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1995 ford fiesta review

The Mk 4 was the first modern Fiesta. 16-valve engines, improved ride and handling, a bigger body, and reasonable safety and security help to make it a sound budget buy

  • Cheap to buy, cheap to run
  • Big choice of used models
  • 16-valve cars are enjoyable to drive
  • Looks dated compared with newer Fiestas
  • Some rivals are roomier in the back
  • Basic Encore spec is penny-pinching

Until 1995's Mk 4, Fiesta was disadvantaged in the company of modern superminis. It drove clumsily, had harsh engines and was cramped. In short, it felt like the cheap old car it was. The Mk 4 brought Fiesta back into contention. Most important breakthrough was the adoption of smooth, lively 16-valve 1.25 and 1.4 Zetec engines, lifting performance and boosting refinement (though they make the 1.3 EFi and 1.8D seem even coarser and more plodding). Effective revisions to suspension and steering gave neater, more responsive handling as well as adding much-needed ride comfort. For the first time, Fiesta was nice to drive - fun, even! A stronger bodyshell brought a three-star safety rating, and there's optional ABS. Security was good for the time. With low ownership costs and reasonable reliability, this Fiesta makes an excellent first car or runabout. But its cramped rear seat rules it out for four-up family use.

Replacement: by 1999-2002 generation Fiesta Mk 5 in Oct 1999