2011 Ford Fiesta Zetec Automatic Review Photo:
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Tim O'Brien | Dec, 08 2010 | 13 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.

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