The exterior in general is a massive improvement; it brings more design features and makes the car a more finished product. All the grilles and headlights look almost oversized at first, but it sits comfortably after a while and shows how sparse and unimaginative the Mk2 looked.
At the rear; the lights are all silver now (ST-3 and Titanium models get really nice LED lit units too), and the bumper doesn’t just stick out like a fat lip any more. The spoiler is now body coloured, and provided you avoid the chrome Titanium one, the number plate strip looks like it actually wasn’t an afterthought unlike before.
I ordered this car blind, so the only perception of the colour and wheels were only on paper. Vision blue turned out to be a vibrant, modern choice; it’s bright and resists looking dirty. It compliments the cars profile even more now and contrasts well against the tinted windows.
The wheels are a definite win; I had reservations after seeing them 2-dimensional in the brochure (they looked flat and fussy), but they look bigger and chunkier than I was expecting. The standard 5 spoke 16”s look a bit lost in comparison!
Once inside, the interior is a bit more familiar. In all fairness, the outside was more of a priority as the inside was generally good quality. The majority of the dash architecture remains the same and so it’s still simple with the controls being easy to master.
If I was to sound a bit harsh, it would appear most of the budget got spent on the exterior and they just got left with a can of silver spray paint for the dash.
They’ve brightened up the centre console with a new headunit and silver finish…
…and the driver’s dials are all new.
The dial’s white and red lit colour scheme is a welcome replacement to the previous models monotone green and is much sharper at night. They’re allegedly designed by Sony, but their silver housings/surrounds haven’t stopped them looking cheap though.
Spec: Zetec 3dr 2008MY Engine: 1.8 TDCI Diesel, 113bhp, 207lb ft Transmission: 5 Speed Manual Mpg - Official: 54.2mpg Achieved: 39-44mpg Performance: 0-62mph: 10.8 Secs, 118mph Colour: Vision Blue Running Period: Autumn 2008 – Spring 2009, 5000 Miles Options: Sport Pack (17” 8 spoke Alloys, Privacy Glass), Rear Parking Sensors.
*Pictures captioned above - Sourced for reference only from AutoTrader*