1991 Ford Fiesta

RS Turbo Hatchback 1.6 L

Vehicle values by condition

Condition 4
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Condition 3
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Condition 2
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Condition 1
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1991 Ford Fiesta RS Turbo Hatchback 1597
valued at £11,000
£275.43 / year*

History of the 1990 - 1992 Ford Fiesta

1990 - 1992 Ford Fiesta
1990 - 1992 Ford Fiesta
Ford Fiesta RS Turbo (Hatchback), 1990-1992

The Ford Fiesta RS Turbo was in production from 1990 until 1992. Styled in house, it is a front-engine, front wheel drive hatchback range seating four adults.

Introduced in 1990, the Fiesta RS Turbo effectively served as a replacement for the MK4 Escort RS Turbo. It used the same engine as its predecessor; a derivative of the 1.6 litre CVH fitted with a turbocharger and developing 133bhp. However, the turbocharger fitted was a smaller Garrett T02 in place of the Escort’s T03, faster-spooling and with less lag. This was chosen owing to the Fiesta’s smaller engine bay, with inadequate space for the larger turbocharger to be fitted behind the radiator. Barring the engine, the rest of the specification was based on the XR2i warm hatch which had debuted the year before. The bodykit was the same, but the car differed in detail – larger 14” wheels of a different design, green piping to the rubbing strips in place of blue, colour coded spoiler, tinted windows with opening rear quarterlights, and bonnet louvers. You could specify ABS and a heated front screen if you wished, making this a luxurious car for a small Ford in the day. Replaced in 1992 by the RS1800i fitted with Ford’s new Zetec engine in naturally aspirated form, the Fiesta RS Turbo was one of the last of that rare breed of turbocharged hot hatches with its origins in the 1980s.

It feels cheap, but then it’s a Ford – the quality of the fixtures and fittings was never perfect, and this is now a thirty year old model. Period road tests were uncomplimentary about the RS Turbo, citing poor handling and incommunicative steering among a list of weak points which included turbo lag when compared to naturally aspirated alternatives. But the appeal of the RS Turbo is its place in social history rather than its driving experience form an objective perspective. For people of the Max Power generation this was one of the coolest cars to have – bodykits were cheap and the turbocharger meant instant street cred. That’s the Fiesta’s biggest draw, in all truth – nostalgia.

Check the panel gaps for signs of the near inevitable crashed these cars typically had earlier in life. Check for rust too, at the lower extremities, around the windscreen and behind the bodykit where water can be trapped. Check also for blue smoke from the exhaust, indicating a shot turbocharger. Panels are shared with the standard MK3 Fiesta and the bodykit with the XR2i, so these items shouldn’t be too hard to source.

As a loud, proud hot hatch, the RS Turbo is most desirable in a strong colour such as Radiant Red. That said, with a strong colour palette of just five colours – Black, Radiant Red, Diamond White, Mercury Grey and Moondust Silver – there’s not as much choice as many other models anyway. Grey and silver examples tend to be slower sellers, but this means better value – and often they were bought by more mature owners less likely to have mistreated them. It goes without saying that cars like this are best bought on condition.

The subsequent Fiesta RS1800i would be an adequate alternative, as would something like a Fiat Uno Turbo. However, we’d be looking at cars like the Citroen AX GTi, Peugeot 205 GTi and even the Rover 216GTi instead. These cars are significantly better value than the Fiesta because they don’t attract the premium the Ford badge brings to the classic market, and all are equally or more competent. The Peugeot is the jewel in the crown, but these are no longer cheap cars.

All 1991 Ford Fiesta body types

Year Make Model Submodel Body Type Engine size Average value
1989 Ford Fiesta 1.6 XR2i Hatchback 1.6 L £ 3,500 5,400 7,400 11,300
1990 Ford Fiesta RS Turbo Hatchback 1.6 L £ 5,300 11,000 20,700 30,100
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