By on April 26, 2010

Everybody knows a “Mr. Euro”. Hell, you may even be “Mr. Euro” to your friends. Mr. Euro is the guy who, for some reason, wants the cars he cannot have in the United States. He’s the guy who says he would drive a 520i “in a heartbeat” given the chance, the dude who thinks we’re missing out because the Renault Twingo stays on the froggy side of the pond, the fellow who desperately wants a Vauxhall Zafira for child-lugging purposes. I still fondly remember the conversation I had with a similar fellow, whom I shall call “Mr. JDM”, around 2004 or so:

“I would buy a Japanese Skyline sedan in a heartbeat, if only they would bring them here, and I’m not worried about the money.”

“Good news. They did. It’s called the Infiniti G35. Allow me to drive you to the dealership so you may make your cost-no-object dream a twenty-nine-thousand-dollar reality.” Alas, the grass is never so green when it’s cut into sod and shipped to our lawns, and perhaps that’s why so many Mr. Euros find themselves conspicuously absent from the lists of Saturn Astra or VW Rabbit owners. It’s also possible that the loudest voices on the Internet buy the fewest cars, which would also explain why the current Ford Focus has been such a roaring success despite the heretical nature of its US-only design and execution.

Nonetheless, Ford has given Mr. Euro his best chance yet to see what it’s like to be a typical Continental bloke. Before you sits the 2011 Ford Fiesta. Unlike any mass-market B-segment car in American history, but exactly like the B-rides of Europe, the Fiesta is a high-content, engineering-laden, no-excuses-made small car chock-full of every goodie from continuously variable valves to contrast-piped leather seating. For all those people who have said they wanted a full equipment list and top-notch NVH in a small car… here’s your chance. The line forms on the right, and if you pre-order the car you’ll get a free SYNC system capable of reading tweets and playing Pandora ‘Net radio.

For the attention-challenged TTACers, here’s your one-sentence review: The Fiesta is as much better than the Honda Fit as said Fit is better than the Toyota Yaris, and for most of the same reasons. Want more details? Here you go. Inside and out, the Fiesta is trimmed and assembled like a decent German entry-luxury car. It’s quiet and fast on the freeway. There are a few ergonomic missteps (where’s the steering-wheel radio volume control?) but from the Vertu-like center console to the tightly assembled instrument panel, this looks and feels like an expensive car. The Fit used to set the standard in this market but it’s not even close to the Fiesta.

On the move, the Fiesta is the most rapid of the B-cars. The dual-clutch automatic is not pitched as a sporting choice, and it slurs shifts like a torque-converter car rather than slamming them home in the fashion of an Audi TT-S. Still, it will shift for itself and pull 40mpg in the EPA highway test. Choose the manual shift instead and enjoy a disturbingly rewarding back-road experience. Nothing else in the class will keep up in a straight line or down a fast backroad. On Ford’s autocross course, the Fit felt more nimble but the Fiesta had more ultimate grip and pulled out of corners where the Honda simply bogged and moaned. Better still, the Fiesta actually has enough brake for its pace. It took me the better part of thirty miles to put any serious mush in the pedal, and that was operating at what even I felt to be a rapid back-road velocity around some very tight descending corners.

Ford’s worked very hard to make this car feel upmarket, even sinking the seating position perhaps a touch too far in an attempt to make it “cockpit-like”. The body is extremely stiff — I counted welds and examined the mating surfaces on a bare chassis and was amazed at how much metal is in the structure — and it’s very resistant to potholes, road vibration, and all the stuff that makes small cars feel crappy. The penalty is in weight: the Fiesta is 2600 pounds in most trims. This ain’t the lightest little car out there.

Nor is it the cheapest. Ford’s priced the sedan about five hundred bucks above the Yaris at $13,995, while the better-equipped five-door is right in Fit territory. The tester sedans and hatches I drove were priced in the $18K range but had wine-colored leather seating and some very nice equipment. Never in American history has a small Ford been sold on excellence, rather than price. It will be a tough pill for the dealers to swallow. In the same way that Fit transaction prices often exceed those of base Civics, many Fiesta intenders will be walking right by a Focus that is cheaper in real dollars. Only time will tell if they keep on walking to the better, smaller car.

If you know a Mr. Euro, send him by the Ford dealer. This is the Continental experience: plenty of goodies in a car about seventeen inches longer than a 1979 Civic. Speaking personally, I’d rather have a no-options 2011 Mustang V6 than a loaded Fiesta. Faster, don’t you know, and I’ll put a boom box in the back seat. Most of you will feel differently, and after two days of driving the little Ford I won’t criticize your choice.

Ford provided the vehicles, gas and insurance for this review


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158 Comments on “Review: 2011 Ford Fiesta...”


  • avatar
    Juniper

    Mr. Euro! Ha Ha, Perfect.
    Also sounds like a great car.
    Excellent review.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    And yet, this is STILL not really the car most Europeans buy – where’s the diesel??? And the 3dr??? And why even offer a stupid sedan version?? Nothing more useless than a small car sans hatch.

    But maybe this will light a fire under VWs butt to get real with the Golf and to bring in the Polo.

    All-in-all though, kudos to Ford! Now when do we get the Euro-Focus??? And better yet, the Mondeo! Make mine a 6spd diesel wagon please. LOL.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian E

      We’ll get the next generation Focus for MY’12 – same as Europe.

    • 0 avatar

      The problem with the Fiesta is that the next Focus seems even more appealing, for me at least. Looks much better, decent back seat, more power. At which point the reason for the Fiesta again becomes price. And they can’t charge much more for the Focus, can they?

      Sorry to hear it’s not as nimble as the Fit. I didn’t find the Fit all that nimble.

      Reliability of course remains to be seen. Fords are usually decent these days, even quite good. But not always. I hope to have some stats within six months of the car’s launch here.

      Not yet signed up to help with TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey? Details here:

      http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Reliability of course remains to be seen. Fords are usually decent these days, even quite good. But not always. I hope to have some stats within six months of the car’s launch here.

      Are the 2009 Escape/Mariner and 4-cyl 2010 Fusion/Milan 4 -cyl transmissions and all of the issues they have been having popping up yet (failing around 10K miles)?

      What about the 2010 Fusion/Milan/MKFusion cooling system issues?

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      krhodes1:

      Alright…

      The diesel will probably never come to the U.S

      The 3dr.. and any up level sport model will probably come as a variant in a couple of years.

      If you read CAR mag or any of the euro car mags.. you will find out the Focus and Fiesta have the most variants, and being that the plant can make more than 1.. I’m sure its a shoe in.

      And umm..
      As far as the Mondeo goes.

      Ford is going to be having a big sit down with the Mondeo, Our Fusion, Taurus, THEIR Fusion as well as the Kuga and the Escape.

      There is LOTS of overlap here, and the company that is priding itself on having little to none… those vehicles will either continue on their merry ways.. eventually being badge engineered on the next platform redo or being canned, for the sake of the other.

      And…
      I much like the Mondeo in the wagon.. much better than their Camry wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Z71 –

      The Escape tranny issues were mainly due to owners flat-towing the vehicles and ignoring the instructions in the manual pertaining to safe speeds to flat tow and allowing the transmission to cycle through the gears from time to time to lubricate itself. It’s also worth noting that only a very very small percentage of owners had these issues, and they appear to only effect early 2009 models, and that 2010s have had no such problems, so whatever the issue was, it has been fixed.

      As far as Fusion/Milan/MKZ cooling systems go, a quick google revealed no issues, and I haven’t heard anything about it from any customers or owners, so, nice try but no cigar on that one.

  • avatar

    LOL Mr. Euro. How about Mr. Weaboo who drives FJ because Jeep is “bailoutmobile”?

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    Hey GM, how’s that Spark doing?

    Hey Chrysler, how’s that…(silence)

    • 0 avatar
      Bancho

      I thought the Spark was smaller than the Fiesta? Isn’t the Aveo the vehicle GM has positioned in this category?

      As for Chrysler, I have no idea what they intend to add to this category. The only vehicle on their roadmap is the 500 which a size class down from the Fiesta.

    • 0 avatar
      Lumbergh21

      If GM continues sending the Aveo out to fight in this segment, hwo do they plan on selling it? Comparing it to the as yet unbuilt Spark is being generous. Comparing it to the car GM is providing at this time is no comparison at all.

    • 0 avatar
      Joel

      Chrysler’s got the (Fiat)500

    • 0 avatar

      FWIW the 500 is *much* smaller than this, it’s around a meter (3 feet and change) shorter for starters.

      If Fiat-Chrysler field anything in this segment in the US it’ll be Punto based as that’s their B-segment player here in Europe.

      My guess is that Fiat will be watching with interest to see if you yanks take to the little Fiesty or not. If they start flying off Ford’s forecourts I expect you’ll see a Chrysler or Dodge badged Punto rustled up in short order (always assuming Chrysler doesn’t tank before then).

    • 0 avatar
      Mirko Reinhardt

      @splateagle
      The Fiat 500 isn’t a meter shorter. The Fiat 500 is 3546mm, while the Fiesta is 3958mm, so the difference is about 0.4 meters. Still, the 500 is in an entirely different class than the Fiesta. Just like the Nissan Versa is just a different size class and therefore not directly comparable.

      @Bancho
      Sure, the Spark is much smaller. It’s already out in Europe and has lost a few comparison reviews against Citroen C1s, Hyundai i10s, Suzuki Altos and so on.

    • 0 avatar

      @ Mirko – apologies – I’d used the sedan length (4409mm) which is around a meter longer than the lil’ 500 – point holds either way though and thanks for the clarification.

    • 0 avatar
      Mirko Reinhardt

      @splateagle
      4409 mm? That’s freaking’ huge for a Fiesta. That’s exactly the same size as a MKIV Jetta. I had no idea the Fiesta sedan was THAT large.
      OTOH, the US spec hatch is 4067mm instead of the euro version’s 3958mm.

    • 0 avatar

      @ Mirko – I thought the same, the first few times I saw a Mk VI Fiesta in person I did a double take thinking it was a new Focus I’d not heard about.

      I guess with the Ka* Ford must feel they have the small car market covered and so like everyone else’s B segment cars, the Fiesta’s gotten kinda big.

      * which, funnily enough, is built on the 500′s underpinnings.

  • avatar
    Bancho

    WIll the hatchback still accomodate a zebra’s head?

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    Only 500€ more than a Yaris? If there is any sanity in the average American subcompact buyer, the Yaris just became obsolete.

    • 0 avatar

      Yaris is a perfect automobile for people who, shall we say, watch too much anime. The unit that I examined did not even have cupholders. You cannot get more Japanese than that, and of course Fiesta has nothing on Yaris in that department.

    • 0 avatar
      Bancho

      The Yaris has cupholders. They fold out of the dash below the air vents so that when you put a drink in there you obstruct the airflow.

  • avatar
    dswilly

    I’m sort of Mr. Euro. I want a M5 Wagon……….As for the Fiesta, I think this is a great, well thought out car.

  • avatar
    Lexingtonian

    A week ago I would have thought the comparison to a German luxury car was an exaggeration. But last week I test drove a 2010 Taurus, so Ford vastly exceeding expectations for a non-luxury brand isn’t surprising anymore.

    Very much looking forward to trying it (and the 2011 Mustang out); I’m looking at adding a new car to the stable this year, and the leading choices have moved from Infiniti and Honda to Ford very quickly.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Judging by the pictures, the Fiesta is next to worthless compared to the Fit as far as packaging goes – the Fiesta is a two person car, or four person so long as two are infants or have no legs.
    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2010/04/47fordfiestafd2011.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Forget infants: you can’t fit a rear-facing carseat in a Fiesta unless the front passenger is very (like, under 5’3″) short.

      This seems to be a common theme in European cars: rear-seat space is well below par for the class.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      thornmark:

      judging on the relative position between the B-pillar and the head restraints in the picture it shows the minimum rear leg room given maximum travel on the front seats with the fronts partially reclined.

      Not a particularly useful driving position for most anyone. I’m 6′-3 with longer legs and I didn’t need full seat travel on B-cars I tested (SX4/Fit/Versa). Folks who “lean” might drive like this, but they are more likely to be driving a lifted 1978 LTD II with 32″ rims than a 2011 Fiesta.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I’m 6′-3 with longer legs and I didn’t need full seat travel on B-cars I tested (SX4/Fit/Versa).

      The Versa is much more spacious than the rest of the class (I’m 6’8′ and can sit behind myself); the Fit and SX4 are pretty good, too, as is the Yaris (given it’s size) and Aveo.

      The Fiesta is only slightly roomier than the Mini and much smaller in the rear seat than anything else in this class.

    • 0 avatar
      stationwagon

      thanks psarhjinian, I always assumed americans/europeans made car-seats with bigger dimensions. I have trouble finding seats that I like, I’m 5’10” but I’m more torso than legs, and I like to keep my back very straight with my shoulders touching the seats. Legroom on the other hand has never been a problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Disaster

      That is a deal killer for me too, but I bet some will treat it like a sports coupe, where the back seat is mostly used for storage…or cramping in friends for the 5 minute drive to the bar.

  • avatar
    NN

    Great review. I had a weird attraction to the Saturn Astra and the Alfa 159 is in my opinion the most beautiful sedan sold today. Of course the latter is not sold here, but it wouldn’t matter if it were…in the end I’m too frugal to drive anything European.

    I think that sums up the complex with the Mr. Euro’s here…they want the European content level and engineering at the expected American/Japanese/Korean value and reliability levels. Maybe the Fiesta can finally bridge some of that gap. If not, it will fail.

    Like the guy who wants the Mondeo diesel wagon…I’ve driven the new Mondeo diesel in Europe…loved it…but would I pay $40k for it, rather than $25k for a similarly equipped Fusion sedan? Nope.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      You cannot directly compare prices directly between the US and Europe. If nothing else, having 18-30%+ tax included in the price wildly distorts the picture, vs. US prices which are always exclusive of tax.

      How do prices of the Fiesta compare on both sides of the pond? THAT would give you an answer as to what a Mondeo would run here. More expensive than a Fusion, certainly, but it is altogether a better car too. I too, have driven one.

      And I do put my money where my mouth is, I drive a Saab 9-3 Wagon with 6spd manual. If I hadn’t gotten such a ridiculous discount on it last year it would be a VW Jetta TDI Wagon, also with six speed manual.

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    MEH, this is the car a bunch of college kids will arrive at XYZ college in this fall. I don’t think it’s the game changer Ford thinks it is…We Americans need bigger cars to fit our big butts into.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    I still want the 3door but otherwise, kudos Ford.

    Hey Baruth, how was the suspension and seats for longer drives? Say I wanted to cross the USA in it alternating between interstate and curvy hilly state hwys?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I’d like the car to have a touch more rebound damping, but really it’s a solid freeway/backroad compromise. MUCH better than a Fit, probably not quite up to the (larger) Versa. Quieter than a Versa, though.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    And yet, where it counts, this car is just not that good at the fundamentals:
    * The rear-seat space is terrible for the class. Most of the cars can accommodate a four six-footers, and the Versa can manage a rear-facing child-seat behind a tall front passenger. This car can’t fit a child behind a tall driver
    * The trunk is small and awkwardly-shaped. I’m not expecting it to equal the Fit, but bettering the Yaris or Aveo would be nice.
    * Mileage is nothing special.
    * The Versa and Aveo ride better; I think the Yaris does, too. The Fiesta isn’t bad (eg, it doesn’t constantly vibrate like the Fit does) but it’s “sporty”

    Jack’s point about Mr. Euro is a good one: this car hits all the buttons for Mr. Euro, but fails as a car for, well, the kind of people who buy subcompacts, or even compacts, in North America. Right now, that market is split three ways: cargo space and fun to drive (Fit), cheap (Aveo) and ride and people space (Versa). The Ford might get a few Fit intenders, right up until they look at the trunk and rear seat.

    Ford set out to make a Fit/Yaris competitor but ended up with a something that will contend with the Mini.

    • 0 avatar
      undrgnd40

      i’m not sure how many people actually shop for subcompacts with rear seat space and cargo space as their #1 priority.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      I won’t argue any of your points, but I do have another angle.
      * rear seat – both of my kids will fit back there, and will continue to fit until they’re old enough not to want to be seen in a parent’s car (we are a physically small family) Our days of caring about infant seats, either rear or forward facing, are years behind us.
      * trunk space – more is better. I’m in total agreement with you here
      * mileage is fantastic! what small car that isn’t diesel or hybrid is better?
      * the Versa is much bigger car. The Versa is as big as my Focus, which makes it a compact in my book. It is priced like a sub-compact though, so it is a good value if space/$ is your criteria. Too bad it drives like a Toyota.
      * the Fit is a fine car with nice driving dynamics and incredible space utilization, but if the Fiesta can offer more refinement and a more relaxed highway experience, then it takes my cake.
      * I’m not even looking at Aveos or Yarii. Nor should anyone else. I’m curious how the next generation Hyundais and Kias will turn out, but for now, no Accents or Rios for me.
      * for a while I was shopping the MIni, but finally had to admit that I couldn’t justify trying to squeeze a family into something that small. The Fiesta is a quantum step up in interior space and a quantum step less expensive – at least in Canada.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      I’m confused; you’ve driven this car? Is it even out yet?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      i’m not sure how many people actually shop for subcompacts with rear seat space and cargo space as their #1 priority.

      Probably more people than you think buy subcompacts with the expectation they’re going to carry more than two people. Many, many of these cars have car seats pre-installed.

      Many subcompacts—or at least those designed since the Yaris/Echo—have more functional space than compacts or midsizers. One of the reasons I bought a Fit expressly because it fit my kids’ carseats (and myself) in the back better than the Civic or Accord do.

      Cars in this class have to practical in order to succeed. The Fiesta, cool as it is, is not that practical.

      * rear seat – both of my kids will fit back there, and will continue to fit until they’re old enough not to want to be seen in a parent’s car (we are a physically small family) Our days of caring about infant seats, either rear or forward facing, are years behind us.

      In the Fiesta, the days of that seat’s usefulness are really numbered. If you’re wondering why I’m down on this car it’s because I had such high hopes for it and was so very disappointed by how compromised it is.

      I had my son (age four now, but about the size of a six-year-old) with me at the autoshow and even he found it cramped. Not a good sign.

      * mileage is fantastic! what small car that isn’t diesel or hybrid is better?

      The Yaris, for one. Real-world (not EPA) mileage in this car is just not that good. It’s not bad, and it’s better on the highway than the Fit, Versa or Aveo, but it’s not going to get the gas-miser buyer.

      * the Versa is much bigger car. The Versa is as big as my Focus, which makes it a compact in my book. It is priced like a sub-compact though, so it is a good value if space/$ is your criteria. Too bad it drives like a Toyota.

      So what if it drives like a Toyota? It’s the best-selling car in it’s price class, and it’s buyers love the space. If Ford wants this car to succeed, it needs to be better than the class leaders.

      * the Fit is a fine car with nice driving dynamics and incredible space utilization, but if the Fiesta can offer more refinement and a more relaxed highway experience, then it takes my cake.

      The reverse is true: if the Versa and Fit have more useful space and aren’t quite as sophisticated in their ride (the Versa is mushier, the Fit jittery) why pick the Fiesta?

      * I’m not even looking at Aveos or Yarii. Nor should anyone else. I’m curious how the next generation Hyundais and Kias will turn out, but for now, no Accents or Rios for me.

      The Yaris and Aveo really aren’t that bad: the former is really well-packaged for it’s size, gets great mileage, is rock-reliable and, as a result of it’s mass, is kind of fun. The latter rides pretty well, is very spacious and is a good value.

      Both are (marginally) better than the current Accent and Rio, which are both rather mediocre. Given Hyundai’s progress, though, the next one should be better.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I’m confused; you’ve driven this car? Is it even out yet?

      In Yurp

    • 0 avatar
      dswilly

      As far as rear facing child seats go, most would only go in the middle in smaller cars. In my experience (we have a 18 month old) I doubt most cars in this class would take a rear facing seat BEHIND a 6′+ driver with any ease. I can’t do that in my 3 series touring. The rear facing seats are huge.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      In my experience (we have a 18 month old) I doubt most cars in this class would take a rear facing seat BEHIND a 6′+ driver with any ease.

      The Versa does, which is impressive when you consider that doing the same in most midsizers can be a challenge

      It can be done, and many manufacturers do it. For some reason, many Mr. Euro choices aren’t in this category. Not all are (eg, the Mercedes B-Class or Opel Meriva) but many.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      “Ford set out to make a Fit/Yaris competitor but ended up with a something that will contend with the Mini.”

      Reading the review, that was what I kept thinking. How does it stack up to that new, stretched Mini? Other than looking a lot less in your face fashiony?

    • 0 avatar
      undrgnd40

      i see the fiesta appeal more to the city dwelling, professional college grad rather than a family. counting on that demographic looking less at the rear seat or cargo room. the pre-release advertising hype from ford seems to set that tone.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      i see the fiesta appeal more to the city dwelling, professional college grad rather than a family. counting on that demographic looking less at the rear seat or cargo room. the pre-release advertising hype from ford seems to set that tone.

      So Mini drivers, then.

    • 0 avatar
      undrgnd40

      i see the fiesta appeal more to the city dwelling, professional college grad rather than a family. counting on that demographic looking less at the rear seat or cargo room. the pre-release advertising hype from ford seems to set that tone.

      So Mini drivers, then.

      i find it hard to believe that only mini crowd would consider the fiesta. that’s incredibly narrow thinking. lets take the typical yaris driver around where i live. one person, no visible stuff in the back. same with the fit, same with the aveo. again for the versa. usually i see these cars in a driveway next to a minivan or crossover suv. and that says to me, we purchased the subcompact so one of us could commute to work economically. not so they could haul the family and luggage.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      @psarhjinian,
      “Ford set out to make a Fit/Yaris competitor but ended up with a something that will contend with the Mini.”

      Not quite. Ford actually set out to make a VW Polo/Opel Corsa competitor. Which is what they ended up with.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Psar: Many, many of these cars have car seats pre-installed.

      Name one, please. Maybe it’s semantics, but I’ve never seen a car come equipped with a built in kid seat. Booster seat in Volvo’s… sure. But not a car seat.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      re: gas mileage
      I apologize for nitpicking, but the figures that I’m seeing show the Fiesta as being more efficient than the Yaris. (or any other comparable car). So there goes the old ‘nothing special’ mileage complaint.

      6.9L/100 and 5.5 for the Yaris, and 6.8 and 5.1 for the Fiesta. These are the manual figures from the manufacturer’s Canadian sites.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Name one, please. Maybe it’s semantics, but I’ve never seen a car come equipped with a built in kid seat. Booster seat in Volvo’s… sure. But not a car seat.

      I was trying (and apparently failed) at being euphemistic. What I meant was that these cars are so often used for transporting young children that they may as well have car-seats pre-installed

      But the Dodge Caravan does have such an option.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The Versa has a lot more interior space, but oddly enough the only people I ever see driving Versas are old people or people driving rentals.

      When engineering a car you have to make the choice to either make it a jack of all trades and try to accommodate everyone, or make it really great at certain things. Ford took the latter approach with the Fiesta, and I’m happy about that.

      I don’t see the small back seat being a big issue with most buyers. Even with the current Focus/Fusion/Taurus lineup people who have the need for carseats or a lot of rear seat usage just bump up to the Fusion. While I am sure there are some people who will shop a sub-compact as the main family car, there just aren’t enough of them, especially in the US.

      Even in Europe where smaller cars are the norm the Fiesta handily outsells the Jazz (Fit) and a number of other more roomy competitors.

    • 0 avatar
      Albino Digits

      i see the fiesta appeal more to the city dwelling, professional college grad rather than a family. counting on that demographic looking less at the rear seat or cargo room. the pre-release advertising hype from ford seems to set that tone.

      I am a city dwelling, professional college grad, and rear seat room does matter to me. I wonder if the Fiesta would have enough power too, but that’s a problem with all subcompacts.

      My current top pick is the VW Golf TDI for the fuel economy, refinement, comfort, and size. The new Focus may be better, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to wait that long. If I decide to go cheaper, the Fit will probably be my first choice. The increased utility and ability to seat more people make it much more appealing for my needs.

  • avatar
    brettc

    It looks like a great car, I hope it will do well. I’m one of the guys that wants a diesel option in it. But I know it will likely never happen. So an efficient gas engine will have to be good enough. I also disagree with the sedan, but since Americans love sedans I see why Ford is offering it as that. I hope the hatch sells well enough for them to keep it in production.

  • avatar
    undrgnd40

    can’t wait to drive it. the fit and yaris make me yawn. the aveo is not even a consideration. a fun to drive, well appointed hatchback should hit the mark for a lot of folks, especially in that price range. then it won’t be long until there’s a flurry of aftermarket parts to make it the new favorite car to modify.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    I have been trying to get my wife to look at something like this.

    Unfortunately her perception of the fiesta comes from her native country (Brazil) where it is looked down upon. I’m going to try to get her to look at it anyhow, but am not holding my breath.

    I personally wouldn’t mind one but I can’t justify a new car as my 5 year old car has sub 35k miles.

    A diesel option would have been nice!

  • avatar
    thornmark

    from their review:
    However, one place where the Fiesta falls flat is in rear seat accommodations – if either the driver or passenger are more than average in height, rear legroom goes from minimal to nonexistent.
    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/04/26/2011-ford-fiesta-first-drive/

    And then there’s the lack of cargo room and versatility in the Fiesta.

  • avatar

    Not to excuse the dreck that sometimes lands here as a result of US makers cheaping out….

    What is totally missed by many folks is that the typical euro car, like the 520i mentioned, exists due to stringent registration fees (displacement = money, lots of it, every year) as well as higher gas prices.

    Most euro cars in the US have bigger engines than back home. VW sells here what in Europe are the “big motors”. The fact we don’t get some turbo-whizzbang special (that would cost 45k) is not really relevant. Not many sales at 45k, nor worth the EPA/DOT work needed for those few sales.

    I don’t want a four cylinder 5 series, and most US folks would agree with that at that price point. A slow BMW for 50k here in the land of cheap gas ? Why ?

    The average American drives a way better car than the average euro. Please note I said AVERAGE.

    Small cars in the US are cheap cars. “good” cars are bigger, up to a point. The expensive small car is a car built to euro spec, like a c class or 3 series, built to euro tax and registration standards but sold in the US. Notice the Japanese makers build cars a notch bigger than the 3 size, which is considered small by most Americans. Acura, Lexus and Infiniti cars are bigger than that as they are not sold in Europe, so don’t have to fit that strict size mold.

    Joe Sixpack has a better car in most cases than Jose, Guiseppe or Karl.

    • 0 avatar

      Just to add to it, Japanese stepped up their car sizes by a lot from what it used to be. Sure, tons of kei cars are still around, but a friend took me to a dinner in a HUEG black minivan (bigger than Sienna) – and he does not even have kids, in this marriage anyway. And in general I see a significant preference to bigger cars all around, to the point that in some places they rearrange parking to make wider slots.

    • 0 avatar

      The average American drives a way better bigger car than the average euro.

      There. Fixed it for you ;)

  • avatar
    Sanman111

    I guess I am Mr. Euro partially as well. If this car rides well and has good reliability, I will be buying one. Then again, I just went from Brooklyn to Manhattan for the girlfriend and then out to long island to visit the parents. Cheap, fun to drive, and a livable ride for the pot-hle ridden NY roads is exactly what I need.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Mr. Euro is the guy who, for some reason, wants the cars he cannot have in the United States.

    I dunno, performance, looks? Until the 90s, there was always a serious discrepancy between what the US vesion was vis-a-vis the RoW car.

    Sure, sometimes you wanted what you couldn’t have (Z1), but generally, we just wanted the real car – one that wasn’t a visual abortion because of bumper regs, and still had some huevos.

    Who the hell wanted to drive a neutered US 250 HP W126 500 SEL, replete with ugly bumpers and those pathetic sealed beam headlights when you could gray-market in the 300 HP, flush-light, nice bumper RoW model? Or a W116 6.9?

    The performance equation is no longer relevant (I can make anything go as fast as I want), so now, I’m only missing out on a sexy Alfa due to NHTSA and the EPA.

    From the 70s thru the 90s, that ‘Euro/JDM guy’ was the one you knew actually gave two good flyin’s about cars. Everybody else was a poseur.

    Now we do have some competitive product in the US, but the true enthusiast will always want the choice of the off-beat and unusual – it’s part of being an enthusiast. As long as we are officially denied that choice, we will bitch about it.

    Beyond that, the obvious reality is simply that enthusiast taste is generally not in the middle of the bell curve. Not right or wrong, merely is.

  • avatar

    Well, it should be clear from the comments what’s missing: rear seat room. If the Fiesta doesn’t do well here, this will be the reason.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It’s also missing useful cargo space, FWIW. :)

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      @psarhjinian

      Yes, if you buy the sedan version. The same problem exists with the Versa sedan vs. the hatchback, or the Yaris sedan vs. the hatchback. When buying my sons Yaris, we compared all these cars. The sedans are a compromise of space for a body style that makes no sense in this size segment. I will also extend that opinion to the Accent/Rio and even some slightly larger cars, including the Focus.

      Oh, and by the way, my son is 6’4″ and about 260 lbs (not overweight, just stupefyingly large); the FRONTSEAT as well as the backseat of: the Mazda 3, the Hyundai Accent, the Honda Civic, the Nissan Sentra didn’t allow him to sit upright. The Yaris hatchback and the Versa hatchback are different cars from the sedans; almost as if different people designed them.

      Why anybody would buy a sedan over a hatchback in this segment baffles me to no end.

      My wife, who is the antithesis of a gearhead, loves the looks of the Fiesta and the Mazda 2. (we are on the waiting list at my Ford dealer for a test drive, that’s how much she loves the Fiesta)Ergonomics will be superceded by the appearance factor, which should move a lot of these cars, regardless of seating and storage dynamics.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Yes, if you buy the sedan version. The same problem exists with the Versa sedan vs. the hatchback, or the Yaris sedan vs. the hatchback

      I agree that sedans in this class are pretty cramped, true, but the Fiesta even in hatch form is compromised:
      * In the Yaris, you can fold-flat and slide the rear seat in the hatch, and the space is not bad.
      * The Versa is actually quite sizable, even if it’s not flat.
      * The Aveo lets you fold the seat cushions up, and it’s pretty spacious
      * The Fit does a TARDIS impersonation, even with the seat up.

      The Fiesta hatch’s trunk is quite small (not much bigger than the Yaris, if at all), and there’s a weird little divider between the seats that intrudes into the trunk space.

      Cars at this price point are not discretionary toys; you cannot get the fundamentals wrong unless your intent is to target a niche market. It’s cool that Ford is pitching it that way, but it seems kind of short-sighted.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m sort of torn on this point. For myself, with no kids and modest cargo-hauling needs, the rear seat and trunk space is not a big deal, and I like the look and feel of this car more than the current Fit. But the Fit seems SO much more useful to give me second thoughts.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m exactly 200 cm tall and I can fit into Yaris, albeit barely. Can’t wait for Fiesta to try it on. I saw the salad car at a show this past weekend, but they did not allow anyone to touch it.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      @PeteZaicev

      Depending on whether you’re tall of torso or leg, you should be able to fit into the driver’s seat fairly well. I’ve smack-talked the rear seats of the car, but the fronts are pretty good. As with any car, the sunroof makes or breaks it.

      Interesting point about the Yaris and Fit: both became much less habitable for taller drivers in their second iterations: Toyota fixed the current Yaris’ seat much higher up than in the Echo (I had a few inches above my head in the Echo but saw the same thing you did in the Yaris), and Honda pulled the new Fit’s dash out further, killing knee space.

    • 0 avatar
      Bimmer

      @ Monty

      [i]Why anybody would buy a sedan over a hatchback in this segment baffles me to no end.[/i]

      Insurance charges more for practical hatchback then boring sedan (at least in Ontario).

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      Monty:

      I agree with you completely
      The whole concept of a hatch in this segment.. or in any segment is to fully utilize the space of the sedans’ inherent design and or platform.

      Taurus could do it.
      Mondeo DOES and in Tourer form
      Aston Martin Rapide does
      Skoda SUPERB does — one vehicle with the hatch that can be lifted in 2 ways.
      Hell, every sedan on the market could be fitted with an extra “door”, on the back. Then again look at the lie Honda perpetuated with the Crosstour.

      This is on top of the concept that the majority of vehicles on the road today HAVE A HATCH (Suv /Cuv, BOF or unibody), even though they are C/D E and or F even G segmented vehicles.

      This always irks me when I see a Mazda 3 running around.. that isn’t the HATCH. Ya have the option to buy the one with more space in the compact size b/c segment for very close money. Spend the dough for the hatch.. and not complain later that ya need an CUV / SUV for more room.

      Bimmer:
      Its pointless to buy a car according to the insurance. The IIHS is a perfect enemy to avoid. — Totally run and operated by the insurance companies.

    • 0 avatar
      Bimmer

      Accazdatch,

      you forgot BMW 5GT.

      It’s not pointless when difference in insurance premium is close to $600 a year between sedan and a hatch.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Insurance charges more for practical hatchback then boring sedan (at least in Ontario).

      That has to do with demographics: the young, and especially young men, prefer that body style, and that demographic costs the insurers the most money.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      Bimmer:

      The 5GT isnt included in the catagory, because the 5 series is the frame it sits on, along with the 5 series wagon. Its not complicated to stick a hatch into the back end of pretty much any sedan.

      In essense the Skoda Superb TwinDoor concept is a Passat under the skin.

      Now this is where I get pissed off.
      I want an actual reason.. as to why the HATCH on a B/C compact is worth more money to insure… than its sedan brethren.

      This is where I become a real asshole.. and want to talk to some manager as to why the premium is so much different.

      NOW.
      This is probably due to some asshat in a suit telling us all that a BOF SUV is safer..when you just die differently.

      A 1g a month is enough for me to change insurance companies. There are enough of these carpet munching bastards around to tell me their rates are cheaper. Id close my eyes and pick one, n fuck the rest.

      Vettes have hatches, the Z has a hatch, shit the tC has a hatch.. and ya gonna try and go after me for more money for a entry level 5dr B/C segment hatch..

      No.
      *Holds back my sincere, ear burning, sailor-mouthed, hatred for insurance companies and the fucked up issues they represent in accordance to the SUV / CUV regulations*

      In the end…
      Id buy the hatch.

      Ya not going to regulate which 5dr compact I drive because its got a handle on the back.. yet steer me towards a Escape or its brethren for its safety.

  • avatar
    Samir

    Great review Jack.

    Not sure this car will sell in the land “big and cheap” where quality isn’t really a buyer’s #1 focus, unless it finds a cult following somewhere. Americans have more or less adjusted to $3 gas.

    Love the profile of Mr. Euro.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    I think you’ll get the next gen Euro Focus. The current one rocks. Ford sold it briefly here before the government closed the imports.

    I’m sure the US won’t get the puny underpowered versions Mr. Euro (the real one living in Europe) is going to suffer forever.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Finally, a story on the Fiesta that includes more than that putrid green color.

    I learned to drive on a 78 Fiesta, whose looks I like much better than the 2011 version.

    I don’t think the base-model $500 difference over the Yaris matters a bit; most Americans don’t want the stripped version, anyway.

    For this money, I think I’d prefer a Kia Forte.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It probably will make some difference: the base Yaris is really, really basic. The reason it loses sales to the Koreans (and I include the Aveo in this) is that, for what you get, it’s a poor value in terms of features.

      It also sports what has to be the most egregiously cheap plastic in all automobilia: the light-grey “strip” that runs from the door handles. You can almost let it go in the base model, but that it’s still there in the uplevel RS is shameful. Toyota could do wonders for the Yaris if they did something—anything—with that particular part.

  • avatar

    I greatly dislike the slight changes to the face of the car. Especially the headlights, they are begging for their pojectors back. It’s a real detriment to the car’s styling and “premium” look.

    The leather they use on the seats looks disgusting too. The same overly shiny, banana-peel stuff all American car makers like to buy that creases after a few drives. I hope they offer cloth.

    Other than that this sounds like a very good car.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Not to mention that the three bar grille looks cheap and the silly, useless LEDs with tin foil behind them look cheap as well. Projectors need to come back as well as actual fog lights…

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Wow…having read a couple of reviews…it’s clear this car is nowhere near he car we were lead to believe Ford would be peddling.

    Rear seat space is horrid, interior materials are questionable, the center stack is awkward to use, it’s severely underpowered, and it looks like a very cheap car.

    Ford clearly wanted to be just as good as the competition rather than blow it away (like all of their new models).

    This car will not sell very well. It’s a huge compromise and it’s outrageously overpriced. A loaded Fiesta appliance costs more than a loaded Focus.

    As is always the case…Ford missed the boat again. They can only hope that it doesn’t have the issues that the 2010 Fusion has…

    • 0 avatar
      undrgnd40

      apparently ford missed the boat again, especially compared to their detroit counterparts. oh well, i hope people actually compare it for themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Severely underpowered? It’s the most powerful car in the class, and it has between 5% and 30% more power than the competition at a similar weight.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Wow…having read a couple of reviews…it’s clear this car is nowhere near he car we were lead to believe Ford would be peddling.

      It’s a good car, but I would chalk this up to “Euro Expectation Syndrome”. North American enthusiasts have a certain set of fundamental beliefs that are continuously re-enforced by a masturbatory blogosphere (truth in brackets):
      * Unions and cost are the problem (Revenue is the problem, not cost)
      * European cars are always better (They can be optioned higher, but they’re also expensive, over-engineered, gutless and small)
      * Europeans prefer wagons (Europeans are increasingly preferring tall-roof MPV/CUV dorkboxes, just like Americans do, only they’re coming at it from the other direction)
      * Most people would really want diesels, and only California stands in the way (People really don’t: gasoline market share pulls ahead in EU countries that don’t subsidize diesel, and most of the car-buying population in the US subscribes to CARB regs and are happy about it)

      I don’t think Ford was disingenuous, but I do think blogosphere wankery leads to impossible-to-fulfill expectations. I’ve driven a few European Fords: they’re good, but they’re not that much better than current North American models. Often it’s more a matter of taste than quality.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      @ Z71_Silvy: What is wrong with you? I haven’t read an even remotely negative review of the US-spec Fiesta yet, and I think I’ve read most of them. I think Ford could deliver a 100% Euro-spec Fiesta running on fusion power with $10,000 cash on the hood and you’d still bash them. Unbelievable.

      Rear seat space, interior materials quality, and the center stack are the same as the EU car. It’s also quite a bit CHEAPER than the European car, despite being as good or better on most counts and having the top-level engine.

      As for the Fusion transmission problem, there have been very few failures (I haven’t heard of any at all, in fact) and Ford has already released a TSB to fix the problem. It’s happened, it wasn’t a big deal, and it’s being taken care of. Because I sense that you’re a mindless GM fan need I remind you of the 1.3 MILLION Cobalts being recalled because of faulty steering? Sounds like a much more widespread and dangerous issue to me, but of course, it has nothing to do with Ford so it must not be worth mentioning.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      SV:

      Go read Autoblog’s review. The car is underpowered, rear leg room is horrid, the center stack is awkward to use (and, personally, one of the worst I have ever seen…what’s with the mid-80′s ATM display?), the door materials are cheap, etc.

      The expectations Ford has laid out with their endless PR whoring of this car were very high…and the car simply doesn’t deliver. And this appliance is not the same as the European car…hence the delay it took to get it here (plus…Ford dragged their feet doing so…).

      As for the Fusion…it’s wide spread…and even is found in the 2009 Escape and it’s rebadges. It is widespread…just like the 2007-2008 Expedition trans issues. And then there is the 2010 Fusion cooling system issues.

      http://www.fordfusionclub.com/index.php?topic=170317.0
      http://www.fordfusionforum.com/index.php?/topic/3085-2010-fusion-sloshing-sound-when-first-driven/

      Ford is the same old car company that we had in 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005. Same mediocre products, same lack of attention to quality, etc. This is why all of their appliances have electronic gimmicks…because the cars won’t sell on their merits.

      Ford got lucky…they are riding on the misfortune of Toyota, Gm ad Chrysler. Had they not had their problems…Ford would not be in such
      (misguided and foolish) high standing with the general public. Their products certainly do not paint a pretty picture.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      Autoblog’s review was in fact the first one I read. Some quotes instead of your misleading and out of context paraphrasing:

      “Ford has managed to restore some balance to the B-segment while putting the rest of the subcompact class on notice.”

      “Like other Ford applications, the steering wheel buttons simply work, as do the Fiesta’s deceptively straightforward climate controls and… what’s that? Optional heated leather seats? In a sub-$20k subcompact? Score.”

      “If there’s any overarching sensation in the new Fiesta, it’s the exceptional feeling of solidity from behind the wheel – most of the competition feels like cardboard boxes left to rot in the rain by comparison.”

      “The 1.6-liter, Ti-VCT-equipped Duratec four-cylinder engine, standard on all Fiestas, is easily class-competitive…it easily matches up to the segment stalwart Honda Fit.”

      “Over the course of our drive, including some hairbrained back-road bombing, we averaged well over 30 MPG. One colleague managed similar numbers with three passengers and a hundred pounds of camera gear in tow. Impressive, to say the least.”

      “A taut suspension that – combined with the aforementioned solid sensation – delivers above-average handling and minimal body roll. Chucking the Fiesta through the bends is surprisingly rewarding and equally forgiving.”

      “If this is the future of Ford, then the sun shines bright on Dearborn, and if an EcoBoost Fiesta is on the horizon, Ford stands a chance to sit atop the B-segment mountain until the rest of the pack catches up.”

      It’s not a perfect car, sure, but the review is a very positive one on the whole.

      As for the Fusion, it’s still a statistically minor problem out of the 200,000+ six-speed Fusions produced. Is it a problem? Yes. Has Ford already responded to it? Yes. Is it a problem that, all by itself, is indicative of a sweeping range of deep-rooted problems across the company? Heck no. Also, my Mazda3 makes a sloshing sound too. It’s normal.

      Honestly I don’t know if you do this just to troll or if you really feel this way and take the time to look up specific TSBs about current Fords you certainly don’t own just to “validate” (and I use the word loosely) your arguments/trollings. Either way, I suggest psychiatric help. Or at least some deep self-reflection.

    • 0 avatar
      undrgnd40

      well it’s a good thing chevy has the cruze. then you can buy a small car that overperforms in ALL areas.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Interior materials are best in class, rear seat space is small, but shouldn’t be an issue for most owners, the center stack looks sharp and even the Autoblog review (which is the only one I have seen that criticizes it at all) says that after a bit you learn it and it is no problem.

      Also, there are no widespread issues with the trannys in the Fusion/Milan, and the issues they had with the 2009 Escape were very limited, and mainly due to owners not paying attention to flat towing guidelines.

      undergnd40 –

      Except that every review of the Cruze mentions that it is unrefined, nicer than a Cobalt but still fairly cheap inside, and overall rather mediocre. The Cruze is better than the Cobalt, which was better than the Cavalier, but incremental improvements from awful still leave a long way to go to excellent.

    • 0 avatar
      JeremyR

      Please do not feed the troll. This is why the behavior persists.

    • 0 avatar
      Lumbergh21

      Judging by SV’s Autoblog quote, one driver acheived near 30 mpg with FOUR passengers and 100 lbs of camera equipment, it sounds like the interior/rear seat room isn’t as bad as we may be led to believe. Or does Autoblog hire particularly small people? Maybe a 5′ and under affirmative action program?

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Anyone know how the Mazda 2 will compare price wise with the Fester? My wife had already declared that the Mazda is definitely the cuter of the two.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      My understanding is that the Mazda is cheaper to buy, but also less well-appointed and somewhat more crude in both materials and ride.

      It’s also supposed to be more fun to drive because it’s not as well sorted, similar to how the Focus and Protege were.

    • 0 avatar
      Bimmer

      Price is pretty much the same, but I think Mazda2 has one less cog. And I don’t find it as attractive as Fiesta.

  • avatar
    undrgnd40

    according to mazdausa.com the sport version starts at 13,980 plus 750 destination and the touring starts at 16,185 plus destination.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    I’m a bit of a Mr. Euro, especially in that I never buy the Euro car I pine for. This sadly may be another example. I love the styling and I’m sure it is fun, but I’d rather have it with a turbo. Also the $20K as tested price is a non-starter with Mazdaspeed 3′s going for the low $20′s. Now where is my 3 series diesel wagon?

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      BMW has already shown us that they dont want to give us what we want.

      They are canning the 5 series wagon for the U.S, only to make the 5gt for those who think they want a wagon.. only more obese and with less utility.

      The 3series wagon is going the same way.. being replaced by a smaller 5gt = 3gt, under the same guise.

  • avatar
    nikita

    I have one on order, blue sedan in mid-level SE trim. Instead of comparing it to the Versa, which is in another class, this car is closer to the Mini, but modern instead of retro styled. The Fit base is the only thing that comes close at a similar price. Fit has better packaging but less content. I am somewhat Mr. Euro and I am thrilled about this car. Despite the nit-picking by the real “Mr. Euro” that Jack has nailed and wont buy the thing anyway, we get the top engine and for the most part more content than even the Titanium trim across the pond. Ive driven the Aveo, Cobalt, Civic, Fit, Focus SVT, Mini, Yaris, Versa and got to drive the new Fiesta at an event last year. The Fiesta feels most like the SVT, with less backseat room which I dont need, and almost double the gas mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      Why would you buy the sedan if the hatch is right there?

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      My last two cars were sedans because I prefer a trunk, with fold down rear seat, and I dont care for 5-door styling in general. The bonus is that the sedan at the same trim level is $800 less. A Jetta is a Golf with a trunk and VW charges more, not less.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      DO ya know why the HATCH SHOULD be cheaper than the sedan…

      BECAUSE in every other DAMN country in this blasted world the hatch / 3/5dr is the better design over all.

      Its better for space.
      Its better for functionality

      AND if you REALLY look at VW Group over all.. (the company actual size rivals GM and FORD put together) which means.. they can economize the vehicles across 4-5 Corporate name plates, which in the long run makes it cheaper for them to sell a hatch.

      Its only in the EFFED up country called the U.S does no one sell or market a 3/5dr hatch PROPERLY, but.. oh stick 4×4 / haldex coupling on it, lift it 4″ and you’d die to drive one.. for its improved safety / security b.s and cargo.

      The hatch.. is where its at.

      It honestly doesn’t matter whether or not you prefer a sedan or not because, VERY few cars are even offered in 2 variations (Sedan / hatch or wagon). How many cars can you name in the past 10yrs that were sold as a hatch / wagon for the U.S market? It only matters about economy of scale. It also ABSOLUTELY, LUDICROUS, working on borderline RETARDED to buy the sedan, when the hatch is right there.. KNOWING FULL WELL, that you could EASILY get the MSRP of the price lowered enough to cover the price of the hatch!!

  • avatar
    TG57

    Once these are out I’m going to give them a look and possibly consider getting one for myself, if I end up liking it. This review was helpful, but there’s a little more I’d like to know.

    My main curiosity, and probably what will make or break the car for me is; how is the good is the NVH suppression, in detail? The problem I generally have with cars in this class is not interior space, nor interior quality, nor feature content, nor acceleration, but how smooth they operate and well-insulated the cabin is.

    It’s a lot less true now than it was in the past, but traditionally these little 4-cylinder cars (especially with auto trans, which is how I buy my cars) vibrate and buzz like crazy at idle. I rented a Chevrolet Aveo and the steering wheel and driver’s seat would vibrate quite intensely while sitting stopped at a red light, as if the gruff little motor was welded directly to the body. Later I test drove a Kia Rio (which is a very underrated econo-car and much better than the Aveo in every way, btw), and it hardly vibrated or buzzed at all. So how is the Fiesta in that regard? Also, how are the noise levels? I swear that Aveo I rented had no sound insulation at all – the engine and road noise was earsplitting.

    Ride quality is another important thing. A lot of these little cars have really stiff and abrupt body motions and tend to crash and bang over bumps. I know they don’t have to be like this, because the Rio I drove was surprisingly smooth and well-dampened – it felt like a car a size or two up. If the Fiesta rides doesn’t ride well, then that’s a deal breaker for me.

  • avatar
    carguy

    To those folk who are claiming that the Chevy Aveo is in aspect superior to the Fiesta – you are undermining your own credibility. The Aveo is a nasty, deathtrap econobox which makes taking the bus seem like a more pleasant proposition.

    As to those who have driven it in Europe – you are jumping to conclusions. The US Fiesta is more comfortable (and heavier) than it’s Euro cousin. That maybe better or worse but at least test drive the US version before complaining.

    As for the interior space issue, only certain cars are sold on utility alone (or we wouldn’t have convertibles, pony cars, coupes or jacked up trucks). The Fiesta is aimed a entry level Mini buyers and the Scion demographic and not at families with two kids and a dog.

    Maybe someone would like to criticize it for not having a high enough towing capacity?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      To those folk who are claiming that the Chevy Aveo is in aspect superior to the Fiesta – you are undermining your own credibility.

      The Aveo is superior in one select but important way: it’s got more useful interior space, both for people and for stuff. In just about every other way it’s a worse car, but those two points are kind of important. There’s also the Aveo’s price point. Ford comes nowhere near that.

      That’s not a credibility issue, it’s a truth about a significant shortcoming.

      As for the interior space issue, only certain cars are sold on utility alone

      Yeah, and those cars are subcompacts and minivans. Utilitarianism is why they exist. The problem with the Fiesta isn’t that it hasn’t the space of a Sienna, but that it hasn’t the space of a Fit or Versa.

      Again, unless Ford’s intent is to pitch this against discretionary driver’s toys like the Mini, it’s got a serious disadvantage in a core competency versus it’s direct competition

      To use your towing metaphor: it would be important if the F-150 couldn’t tow anywhere close to what the Sierra/Silverado could.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      I believe Ford has stated many times that they’d like to steal some Mini buyers with the Fiesta. In my opinion, they have a shot at it too.

      This Fiesta was not originally designed for the US market; space wasn’t as important a consideration because the Fit wasn’t the main rival, the Opel Corsa/Fiat Punto/VW Polo were. Mark my words, when the next Fiesta comes out in 5 years or so, it’ll be quite a bit roomier than this one because it was designed with the US market in mind from the start (unlike the 2011, where the decision to sell in the US was made pretty late in the development cycle). For the same reason, I expect the new Focus to be a pretty roomy car.

      Also, since you said you only drove the European Fiesta, I’d hold off before criticizing mileage and ride quality. The US FIesta has a better transmission and more sound deadening than the Euro car, and at least one of the US-spec reviews has said the ride is a bit softer too thanks to the tires. I know you were really let down by the lack of flexibility in the Fiesta (although, since this has been known for 2+ years I don’t see why it’s such a big deal), but that’s not a reason to dismiss other aspects of the car out of hand.

  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique were well designed cars from the front to the middle to oops… the back seat which was unduly cramped and made no sense until you found out that was a compromise of the European design.

    The Contour’s sales life could have been extended had Ford extended the wheel base by a few inches.

    • 0 avatar

      I had a fully optioned Mystique with the v6 and manual. It had great bones and handled well, but was built to a price, which was probably $25. The Duratec motor was where all the money went, but the car died on the showroom floor because optioned you could buy the Taurus for the same money and one car had that stupid small back seat and one car was just as cheaply built but much bigger. My current car, a 3 series, is not much larger. The space utilization is better, and materials are light years better, but the overall size is not much different.

      A Mystique/Contour with the right options drove decently-a set of SVT shocks and it was very happy. The comparable Taurus, not so much, but if you are not a “driver”, then for 80% of the market, Taurus wins, Ford proceeds to de content the ConTique, until the “decent small car” becomes another small stripper and there is no reason to buy it over the Taurus for Joe 6Pack with two growing kids.

  • avatar
    Paul W

    I’m Mr. Euro’s European brother. I’ve got a serious passion about cars (mainly or exclusively) targeted at the North American market. So far it has resulted in 2 x Mitsubishi Eclipse, an Infiniti FX, a Pontiac Firebird and a ’70 Corvette Stingray.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Why did Ford put a dual clutch automatic transmission in a pricey Euro-style “sporty” compact and then proceed to not give it any type of manumatic feature?

    • 0 avatar
      Bancho

      It’s more efficient than a regular automatic. It would’ve been nice to have the manumatic feature but the car still benefits without it.

      It’s also the sort of thing that could be added to future models.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Most articles referenced the Fit, similar size, weight et al.

    I see the Fit as more akin the “Swiss Army Knife” of small cars, while the Fiesta is more akin previous hot hatches, except that it’s handicapped as being a five door with limited, almost coupe space and functionality.

    I suspect 20 years from now we’ll still see these Fits running around while Fiesta, not so much.

  • avatar
    dswilly

    WOW this Fiesta board is lit up! My money is on this being a run away hit. It is so much more dynamic than a Fit or Versa nobody will care about the back seat and cargo space. The Fit and Versa say “I’m a cheap ass” The Fiesta “I want a small car I like and compliments my lifestyle” As for kids? people in the breeding years look to larger cars as the family grows not small cars. Especially if you have a couple big dogs, ask me how I know.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It is so much more dynamic than a Fit or Versa nobody will care about the back seat and cargo space. The Fit and Versa say “I’m a cheap ass” The Fiesta “I want a small car I like and compliments my lifestyle”

      Except that those people don’t exist in any kind of commercially worthwhile numbers, and they already own Mini Coopers and (up here) Mercedes B-Classes. That’s a nice thought, but it won’t move metal.

      The people who are going to buy this car are doing to shop it directly against the Fit and Versa, and it will be a tough sell, especially against the Versa.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    As I read all the comments my recurring thought was if the Fiesta isn’t class competitive why does it sell so well in Europe?

    I had the opportunity to drive a European version in the U.S. at a Ford test drive event but unfortunately the route was so short I couldn’t develop much of a driving impression. As far as room I’m not understanding the criticism of the back seat. There were four adults in the five door hatchback I drove and plenty of rear seat leg room with the drivers seat properly adjusted for my six foot height.

    I still think Ford will sell a lot of these, it will be interesting to see a year from now what the figures are. I think between the Fiesta and upcoming Focus Ford is poised to gain substantial market share in these segments. Time will tell.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      As I read all the comments my recurring thought was if the Fiesta isn’t class competitive why does it sell so well in Europe?

      Answer: David Hasselhof, leather shorts, the Commodore Amiga, soccer and cramped compact cars.

      Question: What are things that are popular in Europe but not North America.

    • 0 avatar
      marjanmm

      Answer: David Hasselhof, leather shorts, the Commodore Amiga, soccer and cramped compact cars.

      Question: What are things that are popular in Europe but not North America.

      haha, let us see:
      David Hasselhof – not so much, most people thought he just obstructed the view to the more interesting parts of the show.

      Leather shorts – I really wish you were right about this but no, unfortunately not that much.

      Commodore Amiga – very nice gaming machine in its time, especially with a 512kb expansion card.

      Football – sure. Patina, tradition and passion, that’s what football is all about, not sure how much of these things are there across the pond.

      Cramped compact cars – Absolutely, small, nimble, great looking and if possible red.
      Seriously, I am slightly taller then you psarhjinian and the reason I am not driving a supermini is that a fiesta would basically be a three seater with me driving however my three door opel astra is really enough for my family (one 2.5 year old, one more on the way) even though you would consider it another cramped hatchback.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    Why does it have to be called Fiesta? I’d be embarrassed to tell someone that I drive a Fiesta. I’ll be interested to hear how it compares to the Mazda2. The Mazda is 300lbs lighter, so that must count for something. Only 100hp but at least it doesn’t have a goofy name.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      The name has been around since 1977, just that the car was discontinued in this market only after 1980. We got a yucky Korean car called Festiva after that. You want a different name, like Rabbit instead of Golf. How did that work out for VW? For goofy names, I cant wait to see the Fiat Punto at your local Dodge dealer. Mazda is a niche player and has what, 1/10th the dealer network of Ford. You live in a big coastal city and like the Mazda2, go for it. If the Mazda engine performs anything like the Yaris of similar weight and hp, you will like the Fiesta better, name and all.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Cheap? It’s important to remember that Ford sells cars disproportionately fleet, not so much retail as would a first rank company – hence its reputation. Trucks are another matter.

    Most of the recent Ford and GM sales gain in cars have been huge fleet sales – not good for rebuilding their unfortunate reputations.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      Not exactly true – Ford’s retail sales gains (January and February 28%, March 38%) are still ahead of market growth. Plus quite a lot of Ford’s “fleet” sales aren’t going to daily rental companies, but to government agencies and corporate fleets.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    Can’t wait to finally sit in a Fiesta after seeing it at the DC auto show. I’m still not thrilled with the US changes to the front end, but i checked out a Fit and hated the cheap dash plastics and the fact you can’t get a sunroof in a US Fit.

  • avatar
    SV

    Great review, although I don’t think the Fiesta is as far ahead of the Fit as you say. It has much more enthusiast appeal, for sure – but the practicality issue will make the Ford a no-go for a decent number of people. I’m not one of those people, however.

    I’m loving this car. It looks great inside and out and it’s great to drive, although I’m a bit surprised it’s not as “agile” as the Fit. On the other hand, the more solid and refined feel more than makes up for that where I’m standing. After driving a noisy (though otherwise enjoyable) Mazda3 for 18 months I don’t plan on my next car being in any way buzzy or bouncy – sorry, Honda (and Mazda).

    On the practicality issue, I would certainly prefer if there were more legroom and especially if the rear seats at least folded flat (I have trouble understanding what possessed Ford Europe engineers to not design it that way), but since I drive solo 90% of the time, it’s not a big consideration.

    In the end, this car almost seems designed for me, apart from lower engine power than I’d like and the non-flat-folding seats. I’m probably in or near the target market (19 years old, in college) and I want this car badly, far more than I ever wanted a Honda Fit or Mini Cooper. I doubt many other people my age will feel that strongly but I do think it will appeal to plenty of college students and young professionals; I also think that whatever sales are lost to the Fit because of rear seat space will be made up for with the sedan bodystyle: plenty of my friends hate hatchbacks and preferred the Fiesta sedan when I showed it to them.

    The Fiesta bodystyle I expect to be the most common, the SE sedan, can be had for $16,000 if you lay off the options, by the way. That’s a very reasonable price and comparable to a similarly-equipped Yaris or Versa sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      undrgnd40

      you made my case for me. i was trying to say in a far earlier post practical be damned, this car is going to appeal to a lot of young people who want a fun, solid and economical little car. i’m not in the target group exactly, but if the mazda is a little more basic then i might buy it because i am longing for a stripped down car that doesn’t ride like an aspire did.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    People here expect this car to be “the holy grail” or atleast the jack of all trades. “shakes head”

    Once and for all:
    This is NOT a luxury car, NOT a racing car or a family car.

    It´s a commutercar, a car for singles, an errand car, a second car, an enviroment friendly car and a city car.

    Surely there must be a market for this sort of car in the usa?

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    I plan on test driving a Fiesta as as I can. I do wish that they had provided it in “3-door” configuration though. I think it looks much better as a 3-door than a sedan or the 5-door.

    By the way, as a nod to Jack Baruth, I also plan to test drive the V6 Mustang and Mustang GT and other cars. Then I will need to weigh purchase price versus fuel efficiency versus fun, etc. It will be interesting if its true that I can get a stripped down V6 Mustang, which still has plenty features, for the same price as a nicely equipped Fiesta (likely equipped with a bunch of stuff that I can leave or take though).

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      The 2011 Mustang V6 starts at $23k including destination. A Fiesta SES can be made to just crest $23k with every single option possible, but that includes an over-the-top bodykit and a questionable graphics package that together add a grand to the price, so let’s say $22k. In the end I guess it’s whether you want a loaded European hatchback or a relatively modestly-equipped American sports coupe.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I like it, but the font of the “Fiesta” badge on the rear reminds me of a Kia Rio. Probably not the association Ford is looking for. And is the black plastic in the interior as shiny as it looks in the picture?

    I think there’s a lot of empty-nesters looking for a second car who might give this a look. They don’t care as much about rear seat room as they do about quality and amenities, and sporty handling doesn’t hurt. If this had been around when we bought our Mini, I probably would have gone for it and pocketed the $5000 or so difference, and enjoyed having the dealer two miles away instead of 70. But my wife would be a tough sell, Mini’s too doggone cute.

  • avatar
    Rusted Source

    Corolla and Civic are applauded for the fact that they’re a constant evolution of improvement and that they’ve kept the same namesake all these years. I applaud Ford for keeping/bringing back the Fiesta name for North America and offer this thought: If Ford is willing to go the road of the Japanese and take small cars seriously (instead of outsourced flavor of the week) it will be an even better car in a few years. They can take feedback about rear seat/cargo space and improve on it if necessary.

    What this car needs to do more than anything is capture the imagination of people who don’t typically think ‘small car’. I think it’s credible to offer a nice looking vehicle with power and luxe appeal to get those people to even think twice.

    Pathetic rear seat room has never stopped BMW from selling hoards of 3-series cars because that car has other things going for it.

    • 0 avatar

      I love how the price jumps from 3 to 5 series. six inches wider, a foot longer, 15k. Same engines, electronics, etc.

      That’s some expensive metal for that 18 inches extra !

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      SPEEDLAW:

      You miss the concept COMPLETELY.

      The 3 series is now the size of the 5 series..
      As is the 5 is now as big as the 7, now sharing its frame..
      Where as the 1 is now the entry level car.

  • avatar
    mrhappypants

    I’m trying to justify this car as it ticks all my boxes, at least until Fiat and Alfa start selling here. Rear seat? Fold it down and forget about it. Better yet, remove it and use the cargo space. Still, I can’t see letting go of my RX-8 for this, even though I need something more practical. Arggggghhh…

  • avatar
    newcarscostalot

    I wonder if people looking at a Fiesta/Mazda2 would cross shop a KIA Soul?

  • avatar
    Hiro

    On July 27, 2010, Hiro wrote:

    Ford Fiesta Good Car! We drive the car everywhere – this is how we roll! Not a scratch on the Fiesta yet. The Ford Fiesta sure has some nice MPG. Gotta love that Ford Fiesta.

    Auto-Translated by: Yamagato Software

  • avatar
    niky

    Interesting how they’ve managed to take the Mazda2, which is already quieter and rides better than the Honda Fit, and add two hundred pounds to the curb weight…

    Some of that is probably in the new six speed automatic, which added about fifty or more pounds of heft to the already heavy Focus… unless they’re using a smaller version of it.

    Interesting that the Fit is more nimble than the Fiesta… which is the opposite of the Mazda2.

    -

    Someone asked about the Mini up there… The Mini has good fromt legroom thanks to the dash design, but rear seat room is just average (not up to Fit level) and the rear suspension takes a lot of width out of the rear seat… if you’re a full sized male, those rear seatbelts will cut into your waist. Painfully. Don’t even ask about the vestigial belt for the middle seat.

    • 0 avatar
      changsta

      I’m wondering which middle seat you are talking about…. the Mini seats 4.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      The Mazda2 might gain 200 pounds by the time it comes to North America too!.

      The Ford is bigger (on the outside, don’t know about inside yet), and more refined. Bigger wheels, more gears, sound insulation, etc. I’m sure that they wanted a car that Americans can use (relatively) comfortably on the freeway. In spite of the extra bulk the Fiesta is rated as more fuel efficient than the Mazda.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      I should have specified, must have missed it on the edit. I meant the Mini Clubman. The Clubman comes with five shoulderbelts. The extra legroom convinced BMW that it would be acceptable to put accomodations for three in the back. It isn’t.

      The regular Cooper? Don’t even ask. The rear seats are just plain torture. At least you don’t have the seatbelt poking into your hips.

      The Fiesta is likely more efficient due to the transmission. The current Mazda2 only has a four speed auto, and that doesn’t seem set to change for the US introduction. But the more spartan tech and specs suggest it will be lower-priced than the Fiesta. Just don’t buy the auto. It’s a waste of a terribly good chassis.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Niky, I’m guessing you’re from the right side of the pond. Here in the US of A, Minis only have seating for 4, including the Clubman. Some people are griping that we don’t get the option of a rear bench, but I agree with you, unless you’re hauling very small children it’s silly to even think about seating for three back there. Surprisingly comfy for two adults though, once you squeeze in there.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      Left side of the other pond, but yes, we do get the “euro-spec” car.

      Yes, it is rather comfortable in the rear seat for two… but it’s not a big selling point for the car.

  • avatar
    dkulmacz

    Ford posts $2.1B profit for Q1 2010, supported in part by strong sales of Fiesta in Asia.

    I have a loaded manual five-door (in the much maligned Lime Squeeze) on order. Can’t wait!

  • avatar
    changsta

    The Fiesta looks like a great vehicle! I can’t wait to test one out. I priced a out loaded SES hatch on the Ford Canada website, and it actually costs the same as a loaded Focus. No question that the Fiesta is an infinitely better vehicle, but I wonder if people will have a hard time paying retail when a Focus with thousands on the hood is sitting right beside it in the show room.

    I am excited that you describe the Fiesta as a surprisingly quiet vehicle. The one thing that gets tiring in compacts is the amount of road noise and harshness. None of that here, it seems.

    My only gripe with the Fiesta is the horrible wheel designs offered. I think they should have stuck with the 17″ design on the euro models…. you know, the one that they photoshopped into all of the photos on the U.S. and Canadian websites? The 16″ design offered looks pretty cheap. Aside from that, the car looks great! I am loving the plum leather color. Nice to see it even being offered over the standard black. The only other thing I would want in this vehicle is HID headlights, but I bet they’ll be offered in a future higher performance model.

    For people that are complaining about rear legroom: if rear leg room is your main concern, then you shouldn’t be shopping for a sub compact! Sure, the Honda Fit has more versatility, but it is also apparently a much buzzier vehicle. Hondas of late seem to have too little sound deadening material in my opinion, which can get tiring on long highway drives. That was the main complaint I had for the 2010 Honda CR-V I had for a month. The Nissan Versa certainly does have much more leg room than the Fiesta, but so what? It also has more leg room than the Yaris, the Mini etc etc, which does not stop people from buying them. It also looks incredibly dorky. In Toronto, I always see older people driving them. It definitely is not as “cool” looking as the Fiesta.

    My only real hesitation with this vehicle is the 2012 Focus. I will wait and see the pricing on that one. I am certain it too will be a fantastic vehicle.

  • avatar
    CMK

    I am definitely “Mr. Euro,” but I’m a bit more selective than that. What I desperately want: Polo GTI MkV. Prefer a manual, but that 7-speed DSG is pretty sweet too. 3 or 5 door.

    My 2008 R32 is just too thick for my tastes. I might have to end up biting the bullet and getting a Golf R MkVI.

  • avatar
    Accazdatch

    Monty:

    I agree with you completely
    The whole concept of a hatch in this segment.. or in any segment is to fully utilize the space of the inherent design and or platform.

    This is on top of the concept that the majority of vehicles on the road today HAVE A HATCH., even though they are C/D E and or F segmented vehicles.

    This always irks me when I see a Mazda 3 running around.. that isn’t the HATCH. Ya have the option to buy the one with more space in the compact size b/c segment for very close money. Spend the dough for the hatch.. and not complain later that ya need an CUV / SUV for more room.

    Bimmer:
    Its pointless to buy a car according to the insurance. The IIHS is a perfect enemy to avoid. — Totally run and operated by the insurance companies.

  • avatar
    geeber

    I like this car, but after reading this review, and the reviews on Autoblog and Jalopnik, my thought was “Contour, Part II,” based on the cramped rear seat accommodations. The Contour was a good car in many ways, but it needed more development, and the cramped back seat was a deal-killer in that segment.

    Upon reflection, I’m not so sure with this car. Just as we tend to overestimate the appetite of Americans for things European when it comes to cars, I think we are overestimating how many Americans will look at this as a potential family car. Posters on this site are NOT typical new-car buyers.

    Even with today’s lousy economy, I still believe that most people who regularly haul children or other adults in the back seat will not even look at this car and go straight to the Fusion, or maybe the Focus.

    I see plenty of Fits and Versas on the road, and 95 percent of the time they are occupied by one person. I’m willing to bet that these cars sell primarily to empty nesters who need a commuter and young people looking for a first car. I can see Ford selling a solid, stylish car to those folks, and the superior driving dynamics over the current segment leaders will entice a fair number of younger buyers.

    The Fiesta isn’t going to be the next Mustang – an out-of-the-park homer – but it has the strong potential to be a solid triple that will attract new customers to Ford dealership.

  • avatar
    geeber

    My first thought on reading the reviews was “Contour, Part II,” based on the rear-seat room. But, upon reflection, I don’t believe that this will happen with the Fiesta.

    Just as most posters overestimate Americans’ appetite for things European when it comes to vehicles, they also overestimate how many people buy vehicles in this class to use as family cars.

    Most of the Fits, Aveos and Versas I see carry one passenger at the most. People aren’t buying vehicles in this class for family cars – even in these difficult economic times.

    People who regularly haul passengers in the back seat are going to skip the Fiesta and go straight for the Fusion, or maybe the Focus. I can see this car appealing to empty nesters and young people looking for their first car. It’s better looking than anything else in its class, and it appears to be more fun to drive than its competitors, too.

  • avatar
    johnxyz

    Really well-written review – thanks Jack

  • avatar
    shortthrowsixspeed

    my beef: you cannot get this car with 4wheel discs. i refuse to buy an “upmarket” small car with drums in the back . . .

  • avatar
    potvin

    The European model still looks better. Where’s the 3 door? Needs 1.6L ecoboost engine and shifter paddles.

  • avatar

    Went and test drove one of these this weekend. As stated in the review, a very nice interior that makes my 2006 civic seem, well… sad. Test drove an automatic hatch. It drove well, and while no one is going to mistake it for a fast car, I was surprised at how unlike my friend’s hyundai accent it was. I’d like to try the manual next. One problem I have is the premium they place on the hatch. It looks cooler, but I’m skeptical about the additional (usable) storage space. The shape of the rear doesn’t leave much space, and the rear seats don’t fold flush or very flat. Not sure that’s worth the 2k or so price premium.
    The good deal here may be the sedan. for around or under 15k, the manual sedan with a sync package is a steal.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      Well..
      I COULD have told you THEN, that the Civic interior was garbage.

      If ya buy one of the upper trims (SI) and ya get a 2ltr unit, with a nav. system (it would be cheaper to buy the unit aftermarket and use it when ya need it) in the upper trims.. they don’t even issue a panel to cover the drop in box.

      If ya buy one of the 1.8ltr strippers.. all ya get is swaths of grey plastic. It really is a b.s interior.. one that I wont spend my money on, and this is from someone who has had a SLEW (4th, 5th, 6th and 7th gen) of Accords (now a D segment car, far from the C/D it used to be). I’d rather buy a size smaller than buy another Accord (size of 6th gen) BECAUSE of the size of the current car AND its b.s interior!
       
      If ya buy the Fiesta.. you’d be a TOTAL MAROON to not get the hatch.. because of the price premium! You are going to get pigeonholed into a B class car because “its cheaper”.. when you could have easily bargained the price down on the hatch.. to equal or lesser the price of the sedan. Here is one of the FEW chances EVER that ya get to buy either a sedan or a 5dr hatch.. buy the hatch.
       
      If ya don’t..
      Ya gonna turn around in a coupla years and complain that ya need more room.. and buy the Escape / Kuga when it arrives in 2014-2015.. cause ya don’t have “enough space”.
       
      Don’t be dumb, buy the damn hatch.
      But don’t screw around with the stupid Sync b.s and buy a bluetooth headset (and save 395.)

      Or..

      Buy the Focus hatch when it arrives in the U.S OR its SPORTIER / MORE AGGRESSIVELY designed competitor, the Mazda3hatch.

  • avatar
    ecommunicator

    I am Mr. Euro! And he’s right because I bought a Fiesta – and I already regret it. I owned it for a scan 11 days before the 6 speed tranny began to moan so they pulled the car away and are replacing the tranny. Problem – Ford has no trannys to spare, so its sitting in a dealers lot now for over two weeks for Ford to make one. Mr. Euro? I shoulda bought that Honda after all. Of course if there was a sweet Peugeot on the market, I’d have jumped at that. Lancia or Alfa – not so much…they’d probably both be in th shop next to the Fiesta. But Mini – now there’s a real Mr. Euro car, but it just doesn’t seem to cut it in the USA. Here it’s “cute” in blighty it’s a road-rager. Oh Well – I guess I’ll have my fixed Fiesta in a couple of months!!

  • avatar
    Wulfheard

    I took one of these cars out for a test drive this past weekend and I have to say I was impressed. I’m 50 years old and a life long small car driver, judging from my brief test drive the ford is better than anything in the sub compact car market that I’ve driven recently. It has more performance than you would expect, the ride is exceptional for a small car and lets not to mention the styling is better than anything Hon-duh or the other Japs produce.
     
    As for those complaining about rear seat room I can only say this, traditionally sub-compact cars have not been marketed as people haulers and anyone looking at this segment from a people capacity stand point really need to look elsewhere. The oddball vehicle in this segment such as the Fit is the exception and not the rule. As far as driver comfort goes, well I’m 6’-2” and 190lbs and I fit with more than enough comfort and room. If you want to talk uncomfortable, I once owned a 92 Saturn SL2; it was a blast to drive and cheap to own. Back in the early 90s only the Honda Civic and the VW Jetta exceeded its fun factor within the reasonably priced small car segment. It also turned heads like crazy as there were still damn few of them on the road. Unfortunately if you drove it for more than a 50 mile ride you felt like a pretzel when you finally had to get out of it, and forget the back seat, it must have been designed by someone who was a student of the Spanish Inquisition.  All in all I felt that the back seat in the Ford was small but not surprisingly so given its market segment.      
     
    This vehicle is targeted toward young car buyers and those individuals looking for a good everyday commuter that doesn’t appear to be rental car fodder or to have the stigma of fixed income retiree wheels. The rear seat of this car really isn’t meant for carrying a boat load of kids to preschool nor is it meant for the average American porker that can’t seem to put the fork down. Not that having small children or being large is a bad thing; it’s just that you can’t always have everything your way with every production vehicle on the planet. Overall from my limited experience with the vehicle I think is a more than worthy contender for the B segment as it meet or exceeds the competition in most cate

  • avatar
    marxster

    We’ve had the 2011 For Fiesta SES automatic for a couple of months now. After 7,000 km it is now in the shop with transmission problems. It’s jerky at slow speeds and occasionally lunges forward abruptly. At idle it’s “hunting”. Problems occur at low speeds, and are more apparent during stop-and-go traffic. Ford hasn’t addressed this officially but has started to replace some people’s transmission completely.
    It’s too bad this problem persists as I think it’s otherwise a pretty decent car.

  • avatar
    j-3cub

    Well my Ford Fiesta had less then 1800 miles on it when the transmission started chattering while holding a steady traffic speed of 30 MPH after it warmed up. Now it does it bad between 30 and 55 MPH, still after it is warmed up. It’s nine with its cold. Also twice after putting 2900 miles on the car, the transmission would not release when trying to stop at a stop light. It drove me through a red light, TWICE. It was as if I was driving a manual transmission car and forgot to put the clutch in. Scared me to death, but I am forced to keep driving it. Took it to Kline Motors, a Ford dealership in Winfield KS. They said they worked on it for 2 hours and charged me over $175 and did absolutely NOTHING except tell me the transmission need replaced for $5200. For 2 hours work they did not even up-date the computer that drives the transmission. I bet they mechanic never even touched it. Ford will not cover it because the car was in a very minor fender bender and the title was marked rebuilder. What a cop out. What ticks me off about Kline’s is I told them I re-built the car, which was nothing more than a front bumper cover and AC lines for the most part and all the parts were OEM parts. I asked Kline’s to check the VIN to make sure Ford would cover it and they said it would still be covered to 36,000 miles. Why the car was flagged by the insurance company I have no idea, but Ford is sure using it as an excuse not to touch it.

    In any case I got a piece of crap Ford Fiesta that I am scared to death to drive but for now am stuck with it every day, and every day wondering if it’s going to drive me through another intersection to get hit by someone. If I was Ford I would be scared to death with these cars on the road. This should be a safety issue and the NTSB should force them to make a re-call on them for safety reasons.

    So, does anyone have any ideas on what parts I need to replace to fix this transmission? I sure can’t afford a new one at $5200. That is crazy.


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