First long run in the Fiesta (and maybe last if the lockdown gets worse).

Illustration for article titled Mr Hertz Fiesta, contd

5.4l/100 km corresponds to 52 mpg (Imp) or 44 mpg (US) which is as good as I’ve ever seen on a non-hybridised petrol car. As it happens it’s exactly the WLTP official figure.

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Power is by an 1100cc NA four with 75 bhp ( I had thought it was the 1 litre triple, but no). It’s not quick. Once you’re into third it is very much not quick feeling. For all that it’s quiet at speed and can get up to higher speeds than you would expect. Five gears are your lot and by about 100 (60 mph) you feel the need for a sixth cog.

It’s got cruise control, something I’d not associate with a small and fairly basic car and something that’s not of the slightest use to me as I rarely get the chance to drive at a steady speed for more than a few minutes. Just as well, because I can’t figure out how to operate it (there’s no obvious ON switch and selecting either of the SET positions doesn’t do it) and Mr Hertz’ policy is to remove handbooks from his cars.

Illustration for article titled Mr Hertz Fiesta, contd

Being a hatch, it has a removable parcel shelf. Removing and losing this is obviously a big thing and Mr Hertz isn’t having it. He imposes a penalty.

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Illustration for article titled Mr Hertz Fiesta, contd

It’s been a long time since I drove a manual petrol car and they’ve changed. This one doesn’t stall easily because, like a diesel, it adds a few revs all by itself as you engage the clutch. Also it has stop/start so as to achieve a lower CO2 figure. It works well despite what you hear about them. How does this work with DIY gears? You have to engage neutral and release the clutch, at which point the engine stops. As soon as you press the clutch it starts again.

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All in all, it’s good value at the price. How Hertz make any money out of €51.90 for twelve days out of which they have to prep it for the next driver is another matter.

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