Farewell Ford Fiesta

by Nik Berg and Antony Ingram
10 July 2023 2 min read
Farewell Ford Fiesta
Photo: Nathan Morgan

Much like the Mini, almost everybody has a Ford Fiesta story. Perhaps your parents had one, you learned to drive in one, or you had one as your first car – or maybe you’re now of the age that one of your kids or grandkids spent their first years on the road behind the wheel of Ford’s supermini.

But after almost 50 years and close to five million models sold, the Fiesta will not be replaced now that production of the current model has finished. On Friday 7th the last ever Fiesta rolled off the line in Saarlouis, Germany to make way for new electric vehicles, and as Ford moves to a fully-electric line-up in Europe, there appear to be no plans to endow the popular supermini with battery power.

How much is your car to insure? Find out in four easy steps.
Get a quote

The Sun quotes a Ford insider who says, “This is a strategic decision to make way for a ‘new’ Ford. Fiesta has been a beloved icon and a faithful friend for millions of drivers but tastes are changing. People want high-riding crossovers – and we play to win.”

1976 Ford Fiesta
Photo: Ford

One of those high-riding crossovers is the Puma, which currently sits in third place in the UK’s best-sellers list, and in second is the Nissan Qashqai, also lending credence to Ford’s plans. But then top of the pile is the Vauxhall Corsa – a traditional supermini – while in 2021, eight of the top ten best-selling cars in Europe were conventional hatchbacks.

Not one of them was a Ford, incidentally, so perhaps the brand’s pivot away from cars says more about its ability to remain competitive without widespread platform sharing (like most of its rivals) than it does about changing consumer tastes. That said, Ford pulled all its cars bar the Mustang from the US market a few years back, and it doesn’t seem to have hurt there – so perhaps Ford of Europe has something up its sleeve.

Generations of Europeans learned to drive in the Ford Fiesta, while boy and girl racers loved the hot hatch XR2, RS, and ST models. Early examples of the sporty Fiestas are now becoming quite valuable, while the later STs remain some of the best-driving cars at their price point.

Even basic Fiestas have, since the mid-1990s at least, been entertaining to drive, so losing the Fiesta doesn’t just mean losing an iconic nameplate, but also one of the most affordable driver’s cars on the market.

Read more

Retro Rewind: Ford Fiesta RS Turbo vs Fiesta ST
10 times Ford had fun with the Fiesta
What could have been: The hot Healey Fiesta

You may also like

Small Was Beautiful, Once: Stylish Coupes from the Radwood Era
Small Was Beautiful, Once: Stylish Coupes from the Radwood Era
Engine start button Ford Focus RS
Ford Patents Potential ICE-Saving Technology
1967-ford-gt40 front three quarter action
Will This Road-Going GT40’s “Colourful” History Add to Its Auction Appeal?
A story about

Your biweekly dose of car news from Hagerty in your inbox


  • T says:

    Sad to see the Ford Fiesta go, great car.

  • Pierre Noir says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see it re-booted in a few years’ time – electrified, obviously.

  • Stephen+Pye says:

    My dad had a red 83 XR2 mk1. I drove it a lot in my early 20s. Loved it! would love one now but prices for a good one mk1 or mk2 XR2 are crazy.

  • Chris says:

    Had one myself in 1999 and nobody had them then just mk2s …. I tried to explain to my dad we should keep it as they were rare then … I bought for 300 and sold for scrap … I loved it and had many xr2s mk2 thereafter but that was my fave … red/orange with a brown drivers door .. cool as funk !

  • Mark Jackson says:

    My dad had a Gold 1.1L on a T plate so it must have been a ’78, oh how he loved that car. He eventually swapped it for a MKII but it never compared to the MKI in his eyes.

  • Nick S. says:

    That last paragraph sums it up. “We’re losing one of the most affordable drivers cars on the market”.
    In case no one has thought about this yet it’s happening throughout the motor industry and you can bet the replacement model will first of all be electric and secondly be almost twice the price. The knock on effect will be that anyone buying one will be forced to take out finance and secondly trying to buy one second or third hand which most people are forced to do through their financial situation will be nigh on impossible or at least impractical due to future regulation regarding safety of EV,s and their comparitively short battery life. We’re heading into an extremely expensive, exclusive and indeed disastrous motoring future…

  • Wessel von Loringhoven says:

    Never drove a Fiesta except holiday hire- but a price realistic fun car true to its looks. – It will take me a long time to believe in the battery craze-

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More on this topic
Hagerty Newsletter
Get your weekly dose of car news from Hagerty UK in your inbox

Thanks for signing up!

Your request will be handled as soon as possible