By on September 3, 2014

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No alloy wheels. No automatic transmission. No fancy infotainment system. From the perspective of the Ford Fiesta 1.0L Ecoboost really doesn’t have a lot going for it – at least that’s what Kamil Kaluski thought when he tested a 4-door sedan earlier this summer. The three-cylinder Fiesta is certainly an odd duck. That’s part of its charm.

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Due to scheduling circumstances, we spent just 36 hours with the newest Fiesta, but it was enough to get a general idea of what this car is all about.

In late 2012, Ford held media previews for the 1.0L Fiesta with European-spec cars, but it took nearly 2 years for the car to hit showrooms in North America. In between those two events, we learned that a 1.0L Fiesta with the 6-speed Powershift automatic gearbox was canned by Ford for failing to meet NVH and driveability targets. Ford was similarly vague about sales targets, refusing to give an exact number for the 1.0L.

2014-Ford-Fiesta-Ecoboost-transmission

Our powers of deduction indicate that a major product planning shift was required for the change to a manual-only 1.0L car. Cognizant of the fact that a three-pedal configuration would restrict sales of the car to a certain demographic, Ford was subsequently unable to amortize the cost of the engine’s certification over a greater volume of sales. The apparent solution was for the 1.0L to be a lower trim “SFE” package with the increased cost of the 1.0L engine offset by the lower equipment levels.

Aside from the missing automatic transmission, the 1.0L does not have alloy wheels or the revised Fiesta’s MyFord Touch system, which might be missed on a subcompact car that costs $18,285 (less a $750 dealer incentive that is available in many markets). The upshot for Ford? Bragging rights. At 43 mpg on the highway, the 1.0L Fiesta is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid vehicle on the market. For enthusiasts, it gives them an interesting and quirky alternative to the usual slate of subcompacts.

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The centerpiece of the SFE is the 1.0L Ecoboost, a turbocharged triple making 123 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque, a gain of three ponies and 13 lb-ft over the standard 1.6L naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. Even so, this isn’t any kind of performance oriented option package, though it does accelerate quicker than the lethargic 1.6L mill. While the Ecoboost engine in the Fiesta ST gives you the grunt to accelerate even when you’re one gear higher than you ought to be in, the SFE requires constantly shifting to maximize the tiny turbo mill’s low-end torque. Your reward is a reserve of real, usable shove that can be called upon to shoot through gaps in traffic, while merging and overtaking on the highway no longer you to cross your fingers and hope for the best. The 5-speed transmission is neither vague nor particularly engaging, with long throws and a shift quality typical of most transverse gearboxes. The abundance of torque at low rpms and the clutch’s high engagement point make it an ideal candidate for someone to learn how to drive a manual transmission on – whether that’s a friend, family member or someone buying their first stick shift car.

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The SFE’s handling characteristics involve a similar set of tradeoffs. The electric power steering is sharp, speedy and direct, though the chassis is marked by excessive bodyroll, a soft suspension and tires that are as sporting as the captain of the Mathletes. One can only wonder how the SFE would fare with some lighter alloys, halfway decent rubber and the Ford Racing Handling Pack. Even so, it’s hard not to be charmed by the off-beat three-cylinder thrum, pointy steering and a performance envelope that is entirely within the grasp of the average driver (and the limits of the law).

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Lacking the MyFord Touch system available in other Fiestas, the SFE makes do with the basic SYNC system, which was tougher to master than one would expect. The regular SYNC unit is a maze of buttons, knobs and menus that never quite makes itself transparent. Previously, the MyFord Touch system was the lesser of two evils, but a series of improvements to its response time has made it the preferred choice on Blue Oval products. Unfortunately, the SFE doesn’t really give you a choice.

Understanding the value proposition for the 1.0L Fiesta is a bit puzzling. As Kamil noted, the lack of an automatic transmission or a rock-bottom sticker price will alienate the vast majority of North American subcompact buyers. But that may not be the best way to look at the three-cylinder Fiesta. Instead, think of it as a taste of the small-displacement economy cars that were once restricted to the other side of the Atlantic, and a test bed for future applications of boosted three-cylinder engines. The efficiency, character and quirkiness are just bonuses.

Ford provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gasoline for this review. We didn’t use very much gas.

 

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117 Comments on “Capsule Review: Ford Fiesta 1.0L Ecoboost...”


  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “No allow wheels.”

    Really? You have to bring your own to the dealership when you buy the car?

    Anyway, I like the idea of the drivetrain, but I’d rather have it in something like a Fit or Versa Note. Fiesta is way too scrunched and garish inside for me.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Look at the price Ford is charging for this 1 liter powered mailbox chute subcompact.

      Ford has literally gone off the deep end with its pricing structure.

      They are batsh!t crazy & loco en the cabeza.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        It is crazy. An Escape is $12 a month more expensive on a lease and a Focus is cheaper. That is against the 1.6L in the Fiesta too.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        There are all of 280 copies of this listed on cars.com nationwide. cf. the small Ford that someone who isn’t as much of an idiot would buy, the Focus SE: 20,113.

        Even this market has limits.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        If I were in the market for a subcompact (and the ST was out of the question), I would pay the premium to avoid the 1.6L Sigma. Both transmissions on the 1.6 are equally as painful.

        Drive the 1.6L then the 1.0L back to back and you would understand. Not to mention, I beat the living sh1t out of the 1.0L and was getting above 30 mpg in the Detroit metro.

        Edit: y’all have identified the point at which Ford’s rich price scheme falls short. My grandparents paid more for their Escape than my mother paid for her Lexus ES. There is a reason why the Fiesta is a slow seller and why the program isn’t profitable in North America.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Ford has been good about keeping the price down on the more basic versions of the Escape and Fusion. At the same time, they have no problem moving $35K+ versions of those two products. It’s easy to see why those products sell in large numbers and make money.

          • 0 avatar

            I think that is sort of the point. Keeping the price down on what is more appealing in the general US market, they can afford to push the envelope and charge more for their more niche and smaller products. That way they can push their agenda that small cars are not necessarily cheap. Tough cookie to crack, especially in the American market, but Ford’s small cars have never been the cheapest in markets where small cars are more accepted. In those markets, even being more expensive, they still sell well because people perceive value in them. Now that the American market is receiving small cars that have not been “dumbed down”, an increase in pricing is natural and time will tell whether people will catch on and pay for the new reality. If not, Mitsubishi has a Mirage and Nissan a Versa for you (not bad cars, but the Fiesta is more refined).

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            Ford is huge in fleet sales. W/o fleet, the fourth sales ranked Fusion probably wouldn’t make the top five.

            I’m with those who think Ford net loses money on its cars, i.e., w/o the outrageous profits Ford gets in the protected pickup market. Of course, pickup buyers get scr**ed.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I have a hard time believing that Ford is losing money on a vehicle that moves basically 30K units a month.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            In 2013, the Fusion was #4 in retail sales in the midsize segment. 204,000 units of retail is nothing to sneeze at.

        • 0 avatar
          tuffjuff

          @tresmonos

          Surprising, given you can get an Escape Titanium with navigation for under $31k after incentives. Sure, you can add AWD and probably another feature or two, but you’d be pressing to add stuff to make it much more expensive. The ES’ MSRP starts in the high 30’s, although I’m unfamiliar with their purchase price after incentives.

        • 0 avatar
          April

          @tresmonos Is the 1.6 that bad an engine? I ask because the Fiesta is on my short list (along with the Versa Note and Mazda2) as a replacement of my 1997 Honda.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Probably not worse than anyone else’s base 1.6L, but it does have more weight to haul around than most of the class.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            I’m not sure how the Fiesta stacks up to the Versa or Mazda 2, but after outrunning Mexican Federale’s in the Fiesta ST, the 1.6L felt like a dog. It was weak when compared to the 2012 Fusion hybrid with the Atkinson mill.

            If you get it, couple it with the Getrag garbage time DSG transmission. It’s calibration has been combed over 1,000 times by now so it won’t be as harsh as early versions of it. The manual transmission for the 1.6L sigma just has too much clutch travel for me. And it shifts like a tractor.

            With the Fiesta, you will be getting the best paint job in the Ford North American manufacturing division. You will also be getting a mostly carry over interior, which means you’re getting all the robustness and ‘single agenda for quality’ improvements that were from the earlier B299 model years. That Cuautitlan plant shined when it came to build quality.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Pfft. Everybody charges “crazy stupid” prices for cars these days, just one of the side effects of quantitative easing.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          You’re so totally wrong.

          2004 Toyota Camry LE $19,875
          2014 Toyota Camry LE $22,680

          Annual increase of 1.3%.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The exception, not the rule. The Honda Civic is up $5K from 2004 with only marginal increases in fuel economy.

            MY04 Honda Civic

            Price Range:
            $13,010 – $20,800
            Invoice
            $11,897
            Fuel Economy
            26-48 MPG City / 31-51 MPG Hwy

            MY04 Honda Civic

            MSRP Range:
            $18,190 – $29,290
            Invoice
            $17,100
            Fuel Economy
            22-44 MPG City / 31-47 MPG Hwy

            http://www.autotrader.com/2004-Honda-Civic.jsp?modelId=11402

            http://www.autotrader.com/2014-Honda-Civic+Sedan.jsp?modelId=26918

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            13 to 18 is 3% a year. What’s your point?

          • 0 avatar

            @ JMO

            I don’t know whether you inflation-adjusted your dollars. In case you didn’t, that ’04 Camry actually cost $25,067.33 in today’s dollars.

            @28-cars

            That 11,897 invoice in ’04 is 15,005 in today’s $

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            David better articulated my point, even 3% YOY does not take into account any inflation.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            “David better articulated my point, even 3% YOY does not take into account any inflation.”

            ? The numbers on I used for 2004 are the numbers that would have been on the window sticker.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          How many years of low inflation combined with loose(-ish) monetary policy will it take before inflation alarmists realize that you won’t have major inflation unless there’s full employment and wage growth, no matter how open the money spigot is?

          Judging from many TTAC threads, more than twenty still isn’t enough.

        • 0 avatar
          furiouschads

          Wage inflation–not happening.
          Commodity inflation–not happening.

          Be very thankful we don’t have monetarist talibans running the fed.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Look at that incredibly tightly packed mess underneath the hood, too.

      Good luck doing even basic maintenance, let alone repairs, on that absolute nightmare.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Speaking from experience: it would be relatively easy to do any part swap out on this mill. The mess is generally confined to up top.

        • 0 avatar

          Tell it like it is tresmonos. Mr. DeadWeight, though right about many things, often exhibits a profound dislike of anything small or turbocharged. Taken in that context, the comment sounds like an off-handed remark. Speaking of this 1.0 it sounds like a gem. The current crop of 1.0s is rather impressive and don’t hinder the driving experience (much) anymore and offer great economy and longevity to boot.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Since that’s coming from you, I trust it.

          Your credentials and credibility are unimpeachable and TTAC is better off to have people with actual industry experience (from the trenches) amongst the commentariat.

          I have this ying-yang feeling towards Ford, partly as a result of miniature vehicles such as this knocking on the doorstep of Focus and even Fusion prices.

          The fact that your mother purchased a Lexus ES for less than what an Escape costs is complete insanity and she made the no-brainer choice.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Deadwieght

            Let’s turn this around – why should this Fiesta cost less than a Focus? It’s more expensive to engineer a smaller car than a larger one. You never make it up in savings on materials. The difference between the two is largely air, which is free. But the smaller car has to meet the same crash standards – that takes clever and expensive engineering. This turbo triple is certainly somewhat more expensive to make than the n/a four. And per those who should know it pays this back in being better to drive and more efficient.

            As I keep saying, not everyone buys their cars by the pound. Some of us will pay for a superior experience that is no larger than we actually have use for, rather than a bland beigemobile that is bigger and cheaper.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @krhodes1
            I do think the view that more is better is rampant in the US.

            I mean my mother’s Michigan built Focus is the worse quality of the Focus’es I’ve seen so far.

            My cousins niece in Paris has a diesel Focus and a friend of mine has a Thai built Focus.

            There are significant differences in them, just the interiors and interior materials.

            The finish of the secondary areas also is poorer in the US Focus (I know as I wash my mother’s Focus several times a year).

            The US is gradually learning about quality.

            I mean the other day someone thinks a Grand Cherokee is a prestige vehicle!

            Here in Australia it competes a lot against the Korean made Sorento and similar vehicles.

            The Jeep still has to improve in the quality arena. It’s a great vehicle for the price as a cheap SUV.

            Supersize me! It must be better, something smaller must be less in all aspects.

          • 0 avatar
            Loki

            Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t think comparing a top of the line Escape with every single box ticked (MSRP $37,365) with a Lexus ES (Starting MSRP $36,620) is a worthwhile comparison. You can option out MANY vehicles to be more expensive than base luxury vehicles. That’s how automakers make a lot of their money, is with options.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        DW loves Ford, can’t you tell?

      • 0 avatar

        Looks like a typical Ford to me. Even my relatively low-tech 95 Explorer’s OHV six is a packaging nightmare that is actually easy to service.

        • 0 avatar
          TheyBeRollin

          One thing I found I love about Fords. Every other type of car I’ve worked on involved bloodletting. A Ford? Those sharp edges are rounded and some guy thought, “I bet someone will need to replace this some day, so I’ll put the bolt where they can reach it with a socket”. I also find that I don’t need to replace them as often.

          If my GF knew how to drive a stick, this would be a front runner for her next car.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      @tresmonos

      “I’m not sure how the Fiesta stacks up to the Versa or Mazda 2, but after outrunning Mexican Federale’s in the Fiesta ST, the 1.6L felt like a dog.”

      >>> Can we start a kickstarter page for you to write up this story? Always look forward to your comments on TTAC.

  • avatar
    BMWnut

    There are some bragging rights that come with the fuel economy, but just how many miles of fuel sipping will it take to offset the extra cash outlay?

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Wha??? I’m having trouble figuring out who would buy this car in any sort of numbers.

    It’s not particularly cheap, it’s not particularly fast, and it doesn’t handle particularly well.

    The manual transmission would turn off any non-enthusiast. And other than the manual transmission, it has absolutely has no reason for an enthusiast to buy it.

    If they couldn’t make the automatic work, Ford should have deep-sixed the idea instead of throwing good money after bad.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      It looks to me like a fun choice for someone young with $200/month to spend. They can learn to drive a stick, have room for 3 friends to go out, and cargo space to pack their stuff as they move from apt. to apt.

      Fiesta already has the enthusiast crowd covered with the ST. Ford is offering something unique in the market. I would only encourage such diversity.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        You have identified the problem. This car is NOT $200 a month. On a 72 month loan at 3% interest rate you would need to put down $6700. What fresh from college with a new job young lad has that kind of dough?

        This car with no cash down on a 60 month term is $350 a month, including sales tax which where I live would be $1800.

        There are a lot of better options available for that kind of coin.

        Don’t get me wrong, I like the car. As a kid my parents had a blue Fiesta been can that ran great and was in our family a long time. I’m guessing a 79′ but I could be wrong.

        The entry price point for this rig needs to be in the high 14’s at best.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          I assume the $200 was the lease amount.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Chevy Cruzes can be had for around 15k (plus tax, title, plate fee) in LS form all day long, and a smidge under 16k for a 1LT if one shops aggressively.

          I know this because my niece just went off to college and her parents bought her one 3 weeks ago (and I helped them shop for it).

          Sentras, Corollas, etc. are being blown out for similar prices.

          The Cruze HAS to be like a Lexus in heft, solidity and refinement compared to the Fiesta.

          • 0 avatar

            It’s not DeadWeight. The Cruze, Corolla et al are fine cars. Just different from the Fiesta. I can see value in the Fiesta and depending on circumstance would choose one easy over the cars mentioned.

            Different strokes for different folks.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I haven’t driven the Fiesta, but it doesn’t matter in this case; there is NO WAY that the Cruze doesn’t feel MUCH more substantial given the two cars respective wheelbases, weight and torsional rigidity (the Cruze is no slouch in this regard, at all).

          • 0 avatar

            Can’t dispute what you say DeadWeight, as it’s true. However…

            The Cruze does feels more substantial, but not as much as one would think. The Fiesta’s shorter wheelbase and lighter weight make it feel lighter to be sure, but this is not a featherweight like small cars of the past. The Fiesta is no slouch either in torsional rigidity. I think you won’t enjoy the Fiesta much if you drive one, but maybe you should. It could surprise you and show you that some of these small, but modern, cars have indeed become viable alternatives.

          • 0 avatar
            srogers

            Like Marcelo,
            I could see myself driving this Fiesta before a stripped Cruze.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            These Fiestas will be well-discounted as well. And probably subvented leases and free money financing.

            I agree that sales of it will not set the world on fire, but presumably Ford will get some CAFE mileage out of it, and more choice is better than less choice.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    This will be a decent value as a second owner or off-lease vehicle because of the stick. I sure wouldn’t buy a new one.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    I think it’s a new take on the car that upper-middle class parents buy their teenagers to take to college.

    Reasonably priced, reasonably safe, great on gas, son won’t get into too much trouble with it.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I’d think about getting a two year lease on one of these for my daughter if she was 16. However, I’d look at the lease prices and just get her a giant Taurus instead.

      The Escape, Fusion, and Focus all lease out for around the same amount as the Fiesta. The Focus is typically cheaper. Heck, an F-150 is only $90 more a month right now.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        The residual on this car, stick only, would be so low that a 2 year lease payment would most likely scratch $500 a month.

        18k @ 50% residual is 9k divided by 24 is 375. Add money factor and tax and you are for sure early to mid $400’s.

        Not trying to be a jerk, but this car from a math perspective is a non starter.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      “Reasonably priced, reasonably safe, great on gas, son won’t get into too much trouble with it.”

      They’ve been boiling the water far too fast for me to accept an $18,000 subcompact as any kind of reasonable. But even pretending for the sake of discussion that it is, it’s not particularly safe – just 2,600 lbs and failed the small overlap test – nor meaningfully better on gas than anything else at the bottom end of the market.

      And nobody but a craigslist cheapskate circa 2021 looks for a stick in this class of car.

    • 0 avatar
      brkriete

      Except he or she probably can’t drive a stick.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Stripper models are already a tough sell with a rock bottom price, although it does appear to have A/C and heated seats. For around 18k, there is some competition from more accomodating cars that would net only a few highway mpg less.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      On the Ford lot, a Focus SE won’t be far away from the Fiesta SFE. For my money, the $1000-$2000 price increase to a Focus with the SE Appearance Black Pack is well worth it.

      Also, the Fiesta ST starts around $20K-$21K.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      A far better buy:

      The Honda Fit: The Perfect Back-to-School Special

      “The Fit has reasserted itself as top of class in categories that are important to parents. It would make an excellent first car”
      http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-honda-fit-the-perfect-back-to-school-special-1409344980

      I have little doubt the real world Ecoboost numbers will be much lower, not that Ford will deliver many. As the article alludes, Ford wants advertising rights. Since the back seat is pretty much useless, I can’t see why anyone would buy a Fiesta unless they want a two seater.

  • avatar
    Chris FOM

    This is definitely a real European car, and it also demonstrated why most European cars have sticks Ultra-small engines are the norm over there and you simply can’t pair them with an automatic and get acceptable results. The high manual take rate there has nothing to do with driver engagement but rather is a pragmatic choice effectively forced by the cost of higher displacement, more powerful engines that we Americans take for granted.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      It’s also about the type of driving over there. Europeans spend a lot of time driving on tight, windy roads and narrow pre-car city streets where the control of a manual is useful. They spend much less time than most of us do cruising on straight, wide, flat blacktop.

      • 0 avatar
        bosozoku

        I don’t know about that. All over the continent, and the UK, the motorways stretch far and wide and are filled to the brim with commuters, trucks, buses, and car travelers.

        America likes to think it’s the only place on earth with lengthy commutes or road-trip worthy distances of highway, but that’s not true anymore.

  • avatar
    Dan

    We hear over and over again that it’s too expensive to federalize low volume powertrains that enthusiasts actually want.

    But Ford can do it for an hairdryer motor that’ll sell 1000 copies a year, maybe, in a shitbox economy car at trivial unit profit and nil halo effect?

    This doesn’t add up.

    I suspect this is a fine print condition of Ford’s 6 billion dollars in federal loans.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I had this car as a rental once for a week in Germany. Having driven a few Fiesta in the past, I overall find the car quite enjoyable. It and the Polo are my two favorites of the many cheap euro rentals I’ve had.

    With that said, I HATE this car with this engine. I’m not surprised about the NVH issues with an automatic, because they’re terrible with the manual. The engine is rough and sounds like a tractor. So much vibration. On top of that the turbo lag is downright terrible. Press gas….. Wait… Then wham it hits and too hard. You cannot find the sweet spot on the throttle. Too little and you get poky acceleration and lag, give it more and you still get lag then a sore neck.

    Engine hates to Rev too.

    I’ll give it props as it did get excellent fuel economy and if the turbo is spooled the car does feel much faster than it should.

    But that’s it. I would never buy this car the engine and everything associated with it is just that bad.

    I am not looking forward to a 3 cylinder future if my experience with Ford and VW 3 cylinders is anything to go by. I have my doubts even BMW can avoid this stuff…

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      You didn’t get the memo?

      4 cylinders, without turbos, are the new 6 cylinders, and are the new 8 cylinders with turbos.

      3 cylinders are the new 4 and even 6 cylinders in terms of power, torque, refinement, NVH and longevity.

      Anyone who still believes V6s, inline 6s, V8s, etc, are superior to 4 cylinder and 3 cylinder engines is a troglodyte.

      A bunch of people on TTAC tell us this ALL the time.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @DeadWeight – Yes today more can be done with less pistons. But don’t bring V8s into this, old or new. Worlds apart from anything that can reach their power levels. And it’s not just about power. There’s no substitute for V8s. Not as of yet.

  • avatar

    Well, well. Great review and a question Ford is posing to the American market. Will Americans get it? Judging from most of the comments so far, nope, most won’t. That being said this is a fine car, with lots going for it and some undeniable negatives. For some American enthusiasts, this what they have been asking for for many years. I hope there are enough of them because variety in a market is always good. The American market is still large enough. Let’s see if there is room in it for cars like the Fiesta. If there is you could soon be getting Puntos and Polos and wouldn’t that be grand?

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      Having recently test driven one of these automotive unicorns – I missed a chance on the only one allocated to southern Colorado late last year – I can attest to the engine’s especially enjoyable nature compared to the 1.6.

      Twice during what I considered to be a sedate run around the highways and side streets in town I bounced the engine off the rev limiter without even realizing I was near the end of the fun zone. No thrashiness; no buzzing; no warning the fuel cutoff was preparing to say “party’s over!” For such a small mill, the power delivery is very good once the engine is in the fat part of the torque band, and that band is never more than a single downshift away.

      I can only imagine how much better this mill’s delivery will be when it’s fitted with one of Honeywell’s new single sequential + axial flow turbocharger units.

      Sadly it appears there are very few of these force fed Fiestas being allocated to the Front Range area, which is a shame as the altitude difference shoves the 1.6 into the “Not just no: Hell no!” category.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Will Americans get it?

      Get what? An overpriced and cramped entry into a largely unpopular vehicle segment, available only in a very unpopular transmission, at a price that pits it against larger cars better suited to American roads and American driving habits?

      This car will win no fans among non-enthusiast buyers. The still-modest power and softer handling will relegate it to only a subset of enthusiasts. I’m curious what metric you will use to determine if Americans “get it”.

      I personally find this car appealing, as I like manual transmissions and small cars that are quiet, adequately-powered, and solid-feeling at speed. But this thing is only useful as a commuter. I can’t fit car seats in it and there is no point in having a primary vehicle that can’t. It is of little practical use to me and most of the American car buying public. These are problems the Fit, Versa, and Accent don’t have.

      There are many good reasons this car will sell poorly here.

      • 0 avatar

        Exactly. I wonder if they’ll get it. You seem to have partially got it. Some other commenters now indicate they get it, maybe moreso than you. The point is, even such a small car, can be a commuter, a good second family car, a single person’s car, a good around town car. The softer suspension indicates that Ford is going for the mainstream. Not every small car must have a taunt suspension to sell. Might be some are getting it.

        That is what I’m asking. Can a small car function in mostly the same ways an Accord does? As to pricing small does not automatically mean cheap anymore. It costs more, but it delivers more, comparing, for example, to the Versa or Accent (mechanically speaking).

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Marcelo, the Fiesta is not a good second family car unless everyone aboard is very short of stature. Despite its other attributes the interior packaging is incredibly poor. Behind a 6-foot driver you can carry two backseat passengers in comfort: a briefcase and a toy poodle. That’s it. This is a single-person’s car.

          B-segment cars sell poorly in America not because we don’t get it, but because they don’t suit the needs and wants of the majority. I’ve got two kids and we bought a used midsize sedan because it does everything we need it to better than this Fiesta. More people room. More cargo room. More power. More crash protection. Nominal difference in fuel costs given American gas prices. And at only 2 years old it cost less than this Fiesta likely will even after discounts. For anyone with kids to move around it’s a no-brainer, and there are a lot of us with kids to move around.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          In the US, this car is equipped like your grandma’s 1990 Geo Metro. In Germany, it’s equipped like your uncle’s Ford Focus Titanium. A good review of the German version can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iXvtVA6wv8 –it really drives home the point about different driving conditions and different expectations in Europe vs the US. Suffice it to say, they get a very fancy version, and the same powertrain is considered ample.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I’d be more interested on what it’ll do, completely off boost. 50 mpg? 60?

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Who is going to drive this car completely off boost?

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Probably be worse than EPA, since you’d be driving around near idle all the time. Best fuel economy in something like this comes from lightly “sniffing” the boost. Whether or not it does that at cruising speeds depends on the gearing.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        If you can only “sniff” the boost, why bother? Turn it off. It’s a manual, so you can get away with it, and easily keep up with traffic and climb a grade without getting forced off the road by Mopeds. At least from my calcs.

        I drove my SVO for a couple months “off boost” when I bought. I thought the turbo was blown, but got around just fine with Pinto power only. It’s a manual of course. It was just a bad wastegate solenoid, but I’d drive it 80 miles before the needle would move. At least 40 mpg. Fixed it and got 18 mpg.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I got 50 MPG driving 62-65 MPH between Metro Detroit and Mt Pleasant, MI (middle of the lower peninsula). It’s about 150 miles door to door. I would usually get 22-23 MPG in the MKT doing over 75 MPH. I feel like the MKT is more than twice the car of the Fiesta though.

  • avatar
    daviel

    I’ve been imagining going back to my old VW bug days. Small and simple. Mazda 2, Yaris, Fiesta manual. No internet stuff. This Fiesta is perfect for that. If it’s around in 2 years or so, that’s for me.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    “to shoot through gaps in traffic, while merging and overtaking on the highway no longer you to cross your fingers and hope for the best”

    This is another car writers’ cliche right on par with “drives like a go-cart” and “reflexes seen only in a BMW”. Learn to drive defensively, learn to plan, learn to steer, learn to shift, then start writing car reviews. Yes, in that order.

  • avatar
    ajla

    In a few years this engine will go into something like the Edge and then a few years after that some people will reminisce about when it was still possible to get a gasoline engine with 1.0L of displacement and 3-cylinders.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This sucker needs to be priced in Versa territory and then it would be a good deal and a great first car for those who want new.

    • 0 avatar
      moorewr

      I am curious where the base Mazda2 will land for price and MPG (and fun!).

    • 0 avatar
      TheyBeRollin

      Where I live (PNW) anything with wheels that’ll start will fetch 4k and they’re discounting brand new ones solidly into average Versa territory. 14.9-15.5k are the asking prices I see on Autotrader. Versas are asking 14.9-16.5k. If I was just looking for a decent cheap DD like my current car, I’d be all over the SFE. The problem is that this car will probably depreciate faster than even a 12k stripper Versa.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    I for one am withholding judgment until BIGTRUCKSREVIEW posts his take.

  • avatar
    tbone33

    With Ford, the question isn’t what’s the price; it’s what’s the price after the ever-present rebates. When I purchased my Focus SE there was just over $5k in rebates, and those rebates remained in place for a year.

    • 0 avatar
      bosozoku

      It gets old price shopping the domestic manufacturers. If they’d just put the real price on the sticker, I’d be much more interested. Instead, their ridiculous MSRPs put me off, as even if I can haggle the price down or get some money on the hood, I’d rather just feel like I was getting a good deal from the get-go.

      Car-buying services from folks like Costco and USAA are the only way to go anymore. No haggling, no bullshit, just a price.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    The 43mpg seems impressive, but it’s really not that much better than 36mpg.

    100/43=2.33gallons per 100 miles
    100/36=2.78gallons per 100 miles

    0.45 gallons difference over 100miles or 67.50 gallons per 15,000. $249.75 a year in savings. I think I’d pass.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I was intrigued by these as, in theory, it would meet my needs pretty well when I bought a new car recently. But good luck finding one to find out if I can live with the engine, or if my driving style completely negates the mileage.

    Since I wasn’t willing to take the risk and get one factory ordered, I went with a Mazda2. Slightly roomier inside, more fun, and even if the mileage isn’t as good on paper, at least I’ve been reasonably thrashing it and still averaging 7.4L/100km in mostly urban driving. On the other hand, it’s legitimately weak. Not dangerously underpowered or anything, but the 5-speed gets put to frequent use.

  • avatar

    For my money I would buy a Fiesta over a Focus but I drive a 1979 LeBaron. For my girls money we got a 2014 automatic Focus.

    Focus and Fiesta really cost the same at the end of the day.

    The Focus is clearly the more substantial car. Fuel doesn’t cost enough for 5mpg to matter (sorry greenies, do the math). I’m 6′ and 250 lbs, I fit just fine in both cars. But when I drive them both the Fiesta feels sportier to drive. I have been considering the 1.0 ecoboost but I haven’t figured out why Ford won’t allow a few options. It would seem some people like nice things and super small turbo motors, at least wheels, modern hub caps are horrible looking.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    It’s really odd that Ford introduces a manual-only Fiesta 1.0L car while discontinuing the Fusion with the manual. Most of cheapskates will skip this car because it’s manual only and more expensive than the cheapest Fiesta. The enthusiasts may also skip it because of poor options list.

  • avatar
    spreadsheet monkey

    Not much love for this engine/car from the TTAC commentariat.

    Here in commie pinko Euro-land, we get the 1.0L EcoBoost in the Focus, and also the new Mondeo (Fusion) later this year…
    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/ford/mondeo/63668/new-ford-mondeo-release-date-price-and-rumours

  • avatar
    ericb91

    Ya know, I kinda want one. A Ford dealer near me has a new one for $15,551, and that’s with heated seats! Tempting..

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