Danger Dan

I don't know what this is yet. Whatever it is – welcome to it.

The Ford Fiesta LX, 2003, 1.4 TDCi

In creating this car, Ford have converted the raw essence of the sort of carefree, clean living, bouncing beach party you might picture when you hear the word ‘Fiesta’ – and converted it into a by-word for ‘perfectly fine’. This vehicle is a remarkable example of tenacity and a marginal example of a car. Featuring an interior with one of the most persistent smells anywhere in the second-hand market, coupled with a dashboard made from a single ingot of solid plastic, this is a car that is sure to make your friends say ‘oh… yea ok’.

Fuelled by a mixture of stubborn will and diesel, the 1.4 TDCi engine will literally move you. Its sonic range starts at the low grumble of Sea Lion territorial warnings, soaring to the heady heights of a roaring lawn mower on an overcast late summers morning. Sorry to get emotional. Vibration through the steering wheel is a new feature – providing ample reminder that speed kills, while making use of the latest and most cost-effective refinement from the now dull edge of the automotive industry. What is certainly sharp however are the window switches. They glow in the dark, so that, if it’s dark, you can see them. This technically makes the car solar powered. It also removes the need for electrical wires to power what would have been interior lights. Wires have been scientifically proven to be lethal when used to throttle a child, so this car is certainly safe. For fans of smoking, a cavity near where your upper limbs end provides the perfect opportunity to deposit ash. Fire can be created with the on-board lighter, which is sure to keep the embers of your heart burning with fond memories for years to come! The heater comes as standard, featuring such temperatures as very hot, and quite cold. Audio connoisseurs can enjoy the screwed-on radio unit, which converts radio signals into Radiohead!

Market research shows that the average Briton owns 1 or more cups, which can require holding when in the high G-force environment of a Ford. Luckily, cups are held in place by a combination of cup holders and the Earths gravitational field – which is a popular force amongst Fords key youth demographic. That’s not to say the Fiesta doesn’t hold something back for the older owner… though it’s not immediately obvious what that might be. It can certainly take you to the Doctor, meaning the elderly can indulge in their penchant for ill health. It was nice to see such small but thoughtful touches from one of the world’s largest welders of pig iron. The number plates are lit by small bulbs just next to them. This is a regulation, so frankly Ford can take little credit here. What I will say though is, if the car didn’t have this feature, it wouldn’t be road legal, which would greatly hamper its market appeal. By making this car road legal, what Ford have done is taken a product for which there is a highly dubious business case in the world of private Motorsport – and expanded its horizons. They absolutely understand that this car is not a race car, and though it’s easy to say in hindsight now given the obvious success of this car on the road, it is the intuition and consistent logic of Ford which has taken the fortunes of the Fiesta from a laughable Le Mans race car, to a modest and practical car that every man, and probably woman too, can use to transfer themselves to places that are of inconvenient distance from their personal points of origin.

4/5 Stars.

Cheers, Dan