Make / Model Search

Car reviews - Ford - Festiva - 5-dr hatch

Our Opinion

We like
Diminutive proportions
Room for improvement
Below par performance, comfort, safety, handling, ride, steering, refinement, quality, durability, image

7 May 2003

FORD introduced the Festiva onto the market as a contender in the small car class in October, 1991.

It was based on the 1987-1990 Mazda 121 with a slightly longer wheelbase to accommodate four doors and was built for Ford by South Korean manufacturer Kia.

Revising an established design kept development and manufacturing costs down which enabled Ford to keep the new price down to a competitive level.

The Festiva offered four seats, reasonable luggage space behind the rear seats and low running costs in a very compact package.

It was sold as a single model with quite a generous level of equipment, considering the price.

The list included a security coded AM/FM radio, tachometer, intermittent wipers and remote rear door and fuel filler door release.

Air-conditioning was an option and metallic paint was available at no extra cost.

A three-door version was released in January, 1993. Both models were on the market until March, 1994, when they were superseded by the aero-look WB Festiva.

The overhead camshaft, four-cylinder, 1.3-litre engine has an output of 46kW. The engine followed the Festiva low price formula, opting for carburettor rather than fuel-injection.

Weighing just 810kg, the Festiva's small engine was able to push the car along fairly frugally but has enough acceleration keep up with the traffic.

Fuel consumption in manual transmission form will be around 8.0L/100km in typical city and suburban driving. On the highway expect 7.0L/100km.

The older generation suspension left its mark on Festiva, compromising handling and ride compared with its rivals. But for commuting purposes, the car's springs and dampers offer a satisfactory service.

Ride quality is acceptable on smooth roads and Michelin tyres fitted as original equipment improve grip. But they are unlikely to have been replaced when worn by the same French rubber, which could lead to a more noisy, harsher ride.

The small turning circle and short overall length make parking easy although some people will miss power steering.

The Festiva's mechanicals have been well proven in the Mazda 121 so the long term durability promises to be good.

And it is simple to service, which should offer do-it-yourself people plenty of scope for saving money.

Check the car's service history to make sure the camshaft belt, radiator coolant and brake fluid have been replaced at the recommended intervals.

The Festiva's hatchback offers versatility and good equipment levels.

It appeals to people who want good value for money and are not concerned with having the most up to date mechanical technology powering their city runabout.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new Festiva

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here