Vehicle: 1994 MK3.5 Ford Fiesta RS1800
Length of ownership: 15 Months
With a quoted 130ps from Ford from new, this was a standard factory issue 1.8ltr Zetec 16valve engine. Compared to the 1.6 engines this goes hell of alot better.
This current engine had 129.8bhp with an ashley racing manifold and a cotton green panel filter in the standard airbox. With max power coming in at around 6120revs meaning you have to give it some!
Speed wise with the RS1800 gearbox it was able to do 60 before having to change for 3rd gear, and isnt too slow.. I guess its around the 8 second mark, and apparently should do 127mph.. although I did have it off the clocks before.
The handling and grip when in standard form was actually pretty damn good.. the ride was not too harsh and you could throw it around the B roads without running out of grip with some decent 15" 195 tyres on it!
I did mod the car and eventually had coilovers on due to wheel choice, ride height and how I wanted the car to feel.. but that is personal preference!
Seat wise it gets the same wingback front seats as found in the Si models, but with a Zebra print seat pattern instead. The MK3 RS1800's did have an option for the Recaro's as found in the RS Turbo models. The driving position was like all the other fiestas.. I dont find it too bad really, the only thing which would let it down is the road noise, especially on longer jouneys it can get abit tiring, but the engine and exhaust do sound bloody good!,
Standard sound system isnt too bad, slap in an aftermarket cd player and the standard ford speakers can handle a fair bit. If your into an amazing sounding system then you would replace it all!
Reliability & Running Costs:
Zetec engines are fussy, and simple things like cleaning a MAF sensor or ISCV can sort alot of niggly problems out, along with having correct spark plugs and leads!
Never had a problem with the zetec engine, only had problems with wheel bearings and wishbones like all fiesta's eat. Especially when lowered!
As with parts for most fords, they are pretty cheap and to be honest there arent many jobs which are extremely hard on them.. just a pain in the arse with rusty bolts!
Running costs, I found once I got the ford stated 34mpg but never again, so was doing around 200-240 to a tank. But using the diesel gearbox I am currently seeing 300+ with this engine!
Insurance was actually cheaper than a 1.6 Zetec!! in bogstandard form!
Safety & Security Crash safety:
Standard Imobilisor with chip key with alarm, does its simple job.
# Has bodykit / alloys / elec windows etc as standard
# pretty rare cars
# Look good!
# Not the fastest car ever
# Tiring on long journeys
# Not seen as a real "RS"
# RSOC dont like modding them
Love this car to bits. It has the same power near enough as slapping a 2.0ltr zetec engine in a fiesta; but this came as standard along with full bodykits and the electric bits inside the car.
If you get a decent model it will holds a fair bit of value due to it being a rarer RS model.
Cheap to fix / insure, tax is standard 1.6+ rates for older cars.