Buying Used: Ford Fiesta (2008 – 2018)

Discontinued in 2023, Ford's longstanding Fiesta nameplate still possesses massive appeal with buyers. Our used car expert Charlen Raymond details what to look for and what to avoid when on the hunt for a pre-loved model. The post Buying Used: Ford Fiesta (2008 – 2018) appeared first on CAR Magazine.

Buying Used: Ford Fiesta (2008 – 2018)

Discontinued in 2023, Ford’s longstanding Fiesta nameplate still possesses massive appeal with buyers. Our used car expert Charlen Raymond details what to look for and what to avoid when on the hunt for a pre-loved model.

Looking for your next new or used vehicle? Find it here with CARmag! 

The Ford Fiesta was in production from 1976 to 2023, but it wasn’t until 1995 that South Africa would get its first taste of the Blue Oval’s segment-stalwart hatchback. Between 1995 and 2022, Volkswagen’s rivalling Polo was also a popular choice among buyers, even winning the 1998 South African Car of the Year competition. In 2008, the sixth-generation Fiesta was unveiled and was available in both hatchback (codename: B299) and sedan (B409) body styles. Several engine and gearbox options made up the range, along with the high-performance ST variants. This car was in production until 2017 when an all-new model debuted.

A rundown on the Ford Fiesta

To this day, the (2008 – 2017) Fiesta remains a popular car on our roads, and if you’re in the market for one now, here’s what you should know.

When this model arrived in South Africa in 2008, mere weeks after its international debut, it was available in both sedan and hatchback body shapes, with three grade trims to choose from: Ambiente, Trend, and Titanium. The range-topping Titanium trim Fiestas boasted chrome exterior accents, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a partial body kit that included a rear spoiler. Luggage volume for the five- and three-door hatchback is rated at 284 litres, while the sedan serves up a considerably more generous 430 litres.

Both petrol and diesel options were available, with the automatic transmission (PowerShift) only available on the 1.6 Trend models. The 1.4-litre petrol engine developed 70 kW and 128 N.m, while the 1.6-litre petrol engine made do with 88 kW and 152 N.m. The sole diesel engine in the range, the 1.6 TDCi had the lowest kilowatt output (66 kW) but this was complemented with a hearty 212 N.m of torque available at just 1 750 r/min.

Related: Forbidden fruit? Ford Fiesta ST facelift unveiled with fresh design

In February 2013, Ford began production on the new Fiesta ST, with the car making its local debut just two months later. It’s turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine offered 134 kW and 240 N.m, allowing the front-wheel drive hot hatch to hit 100 km/h from standstill in 6.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 220 km/h. In 2017, South Africa’s final taste of a brand-new Fiesta ST would come in the form of the Special Edition ST200. The 1.6-litre engine’s power was upped to 149 kW and 290 N.m, and the ratios on the slick six-speed manual transmission shortened.

The Fiesta has always been lauded for its feelsome and direct steering, and the B299 and B409 were not exceptions. For this generation, Ford replaced the previous generation’s hydraulic power-assist system with an electric power-assist steering (EPAS) system for more precise feedback. Torsionally, this Fiesta is also 10% stiffer than its predecessor thanks to the extensive use of high-strength steel in its body. Ford equipped the entire range with ABS brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution).


Things to look out for when buying a used Ford Fiesta

The 1.6-litre petrol engine in the Fiesta ST had a cooling issue, resulting in excessive heating. Not only did this pose an issue to the engine’s lifespan, but also presented a potential risk fire risk. Ford Motor Company South Africa underwent a major safety recall campaign in 2017 to ensure that the affected cars were fixed. Another documented problem includes poor sealing on the PowerShift gearbox, resulting in oil leaks and a lack of lubrication for the clutch module.

Related: Remember the date: Last day of Ford Fiesta production set

It is advisable to do a thorough check on the Fiesta’s service history, particularly regarding the aforementioned recall on the sixth-generation models.

Which one to get?

For a student or young professional, the hatchback – in either three- or five-door guise – will likely be the preferred option, while young families will opt for the sedan. On the latter, the diesel option with its manual gearbox should be a joy on the open road, thanks to its plentiful low-down torque and impressive fuel consumption.

However, from a legacy perspective, the Fiesta ST200 might just be the one to get. Only 160 units were allocated to South Africa in 2017, and these will undoubtedly be collectors’ items in the years to come. The Fiesta ST200 was available in only one colour: Storm Grey.Fiesta

Paging through the CAR Mag listings page, a 2010 five-door Fiesta 1.4 Ambiente manual is retailing for R68 000 with 95 000 km on the odometer. A 2018 Fiesta ST (pre-new model) 108 260 km, manual) is listed for R269 900.

Despite there being 283 Fiestas listed, a small number of these are ST models. It is an indication of just how scarce they are, and that owners seldom part with them. Further indication of this is the absence of the Fiesta ST200 on our listing pages – a car, we believe, has the potential to follow in the esteemed footsteps of the legendary Escort.

For more on used Ford Fiesta models (2008 – 2018), click here!

The post Buying Used: Ford Fiesta (2008 – 2018) appeared first on CAR Magazine.

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