Let's have a party!

I recently took my Ford Focus ST3 for an oil change. I'll be honest I hadn't done that many miles and it was serviced around 11 months ago, however the computer said it wanted an oil change. Who am I to argue?

It helped that I have two free services from the garage of course. Now when I dropped the car off to be done, I was given a yellow, 5 door Fiesta rather like the one in this article's main image. I'll be honest I like the Fiesta, I thought about getting one instead of the Focus, but sense won out.

My first experience with the Ford Fiesta was back in about 1997 I think. I had a 3-door H reg 1990 1.0 Popular rather like this once except I had alloy wheels and body coloured bumpers.

The 1990's Fiesta, weapon of choice for many, many young motorists.

The name Fiesta is actually Spanish for 'Party'. I'll be honest, I think in terms of the 1990's car that was actually quite an optimistic name. Party it wasn't. It was a rattly 1990's rot box, but it was better than a lot of other rattly 1990's rot boxes. It was certainly a million times better than the Seat Marbella I had before it - though to be fair owning the Marbella was about as enjoyable as simultaneously having both your eyes gouged out and your scrotum stapled to a table.

I had the 45 hp 1.0 petrol. It was a 4 speed manual with a choke and carburetor. I think it could get up to over 100mph, but only if you pushed it out of the back of a cargo plane at 30,000 feet. Fast it wasn't. It also, once, while on a drive to Alton Towers lost ALL brakes due to over-heating. The three passengers riding with me found the Thunderlooper somewhat anti-climatic after tearing around narrow, winding, country roads with no brakes, to the sound of me screaming, 'I can't stop! I can't STOP!'

All this said it was a decent car for the time. I ran it up to 80,000 miles and it was still working when I sold it. The only real issue was the bodywork had started dissolve in the all-too-familiar way common to most early 90's and earlier cars.

The new Fiesta is actually a much better car. It's a decent car. There's really not a lot to complain about. Yes, the 3 cylinder turbo engine is noisy when you rag it, but it's fairly quite when you're plodding. My ST3 is quite noisy, that's a selling point! It also went quite well, it was really quite a pokey little car. It has loads of passenger space. In some ways it seems more spacious inside than the Focus even though it's a much smaller car.

Equipment? What has it got? What hasn't it got! Well, it hasn't got a coffee-making machine or that fangled adaptive cruise control thingie. However it has a LOT compared to my old Fiesta. In those days a radio cassette was an option on anything up to a GLX. You had to go up to the L for grab-handles and chrome ashtrays! Yes, the Focus ST3 is far better equipped, but for a cheap little run around, you really couldn't complain about the little Fiesta.

Burns Garages of Congleton were advertising the car at £129 per month. I don't know what the T&Cs were, but to me that represented damn good value for money. If I wasn't a petrol head who bizarrely has come to the conclusion that any car with a lower BHP than the previous one I've owned is a downgrade - I might even be tempted!

Martyn Stanley

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