Ford Fiesta (Mk5: 2002-2008)

Used, blue Ford Fiesta ST (Mk5) with white racing stripes and OEM alloy wheels.

The Fiesta received a facelift in 2005 – a post-facelift model shown above (Fiesta ST).


Fiesta Mk6 or Mk5?

This generation of the Ford Fiesta (Mk5) is often referred to as Mk6. This is because the previous model, the Mk4 Fiesta, was often called the Mk5 after it received a facelift in 1999.

In other words, the 2002-2008 Fiesta is the 5th generation model, and what is often referred to as Mk5 is just a facelift model of the Mk4 – different looking front but still the same car. Call it the Mk4.5 if you wish.


Reliability & common problems

This section covers the potential reliability issues that you might have with the Ford Fiesta Mk5. Click on the buttons below to read more about the typical problems that fall outside the scope of routine maintenance.

Durashift EST transmission failure

The Durashift EST (Electronic Shift Transmission) is an automated manual transmission used with the 1.4 Duratec and 1.4 TDCi engines in the Ford Fiesta. While I’m not a fan of this technology, the Durashift EST is one of the better automated gearboxes used in mass-produced cars.

The gears and the clutch are operated by three electric motors. There are no hydraulics (apart from the master & slave clutch cylinders), which makes this transmission simpler and more reliable than Fiat’s Dualogic/Selespeed automated gearboxes.

The Durashift EST is pretty much the same thing as the Easytronic transmission used in Opel/Vauxhall cars, for example, the Corsa D or the Astra H. Both gearboxes have nearly identical clutch actuators and gear selector motors (just in a slightly different arrangement to accommodate different manual gearboxes).

While the Durashift is a light-weight and efficient gearbox, do not expect it to be as smooth as a conventional automatic transmission because it doesn’t have a torque converter to cushion the gear changes. It is, after all, a manual gearbox with actuators attached to it.

When buying and test driving a car with the Durashift EST gearbox, look out for the symptoms of Durashift EST malfunction:

  • Clunking noises when changing gears

  • Excessively hard gear changes

  • A sensation that the clutch is slipping (worn clutch)

  • Car dropping out of gear while driving

  • Juddering when taking off from a standstill

  • Car refusing to engage gear when trying to take off from a standstill

  • Transmission warning messages displayed on the dashboard

  • Car refusing to start

While the Durashift EST is reasonably reliable, below are the three things that you should know before buying a used Ford Fiesta with this transmission.

I. If the transmission fails, you will have a problem (unless you can fix stuff yourself).

The Durashift EST uses brushed electric motors to operate the gearbox.

The brushes in these motors will eventually wear out, and the transmission will stop working – it’s one of the most common reasons for Durashift EST failures. Replacing the brushes is fairly easy and inexpensive if you can do it yourself, or when you find someone experienced with these transmissions. They aren’t common though, so it may not be that easy.

If you go to the dealership instead, they will most likely offer to replace one of the actuators for something like £1000. If they don’t replace the right component the first time, there goes another £1000.

Trying to fix a faulty Durashift EST box is often expensive, which is the norm for automated and dual-clutch transmissions. This is unless you can diagnose problems yourself or know a garage that’s experienced with these transmissions and can fix the actual problem (as opposed to replacing half of the transmission). They are actually fairly simple once you understand how they work.


II. The Durashift EST has a standard dry clutch, which is a consumable item, just like in any manual transmission.

The Durashift EST cannot creep like a traditional automatic transmission because it doesn’t have a torque converter. Taking off and crawling at very low speeds is achieved by partial clutch engagement (slipping), which makes it wear.

Don’t treat it like a regular automatic gearbox because it’s not. You should always let the clutch engage fully in 1st gear when you are crawling in traffic. Also, don’t use the gas pedal to stop the car from rolling backwards on an incline.


III. A typical problem with these transmissions is a sticking actuator rod, which prevents one of the gear selector motors from operating correctly.

As I mentioned before, going to the dealership (or getting towed) with a problem like this would likely result in a large bill. However, it’s a fairly simple fix when you know what to do.

Here’s what’s involved:


The bottom line is this:

If you’re mechanically inclined, you can get a used Ford Fiesta with the Durashift EST. If you’re not, this transmission defeats the purpose of the car, which is to be affordable and simple.

The only Ford Fiesta model that had a conventional automatic gearbox was the 1.6 Duratec, and I recommend getting that one instead.

Summary or problems & additional information

  • The Fiesta ST, which is the performance model, was sold as the Fiesta XR4 in Australia.

  • The petrol engines in the Fiesta are simple and cheap to fix, which is exactly what you’d want from a small and affordable car. Actually, Ford did a pretty good job overall as there aren’t many issues with the little Fiesta. I have nothing to write about…

  • The 2.0 Duratec-HE engine from the Fiesta ST was designed by Mazda. In Mazda vehicles, it is known as the L series engine. You’ll also find it in some Volvo cars. It is reliable apart from a serious problem with the intake tumble flaps in pre-2003 cars, such as the Ford Mondeo Mk3. Fortunately, that has been fixed in the Fiesta ST.

  • Apart from the 1.3 Rocam and 2.0 Duratec-HE engines, which have timing chains, all the other engines in the Fiesta Mk5 have timing belts.

  • If you’re looking to buy a used Ford Fiesta Mk5 with an automatic transmission, I think you should stay away from the Durashift EST, which is an automated manual transmission mated to the 1.4 Duratec and the 1.4 TDCi. The 1.6 Duratec with a conventional automatic transmission is a safer choice. The Durashift EST is not bad, but it isn’t common, so fixing it may be a problem when it fails.

  • The TDCi are decent engines with no major problems. The things that could go wrong with them are the same as for all other modern diesel engines. By the way, these engines were developed as part of the Ford and PSA Group partnership. In French cars, they are known as the HDi. You’ll also find them in Mazda and Volvo cars.

  • None of the TDCi Fiesta cars needed a diesel particulate filter to meet Euro 4 emissions limits.

  • Also, all 1.6 TDCi and some of the 1.4 TDCi engines do not have dual-mass flywheels (DMF), which I consider to be a good thing – one expensive component less to go wrong and virtually no difference in driving.

  • I don’t know what Ford engineers were smoking, but the dual-mass flywheels were installed seemingly randomly in the 1.4 TDCi cars. I believe it was country related, for example, German cars are likely to have a DMF, but French or Italian aren’t. I don’t have enough data to tell you exactly, so you need to decode the vehicle identification number (VIN) of your car to be sure.


Ford Fiesta Mk5 specifications

This section contains Ford Fiesta Mk5 specifications. You will also find technical information regarding the engines used in these cars. Press the buttons below to display the specs and engine technical details.

Petrol engines – specs & performance figures

1.251242 cm³ / 75.8 cu in75 PS / 55 kW110 Nm / 81 lbf⋅ft2002-2008, Duratec (Sigma) engine
1.31299 cm³ / 79.3 cu in60 PS / 44 kW99 Nm / 73 lbf⋅ft2002-2008, Duratec 8v (Zetec Rocam) engine
1.31299 cm³ / 79.3 cu in70 PS / 51 kW106 Nm / 78 lbf⋅ft2002-2008, Duratec 8v (Zetec Rocam) engine
1.41388 cm³ / 84.7 cu in80 PS / 59 kW124 Nm / 91 lbf⋅ft2002-2008, Duratec (Sigma) engine
1.61596 cm³ / 97.4 cu in100 PS / 74 kW146 Nm / 108 lbf⋅ft2002-2008, Duratec (Sigma) engine
Fiesta ST (2.0)1999 cm³ / 122.0 cu in145 PS / 107 kW190 Nm / 140 lbf⋅ft2004-2008, Duratec-HE (Mazda L) engine

Diesel engines – specs & performance figures

1.4 TDCi1398 cm³ / 85.3 cu in68 PS / 50 kW160 Nm / 118 lbf⋅ft2002-2008, Ford/PSA DLD-414 engine
1.6 TDCi1560 cm³ / 95.2 cu in90 PS / 66 kW204 Nm / 150 lbf⋅ft2002-2008, Ford/PSA DLD-416 engine

Petrol engines – technical details

EngineEngine config.Forced inductionValve timingFuel deliveryDMFInlet flaps
Legend:SOHC - Single Overhead Camshaft
DOHC - Double Overhead Camshaft
EFI - Electronic Fuel Injection
DMF - Dual-mass Flywheel (does not apply to auto. transmissions with torque converters)
1.3 Duratec 8v (Zetec Rocam)Inline-4, 8 valvesNoTiming chain, SOHCPort injection (EFI)NoNo
1.25, 1.4 & 1.6 Duratec (Sigma)Inline-4, 16 valvesNoTiming belt, DOHCPort injection (EFI)NoNo
2.0 Duratec-HE (Mazda L) Inline-4, 16 valvesNoTiming chain, DOHCPort injection (EFI)NoYes

Diesel engines – technical details

EngineEngine config.Forced inductionValve timingInjection systemDMFDPFSwirl flaps
Legend:SOHC - Single Overhead Camshaft
DOHC - Double Overhead Camshaft
DPF - Diesel Particulate Filter
DMF - Dual-mass Flywheel (does not apply to auto. transmissions with torque converters)
1.4 TDCi (PSA/Ford DLD-414)Inline-4, 8 valvesTurboTiming belt, SOHCCommon RailSome enginesNoNo
1.6 TDCi (PSA/Ford DLD-416)Inline-4, 16 valvesTurboTiming belt, DOHCCommon RailNoNoNo


Ford Fiesta Mk5 wheel sizes

Press the button below to see the original equipment manufactuer (OEM) rim & tyres sizes for the Ford Fiesta Mk5. These are the original wheel sizes that were fitted by the manufacturer.

TyresRims Centre BoreBolt PatternComments
175/65 R145.5Jx14 ET47.563.3mm4x108
195/50 R156Jx15 ET52.563.3mm4x108
195/45 R166.5Jx16 ET52.563.3mm4x108
205/40 R177Jx17 ET52.563.3mm4x108Fiesta ST


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