2011 Ford Fiesta Zetec Automatic Review

Overall Rating

  • Interior

  • On The Road

  • Ancap

  • Value For Money

  • See Full Specs
  • Country of Origin
  • Price
    $22,990 (plus on-road costs)
  • Engine
    4 Cylinders
  • Output
    89 kW / 151 Nm
  • Transmission
    Sports Automatic Dual Clutch
  • ANCAP Rating
  • Airbags
    Driver & Passenger (Dual), Knee Driver, Side for 1st Row Occupants (Front), Head for 1st Row Seats (Front)
  • L/100 km
  • C02
    N/A g/km
  • Luggage Capacity
    362 L
  • Towing (braked)
    900 kg
  • Towing (unbraked)
    590 kg
Tim O'Brien | Dec 8, 2010 | 10 Comments


VEHICLE STYLE: Five-door hatchback
PRICE: $22,990 (plus on-road costs)

Engine: 1.6 litre petrol, Ti-VCT DOHC in-line four cylinder.
Outputs: 88kW @ 6300rpm / 151Nm @ 4300rpm.
Transmission: six-speed Powershift ‘dual-clutch’ automatic.
Official fuel efficiency: 6.1 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 146 g/km


Ford’s new Fiesta range comes with some neat styling refinements, the addition of a sedan to the range, a willing new diesel (in addition to the super-frugal Econetic diesel) and a new six-speed dual-clutch automatic.

We put the sporty and well-kitted Fiesta Zetec Hatch automatic through its paces, and the news is good.


  • Quality: At $22,990 (plus) for the auto, the Fiesta Zetec can hardly be described as bargain buying, but it offers body-hugging sports seats, appealing trim materials, an extensive feature list and a solid quality feel.

    Only the drab plastic centre console lets down an otherwise nicely designed and very appealing interior.
  • Comfort: Rake adjustable steering wheel (but not for ‘reach’), good ride, well-bolstered seats and good legroom in the back.
  • Equipment: The premium Zetec comes with a new rear roof spoiler, fat 16-inch alloy wheels, multi-function leather-wrapped steering wheel, voice-control audio with CD, MP-3, USB and aux-in capability, Bluetooth compatibility, power front windows, cruise control.
  • Storage: The Zetec hatch can swallow the weekly shop or luggage for the weekend get-away. Split fold seats also help for larger items. An underseat storage tray is also provided.


  • Driveability: The Fiesta’s dynamic on-road performance is the ace in its deck. Despite its size, it has a well-balanced comfortable ride and excellent feel through the wheel.
  • Refinement: The new Fiesta is at the top of the class for refinement. Even on coarser surfaces, road noise is well-isolated (the Fiesta is better in fact than a lot of larger cars). Wind noise too is barely evident.

    The six-speed auto works well, although the ‘clutch-slip’ on changes - designed-in for durability - can be a little disconcerting. We’d also prefer a manual ‘sport mode’ such as in the Focus. Engine noise can intrude, but it makes a nice cheeky zing over 4500rpm.
  • Suspension: The Zetec gets a sports suspension package with specially tuned MacPherson struts, sports stabiliser bar and a beam axle rear.
  • Braking: Disc brakes up front, drum rear (with ABS), have no trouble reeling in the lightweight Fiesta.


  • ANCAP rating: 5-Star (Zetec and LX models)
  • Safety features: Dynamic stability and traction control, ABS braking with EBD and emergency brake assist; seven airbags: driver and passenger, curtain and driver’s knee airbag. Also passenger ‘Beltminder’ system.


  • Warranty: Three years/100,000km with five-year warranty against perforation corrosion.
  • Service costs: Costs to be confirmed


Note: all prices are Manufacturer's List Price and do not include on-road costs or dealer delivery


In mating a technologically-advanced dual clutch auto to a free-revving 1.6 litre engine, Ford has made one of the best buys in the light car segment an even better buy.

None in the Thai-built Fiesta range is for buyers looking for the cheapest buy, but there is a real sense of quality about the Fiesta Zetec, both in fit and finish and in its on-road performance.

It is a lot of fun to drive; its sporty good looks and funky lines add to the appeal.

Filed under: Featured, review, reviews, petrol, ford fiesta, light cars, hatch, fwd, ford, family, light, 4cyl, 5door, tim o'brien

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  • MattJelonek
    MattJ says,
    5 years ago
    So.... top of the range Zetec has two electric windows and Read Drum breaks?

    Well that has put me off looking into/buying one..

    Polo GTI it will be!
  • PeterG says,
    5 years ago
    1 like
    Finally Ford is doing the more powerful auto so should now outsell Mazda2
    Though it needs to lose those chrome air intake thingies or whatever they are.
    • MotorMouth says,
      5 years ago
      I can't see why. The Mazda2 is a much better looking car and the differences are so minor that there is not much to pick between them. The Mazda range is cheaper, too. Mazda are on a roll in Australia and I think they have a lot more (well deserved) badge cred than Ford at the moment. To me this looks like what should have been offered at launch, making it a day late and a dollar short for Ford, I think.
  • baji says,
    5 years ago
    I read somewhere that the Thai built fiesta's lose the soft touch dash materials. Is that true?
  • 668475019
    Jake02 says,
    5 years ago
    Baji yes, and the dash is awful as a result! Zetecs lose projector headlamps too :S.
    • baji says,
      5 years ago
      1 like
      Thats the ONE THING that i liked about the Non-Thai Fiesta - the soft touch dash materials, which make the fiesta feel premium compared to the other cars in its class. But i think now the new VW Polo is the class leader.
  • Wheelnut
    Wheelnut says,
    5 years ago
    How does the quality of the dash [and interior plastics] determine what type of headlights the car has?
  • Paddy says,
    5 years ago
    Haha. I'm a first gen fiesta driver so let me clarify... They've made the kit beefier and the powershift is great. But what lacks are the projector headlamps, replaced by fog lights.
    What you missed are that ford had replaced the double lock for a single lock and alarm, or at least here in new Zealand. The clutch whine is a pain in the butt as is the manual selector. I see no significant change in the dash other than the fact it's more spill friendly and otherwise... It's sort of a win and lose situation for us switching into the powershift. Yet to try the diesel and the sedan is a pain in the eye.
    Oh and... The 16 inchers are higher in profile than the previous zetec, 45 are now 50 (I'm pretty sure)
  • WheresBear says,
    5 years ago
    Drum brakes? *sigh*

    Another car crossed off the list

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