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Car reviews - Ford - Festiva - 5-dr hatch


7 May 2003

REMEMBER the original Mazda 121 Fun Top from the 1980s? That car lived on - minus the fun (as well as the Fun Top sunroof) when Kia picked it up from Mazda and started building it for Ford as the WA Festiva. Ford half-heartedly brought it in during the early '90s to counter the freefall in small car sales to light cars like the Holden Barina, Daihatsu Charade and - ironically enough - Mazda's excellent 121 "Bubble". Next to these rivals, the WA model didn't have a chance, with its lacklustre 46kW 1.3 engine, iffy build quality, ill-sorted steering and handling characteristics and very-'80s styling. Still, it proved to be a useful test-bed for when the bigger (but not necessarily better) and far-more fashionably designed WB Festiva burst onto the market during 1994. Looking back at the Festiva, only one word really springs to mind, but that's unpublishable here. So here's another: cheapness. There are much better baby cars around.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 October 1991 to 1 March 1994

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