Small-engined Fiesta has plenty of capacity to impress

What is it?

This is the Ford Fiesta 1.25i Zetec. It’s powered by the smallest engine available in the Ford Fiesta range, and is none the worse for it.

With just 81bhp on offer in a car weighing 1098kg, the Ford Fiesta 1.25i Zetec is not the nippy runabout it was when the 1.25-litre engine appeared two generations ago.

But getting behind the wheel proves that there’s much more to this car than its headlining abilities of low running costs and stylish looks.

What’s it like?

If there’s one thing that really stands out about the Ford Fiesta 1.25i Zetec, it’s how easy and fun it is to wring out its full potential.

It takes no effort at all to maintain a decent pace, thanks to the balance and grip the Ford Fiesta gets from its excellent chassis set-up. This, matched with the slick gearchange and responsive steering, makes the 1.25i Zetec one of the most enjoyable models in the Ford Fiesta range.

Around town the 1.25-litre engine provides a surprising amount of low-down urge, and makes the car a joy to weave around traffic and roundabouts.

The only real let-down is engine noise, which often intrudes into the cabin around town and becomes an incessant buzz on the motorway, though the decent ride quality and comfortable driver’s seat makes it a perfectly decent long-distance companion otherwise.

Should I buy one?

Without doubt. If you want a hatch that can return almost 50mpg and still deliver on your favourite B-road, then the Ford Fiesta is a great option and the 1.25-litre engine only enhances its talents.

If you don’t go on motorways regularly, think carefully about the delights of this small petrol engine before parting with the cash you’ll need for the diesel version.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
garygrissom 2 December 2008

Re: Ford Fiesta 1.25i Zetec

What a fantastic little engine! Makes you wonder why they kept the old 1.3 going for so long.

NiallOswald 1 December 2008

Re: Ford Fiesta 1.25i Zetec

Could just be that the 1.25 simply wouldn't fit under the Ka's bonnet (perhaps related to crashworthiness rules). Sure I read that somewhere, but may be wrong. With DOHC, the 1.25 may well be a fair bit taller than the old pushrod 1.3.

theonlydt 21 November 2008

Re: Ford Fiesta 1.25i Zetec

TegTypeR wrote:
I did always wonder why Ford never fitted it to the lighter (Ford not Fiat) KA.  Would have made it an almost perfect small car. 
Bye bye fiesta 3 door sales if they'd done that. Price would have gone up a bit as well. I always thought they'd still have made more money; it'd have been more economical and more fun - even if it'd stolen sales from the fiesta it'd have been worth it with increased overall ka sales