Ask The Best And Brightest: Does Ford's Hatchback Premium Make Sense?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Picture 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?

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Micheal Blue Micheal Blue on Dec 10, 2009

    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.

  • Billy215 Billy215 on Dec 10, 2009

    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!

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Dec 10, 2009

    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!

  • Accs Accs on Dec 20, 2009

    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.