the XR2i

Ford tends to keep its models looking very similar across the models, from the larger Mondeo, Galaxy, Escort, down to the small Fiesta. The revised Fiesta, certainly resembled the other cars of the time, and was a vast redesign from the Mk3. It was much smoother and rounded, and incorporated curves into all the panels.

The car was essentially an update from the Mk3. It was however a significant change with alterations not only from an aesthetic point of view, but the chassis was revised as were the safety aspects of the car. The Mk4s arrival, also led to advances in engine developments. Ford and Yamaha worked together to help produce the Zetec-SE range of engines available in 1.25, 1.4 and 1.6 in the Fiesta. They were all 16v, DOHC engines that were economical, clean to environment and were reliable and easy to service. The Mk4 also came with an 8v 1.3 engine and 1.8 normally aspirated diesel engine.

QuimNinja's Mk4

Inside the Mk4 Fiesta, Ford waved the magic wand and transformed the interior of the Fiesta from a dingy 80’s feeling plastic-fest, to a more modern airy supermini. The dash was redrawn and the seats were changed being much more supportive than the standard Mk3 ones. By now, power steering was standard, as was the driver’s airbag, with the option of a passenger airbag too.

Ford seemed to have missed the Mk4 Fiesta when handing out sporty packages.
The quickest of the bunch is the 1.4, producing 88bhp and achieving a respectable for its size 10.8 seconds. It’ll top out at 112mph and finds itself in insurance group 7, which is very friendly on your wallet when it comes round to that time of the year. Many trims and options could be ordered, the main models were: Encore, Zetec, LX, Flight, Chicane, Finesse, Fusion, Si and Ghia. Most of these trims were available with whichever engine you wished from the choices available.

Dodge13's 1.7 Puma Mk4

In 1999 another change was needed to keep I line with Fords ever changing image. This time changes weren’t so drastic but this wasn’t necessarily bad.

People never took too kindly to the Mk4, with its frowning face and somewhat ugly bumpers. In 1999 the Fiesta got a facelift along with the odd nip and tuck here and there. The face was brought into line with the Ford Ka and new Mondeo, and much improved the styling of the car, making it feel fresher and like it was truly a new car not a simple update.

But of course, it was an update. The chassis remained very much the same as the previous model as did the interior and 90% of the parts. The bumpers were redesigned to rid the car of is overly-smooth exterior and items such as wheels were changed in favour of more modern things. The specification of the car was raised slightly, due to competition in the industry and to bring it up to date.

Guy's mk4

Ford finally realised they needed to appeal to all people, and they’d missed out the people that enjoy that little extra power and sporting feel to a car when they produced the Mk4. So they created the Zetec-S model in the Mk5. The model featured multi-spoke 15″ alloy wheels, lower front spotlights, sporting half leather steering wheel, deeper front and rear bumpers, optional air conditioning, traction control and sports suspension.

Critics praised the Zetec-S for its handling, thanks to its ever improving chassis and suspension set-up. However, it’s often felt that the car was slightly underpowered and therefore never captured the hearts of many, including the fans of Fords hot-hatches of the early 90’s, like the XR2i and RS Turbo. The car featured a 1.6 version of the Zetec-SE engines used in the rest of the range, producing 102bhp at 6000rpm and 107lb ft of torque. Instead of likening the Zetec-S to the XR’s and RS’s of yesteryear, perhaps more of resemblance lies with the Mk3 Fiesta Si 16v. They both are sporty cars, without the incredible insurance costs, and both have many excellent traits, namely handling.

The Mk5 was stopped only three years into production when a whole new Fiesta was brought in to take the Fiesta to the next level.