A Used Ford Fiesta is an Affordable Car You Should Avoid

The Ford Fiesta is known for its modest design, simple interior, and, most importantly, it’s low, low cost. Even when you’re looking at the Fiesta brand new, from the dealership, the original sticker price is incredibly affordable. As you could imagine, that means that the costs of the used Ford Fiesta’s on the market are near bargain-basement prices. For a relatively stock car, something had to have happened to tarnish that car’s reputation, and it might be severe enough to deter people from buying the Fiesta from the used car market — but maybe it isn’t that bad after all.

Recalls and reliability

While the used market is flooded with older years of the Ford Fiesta, you might notice that prices are pretty competitive. It seems like every time I click online to browse for cars casually, I see a handful of low-mileage, or relatively low-mileage, Fiestas in relatively good condition with a shockingly low asking price. I wanted to know what about these cars makes them so affordable, and while some of the answers made sense, others left me with a few concerns.

A blue first-generation Ford Fiesta ST displayed at an autoshow.
Ford Fiesta ST | STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

The brand-new starting price for the Ford Fiesta has always been relatively low. It was designed and branded to be a car that is easily accessible to the average consumer. With the different trim package options, you can get a good assortment of features for much less than many other new cars. There was one thing that seemed to have tanked the Fiesta’s reputation: recalls. While some of the recalls over the years sound more serious than others, only a handful of each model year was affected by most of the recalls, and Ford made a distinct effort to resolve the issues as effectively as possible.

The Ford Fiesta does have some saving graces

When it comes down to purpose, the Fiesta does exactly what it was designed to do. It is a low-cost option, and while that does mean it ditches a lot of the high-end luxury features of more expensive sedans, the Fiesta isn’t going to blow your monthly budget. They aren’t just inexpensive to purchase, they are less costly to insure than cars that cost more, and that’s another budget-saving cost of car ownership people often take into consideration when purchasing. Because the starting price of the Fiesta is so low, it doesn’t face steep depreciation costs like other luxury or sports cars.

A silver Ford Fiesta ST displayed at an auto show.
Ford Fiesta ST | Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent Have the Highest Death Rates on the Road

Since you aren’t going to be worried about mileage ruining the car’s value, the Fiesta is an excellent option if you’re looking for something to make your daily commute, or you tend to rack up miles on your odometer. General maintenance on the Fiesta is low enough that an oil change at regular intervals won’t require pinching pennies to prepare for. Although many customers report reliability problems, their overall repair costs are still relatively low.

Used Ford Fiestas may not have the highest ratings for reliability on websites like Consumer Reports, but that doesn’t mean it’s the worst used car you can buy. For the right driver or driving conditions, the Fiesta can be a good option, especially if you live in a climate that’s harsher on cars. You won’t be too concerned about getting your Fiesta a little scuffed up along the way, and while not everyone likes to admit it, that can remove a lot of stress from our daily commute, especially in traffic.