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Mounted at each end of the facia is a "chip-cutter" fresh air vent. These admit ambient air and can be adjusted finely for direction and volume. Their throughput is high at speed and they can be fan boosted.
An additional flow of air at face level can be obtained from a lift up open/shut vent in the centre of the facia that bleeds heated air from the windscreen circuit of the heater.
Standards of refinement have improved so much recently - particularly in the small car class - that the Fiesta, though undoubtedly a quiet car, cannot be considered exceptional. Were this test being written a few years ago the star rating would be very different.
By far the worst offender is engine noise. Lack of induction silencing gives it an unnecessarily throaty note when revved hard and there's a considerable amount of mechanical thrash as well. Added to which is the boom at 70-75 mph already mentioned.
In comparison, noise from other sources is very well suppressed. There is some (albeit barely perceptible) whine from the transmission, some rumble from the tyres over coarse surfaces and thump over Cats' Eyes. There was a little hissing from the door seals at speed, but it would be stretching the point to call any of these significant.
One point worth mentioning is the disturbing number of squeaks and rattles that plagued our car: from the seats (both passenger and driver); from the tailgate; and from the transmission.
Opinions regarding the seat covers varied from indifference to dislike. But of the rest of the car we agreed. It has a pleasant air of competent design and assembly but with a tinge of cheapness. We - and our passengers - didn't like the way the doors clanged tinnily when shut, nor the squeaks and rattles mentioned above.
To be competitive on price in this class all cars need to be modestly furnished. Some rivals of the Fiesta manage to be so while retaining a feeling of quality. Unfortunately, the Fiesta doesn't.
In its S form, the Fiesta is well, but not lavishly, equipped. As well as the now-normal items such as radial ply tyres, front disc brakes, alternator and hazard warning flashers, the S has a long list of standard fittings including an intermittent wipe facility, door pockets, a dipping mirror, a cigar lighter, a clock, a rev counter, illuminated heater controls and cloth trim.
Three options were fitted to our test car: head restraints, £34.19; a rear wash/wipe, £45.77; and a glass sunroof, £113.94.
Service engineers were included in the Fiesta design team and there are many features aimed at reducing servicing costs and simplifying maintenance. The clutch can be replaced without removing the engine, for instance, and brake pad and lining wear can be checked without removal of the wheels.
Not surprisingly therefore, the engine compartment is simply and logically laid out with all service points easily accessible. Battery, dipstick, radiator overflow bottle (made of clear plastic), and oil filler are sensibly sited. The distributor is mounted at the rear of the engine, protected from spray, but even that is relatively easily serviced.
Servicing is required every 6000 miles, with a free service at 1500 miles......
Bottom - Above: fair-sized covered cubby in front of the passenger; the lid incorporates recesses for cups. Left: with the glass sun-roof removed. The panel is then stored in the boot. Below: the Fiesta's design time included service engineers and it shows. All service items are easily accessible