Ten Point Test

Auto Trader Ten Point Test Rating – 70%

With the Ford Fiesta Ghia the emphasis is on luxury – and the Blue Oval’s baby is more refined than ever before.

But how does it fare against its rivals?

1. Looks 7/10

The well equipped Fiesta Ghia is stylish, and feels sportier than the Focus, although not a fully fledged hot hatch like the ST. The tested model was amethyst (purple) and came complete with tinted rear windows and 15 inch alloys.

2. Looks inside 6/10

Not a million miles away from the Focus, the dark grey interior of the Ghia has a sportier feel than its more sedate counterpart, and features a stylish leather trim. It’s a pity some of the dashboard controls still have a plasticy feel.

3. Practicality 7/10

Not a car designed for bringing back flat pack wardrobes from Ikea, but there’s a fair amount of space. There’s plenty of room in the front and back, a good sized glovebox, and the boot (large enough for a big supermarket shop) is accessible via the remote keyfob.

4. Ride and Handling 7/10

The handling is excellent, the suspension is firm but not harsh, while the steering has a sharp feel. But as for motorway driving, the noise level was so loud I had to keep checking I was in fifth gear. But this is a car designed for town driving, not the cross country long haul.

5. Performance 7/10

The 100bhp 1.6i has some extra kick, and the acceleration is as good as you’d expect from a small lightweight car, even at high speeds. The Ghia goes from 0-60 in 10.5 seconds, and has a maximum speed of 115mph.

6. Running Costs 7/10

It’s a supermini, so fuel consumption is a primary consideration – the Fiesta Ghia does a not-too-shabby 42.8mpg. Servicing is at 12,500 miles and Ford’s estimate for routine maintenance is £377. The Ghia comes with a one year new car warranty, one year’s breakdown cover, and a three year / 60,000 mile warranty.

7. Reliability 7/10

The new Fords have increased reliability, and this model is no exception. The Ghia has a solid feel, and performs well in customer satisfaction surveys. The Fiesta scores 55 in the Reliability Index – far higher than the average score thanks to Ford’s effort to keep repair costs down. You can read customer reviews of the Ford Fiesta on Drive the Debate.

8. Safety 7/10

With a four star EuroNCAP crash test rating, the Ghia comes with two airbags – driver and passenger side – and ABS with EBD as standard. A rear parking distance sensor is an optional extra, as is the ‘Reflex Pack’ – front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and centre rear head restraint.

9. Equipment 8/10

As you’d expect with a Ghia it’s all about the extras – electric windows (with driver’s side one-shot lowering), a perimeter alarm, air con, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights, front fog lights, and a CD/radio with remote audio controls. Sadly the velour floor mats are an optional extra, as is satnav.

10. X-Factor 7/10

Two things – the sporty styling and the attention to detail. The handling and acceleration make you feel like you’re driving a proper sporty supermini, and the extras – like the side mirrors that turn inwards when you lock the car – justify the price.

Key Facts

Model tested: Ford Fiesta Ghia 5dr 1.6i 16V 100PS 5 speed manual
On the road price: £13,835
Price range: £9,790 – £13,835
Tested: June 2006
Road tester: Alex Eckford