Buy your first evo car - Ford Fiesta Zetec-S buying checkpoints

What to check for when buying a Ford Fiesta Zetec-S.

The Fiesta had taken a giant stride with the launch of the mkIV in 1995. Although it was based on the mkIII it had heavily revised suspension and a new range of Zetec engines. In 1999 it was facelifted with the ‘new edge’ look from the Focus, and it’s this car that’s known as the mkV in the UK. For enthusiasts the big news was the introduction of the Zetec-S with a new 1.6i 16v engine, stiffer anti-roll bars and uprated brakes. Sharing its chassis with the Puma coupe, the 1.7-litre Puma engine is a common conversion.

What to pay

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

Serviceable cars start at around £1000 and £1500 buys you a good, well-maintained example. Pristine, low-mileage cars occasionally fetch up to £2000.


Advertisement - Article continues below

Don’t be surprised to find rust, particularly around the sills and rear wheelarches, but do check that it’s only superficial – the inner sills are a potential problem. Also check brakelines for corrosion. Rear dampers often need replacement, as do lower suspension arm bushes. A fastidious owner may well have had these replaced, so ask. If anything’s amiss with the ride or handling, walk away.

Service £198 (Oil, filters, etc. Costs from

Tyres £107 (two, fitted)

Exhaust £122 (fitted, cat-back)

Insurance £900*

Road tax £19 (12 months)

Advertisement - Article continues below

Fuel £1689 (10,000 miles)

TOTAL £3206

* Insurance based on a 21-year-old male, two years’ NCD, living in Stamford, office worker, no accidents or convictions. Quotes from Adrian Flux ( 106 quote is for standard car (add £15 for modified)

** Fuel cost based on official ‘combined’ mpg and unleaded at 141.03p per litre


Engine In-line 4-cyl, 1596ccMax power 102bhp @ 6000rpmMax torque 107lb ft @ 4000rpmWeight (kerb) 976kgPower-to-weight 106bhp/ton0-60mph 10.2sec (claimed)Top speed 113mph (claimed)Years ’00-’02 Price when new £10,995Price today £1000-1500

Advertisement - Article continues below

Most Popular

Volkswagen Golf GTI hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf GTI leaked ahead of reveal

Following a slew of spy shots last year, a camo-free Mk8 Golf GTI surfaces online
20 Jan 2020

Lotus's badge-engineered specials: from Cortina to Carlton and VX220

Some collaborations more secretive than others, a handful of models have received backing from Lotus over the years. We've gathered the very best
19 Jan 2020
Ford Focus RS

Ford Focus RS500 v Audi RS3 – new v used

One’s an eight-year-old Ford, the other a brand new Audi. But which of these five‑cylinder superhatches deserves your £45k?
18 Jan 2020
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019