By on December 9, 2009

Picture 54Picture above are the base-model prices for the cheapest sedan and hatchback variants of the new Ford Fiesta. As you can see, the cheapest Fiesta hatch is priced $1,800 more than the cheapest sedan. In part, that’s because Ford won’t offer an S trim Fiesta hatchback, but even in the best apples-to-apples comparison, the SE trim hatch costs $800 more than an SE sedan. Compare that to last month’s subcompact segment sales leader, the Nissan Versa. Like Ford, Nissan makes its lowest-cost models sedan-only; in fact you can’t buy a Versa hatch with the base 1.6-liter engine. By that measure, the $9,990 “base” 1.6 sedan is a whole lot cheaper than the lowest-cost Versa hatch, the $13,150 1.8 S. But compared apples-to-apples to a 1.8 S sedan, the cheapest Versa hatch carries a mere $50 premium over the sedan. As a hatchback lover, I want to damn Ford for not offering a hatchback Fiesta for less than $15k. On the other hand, with so few hatchback options on the market, I can understand why Ford would want to squeeze more cash out of weirdos like me who crave hatches possibly because nobody else does. But has Ford taken the hatchback premium too far?

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80 Comments on “Ask The Best And Brightest: Does Ford’s Hatchback Premium Make Sense?...”


  • avatar
    carguy

    As a fellow hatch lover, do I think its fair? Hell no.
    But this is a free market economy and if Ford thinks people are prepared to pay the extra cash for the practicality of the hatch then Ford would be foolish to give it away for less.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Such pricing helps make the belief  “Americans don’t buy hatchbacks” self-fulfilling.
     
     

    • 0 avatar
      Bergwerk

      American’s have never bought “premium” hatchbacks.  The BMW 318ti and Mercedes C Class hatch did not do well here.  However small relatively inexpensive hatches are perceived as sporty and slightly upscale when compared to the sedan, as others have noted, they command a small premium.  Yesterday I saw a 5 Series  Grand Touring priced over $85,000.  Now that is a hatchback premium I suspect few will pay.

    • 0 avatar
      dmrdano

      No compact car (except true sports cars) should even be offered without a hatch, split-fold seats, and a folding passenger front seat.  It makes up for the small size on those rare occasions when you just have to haul something.  If every compact had a hatch, we would question the sanity of the designer of one that didn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean23

      I have to disagree with both of you. Americans have bought “premium” (depending on your definition) hatchbacks and sports cars in the past. Prior to ’94, you could buy a Mustang GT Fastback hatch with leather and the greater remainder of luxury Ford could give at the time with a car that went 0-60 in 5.5. The Camaro, Firebird, Daytona, Eclipse, and Stealth are all hatchbacks that were “sporty” and cost much more than your average Escort.  

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J. Stern

      Pish-tosh. If they adhered to that kind of philosophy, the U.S. automakers would do things like offer manual transmissions—mediocre ones with cheap, vague, nasty shifters—only in bottom-of-the-line penalty-box models and then use the paltry sales numbers as support for a claim that “Americans don’t buy manual transmissions.”
      Oh, wait…

    • 0 avatar
      AccAzda

      Wait a second..

      The C Class hatch was a little spit of a car.. that went under the 30g mark. They are always shpieling about eroding the brand.. for under 30g.. thats what happened.. car was a failure because it was cheap.

      As far as the 318ti…
      That wasnt a hatch. It was a stunted trunk. I dont even believe they made a hatch for the 3 series.. ever.

  • avatar
    mjz

    I’m totally with you on this one. I was really dissapointed that they are not offering an “S” hatch version. Could have priced it up to $500 over the sedan, which would be worth the premium just because the sedan proportions are so ungainly. Frankly, they made an even bigger mistake not bringing the 3 door hatch over too.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I love hatches and wagons, too…but I tend to think in terms of carrots, not sticks.

    You: Ford is charging too large a premium for the better (hatchback) configuration

    Me: Ford is offering a discount to people who buy the horrendously uglier and less practical (sedan) configuration.

    Six of one, half dozen of another ;)

  • avatar
    I_Like_Pie

    Did Mazda not do EXACTLY the same thing with the 3?  They didn’t have a problem selling them despite this.
     

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    I think the surprise is the sedan at $13,320. I don’t think the hatchback at $15,120 is at all overpriced for the segment considering its content. Most likely the SE will be the volume model anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      dmrdano

      Maybe I am too old, but doesn’t this seem like a lot of money for so little car regardless of the configuration?

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean23

      Seriously? I think Ford is working on bringing the hatch back from the bad old days of the Plymouth Colt and Chevy Chevette. For the premium price of $15K, you get some of the nicest bolstered buckets in nice, heated leather, auto headlights, killer sound system, razor suspension bits, and enough room inside to fill with three friends and luggage. Plus, you know that Ford will offer a $500 incentive to students and military, both who can use the practicality of a hatch.

      Comparison, check out the “premium” Saturn Astra XR with the 17″ alloys and leather interior http://www.saturn.com/vehicles/2008/astra/overview.do. Fully loaded, and I do mean loaded, the three door came in a little under $20K. I and many others have surmised that GM finally had a small car winner had it only had the foresight and the fortitude to actually promote it.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Considering the hatch is better looking…

  • avatar
    Facebook User

    Where is the 3-door, Ford?

    Not everyone wants a sedan or 5-door hatch!

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      Agreed on this one. The 3-door is much sportier looking than the 4-door or 5-door. Oh well, guess that is my excuse not to buy another car I’ve been waiting to see imported…

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      The question is, will enough people want them and buy them to make it worthwhile for the company to sell ’em? Look at how poorly the three door VW Golf/Rabbit does in the US as compared to the much less useful Jetta.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean23

      Ford is hedging their bet on this one. If the five door and sedan sell well (they share many of the same parts), Ford will want to expand on the idea and will bring the 3 door over. Expect if they do so to see the resurgance of an SVT variant.

  • avatar
    bill h.

    Are there production cost issues with a hatch?  Like the need for a correspondingly stiffer body elsewhere to make up for the effects of the hatch opening?

    What about the fact that VW Golfs are more expensive in the 5 door variety vs. the 3 door?  Apples to oranges?

    • 0 avatar
      backspacer

      In the case of the Golf (or at least the Rabbit it’s replacing) there is quite a difference in content.  Stereo, armrest, ability to fold front passenger seat forward flat, and lots of other differences besides.  The new Golf only gets a 5 MT in the cheaper 2-Door variant.  Seems to me that this particular car has more differences between hatch and sedan than others.  I think of the two cars as two different trim levels, rather than simply different shapes/number of doors.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Wagons and hatches are always more than sedans.  Automakers know that the enthusiasts will be willing to pay more for the hatch or wagon variant of a vehicle.
     
    The Mazda3 hatch starts at over $4000 more than a base Mazda3 sedan.  The CTS Sportwagon is over $3000 more than the sedan.  The Audi A4 Avant is about $4000 more than an A4 sedan.
     
    The two oddballs in the segment seem to be Chevy, whose Aveo is priced the same whether you opt for the sedan or the hatch, and Toyota, whose Yaris is actually cheaper as a hatchback than a sedan.  Still, Ford is charging less of a hatchback premium than many other automakers.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      You don’t need to be an enthusiast to appreciate the enhanced versatility and practicality of a hatch.  But I guess that’s an incentive to pay more, so they charge more.

  • avatar
    RobAllen

    I’ll sell you my 09 versa s hatch. It’s even in the lighter blue color.
    It’s a competent daily driver and can even be fun with the 6spd. I just miss the Legacy GT it replaced.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    As has already been said, hatchbacks and wagons typically carry a premium and Mazda hasn’t had any problems with this kind of pricing on the Mazda3.  As for me, a hatch lover, if the premium is under $1000, I won’t notice it much in the monthly payments.  But what I really want is a three-door hatch and a sport package – if not with this Fiesta then with the European Focus.  And make it snappy:  I plan to be in the market by the end of summer 2010.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Does the sedan get better MPG  than the hatchback?  If so, the difference could be because the sedan offsets higher profit models for CAFE compliance.   I personally think the hatchback is better looking.  

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Hatchbacks always cost more.  I own a 2004 Mazda6 5 door.  It was about 1500 more than the sedan (I my memory of 5 years ago is any good).  Wagon was even more.  I don’t think that the premium is that big of a deal personally.  What will be interesting is will this model sell.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Re: lack of three-door version

    They’re simply pulling an Audi move here (eg A3 in the US)–offer it in the most widely appealing configurations, then sub-segment it later.

    Similarly, VW started offering the 5-door GTI and suddenly nearly half of GTI sales were there (not that many those people wouldn’t have otherwise bought a 3-door, but there are surely a good number of incremental “new buyers” there)

  • avatar
    cmus

    I have chosen to look at it as:   getting a discount if you’re willing to take on the horrendous looks of the sedan.

    I do think the hatch looks quite good.  I’d love it if the base prices were the same, and there was an S trim model of the hatch.

    In the end, it’s largely irrelevant as pricing the options I want would put (hatch or sedan) in the 17.5-18K range.  Of course, it would be a hatch.

  • avatar
    jeventures

    Pricing looks on target to me. What I want to know is this:  Is the Fiesta really getting anywhere near 40mpg?  If it gets close to 40mpg and handles anything like the mazda3 then it could be a great competitor.  I won’t be selling my Mazda3 hatchback to find out….but my wife’s dying Toyota Solara might go on the chop block for it.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      If it’s anything like the Fiesta in Europe it should handle quite a bit better than the 3, if European reviews of both cars are any indication. I also drive a 3 so I don’t entirely see how that could be possible…the 500lb-lower weight certainly helps, I imagine.

      As for EPA ratings…YMMV as always.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    In this market, no, it’s fine.  Hatch buyers will pay the premium for the extra utility as others (Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai) have proven.
     
    In higher tiers (midsize, large) you can’t get away with it.  A midsize sedan’s trunk isn’t nearly so useless, and there’s not so many people who are as utilitarian and need that size of vehicle.  So you jack up and butch up a wagon, at which point buyers will accept the premium, or will just buy a minivan.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    Porsche Boxster verses Cayman… the hatch costs more.  Porsche offers “S” version of each of those, but they cost more too.

  • avatar
    nikita

    Why so much hate on the sedan styling.  I personally find 5-door hatch configurations kind of ugly, Astra, Aveo, Fiesta, Fit, Golf  and Versa. They are too short with essentially no overhang to be a real station wagon. Three door hatch, Ill take it, but with four I’ll have the sedan and pocket the difference.

    Anyway, with crank windows and few options available, the S model will be, like the Cobalt XFE, great for the ads, but you wont see any actually on the lot for sale.

    • 0 avatar
      colin42

      They are too short with essentially no overhang to be a real station wagon

      They not meant to be station wagons they meant to be hatches – compact but flexible load space.

      I’ve never understood why people buy sedans – what’s the appeal? poor load space – look uglier in almost all instance to the hatch and as soon as it rains you can see out of the rear (no rear wiper).
      As for the price difference – there is no reason for it – in Europe there is rarely a premium for hatches

  • avatar

    The “S” model sedan is simply meant to allow Ford to advertise the “Starting at” price. In other words… marketing. Or, to snag the very lowest rung of customer that wants a domestic sub-compact.

    However, in their market research Ford found out that potential customers saw the hatch as more “upscale” (their words).

    I know that runs counter to what most of us would think that an average American would say, but apparently it’s true. And Ford is planning on a 50/50 product mix of sedans/hatches, which is much higher than it ever was for the Focus.

    The writer’s supporting illustration of showing the S vs. SE pricing doesn’t make much sense. While he mentions the apples-to-apples pricing in the body of the post, why not just make that the comparison? Why the added sensationalism of leading with apples-to-oranges? Other than to drive traffic. ;-)

  • avatar
    colin42

    Perhaps the reason is so when they offer rebate; “coz hatches don’t sell in America” they can still make their desired profit!

  • avatar
    shaker

    bill h: Are there production cost issues with a hatch?  Like the need for a correspondingly stiffer body elsewhere to make up for the effects of the hatch opening?

    I agree – I’ll bet they have to use more high-strength steel in the frame of the hatch version to compensate for the missing rear-deck truss in the sedan for crashworthiness. Also, the cargo area has to be better finished than a trunk,  and the hatch itself has additional trim and (most likely) a rear wiper/washer and heavier gas struts. 

  • avatar
    GuernicaBill

    Not all hatches are more than the sedan — VW Golf is less than a Jetta. ;-)

  • avatar
    deanst

    the pricing in canada is even worse – a $4,000 premium for the hatch,  for at total of 18,249.   Our destination charge is also twice the U.S. charge!  ($1350 in Canada).   I fail to see how this will sell next to a $12,000 focus or $16,000 fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      Fusion S base price $19,620USD
      Focus S base price $15,995USD
      It seems to me that the progression from Fiesta to Focus to Fusion (and to Taurus) is about right.  Once supply/demand for the Fiesta stabilizes, it will be discounted like every other “domestic”.  The Yaris is discounted, at least around here. If VW and Honda dealers can get away with full MSRP transactions,  good for them,  but Ford cant.
      Bill, exellent point about the Jetta vs Golf/Rabbit. VW chose to make the 3-door a loss leader for the US market.

    • 0 avatar
      Bimmer

      In Canada difference between SE trim levels on Sedan and Hatchback is $700.
       
      P.S. Where did you find $16,000 Fusion in Canada?

  • avatar
    Stingray

    NO, hatches are cheaper than sedans here.
    a sedan is always seen as “more” car down here.

  • avatar
    davejay

    I vaguely remember something I read during the late 80s, as hatchback popularity was on the wane: hatchbacks are more expensive to produce than sedans of the same model, due to the cost of the slam-resistant glass, stronger hydraulics, etc.

    The author (if I remember correctly) was suggesting that the manufacturers were getting frustrated with spending more to make cars (hatchbacks) that people wouldn’t spend the premium for, so that’s why hatches were falling by the wayside. So in theory this is just the manufacturer passing the real cost on to you, and focusing their cheaper-to-build models on their cheap-bastard customers.

    However, I think there’s also an acknowledgement that today’s four-door hatchbacks are being viewed as more attractive (and, thanks to the height increases of the last few decades, more SUV-like) than their 80s brethren. Premium pricing will work if that’s how the market sees your product, and I personally do view the four-door hatchback’s added versatility and improved styling as worth paying a premium for.

    So much so, in fact, that I didn’t even look at the price of the sedan long enough to notice it was less than the hatch when I looked at the site previously, because there’s no way I’d consider it.

    • 0 avatar
      rockit

      “So in theory this is just the manufacturer passing the real cost on to you, and focusing their cheaper-to-build models on their cheap-bastard customers.”

      What you said about the price increase may be true, however I know lots of people that just don’t like how a hatchback looks, period.  Cheap bastard customers? Are you serious?

      North Americans just don’t like hatchbacks, sales prove it.  It has nothing to do with price.

  • avatar

    Hello everybody, my name is Sam De La Garza and I am the Fiesta Brand Manager. 

    I really appreciate your insight and perspective on the Hatch vs. Sedan pricing.  We have been discussing this topic for months and we wanted to get pricing to potential customers as early as possible (it’s not often that we reveal a design and pricing at the same time).  Don’t forget that there is unique content on the hatch vs the sedan (standard Rear Wiper and standard Rear spoiler). 

    I would also appreciate your  perspective on the content vs. the competition.  With 15 class exclusive features (7 of those are standard) we think we have a great value story compared to the competition.  In fact, we even created value packages on the SE series to encourage customers to consider the mid-series cars.

    Again, thanks for your insight and I would love to check back to see what you have to say! 

    Sam De La Garza – Ford Fiesta Brand Manager
    Twitter:  @samdelag, @fordfiesta

    • 0 avatar
      colin42

      It’s good to see that people at Ford are reading this stuff.

      as for the pricing – It seems about right compared to the Honda Fit (I’m assuming this is consider the main competitor). However remember that although ford’s quality and product offering might have improved recently, historically this was not the case compared to Honda or Toyota. As a result there needs to be a compelling reason why a satisfied Honda  / Toyota owner would swap to Ford. If that reason is price, drivability or overall package value is for you to work out.

      In terms of the product I’d love to see a 3 door sold in a hot hatch model only(Fiesta ST?) similar to the Golf GTI as a halo car.

      I’d also love to see a diesel version with the 1.6 TDCi unit.
      [The Econtec unit gets 76 mpg(uk Gallon) over the euro combined cycles compared with 70mpg(uk) for the Toyota Prius] but i guess I won’t hold my breath for this!

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean23

      Absolutely agree. Its time for Ford to bring over the 1.6L diesel Europe has been enjoying for a while now. And while you’re at it, can you please resurrect the SVT skunkworks on the Fiesta and Fusion??

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Ages ago a new Volvo 240 cost about $1100 more as a wagon then it did as a sedan.  Ford’s loss leader “S” trim levels are there for advertising and fleet sale purchases, not many retail buyers choose them. Given the poor sales history of hatchbacks in the US, it isn’t surprising that Ford chose not to offer the unpoular low trim & equipment level in a slower selling format.
    So, the real difference is $800 for the flexibility of a hatch vs. the mundane sedan. It seems reasonable to me.
    Now why so many of my fellow ‘mericans seem to think small wagons and hatchbacks “look funny” whilst these some countrymen and women of mine went gaga for commuting in Explorers is a real mystery to me.
     

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      “Now why so many of my fellow ‘mericans seem to think small wagons and hatchbacks “look funny” whilst these some countrymen and women of mine went gaga for commuting in Explorers is a real mystery to me.”
      Well said JH.  We are strangers in a strange land, my friend.

    • 0 avatar

      Why is there even a problem here? If you want a cheap hatch, buy Yarris. If you want a sporty hatch, buy Scion tC. It is not as if Ford has a government-mandated monopoly. They are not merged with GM yet. I say Ford is entirely at liberty to price however they please. If they want to compete with Mimi with that vehicle, that’s good for them.
      Actually, someone in the comments pointed out that the S model Fiesta is a complete fake, most likely never to be found on dealers’ lots.

    • 0 avatar
      davey49

      No mystery about the SUV/CUVs. It’s the high driving position. In a hatch or wagon you’re still sitting near the ground.

  • avatar

    No.
    @John Horner: +10 on your last comment

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I spent a lot of time with these at the LA show this weekend.
    I was shocked that Ford pushed the hatch so much, having only one sedan and around 7 or 8 hatch with many custom looks.
    This in a country where the Focus sedan does so well…and hatches do not.
    And the sedan looked like a more substantial car.
    The hatch was just another Mazda2, at least to me and my companions.
    Better balanced and perhaps more storage.
    Lots of people examining the sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      mtymsi

      Could be because the sedan was a handbuilt protoype and the hatchbacks were modified European production versions.

    • 0 avatar
      Bimmer

      This in a country where the Focus sedan does so well…and hatches do not.
       
      Maybe it’s because current generation of Focus does not offer a hatchback! Only 2-door and 4-door sedan. Yes, since it’s not 2+2, I do not consider it a Coupe.

  • avatar
    majo8

    The pricing doesn’t seem that far off, but the real problem ( to me, at least ) is the lack of the three door hatch.  I was preparing to buy a Fiesta when they come out, but only a three door.  Hopefully they’ll add the 3 door to the mix in between model refreshes/redesigns to keep the “excitement” alive……
     
    A three door would also appeal to the younger set more than the current two models — a good way to get a buyer when they’re younger with a good product and get repeat purchases.
     
    ( I ended up buying a three year old Civic coupe as I needed a new work car and I don’t need five doors )
     
     
     
     

    • 0 avatar
      Bimmer

      Just weld shut rear doors =)
      As someone stated above, 2-door hatchbacks does not do very well in American market. So, I don’t think it would make a business case for Ford to produce 2-door hatch. Same happened with Mazda6. Don’t get me wrong, I love station wagons and hatchbacks, especially with diesel and standard, but, unfortunately, most of the customers are not the same.

  • avatar

    I don’t get the calls for a 3-door hatch.  Looks a little better but it’s not very practical.  Crawling in and out of the back of my brother-in-law’s GTI is a pain.
     
    The hatchback premium in the Fiesta is reasonable.  I don’t normally like hatches because most of them are station wagons in denial, but in this class they’re the only thing that makes sense.  The sedan looks dorky and impractical.  What I’m really excited about is the leather interior.  I’m eager to see how it compares to a GTI – easily the nicest small car interior I’ve ever been in.

  • avatar
    autonut

    IMO those are wrong complaints. The question is “is this Fiesta handles better then Fit, more fun to drive and more reliable?” If the answer to all of them is “yes”, then what the difference how many doors it has at what price? If the answer is “no”, then this is car for Ford faithful who do like sedans. Ford’s customer base has 40% college graduation rate, Honda’s 70%. If Ford is aiming for 30% of educated consumer mass, this Fiesta should outgun Fit. If that would happen I would imagine there would be a slew of articles in automotive press and even more commercials from Ford exploring those articles. I haven’t read any.

    • 0 avatar
      Mirko Reinhardt

      It handles better and is more fun to drive (it actually has steering feel!), but offers less practicality, less cargo space and less back seat room. The last generation Fiesta has been known as pretty reliable in Europe.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    autonut – I’m not sure where you sourced those figures, but they sound off to me.  I know the majority of the customers I have are college educated, but I suppose it could be different in other areas.
     
    From the materials Ford has passed along to us so far at the dealer level, they are expecting the Fiesta to draw a lot of first time Ford buyers into the dealerships.  While the Fusion was a shot across the bow of the import faithful, the Fiesta is a cruise missle aimed right at the bridge.
     
    As far as three door vs five door goes, I’ve never seen the point of three door hatches.  Two door cars only make sense where the styling demands only two doors.  Mustangs, Miatas, Aston Martins of all varieties, and all other sports/pony cars look better with two doors because they were styled to have two doors.  Cars that were envisioned to be sedans and the retrofitted into coupes like the Focus, Civic, Accord, etc, might as well only be available in four door form, the two door doesn’t add enough sportiness to make up for the lack of utility.   Especially with hatches and wagons, which are frumpy to begin with (part of the charm, and part of why I like them) having only two side doors doesn’t make them sexier, it just makes them less practical.

  • avatar
    autonut

    nulloModo,
    Perhaps this helps
    http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/06/car-personality-wealth-lifestyle-vehicles-gender-income.html
     

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      An $800 premium isn’t a big deal, but I would have liked to have seen a Fiesta S hatch. That being said, the S is probably a loss-leader and headline-grabber more than anything else, and personally if I were to take a Fiesta S hatch and option it out to where I want I’d just end up with a Fiesta SE, for all intents and purposes.
      Furthermore the Fiesta SE hatch is only slightly more expensive (<$500) than a base Honda Fit, and comes with a much more sophisticated transmission and interior (of course that comes down to personal taste, but if the US Fiesta’s interior materials match the European car’s it’ll spank the Honda in that respect)
      The Fiesta is pretty good pricewise, though I would’ve liked to have seen the hatch undercut the Fit, if just by a little…

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      autonut – Interesting article, although I’ll still say that the survey doesn’t match my personal experience with Ford customers.  My only thought to why the numbers might be skewed that way is that Ford does sell a lot of commercial and work vehicles used in traditional blue collar jobs that traditionally don’t require a college education, and that Honda’s numbers aren’t pulled down because they don’t offer anything along the lines of a work vehicle.
       
      ajla – The Brera is very cool looking, although I don’t think the Volvo C30 or Open Astra would be hurt by the addition of two extra doors.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    I can hear Mick Rowe now:
    “Here at Ford…we are going to screw you royally…so we don’t have to take any more Government money”
     
    Why would any sane person buy the overpriced Fiesta hatch…that only manages 40 MPG on the highway, when they can spend as little as $875.00 more and get the bigger, 35MPH Focus? Because of a fancy spoiler and a rear wiper? Please.
     
    The Fiesta is beginning to make no sense at all.

  • avatar
    gman37

    Just like most other cars I love (wagons and hatches), Ford will discontinue the hatch eventually due to poor sales.  I also liked the ZXW Focus, as it is impossible to buy a new wagon for 15K in the states.
    My fellow countrymen must have all been attacked by hatches in the womb, because they sure don’t like them.  I mean, what would possess you to buy a Jetta over a Golf, or a Mazda3 sedan over the hatch?  I always hear from my friends, “A trunk is so safe, and so much better.”  My GTI is my mini suv, with cat-like reflexes!
     

  • avatar
    SV

    An $800 premium isn’t a big deal, but I would have liked to have seen a Fiesta S hatch. That being said, the S is probably a loss-leader and headline-grabber more than anything else, and personally if I were to take a Fiesta S hatch and option it out to where I want I’d just end up with a Fiesta SE, for all intents and purposes.

    Furthermore the Fiesta SE hatch is only slightly more expensive (<$500) than a base Honda Fit, and comes with a much more sophisticated transmission and interior (of course that comes down to personal taste, but if the US Fiesta’s interior materials match the European car’s it’ll spank the Honda in that respect)

    The Fiesta is pretty good pricewise, though I would’ve liked to have seen the hatch undercut the Fit, if just by a little…

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    I don’t get why is everyone complaining about not being able to buy S trim level on the hatchback? It does not have A/C even as an option! (at least in Canada).
     
    I’ve got a question: does SE hatch comes with power windows and locks or not? I went over specs of all trim levels on Canadian Ford site and it does not mention it as standard nor optional equipment. The only thing that’s optional on S Sedan is remote keyless entry. I think  SE comes with power locks, but no mention about windows.

  • avatar
    vvk

    The base Fiesta is perfect as is. The hatch is made impractical by the rear seat that don’t fold flat. The base sedan has A/C and ESP — that’s all I need in a car. And that MSRP is incredibly low.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    I don’t see all the extra “practicality” when so many cars have a fold down rear seat to supplement the trunk. Sounds like more “I really need an SUV because of the hauling capabilities” when so many were simply used for commuting and impressing the neighbors. Water cooler bragging rights, essentially.

    What I do not get is the 4 door sedan Fiesta is 13″ longer and still has the same sorry rear seat leg room as the 5 door hatch: 31.1 inches. That’s Chevette territory.

    I’d consider this in a hatch, even though I prefer sedans, but not at the price premium. So many of them simply look dorky, still, but the Fiesta is pretty good.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Bimmer -” P.S. Where did you find $16,000 Fusion in Canada?”

    You can find $16,000 fusions advertised by dealers around Toronto.  The price was more common with the 2009 model, but I’ve even seen it on the 2010.

    I think hatch prices relate more to limited competition for the product, limited economies of scale, and low price elesticity of demand. 

  • avatar

    In Canada the MSRP for Fiesta SE hatch is $18,249, which compares well to Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris.  That price includes traction/stability control, which Fit and Yaris don’t have (except perhaps Yaris RS, which is much more expensive).  Fiesta has more front leg room and also includes a knee air bag.   Fiesta has a six-speed auto tranny. As to the looks, Fiesta can run circles around Fit (actually, they are not even in the same dimension).  Yaris looks OK, at least from the rear, but again – Fiesta smokes it.  IMHO the price is reasonable.  A 3-door hatch may look nice, but is impractical.  I think Ford has a very hot product. If it handles well, is reasonably quiet, and has good ergonomics, and is reasonably reliable, they will sell very well (at least in Canada).  Too bad it comes out several months after I needed a new car.  Oh, one thing I would like to change is the colour of the display/backlighting – red looks weird.

  • avatar
    Billy215

    The S sedan is for fleets and rentals, where the trunk will be seen as more secure.
     
    The $800 premium will keep the riff-raff out of the hatch. Not a bad deal!

  • avatar

    Great, my reply got stuck who knows where in the maze of the overlong page instead of going to the end.  Turning our comments into a carbon copy of Autoblog was a terrible idea. It’s the main reason I never registered there!

  • avatar
    AccAzda

    Hatches are out there.. as long as they are disguised as hot cars…

    Z for one…
    And the tC for two.
    I also believe… many RX7s were hatches..

    Ford’s angle on this.. is trying to sell a compact for decent money, with options from larger cars.. and what the hell.. tosss a hatch in for the shit of it.

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