Sunday, April 10, 2011

Personal Review : Ford Fiesta 1.6 S

The famous blue oval logo. It says it all...
And the object? Ford Fiesta 1.6 Sports (2010 edition)
And the car...
And the back lights. And this is where the exterior photo's end. For more photo's of its exterior, it's easy to Google it...
Now, onwards with the review...

Driving Experience - It's comfortable. Seats support very well. You've got a little Lumbar support, and it's got all the usual telescopic, reach, rake, upwards seat support...
So it's easy to feel comfortable. Both side viewing mirrors are concave. Rear view mirror easily covers the entire back view and you can see the back framing the rear glass.


Responsiveness - Missus complained that both pedals were too sensitive but me, I LOVE it! More so as my Fiat Panda is as sensitive too! Ha ha
Heck, you don't really have to stomp real hard to tell the Fiesta to get going. It gets the message easily to start working through it's cogs.

(The gear knob and the nice texture that wraps it)
+
(I really don't know WHY the letterings are on the LEFT, maybe to let other passengers see and the driver is supposed to refer to the dashboard? Hmmmm...)

Transmission - It's it fast? YES. You don't feel ANYTHING, no lag, zilch. Nada. Power just comes across all gears. There is a downside, and it's...

2nd Gear. Noisy. Raucous. You hear this roar and then... silence since as you've gone into 3rd gear... Onwards from there, silence. Weird over this one.


NVH - It's quiet. No sound from the engine until you go pass 130/140. I had taken it to 160 (was chasing after an Alphard)...
You don't get wind noise but road noise as the tyres are 195/50/16 and coming from Continental with huge grooves in the middle, not 1 but 2!!! Must be great for wet weather then! :P

Doors - Not a real thump but still way much better than most non conti cars here in Malaysia. (Yours truly was sitting in his Panda waiting for mom to finish her marketing and next to me was a Wish  and owners got in. So I heard their doors close with my windows down.)
And oh yeah, it's got a nice heft to the door. So it feels heavy to push/pull.

Back Seats - There's actually quite a lot of space once yours truly and the missus settled in. We're both 1.65 and both front seats were moved up a little bit. However, because the Fiesta S IS a "sports" version, the seats DO leave your butt fairly back in, as in, you need a little effort to come out! :P
The same can be said about the front seats as well, but hey, they are bucket seats, right? :)
And there is a nice texture on the seats too.
However, when the back seats are folded down, it doesn't give a perfect flat space.

Audio - It's actually pretty good, stock wise. Nice bass. AND they've got this AVC thingy called Automatic Volume Control. Basically, you set the desired volume and whether it be on highways or city driving, the Fiesta will automatically lower or increase the volume for you so that you don't have to worry. Neat! I certainly didn't expect this feature in a 83grand car!
Another cool thing is the DSP. You set to either for everybody or just driver and what this DSP does is that it will then either spread or focus the audio accordingly. So it's everybody, sound is consistent to all in the car.
If it's driver only, then the Fiesta will focus the audio on to the driver only. Cool eh?

And finally FC - The claim is 5.8l/100km and obviously that figure is achieve on highways. The missus did notice that instant FC was showing around 6.7l/100 at times when cruising around 110km/h. And this is coming from an 300KM old engine. Not bad. Am guessing once it's gone past 1000km, it should return better values.

And the nit picky part (personal) bit:
a) Left foot rest - It's blardy narrow!!! Maybe my feet is wide or big... I don't have this problem with my Panda where it sits comfortably without any problems.
b) 2nd gear - yup. I think they left the ratio too long.
c) Knobs for aircon power, recycle air, etc - It's a funny thing. You twist AROUND the numbers, etc and it feels flimsy and easily like it could go busted any time. It's hard to explain but once you start messing with it on a regular basis, you'll get what I mean.
d) What's with the funny chrome bit on the dashboard that goes rectangle around the driving gear, trip, etc... I dunno whether its meant to draw your attention there or...
(There's a nice texture even on the dashboard lip that shadows it. If you blow up the picture above, you can see it. I didn't notice until I was taking the above photo on my SLR!)

e) There's also a funny chrome handle on the inside of the door. Again, what's with the chrome bit? So that your fingernails don't scratch the handle as you push/pull the doors? Hmmm...
Other minor gripes (of which, it doesn't really matter to me):
a) Back seats when folded down do not completely give a flat space.
b) Gear letterings' on the left side of the stick (well, you've got the dashboard one, so...)
c) 2 cheapo plasticky boxes; i.e. glove box and driver's box.

Final verdict - Is it worth the 83grand? Definitely, without a doubt!
It's well put together. I know, coz we did a little shop around even looked at other cars.
You get a nice premium feel with very pleasant texture and fabrics.
You'll get a lovely drive and easily goes past 120 if you're not careful.
Boot space it spacious for this kind of car. So will be the back seats leg room too depending on your height.

So there you have it. a pleasant car to sit in and drive. One that would help you to soak up the miles and enjoy the ride...as how a car should do.

The end.

Edit: Missus has had it since April. And it has now clocked almost 8K on the mileage. Drives quite a fair bit on the expressway from PJ to Rawang daily.
a) And so, it's average mileage is now at 7.3l/100km (I think). We noticed that it drinks quite a fair bit when it's idling and stuck in heavy traffic. Advise? Switch to Neutral when not in use.Jury (i.e. both of us) are still debating on whether this helps. We can only think so...
b) Gears 1 and 2. It's not just the 2nd gear but the 1st gear is too long too. So when you're stuck in traffic, be prepared for a little jerkiness. I haven't been stuck in heavy traffic with her car, but I wonder whether using L would solve the problem?
c) 6th gear. Darn a lot of power. Enough said. Where it comes from, God only knows!
d) Tendency to downshift whenever you lift your foot of the pedal. Once you let go, you feel the downshift. (If you can feel it at all). I guess the ECU thinks you need the power to overtake or the best gear... Pros and Cons in this...
e) Stick it at 2500rpm and watch your FC go down. Yes, it can drop below that 7.3. But BECAUSE its such a fun car to rev and push, it's really difficult to keep it there and not go above... the ..er... limit. He he...
f) Still solidly screwed tight. If you've been to Rawang and driven on it's crappy roads potholed ridden, lorry destroyed, bone jarring, bumpy as anything... you know what this means. In time, you'll be hearing a lot of things knocking about. So far, it's still good. Silent.

So what's the verdict? Would I still say otherwise from my early conclusion? Nope. I still maintain it's a great car to drive and one that gives a lot of pleasure. No car's perfect. Not even my little Fiat Panda which I love and adore after 6 years of driving, but hey, if it brings forth a smile to your face, then so be it. And that's what matters the most.

Edit #2:
Fiesta was finally taken on a long ride; from KL to Kuantan, a distance of 251KM (according to Google Maps). Tank was pumped full, with 2 adults and 1 normal size luggage bag. The FC read 7.2l/100km which equates to about 40mpg (British mpg reading) or 14.2km/l. Of course, most of the time, I was going at 110km/h. I think if I've done the 90km/h, maybe I could reach the 6.x rating...

But most importantly how was it going up the famous hilly Karak highway? Sublime. And all the time maintaining 90km/h (as per speed limit) but on a few occasions, I think it went past 105 instead... with ease.
It easily kept to the twist and turns, but made my other half unhappy as she felt she was being thrown about! :)
But or me, it was fun! he he...

What really impress me most was the NVH. Driving at 110km/h, engine and road noise or even wind noise for that matter was hardly present. You would really have to listen out for it to hear it. As I've stated in this post itself, the audio system will ramp up or down the volume to match the speed and it works beautifully, like turning down the volume by itself as one approaches the toll plazas and exiting the highway...
Yay for technology! :)

And finally, the 195 tyres isn't its original as what's timed on the speedo. The SatNav would inform me a lower speed when the speedo was running at 110. In short, when you're at almost 120hm/h on the speedo, actual speed is about 112km/h. Just thought I'd let you guys know...

Edit #3
We recently drove up to Ipoh, about 200km from KL. Having sat in there for another 2++ hours of driving, you learn one more thing: Stepping down hard on the accelerator, it takes about 1 second for the ECU to realised that you want to change gear. So, something to bear in mind.

Also, it's still quiet in the cabin. And missus is STILL enduring the bad roads in Rawang. So up from April 'till now, everything's still screwed on tight.

Update 25/01/2012: So far, the most major problem we've had is her steering. About 1 month back or so, we've been hearing a "dub dub" sound whenever we turn the wheel at very slow turns or when we're parking. Turns out according to Ford that it's the steering coupling that has gone south and it's a known problem and hence, Ford will have it replaced FOC. Safety wise or driving wise, there is no issue and the car still performs fine.

Edit #4
Steering Coupling was replaced on 19th May along with a faulty rear brake right. Cost of the bulb? RM20.

Edit #5

a) Went to Ford on 26th. Plunk myself infront of the CS and said the car has a very interesting message - "Engine Malfunction - Service Now" appearing. Her answer? "Sorry, we do not accept cars other than those coming in for servicing!!!" What the... Fine.
b) Went and see the Manager of After Sales, Mr Amba. Told him the problem. He said, "Usually they don't take cars but as this is an unsual problem (and a 1st time they have encountered this problem), they will accept but no promises that the car will be return back on Saturday and we should leave it overnight."
We're fine with that.
c) Ford called on Monday evening and said that yes, their tools show the error and after checking thoroughly, it's related to a brakes or something like that and it's been replaced FOC.
d) And they wanted us to pay for a new rear right brake bulb which was blown not more than 2 weeks ago... which is probably related to this problem. So we kick up a fuss and it was given FOC...

And some 10mins of wasting as they were short of staff as our car was block and couldn't move and we had to get them to move another car in front of us... *sigh*

Edit #6 - 16 November 2012
We took the car down recently to Singapore. 3 adults. All with a luggage bag each. No problem. We left on full and somewhere in Johor, we top up another 'slightly below' half tank as we didn't want to run the risk of having to pay unsubsidised petrol. :)
With the exception of a 1 hour detour (i.e. LOST as the Garmin kept making me go in circles and tooke up 1 quarter of the petrol *sigh) the 3/4 tank was refuel somewhere in NS. So all in all, one could make it to SG on a full tank with a little to spare...

Oh and the FC now reads 6.9l/100km.

One thing I notice. If you can maintain a constant 110km/h, you can get your instant meter to read around 4l/100km or thereabouts. Now, if only I can control that right foot of mine. :)

And still nothing rattling and it's 4 months away from it's 2nd anniversary. Did I mention about those Rawang roads? Daily too? Wow...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi kwan,
my fiesta sedan started to make some knocking sound when turning steering fully (to park or coming off tight space) at around 20k km. went to ford pj, diagnosed as 'coupling' problem. they said 20-30% fiesta owners got this problm (i suspect much more). anyhow, already waiting more than two months for them to source for sparepart and fix it under warranty

kwan said...

I know. They take their own sweet time to resolve my missus's problem as well. We complained about it way back in January and her replacement unit was scheduled for April... which came and went...

We thereafter enlisted our SA to speed things up. As you can see, 1 month later it was fixed.

And you can also read my unhappiness with their Customer Service. But am told from my car club, the same can be said happening for almost all other Official Car Manufacturers.

But it does make us miss her old KIA CS... which she had a Picanto prior to getting this...

Karantz said...

Good review Kwan. Thanks.
Plan to change my missus' Fiat Punto to the Fiesta.

felimond kahin said...

Hello Mr Kwan I was wondering are the ford fiesta parts very expensive?because I'm plsnning to buy one

kwan said...

Hi Felimond,
I really can't comment as all this while, we have been claiming under the 3years warranty!

Understand that the newer bat h now has 5 years (I think)...

Nathalie Uy said...

Positive mind. Positive vibes. Positive life.
imarksweb.net. God Bless :)

Tajjawad said...

My friend want to sell his FFs2012 1.6 Hatcback. Mileage 110km. Rm30k. What is your comment? Worth buying or not.

kwan said...

Hi Tajjawad,
Sorry for the late reply. If its still well kept and hardly any rattles, then it should continue to serve you well.

For my missus car, based on my experience, only 2 things cropped up:
a) the transmission - understand that the warranty has been extended on this one and it carries over to the next owner as well
b) ECU change - it failed quite suddenly (not allowing me to engage a gear higher than 3). Fortunately, it failed just before it's warranty ended!

Other than that, it's been an absolute joy to drive... :)
Kwan

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