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Ford Fiesta Mk2 (1983 - 1989)

Last updated 18 January 2014

Cheap and easily serviced, everyone has owned one so properly nostalgic, cooking models honest, XR2 underwhelming
Rust is an ever-present enemy, cramped, noisy and bouncy


The Ford Fiesta Mk2 was a significant facelift of the original 1976 car. Given that the Mk1 Fiesta was Ford's most costly to develop car to that point, it's an understandable exercise in making the investment pay by stretching it out for as long as possible. But despite the same-again looks, the Ford Fiesta Mk2 was packed with useful updates and additional features - not least the 1.6-litre diesel model, five-speed gearboxes, a continually variable automatic transmission, high security Chubb locks, and a brand new dashboard.

The new front-end styling previewed the 1986 Escort facelift, and gave the car a more mature, contemporary look. Overall refinement was improved, too - but overall, it was a car that was still very much rooted in the 1970s, just as the supermini market was undergoing a revolution. Despite its failings, the Fiesta was a true triumph of marketing over ability, and was a huge UK seller during the 1980s. The tastes of hot hatch customers were satisfied by the XR2 version (which in truth was not a patch on rivals such as the Peugeot 205GTI), but it sold in droves, as did its smaller brother, the equally popular 1.4S.

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