) attraction is undoubtedly its excellent value for money."

The new Fiestas, like their predecessors, retain the charm, practicality and dignity that appeals to male and female and the young and not so young. It is a gentle, unaggressive, yet lively and vigorous car. Its appeal has always been to the prudent car-buyer, one who is not concerned with power and thrust, but with a comfortable ride, easy handling and secure road holding. The Fiesta persons, and Britain seems to be full of them, are economy conscious. They set great store by frugal fuel consumption. The Fiesta is as charming as Shakespeare’s Portia. It is also as parsimonious as Shylock.

In addition service is reasonable, and there is a sensible insurance rating starting from 4E.

The facia is bright and cheerful, especially in winter nights when drivers appreciate a warm and hospitable ambience. There’s plenty of leg and headroom, and a quite spacious boot.

Barcelona’s rural and main roads, originally built for more primitive forms of transport, have not completely adjusted to a relatively new phenomenon – democratic car ownership on a mass scale and an industrial growth that spawns juggernauts. The roads are still very much like they were in pre-Civil War times when cars were few and mule- driven wagons were many. The roads are hazardous and particularly treacherous in the rural areas. The Fiestas were reassuringly serene and unruffled. They also called for an equable, unexcitable driving temperament.

With this combination, we did the necessary. Drive safely and enjoyably. On more urbane roads, such as in this country, the Fiestas will give you even greater pleasure.

Car manufacturers make much of a car’s potency. Ford have wisely refused to play that game with the Fiestas. Their appeal is not to the power lust, but to reason. About time too, for there are probably more people in Britain who attach greater importance to safety, security and reliability than to speed and tinsel glamour.