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The End Of An Era - A History Of The Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta, an icon of the automotive world, has reached the end of its journey after seven generations of cars and five decades. Let’s explore the rich history of this reliable, efficient, and affordable vehicle, from its birth in 1976 to the final chapter.

Whilst news of its discontinuation may be sad, it isn’t over yet. At Foray Motor Group, we still have a handful of brand-new Fiestas in stock, ready to be collected, before Ford shifts into an electric future. These remaining models are the last of their breed, meaning it’s your final chance to become a part of this iconic legacy.

Image courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Birth of an Icon: Ford Fiesta Mk1 (1976-1983)

The first Ford Fiesta, released in 1976, originated from Project Bobcat, which aimed to create an affordable and fuel-efficient vehicle for the growing small car market. The Fiesta Mk1 was Ford’s first globally successful front-wheel drive model, becoming one of the best-selling cars of its time due to its cost-effectiveness in both purchase and operation.

Ford’s innovative approach with the Mk1 Fiesta set the stage for the company’s future successes in the automotive industry. The Fiesta quickly became a household name, showing Ford’s commitment to offering efficient cars that cater to the needs of consumers around the world.

As the first generation of the Ford Fiesta, the Mk1 laid the foundation for the decades of success that would follow. Little did anyone know that this small car would become such a beloved icon on UK roads and beyond.

Evolution through the Years: Ford Fiesta Mk2 (1983-1989)

In 1983, the Ford Fiesta Mk2 made its debut, building on the success of its predecessor with improvements in design, engine options, and features. The Mk2 saw the introduction of a diesel variant and a 5-speed manual transmission, maintaining its position as a top-selling supermini in a competitive landscape that included the Vauxhall Nova, Corsa, and the Ford Focus.

This generation of the Fiesta continued to captivate drivers with its driving dynamics and versatility, offering various models such as the 3-door hatchback, the performance-oriented XR2, and even a van version. By the end of the Mk2’s production, total sales figures for the Fiesta surpassed 4.5 million units, proving its unwavering popularity in both the UK and Europe.

As we look back at the Mk2 Fiesta, we can see how Ford managed to keep their beloved model relevant in an ever-changing market. The Mk2 proved that Ford could adapt to new challenges and continue to offer a vehicle that resonated with drivers globally.

Image courtesy of Ford Motor Group

The Modernization Era: Ford Fiesta Mk3 (1989-1997)

Entering the era of modernization, the Ford Fiesta Mk3 brought a sleeker look, a 5-door hatchback option, fuel-injected engines, and advanced features like ABS. This new level of refinement showcased Ford’s commitment to keeping the Fiesta in line with drivers' evolving expectations while preserving its core appeal.

Among the most sought-after Mk3 Fiesta models were the XR2i (later renamed the “Si”) and the performance-oriented RS Turbo (later known as the RS1800). These models demonstrated Ford’s ability to cater to a wide range of drivers, from those seeking a budget-friendly daily driver to those craving a performance-focused machine.

The Mk3 Fiesta sold over one million units within its first two years, further solidifying its status as a popular choice in the used car market. As the modernization era unfolded, the Fiesta continued to adapt and thrive, proving that its legacy was far from over.

A New Millennium: Ford Fiesta Mk4 (1995-2002)

As the world entered a new millennium, so did the Ford Fiesta. The Mk4 generation introduced a more aerodynamic design, an updated engine range, including the new Zetec SE engines, and new technology that catered to the needs of contemporary drivers. Among the popular models of this generation was the Zetec S, which replaced the XR2i and RS Turbo/RS1800, offering driving pleasure and contributing to the Fiesta’s status as a best-selling car with its Zetec SE engines.

The Mk4 Fiesta’s sleeker, more rounded design marked a departure from the previous generation’s angular aesthetics. This new look not only helped the Fiesta stay current in an evolving market but also paved the way for future generations to build upon its success.

Throughout the Mk4’s production, the Fiesta remained a force to be reckoned with in the automotive world. Its continued success in this new era demonstrated Ford’s ability to innovate and adapt, ensuring that the Fiesta remained a beloved car for millions of drivers.

The Best-Selling Generation: Ford Fiesta Mk5 (2002-2008)

The Ford Fiesta Mk5, also known as the fifth generation Fiesta, became the best-selling generation, boasting stylish looks, enhanced safety features, and a facelift in 2005 that introduced the sporty ST variant. The Mk5 featured brand new safety features such as anti-lock brakes and passenger airbags as standard, along with cutting-edge technology like Bluetooth, MP3, automatic headlights, and power-fold door mirrors.

To further entice enthusiasts, Ford released three limited edition Mk5 Fiesta models: the Zetec S ‘Anniversary’, ‘Celebration’, and ‘Red’, each limited to only 400 vehicles. These limited editions, along with the ST, became highly sought after in the used car market.

The Mk5 Fiesta’s reaffirmed Ford’s ability to anticipate and meet the demands of the ever-changing car market and became the best-selling generation of the Fiesta.

Embracing Globalization: Ford Fiesta Mk6 (2008-2016)

The Ford Fiesta Mk6 embraced globalization, adopting the ‘One Ford’ approach that aimed to create a unified product line for the global market. The Mk6 generation featured the bold and boundless ‘Verve Concept’ design and eco-friendly ECOnetic models, which offered agility without compromising comfort.

The Mk6 also found success in motorsports, with the Ford Fiesta WRC World Rally Car achieving several podium finishes and even securing victory at the 2017 Monte Carlo Rally on its debut event.

Throughout the Mk6 generation, the Fiesta continued to prove its worth as a versatile, reliable, and stylish vehicle. The global success of the ‘One Ford’ approach solidified the Fiesta’s place in automotive history and set the stage for its final chapter.

Image courtesy of Ford Motor Group

The Final Chapter: Ford Fiesta Mk7 (2016-2023)

The Ford Fiesta Mk7 marked the final chapter of this iconic car, introducing new Active and Vignale variants, ST and limited Performance Edition models, and continued success in the World Rally Championship before production ended in 2023. The Mk7 further showcased Ford’s commitment to innovation and adaptability, with keyless entry and start, ambient lighting, electric power-assisted steering, parking sensors, and MyKey technology among its new features.

As the last generation, the Mk7 symbolized the end of an era for this beloved vehicle. In 2014, it became the most popular vehicle ever registered in the UK, surpassing the 4.1 million registrations of the Ford Escort. Despite the discontinuation of the Fiesta, its legacy will live on through the millions of drivers who have cherished this iconic car over the decades.

Image courtesy of Ford Motor Group

Last Ford Fiestas available at Foray

Foray Motor Group proudly offers the last Ford Fiesta models available for purchase, honouring the car’s long-standing legacy and popularity as one of the popular cars and Britain’s favourite cars. As the final Fiestas roll off the production line, now is the perfect time to own a piece of automotive history, reminiscent of the iconic Ford model era.

Don’t miss the opportunity to become a part of this iconic car’s story by purchasing one of the last Ford Fiestas available at Foray Motor Group. Discover a range of handpicked Fiesta stock offers at Foray Motor Group of both new Ford Fiesta models such as the Titanium, Titanium X, or ST-Line models. We also offer a range of high-quality used Ford Fiesta vehicles.

Ford's Electric Future: What Comes Next?

As the Fiesta line ends, Ford is shifting its focus towards an electric future, with plans for new electric models and a commitment to carbon neutrality in Europe by 2035.

Ford’s commitment to electric vehicles, including electric commercial vehicles, demonstrates its dedication to innovation, sustainability, and meeting the demands of an ever-changing market. As we say goodbye to the Fiesta, we can look forward to a new generation of electric cars that will carry on its legacy of excellence and adaptability.

Image courtesy of Ford Motor Group

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