The ‘fun to drive’ Ford Fiesta MK7 Review
Here we have for review is the mighty Ford Fiesta Mark 7. Released in 2008 the Mk7 Ford Fiesta was a distinct improvement over the outgoing design that was the slightly squarer Ford Fiesta Mk 6. At the time of release, Ford introduced a newer dynamic design ethos which encompassed the idea of making the car seem to be moving even when it was stood still, giving the MK 7 Ford Fiesta more of a sportier appeal. The new design also required the Fiesta to still have the fun driving characteristic that the previous model embodied with better practicality, quality of build and materials.
On release, the Ford Fiesta was sold as a 3 door variant, giving it a more sporty look, a practical 5 door version and a 3dr van. Later on in the model’s line up the ST version of the Mk7 was introduced to more performance seeking drivers and as always the MK7 Fiesta enjoyed the usual differing specification that ranged from the lowly specced Studio version (with steel wheels) all the way to the Titanium spec which included extras such as parking sensors, cruise control and automatic lights.
Powering the MK7 Fiesta in its early life you had the option of 1.25, 1.4 and 1.6 Duratec petrol engines or if you wanted to go with a diesel version you had the choice of either a 1.4 TDCi or 1.6 TDCi common rail diesel engine with the introduction of, early on in 2009, the more economical and emissions conscious 1.6 TDCi ECOnetic version which was exempt from car tax due to its very low CO2 emissions score of under 100g/km – the 5dr version of which we are going to have a look at in this review.
When you’re first presented with the Ford Fiesta Mk 7 and you compare it to the older Mk6 version, you can definitely appreciate Ford’s new design style that they had introduced in 2008. The body style has been totally redesigned to give it more of a sleeker, agile feel. It has more of an aggressive sloping roofline to give it a sportier look plus the restyled headlights and dynamic lines that have been designed into its bodywork only add to this look.
The rear light cluster is more angular and the rear part of the body has also been restyled without straying too far away from the older Fiesta that it replaced. In terms of how the Ford Fiesta MK7 looks, it certainly does appeal to the eye and as a design it just works plus since its introduction you can still see it influencing the 2018 Ford Fiesta, though we feel that the MK 7 version has a better rear look to the new one that is sold by Ford today.
What’s the Ford Fiesta Mk7 like on the inside?
Stepping into driver’s part of the 5dr ECOnetic version of the MK 7 Fiesta, using the wide opening doors, you will notice that it is fairly spacious and has good all-around visibility. It doesn’t feel cramped at all and if you are coming from something mid-sized like a Ford Focus or VW Golf then the trade-off in size and how everything is laid out will not put you off enjoying the environment that the MK 7 Ford Fiesta has to offer.
Looking around the front cabin you are greeted with what we would describe as a very sharply presented dash. Though it does seem to be made of fairly hard scratchy plastics we felt that with the texture that Ford instilled into dashboard it didn’t detract from the overall feel of the interior plus if you keep your eye on the likes of Autotrader, Gumtree and the like you can find other versions of the MK7 Fiesta that have coloured dashboards which do liven up the cockpit area, but we preferred the grey version that we had.
The doors also feature these scratchy plastics attached to them but they do have a nice foam padded, upholstered area making it a comfortable place to rest your elbow when driving a long distance.
The main entertainment console is designed to resemble the layout of a mid-noughties mobile phone (known as a feature mobile phone nowadays) and has a natural operational feel to it with the buttons for the CD, Radio, AUX in, Phone and MENU located to the left. Volume, menu selection, radio seeking, music player, Central Locking and Hazard Light buttons were located centrally and on the right you have your presets plus buttons which can control the Bluetooth Handsfree option allowing you to make and receive calls on the move, which when it was released back in 2008 was a great feature to have and is more commonplace in new cars nowadays.
Below the entertainment console is where you have the Fiesta’s ventilation controls, including heating and air-con plus built into the dials on each side are the buttons to activate Ford’s front windscreen Quickclear option, ideal for de-icing the front windscreen, and the rear window heater.
All of these controls were easy to reach from the driver’s seat and the layout was very easy to understand and operate especially while driving.
Storage wise – it’s ok. You have two cup holders in the centre console for the people up front and in the back the centre console has an area which includes a third cup holder and a rectangular space for other smallish items. The door bins while not massive will hold a smallish bottle of water and a few CDs and bits and pieces and the glove box was ok in size, though it does get filled quickly with the owners manual and service book.
In the rear of the Mk 7 Ford Fiesta, we found it a fairly nice place to be. The rear doors open wide and getting into the back was no hassle at all. The seats are nice and comfortable and we didn’t experience any backache on any long journeys that we have undertaken in this car. Space wise it will easily sit two abreast with good space in the middle, with three people it is a struggle and only advised for short journeys as anything over say 20 miles would be a bit of a chore to endure. You have ok leg room and head room for us was fine though if you are over six foot it would be worth sitting in one to see how you fair as the sloping roofline that the Mk7 Fiesta sports may be an issue.
The rear windows don’t wind down all the way and are not as large as the front windows, due to its dynamic body styling, but saying that it was still light and airy in the back and we still felt that it was a nice place to be.
Up front is just as spacious and the visibility is great. The rear view of the traffic behind us was ok, even though the rear window is a little smaller than the MK6 Fiesta and talking of visibility the door mirrors we felt were great and not too small at all.
The seats up front are comfortable to sit in and are easy to adjust to get your ideal driving position. The added bonus for us was that after a fairly lengthy 220 mile, and just like the back seats, we didn’t experience any backache and we were still feeling fresh after the drive.
The steering wheel is sporty in design and also had controls built into them to operate the radio/cd player. The instrument cluster was sporty in design and well laid out, easy to read and presented the information in a way that was quickly understandable plus at night it glows white with the needles glowing red to give it that added dynamic feel.
The size of the boot was adequate for the size of car and was more than suitable for a family of four looking to undertake a three to four day road trip. If you are after more boot space then the 60/40 rear folding seats can easily fold down giving you more rear luggage space but be aware that they don’t fold down completely flat and the shape of the boot may be a bit awkward for some items that you may be looking to transport.
What’s the Ford Fiesta Mk7 like to drive?
Moving on to the actual driving experience is where the MK7 Ford Fiesta plays its trump card. Simply put, it is a lot of fun!
When you read or watch other small sized car reviews online or in a magazine they always mention that the driving experience isn’t as much fun as the Fiesta’s and when you actually experience it you can see why. Having owned a 1.4 TDCi MK5 Fiesta in the past we always felt that it was a good car to drive but when you have a go in a MK7 it massively improves on that especially when you add into the mix that punchy 1.6 TDCi ECOnetic engine it definitely puts a smile on your face. Though on initial acceleration it doesn’t push you back into your seat but with its slick gear change it does zoom off the line and when you are on the motorway it does have that nice surge of power when needing to overtake.
Economy wise the 1.6TDCi ECOnetic engine that we have in this Fiesta is fantastic and you can expect to achieve anything upwards of 70MPG on the motorway plus as we had mentioned earlier with its sub 100g/km of emissions the car tax is free so if you are requiring a car that has low costs then this would make a great contender.
Its road manners are helped with its suspension setup which helps it to smooth out all but the bumpiest of roads while feeling solid and stable when travelling at speed and chuckable through tight and twisty roads.
The steering is light, agile and responsive and the car is so nimble it feels like you are in a jet fighter zipping through the sky. The turning circle is good and we found parking the Fiesta a breeze. It also has great feedback from the road which we feels adds to the overall fun experience of driving it.
There is only one downside that we found with the steering that we thought we would mention in this review, as we experienced it when driving this particular car. We did find the steering to be a bit notchy and lumpy when manoeuvring the vehicle at low speeds and it seemed to clunk. We have found out since that it could be an issue with the actual steering column not having enough grease in the joints so if you are looking at purchasing a MK 7 Fiesta of any type then we would suggest you check this when test driving it as it can be a bit off-putting and can detract from the overall experience of driving and owning this car plus the replacement part isn’t cheap.
The Ford Fiesta MK 7 – Overall
To summarise we loved driving this car. It is agile, nimble and quick when required. The interior was nice, thoughtfully laid out and spacious enough to accommodate four people in comfort over a long drive. The boot for its class is good and will easily swallow enough luggage for a family of four for a 3-4 day road trip. Finally, it is cheap to run, insure and depending on the engine, tax. If you are looking for a smallish car then we would heartily recommend the Mk7 Ford Fiesta, especially if you are looking to downgrade from a bigger car and with its amazing driving characteristics, it is definitely a smile on your face no-brainer.
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