The Truth About Cars » kia pride http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:00:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » kia pride http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1993 Ford Festiva L http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/junkyard-find-1993-ford-festiva-l/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/junkyard-find-1993-ford-festiva-l/#comments Wed, 07 May 2014 13:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=816753 The Ford Festiva aka Kia Pride aka Mazda 121 spent much of the last decade being a fairly common sight in American self-serve wrecking yards, but lately I’ve been seeing many fewer examples of this little gas-sipper. You can buy this car new in Iran, where it is badged as the Saipa 132, and some […]

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01 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Ford Festiva aka Kia Pride aka Mazda 121 spent much of the last decade being a fairly common sight in American self-serve wrecking yards, but lately I’ve been seeing many fewer examples of this little gas-sipper. You can buy this car new in Iran, where it is badged as the Saipa 132, and some outlaw factory is probably still building the things in China. We’ve seen this ’90 Festiva in this series, and now I’ve found a decal-enhanced example of the final model year of the US-market Festiva (the next generation Pride was called the Aspire in the United States) in a Denver yard.
03 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin63 horsepower from this Mazda B3.
05 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSwooshy graphics were all the rage in the late 1980s and early 1990s, though I’m not sure if these are factory-installed or provided later by Manny, Moe, and Jack.
18 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhat more do you need in a car?

Let’s take a look at some ads for the Pride from around the world. Here’s Iran.

Korean car commercials tend to be full of video-game noises and macho voiceovers. Here’s a nice collection.

The early Pride got some very pastel 80s-ness in its Australian-market ads.

Venezuela.

Call it big. Call it small. Call it yours.

01 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1993 Ford Festiva L Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1990 Ford Festiva http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1990-ford-festiva/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1990-ford-festiva/#comments Fri, 15 Jun 2012 13:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=448885 By 1990, it just wasn’t done for Detroit to build its own really small subcompacts. Instead, badge-engineered cars designed and/or built by overseas subsidiaries or partners got the job done. GM had the Suzuki-based Metro, Chrysler still had the Simca-based Omnirizon, and Ford had the Mazda-based Festiva. You still see the occasional Festiva on the […]

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By 1990, it just wasn’t done for Detroit to build its own really small subcompacts. Instead, badge-engineered cars designed and/or built by overseas subsidiaries or partners got the job done. GM had the Suzuki-based Metro, Chrysler still had the Simca-based Omnirizon, and Ford had the Mazda-based Festiva. You still see the occasional Festiva on the street, what with gas prices being what they are, but most of them were crushed long ago. Here’s one in Denver, sitting in the limbo between the street and The Crusher.
Imagine putting in 238,001 miles behind the wheel of a Festiva!
The Festivas will march unmourned into the shredder… until the day there are no Festivas left.

13 - 1990 Ford Festiva Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 01 - 1990 Ford Festiva Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 02 - 1990 Ford Festiva Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 03 - 1990 Ford Festiva Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 04 - 1990 Ford Festiva Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 05 - 1990 Ford Festiva Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 06 - 1990 Ford Festiva Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 07 - 1990 Ford Festiva Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 08 - 1990 Ford Festiva Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 09 - 1990 Ford Festiva Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 10 - 1990 Ford Festiva Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 11 - 1990 Ford Festiva Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 12 - 1990 Ford Festiva Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden

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Curbside Classic: 1989 Ford Festiva – Korea Week Shitbox Shoot-out Loser http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/11/curbside-classic-1989-ford-festiva-korea-week-shitbox-shoot-out-loser/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/11/curbside-classic-1989-ford-festiva-korea-week-shitbox-shoot-out-loser/#comments Sat, 20 Nov 2010 18:12:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=373693 The Korean invasion began in the late eighties with three shitboxes: the Hyundai Excel, the Pontiac LeMans, and the Ford Festiva. Korea Week CC pits them against each other to determine the outcome: the Festiva loses the contest by a large margin. Why? It was way too good of a car. So losing is winning […]

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The Korean invasion began in the late eighties with three shitboxes: the Hyundai Excel, the Pontiac LeMans, and the Ford Festiva. Korea Week CC pits them against each other to determine the outcome: the Festiva loses the contest by a large margin. Why?

It was way too good of a car. So losing is winning in this showdown. Now undeniably, the Festiva still falls into the shitbox category by virtue of its looks alone; in fact it’s styling couldn’t be more so: somewhere between a porta-potty and a litter box. As my eighteen year-old would say: strictly a no-sex box.

Yup, the Festiva took the form that the original Honda Civic popularized fifteen years earlier, and turned it into a generic Wal Mart version. No need to spend money for Giugiaro here. It’s almost a dead-ringer for the Civic in terms of size. But that’s not the only one: Ford’s very similarly named Fiesta obviously comes into the picture too. And given their similarities in name, form, function and both carrying the Blue Oval, comparisons are inevitable.

The Fiesta was a true little gem in its time, that being a critical part of the comparison. The Fiesta arrived before Honda started getting back to its performance roots; in the US, anyway. Since Ford only sent the 1.6 L version of the Fiesta, it was the hottest little pocket rocket of its day. Thus its cult status.

Things had changed dramatically by the time of the Festiva’s appearance in 1988. By then, hot Hondas and other rice-flavored delights of the mid-late eighties changed the landscape, so by the time the Festiva appeared with about the same performance envelope as the Fiesta, it was instantly relegated to shitbox status.

But if one’s appreciation for the timeless joys of minimalistic motoring was undulled by the late eighties’ excesses, the Festiva was the warm little ticket. Because unlike the Excel and the LeMans, nothing was lost in the translation from the Japanese Mazda 121 into the Korean Festiva. Kia followed the original faithfully, and the result is obvious. How so?

I considered myself lucky to find one example each of the gen1 Excel and the Daewoo LeMans. But I could go out and find half a dozen of these Festivas this morning if I needed to. There’s one for sale at the Official CC Sales Lot. The sheer numbers add up to the Festiva’s loss/win; but that’s not all. The Festiva is a blast to drive, if you’re into the underpowered shitbox thing. I am.

There’s no better way to enjoy automotive minimalism than with the Festiva. Forget all the chatter about electric vs. hydraulic power steering; unless you’ve savored the pleasure of no power steering at all in a light little car – that makes me wonder how many younger drivers have never driven a car without power steering. A show of hands, please?

Granted, the Festiva was best in urban settings, where its telephone booth visibility (and size) made it perfect for the task of gaining every inch of advantage possible in thick traffic. My experience in one was in San Francisco, and the Festiva shone there. Precious parking spaces that other cars would have needed casters to fit in were a breeze. And there’s nothing like catching a bit of air in a Festiva on the hills.

As alluded to earlier, the Festiva is a Mazda 121 in everything but name, and lives up to its zoom-zoom heritage; or at least tries hard to. Curiously, the 121 was never sold in Japan, but a Japanese-made Festiva was, at Ford’s Autorama dealer network. Japanese tie-ups and dealer networks are a complicated thing. And outside of the US, the little Kia was called the Pride, and  built up until to 2000. And like the LeMans that found an immortal home in Uzbekistan, the Kia Pride is still going strong in Iran. The license built SAIPA Saba and its successors including a pickup version account for some 40% of the Iranian market. It’s a small world after all.

Unless I was having too much fun last night, my memory tells me that the Festiva was the last of the true lovable shitboxes. The Geo Metro is close, but the Festiva’s 1.3 L four will blow away the Metro’s little three-pot. The Suzuki Swift with its 1.3 L four, perhaps. As Michael Karesh pointed out in his Hyundai i10 review, the i10 is within inches of the Festiva. And they both have that same tall stance with tiny wheels that makes it look like they will fall over in a strong breeze. It may look dorky, but it does the job, especially in the right setting. Manufacturers: the shitbox segment is wide open; these Festivas are holding up surprisingly well, but eventually they’ll need to be replaced.

More new Curbside Classics here

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