Let's have a party!

My thoughts on my courtesy car experience.

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 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

[ICT] Irreverent Car Talk

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Comments (0)

  • Yes, I was about to say - nothing could be worse than that Marbella you wrote about in painful terms.

    Great article - I really quite like the new Fiesta.

      2 years ago
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