Driving / NVH
Nothing majorly different to report here compared to the Mk2. As the changes to the facelift were largely cosmetic, there wasn’t much for Ford to do/invest on towards changing the dynamics. There’s some new soundproofing for the diesels which quietens things down in the cabin (marginally, quite hard to tell), and apparently the gearchange is now slicker (couldn’t vouch for this one!).
The brakes on this manual transmission did feel sharper than the auto last time, but we still had the slight delay in throttle response that’s common on all diesels.
The Mk2.5 otherwise remains a fluent car to drive; the handling is composed, it rides well even on 17″ wheels and if you’re quite enthusiastic with the steering off throttle, you can really sense the rear tightening up with you and putting the car back in line.
The steering weights up progressively too, with the option of adjusting how much power -assistance you’d like in the trip computer. Standard, Sport and Comfort modes alter how light or heavy the steering can be.
The standard fit ESP isn’t intrusive which is good considering how difficult it is to switch off, and being one size bigger than the Fiesta means that no more mid corner bumps are being felt through the front of the dash. The combination of the larger footprint, extra weight and damping soaks it all up, and so bumps from one corner won’t have a noticeable effect on the other. The longer wheelbase means that it can really settle down and cruise in a composed manner at motorway speeds too.
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.