By on May 6, 2016

2015 Ford Fiesta SFE Front 3/4, Image: © 2016 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Earlier this year, I was planning on showcasing on TTAC my 2008 Saturn Astra as a testbed of Millennial ingenuity.

Us Millennials want the latest technology in our rides, but we don’t necessarily have the funds to buy brand-new cars. We’re a debt-laden demographic, thanks to a combination of rising education and living costs, but we want all that fancy connectivity. I figured I could probably get away with adding all the technology I wanted to a car that’s eight years old, thus saving on the outlay demanded by a new vehicle purchase and the corresponding increase in my insurance premium.

Then the Fiesta happened.

“Maybe we should get a new car,” I said to Jennifer as I mulled the current state of the Astra. After all, we are moving in a few months, and the last thing I want is for the aging Saturn to be stuck on the side of the road at the exit of Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! en route to Ontario.

My suggestion was, predictably, met with Jenn’s complete and utter indifference.

“Maybe,” she verbally shrugged.

It was a Friday. Both of us had put in long weeks at work, both burnt out. We usually communicate through a series of grunts and facial expressions by this point in the week, so her response wasn’t unusual. Yet, for some reason, the Astra’s current condition weighed heavily on my mind.

The Saturn was a purchase of necessity. At the time, I had subcompact-car money to spend on a compact car. My significant other at the time needed a vehicle that could safely cart around an infant, requiring four doors. I have two dogs, which necessitated a hatchback. The Astra fit the bill at that time. Now the Belgium-built compact was at that age when any unexpected future problem was likely to arrive hand-in-hand with a high-dollar repair bill, all thanks to General Motors’ wise decision to import a vehicle that has no parts commonality with any of its other vehicles in North America.

“I think we should seriously consider a new car,” I said.

“Maybe,” she replied again.

The next day, I made a mental list of all the vehicles I’d driven in the last couple of years that were in our price range and also fun to drive. The Nissan Micra was there. As were the Volkswagen Golf 1.8 TSI, Beetle 1.8 TSI, and Jetta 1.4 TSI. Rounding out the candidates were the Kia Forte5, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (it’s surprisingly not horrible), Scion iM, Subaru Impreza, Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta.

Actually, I drove three manual Fiestas in the last couple of years. One was the normal 1.6-liter four. I also drove a short stint in a Fiesta ST at a Ford event a couple of years ago — but that was outside our budget. The third Fiesta I tested, which produced nearly identical horsepower and torque figures as the naturally aspirated 1.6, was the 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-pot. That was a fun little car, I remembered, and so was the Beetle.

It must be said I have a soft spot for the Beetle Classic. Retro wheels. A shape that’s no longer too cute. And you can have it with a manual transmission and the 1.8 TSI. I dove into Volkswagen Canada’s website and found that VW was offering $3,000 discounts on ’15 Beetles.

When you’re in the store again, could you check to see if there are any leftover ’15 Beetle Classics in the system?” I asked my friend who’s the general sales manager at a local VW dealership. “With a $3,000 discount, that might be a purchase for us.

I did a search of Canada for new, non-reported sold 2015 Beetle Classic manuals. None came up in the search,” he replied.

Off to the Ford website I went, and this time the incentive to buy was even greater.

Ford Canada was (and still is) offering $4,250 in discounts on leftover ’15 Ford Fiestas. I again remembered the littlest of EcoBoosts was a blast to hustle, even if it isn’t actually going that fast.

2015 Ford Fiesta Incentives from Ford Canada website

The Ford website erroneously reported an unsold 2015 Fiesta SFE at the closest Ford dealer, MacPhee Ford, so I gave it a call.

“Do you still have a 1.0-liter Fiesta in stock?” I asked. “The Ford website says you have a leftover ’15 Fiesta in Green Envy.”

“Erm, I don’t know. Let me check, ” said the salesman. “I’ll call you back in 10 minutes.”

Ten minutes went past. Then 20 minutes. Then an hour.

Screw this. I’ll just drive over there.

Upon my arrival, I walked around the showroom and waited for someone to say hello.

“Has someone helped you yet, sir?” asked another salesman.

“No, I was talking to another salesman on the phone, but he never called back.”

“What was his name?”

I gave his name and was passed back to him.

“Sorry I didn’t call you back. We don’t have that car. But we do have this Focus and some other Fiestas. To tell you the truth, the Fiesta is too small for you anyway,” he stated before asking me about my actual needs. “You have friends, don’t you? I bet you do. They won’t fit in the back of the Fiesta. Why don’t I get you the window sticker for the Focus?”

This banter continued interrupted numerous times by the salesman’s ADHD approach to customer service for 45 minutes before he looked at his computer to find the closest ’15 Fiesta SFE.

“It’s at Fairley and Stevens … but how about I work you up a deal on this Focus?”

I drove to Fairley and Stevens Ford, a short five minute jaunt down the highway, and was greeted by Jim, a jovial Newfoundlander.

“How’s she goin’ today?” he asked as Newfoundlanders do.

We sat down and worked out a tentative deal without a test drive (I knew what I was getting). However, I told him any deal would be dependent on Jennifer’s go ahead.

I left the store. We came back later in the day together. She drove the Fiesta and liked it. I drove it again and liked it again. We both hated the color.

“There’s one in Saint John in Tuxedo Black. I can bring that in. That’s no problem. And we won’t charge for the transfer,” Jim said.

By the end of the visit, the deal we were offered with our $1,500 trade was $16,389 taxes in. (The tax rate on a vehicle purchase in Nova Scotia is 15 percent.) Compared to the nearly $23,000 we would have paid for a 2016 Fiesta at MSRP, I thought this was a pretty stellar deal. We tentatively agreed to the deal and went home to think about it.

When I told the guys on Slack, Bark M. piped up.

Whoa whoa whoa

I’m late to this Fiesta

But you’re giving them $500 plus holdback?

On a car that is essentially lot poison?

Bark M: "No"

Invoice price on a ’15 Fiesta SFE with the Comfort Package was $18,758 before tax and trade. After our trade and tax, the total based on invoice came to $14,959.20. At retail, the price after trade and tax was $16403.60.

My deal, in reality, was only around $500 after an admin fee ($477) and a few other things were calculated in.

Then Bark and Bozi spoke up together: Get an X Plan PIN they said. One great aspect of X Plan is the dealer isn’t allowed to charge an admin fee. Also, if you’re a member of the Mustang Club of America, you can get an X Plan PIN — no Mustang required.

We went back to the dealership the next day, supplied my newly acquired X Plan PIN along with proof that I was a newly minted member of MCA, and the price dropped considerably: $14,998.90, trade and taxes included. The dealer also found an extra $750 conquest cash, which we added to the deal post tax to come to the above number.

In the end, we ended up with a brand-new car with a warranty and a monthly payment that’s about the equivalent of what it would’ve cost to maintain the Astra over the same time frame. It isn’t Green Envy, thankfully, and Jenn was excited when she was finally handed the keys. Win, win.

I’ll be sharing my non-ST EcoBoost Fiesta experience over the lifetime of our ownership. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments and I’ll answer them as soon as possible.

[Images: © 2016 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars]

Mark Stevenson is the managing editor of The Truth About Cars. He is easily swayed into buying vehicles from brands that no longer exist. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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135 Comments on “2015 Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Long-Term Test – The Purchase...”


  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I’ve had the same thought regarding the Fiesta. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of ’15 or ’16 Fiesta EcoBoost west of the Mississippi.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Sounds like you got a good car at a good price. Looking forward to hearing your long-term experience.

    That salesman at the first dealer reminds me of several encounters Ive had over the years. If you came in looking at a Focus, oh HELL no, its too small, better buy a Fusion. I hate that crap! I came in to look at the car *I* wanted, not what would look good on your monthly report. I had a guy try to flip me from a 92 Mercury Topaz XR-5 (V-6, 5spd, coupe) to a crappy Subaru wagon after lying to me when I called to confirm the XR-5 was still there (it wasnt). He assumed I was only interested in it because of its price. I bought a V-6 Tempo LX at another dealer, settling for a sedan/auto/red interior, but it was close enough and served me extremely well.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      I sold cars for years, and never said that about any of my cars. what a terrible thing for a salesman to say, simultaneously insulting his own product and the customer.

      A smart salesman will, however, learn more about the customers needs and wants and make sure they buy the car that best meets their needs, even if it is not the original car they came in on.

      • 0 avatar

        “A smart salesman will, however, learn more about the customers needs and wants and make sure they buy the car that best meets their needs, even if it is not the original car they came in on.”

        This salesman didn’t ask me a single question regarding my needs. He just assumed I would be piling people into the back seat, which I won’t. Dogs don’t need rear legroom.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          There was a great insight in the latest episode of Silicon Valley. After meeting the so-called “greatest salespeople in the business” who balked at selling what Pied Piper wanted to offer, Richard complained to the new CEO that they didn’t want to work hard to sell his vision. “Richard, you don’t get the best salespeople by giving them something hard to sell, you get them by giving them something easy to sell, otherwise, they go somewhere else.”

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        I too sold new/used for a dealer, and what we said in front of the customer was exactly what we said behind closed doors. The dealer ended up being absorbed into another group, and the policy was scrapped in favor of “slamming” them into the maximum they could afford.

        Somebody comes in for a Sable with a credit score in the 700s, they better end up in a Navigator or youd hear about how youre not doing your job. My job was not to screw people out of their money. I ended up transfering to the service department because I couldnt do business like they wanted me to. Its just not in me.

        A lot of our customers were “old money” types, and they didnt aquire their wealth and excellent credit scores by buying the most expensive and flashy thing they could afford. They were driving an 88 Continental with 200k not because they couldnt afford to upgrade, it was because they were smart and maintained the car, and got their money’s worth from it.

      • 0 avatar
        KevinC

        And before that, the jackass didn’t even bother to call back about the desired car’s availability, as he’d promised. Then a limp-dick apology at the dealership before he launches into his bait & switch. NFW I would have dealt with this nimrod at that point, and perhaps not even his dealership.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      It doesn’t bother me that a salesman shows me what some other options are. What pisses me off is this: “You have friends, don’t you? I bet you do.” Immediately put the customer on the defensive? It’s insulting.

      As OzCop stated, I wouldn’t have been talking to a salesman that can’t be bothered to call me back anyway.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    So you were never in the market for a Charger after all. Why you tease like that?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Yea, I was wondering about that too.

      A Charger RT in Canada is like $40K. Even with a healthy FCA discount, it is going to be more than a Fiesta ST.

      Not to pry Mark, but did you suffer a major life event recently? Or were you just doing the dreamer thing with the Dodge, like I do when I believe can “afford” a GX460 Premium as long as I stop eating and find $1000 on the ground every year?

    • 0 avatar

      So, here’s the deal with the Charger: reality kicked in.

      Had we gotten the Charger:

      – It would have been a V8 with a nicer interior. I have dogs and they wreck interiors.
      – FCA Canada doesn’t have a national leasing program, which is how we would have “purchased” a Charger.
      – We were shopping before our planned move to Ontario. Living in Ontario is expensive, so we went with something cheap for now to mitigate any future financial surprises.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I’m glad you didn’t buy a Chinuick:

        Encore, Envision, Regal & Verano to be made in China & exported to United States/Canada:

        http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f74/breaking-envision-verano-possibly-encore-regal-imported-china-219793/index17.html

        http://www.reuters.com/article/us-gm-buick-idUSKCN0QN21E20150818

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “FCA Canada doesn’t have a national leasing program, which is how we would have “purchased” a Charger.”

        Yes they do. The Charger is on it with decent residuals.

        “Living in Ontario is expensive, so we went with something cheap for now to mitigate any future financial surprises.”

        Yep. Been there done that and left. It’s gotten kinda insane.

        • 0 avatar

          This is an excerpt from an email from August of last year from FCA Canada PR:

          “Nationally, FCA Canada does not currently offer a leasing program. However, some dealers offer in-house leasing they’ve negotiated locally. There are other financing alternatives offered though, such as extended amortizations up to 96 months.”

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Oh, well things have changed since then.

            http://www.autonews.com/article/20160217/PRESS_RELEASES/160219892/sci-marketview-launches-sci-lease-corp.—-new-automotive-leasing

          • 0 avatar

            @danio3834 … and so did our household wants/needs. The Fiesta fits the bill. Jenn is going back to school. We need an efficient little runabout that can haul the dogs. Had we planned on staying here and both of us working full time in cheap-ass Halifax, a Charger might be in the driveway.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            There’s always the future. I just picked up a ’16 Charger R/T super track pack today, actually. Fun car.

  • avatar
    mattdaddy

    I have a Fiesta Titanium. Got it using the X-plan, and since it was replacing a MINI Cooper S, I wanted all the interior features it had, but in a cheaper car. It’s been great, comfortable, etc.

    St. Louis de Ha Ha was always a noteworthy checkpoint on our yearly trip to NB. In NB there is also the Ha Ha Cemetery outside of Fundy Park. Good times.

    Enjoy the car.

  • avatar

    My father-in-late went car shopping without me. Fine, no issue there.
    He went to the Ford dealer and asked them for the cheapest car they had. They sold him a Focus sedan, never mentioned the Fiesta, which would have actually been a better fit for his needs.
    :shrug:

  • avatar
    dwford

    I think the Fiesta 1.0T is a cool little car, but can we get some new wheels please? Those hubcaps are terrible.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “Then Bark and Bozi spoke up together: Get an X Plan PIN they said. One great aspect of X Plan is the dealer isn’t allowed to charge an admin fee. Also, if you’re a member of the Mustang Club of America, you can get an X Plan PIN — no Mustang required.”

    Woah woah woah… Classic Mustang Owner here but not a member of the club. So does one of the Ford fanatics want to explain any and all benefits associated with an X-plan?

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      X-Plan price is roughly invoice price, give or take $200-$300. That’s it. As stated, the advantage is no admin/doc fee.

    • 0 avatar

      The basics are:

      Ford
      Dealer Invoice – (0.4% * Dealer Invoice) + Administration Fee

      Lincoln
      Dealer Invoice + (0.6% * Dealer Invoice) + Administration Fee

      More details on their site here: https://www.fordpartner.com/partnerweb/jsp/howitworks/fordpartner_rules.htm

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      This reminds me of the “Farm Bureau” membership I got once just to save some money on a Dodge truck. I never been on a farm or done any farming, but hey if being a member gives you a $800 rebate then sure I’m a farmer.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        There is a distinction to be made between /the/ Farm Bureau (ag nonprofit/lobbyist group) and Farm Bureau Financial Services/Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company (started by the Iowa FB chapter in 1939).

        I’m not sure if we were ever involved in our local FB at any point. We just dropped American Family for Progressive.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Farm Bureau of ____ (state) is a bullsh!t insurance company, and I could not get away from them fast enough. They’re run differently than other insurance companies, and more like a fraternal organization – like the independent credit union of insurance. Their service is poor, and their rates are high. Go with someone else if you can.

          I’m not paying an annual membership fee for the ability to purchase insurance from you. I don’t care if I get a 5% discount on Tuesday afternoons at Cracker Barrel or some other BS.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I joined a local credit union JUST to get a $500 Credit Union rebate on a new Saab. But then they ended up financing the car, so GM really lost out…

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Ohio Farm Bureau members get a discount on Nationwide Insurance, which pays for the annual membership * 2 with my premium.

        And the quarterly magazine is a nice read, too — they are big proponents of using buffer land to prevent fertilizer runoff into the water table and eventually into Lake Erie, where it causes the algae blooms. And how to do it so that it has negligible effect on yield.

  • avatar
    Dingleberrypiez_Returns

    Thanks for the interesting write up. Lots of useful tidbits on the new car buying exoerience. I find these articles very helpful, particularly as someone who has always bought older vehicles looking for the best value. Between this article and the Chrysler 200 article, I may be rethinking that approach in the future.

  • avatar
    JLGOLDEN

    Good looking car, especially in the dark color. I even think the wheel covers looks good…substantial and sturdy, unlike most plastic covers. Keep us posted on real life with the little critter!

  • avatar

    Mark,

    I like your new wheels. Very nice little ride you have there.

    “The dealer also found an extra $750 conquest cash, which we added to the deal post tax to come to the above number.”

    Though I’m quoting you, let me move the quotation marks a bit:

    The dealer also “found” an extra $750 conquest cash, which we added to the deal post tax to come to the above number.

    That’s better.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I love this little car and am excited to hear about your future experiences with that engine.

    On a side note, for any college kid thinking, like my kid is, are there really good, solid roof racks that this car can use?
    Its one thing having a fun, small car for around Austin, TX…but what about when he has to move? Which he soon might have to do.
    In fact his career looks like a series of every few year moves from gig to gig.
    Is there a safe and solid rack kit/carrier that comes with as an option?

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah. A U-Haul truck rented for an in-town move. Seriously, they’re pretty cheap for what they are. I doubt your son’s going to have so little that the Fiesta’s roof rack will suddenly liberate him of having to not rent a truck anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        When I was in college/grad school, everything I needed to move would fit in the back seat and trunk of an ’84 Jetta. Dorms and furnished apartments. A Fiesta hatch would be like a moving van in comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        I have a Rola roof rack on my Mazda 3. It’s less than half the price of a thule, will accept all the accessories, and works great. It’s also comparable to the aero-version of a thule/yakima rather than the standard rectangular bars. Definitely worth seeing if they have an application for a fiesta.

    • 0 avatar

      Thule has some fantastic products, but they’re terribly expensive.

      This one though Ford isn’t too bad though: http://accessories.ford.com/exterior/racks-carriers/cargo-box-54-x-25-x-15-5.html

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        thanks, Mark
        These Thules look rather skinny. Not like the larger ones I used a few decades ago.

        MazdaThreeve
        The issue is not moving around town. That wouldn’t even require moving.
        No, it’s across states.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          For medium-distance moves, I rented diesel cube vans with unlimited mileage. Have everything packed and ready to go so you can have the truck back within the 24 hour window.

          Each time, my employer paid for the moves, but I did it cheaply anyway because I wanted to get it done quickly myself, with the help of friends at each end, rather than trusting a mover with my things.

          That was for a full apartment worth of furniture though. I did a couple long-distance moves into furnished apartments for internships, and the roof rack came in handy there.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    mark, I recall one time when I went to see the then new Hyundai Excell and the salesman told me since I had to carry 3 passengers most of the time, to get the stick instead, I walked away. Then in 1979 a Buick dealer told me to avoid the 4 cyl Skylark and go for the six instead, I should have also walked away, but didn’t and I regret it to this day

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      We went to the local Hyundai dealer in 2001 looking for an Accent in a particular trim. The sales guy referred us to the greasy sales manager, who told us they weren’t making any of those models. Ended up using carsdirect.com and found the exact car we were looking for near us and bought it from the Internet sales manager at another dealer. I think that was the least painful new car transaction so far for me.

      I dread dealing with replacing my car after VW announces their TDI buyback process. I have considered one of the 1.0 Fiestas but they seem pretty hard to find in the USA.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        I wonder if it’s the PERCEPTION of a lack of power?

        Here in the lower-48, there’s the cognitive dissonance of MOAR MAD POWAH, which I will take advantage of, when needed; yet, at least in my area of Northwest Ohio, a seemingly larger-every-year section of the populace cannot merge onto a freeway at more than 50mph, and are all too happy to clog the PASSING lane of the freeway, never going even a scintilla above the underposted numbers on a sign!

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    I hate when car salesmen try to talk you out of the particular car you’re looking for, good way to lose a sale.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      They do this at electronics stores as well. I almost asked for someone else to help me when the dude was trying to upsell me on a different TV than the one I’d specifically come there to buy.

  • avatar

    Hey Mark,
    Congrats on the new car! I’ve told you before, you probably should’ve chosen that Aveo instead of the Astra a few years ago! Plenty of parts that are much cheaper, and just a less complicated car.

    Regardless, the Fiesta is a good choice, and the little three-cylinder is quite peppy after taking one for a test drive a while back. You seem to like Euro influenced cars

    I really, really want to love the Fiesta. As a causal Ford loyalist, I love the way it looks (ESPECIALLY in the green envy you avoided), the handling and steering balance is perfect, it’s quiet and solid like a real car, and the fuel economy is great. Each time I rent one, I look forward to it.

    But, the thing is so darned cramped. At 6’4’’, no matter how hard I try, I can’t get comfortable. This has been a love/hate relationship I’ve had with the Fiesta since 2011. I’ll try it, can’t get comfortable, decide not to consider one, a few months later I see one, remember how fun it was to drive, try it, can’t get comfortable….repeat cycle. I’ve even gotten to negotiating the price on a Fiesta, but just can’t come to terms with how cramped it is.

    The door panel does not acknowledge that I have an elbow, and the cupholder jutting out from it rubs my leg where there’s no meat on the bone. My right knee is pushed against the dashboard. I wiggle, I move…..but there’s no comfortable driving position. Too bad, I love the car otherwise and think it’s a blast to drive. Just very bad space utilization.

    Most other subcompacts don’t give me this dilemma; the Sonic, Versa, Spark, Accent, even Mirage all offer a more comfortable driving environment.

    I’m assuming that you’re shorter than me, and I hope you do enjoy the car. It is fantastic overall

    On a side note; I hate salesmen who pull that stunt on me and try to get me into a larger car. I like small cars; always have. And I hate it when they say “oh, you won’t like Y model, you’ll like Y x2 model more” without even asking what my needs are.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      I had a similar problem with the fiesta – it had a B pillar where my elbow wanted to go – and I’m not a big guy. The other issue I had was the auto transmission – the lag made the car feel downright dangerous.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        My buddy dated a girl with an automatic Fiesta. He complained that it was the worst slushbox he’d ever driven. I had to pull up the specs to prove that it was actually a dual-clutch unit.

        I hope it has improved since then.

  • avatar
    deanst

    A few thoughts:

    1) I’d like to see a post on other “X plan” discounts, and other perks that can be gamed from other manufacturers. (For a few years I faked having a VW to get half price ski tickets!)

    2) What’s the fear about your Astra? Mine is 7 years old now – should I be preparing for the worst in the coming year?

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      I’d like to see a post about discounts as well. It would probably be really helpful with the knowledge of all of the contributors on here.

      • 0 avatar

        I would be happy to write it and then completely ignore the comments. Because they’d be full of half-truths and misinformation.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          3 cylinder ICE in a road going, daily-driven motor vehicle in the “developed world” are an affront to good taste & human decency, just for future reference.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            I don’t mind a triple in a small b segment car if it means less weight. However, I think the Fiesta with the triple is a hundred pounds heavier than my son’s 6-speed 4 cylinder iA. The Fiesta does manage to get 43 mpg vs. his 41, but that’s not much of a difference.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The 1.0T is a very good engine in the Fiesta. In the Focus, it is poop. Ford kicked around the idea of a 1.0T Focus/Fiesta with the PowerShift DCT. Raj Nair wanted to set the test vehicle on fire and send it to he!!.

          • 0 avatar

            There’s a fun grunt from the Ford triple with the turbo. I don’t care about the fuel economy. I care about the torque curve.

          • 0 avatar
            rocketrodeo

            Imagine what that triple turbo is like in the Mondeo. The rest of the developed world seems to get by just fine with power levels we haven’t seen here since the 1980s.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            I gather that’s not by choice, but regulatory diktat. (Which also accounts for the higher price of gas. Lather, rinse, repeat.)

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            Modern Triumph 3-cylinders disagree.

            They’re exceptional engines; easily one of the best powerplants in motorcycling.

  • avatar

    I am a little envious because of Alex’s review of Fiesta SFE. It’s a little too late for you to watch it, but purely for amusement you can find it at YouTube’s AlexOnAutos channel (it was posted before he returned to TTAC, so there’s no TTAC channel version). But I don’t really have an excuse to buy the little Fiesta for myself, and nobody in my family would drive a manual.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    This engine…wonder what it would be like in the Mazda Miata. I know Mazda wants small, lighte engines…this would be perfect.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Mark – why didn`t you list the Mazda 2 or 3 in your list of cars that were in your price range and fun to drive. A 3 is no more expensive than a Golf!

    Also you said you didn`t consider the Focus when the first dealer tried to push you to it. Was your objection just on price? It would be more spacious than the Fiesta.

    If you don`t mind me asking, how old are you? You say you are a millennial but you come across as someone in their mid 30’s so not what I usually view as a millennial who is just out of college in their early 20’s.

    • 0 avatar

      Re: Mazda2 and Mazda3. Mazda doesn’t sell the Mazda2 here, and the Mazda3 is still a helluva lot more than the Fiesta. I’m happy with this, so this is what I bought.

      Yup, the objection was purely on price between Fiesta vs Focus vs Mazda3 vs Golf.

      I’m 31.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      The Millennials, like Gen-Xers, are starting to age, like it or not.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      1983 baby here. I’m 32 with a wife, house, kid, 2 dogs, and 3 cars. Like it or not, I’m technically a millennial too, since the cut-off for X is 1979.

      Though I would say that millennial really doesn’t fit for anyone born in the early 80s. My defining characteristic for millennials would be ubiquitous broadband internet and social media accessibility in high school, which much more reflective of people my brother’s age and younger – he was born in ’87.

      80-85 is a weird dead-zone as far as generational identity is concerned IMO.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        You 82-85 tweeners are in a gray area indeed, on behalf of Gen X, I invite you to join us. X for the win, Y for the whine.

        “Jon Miller at the Longitudinal Study of American Youth at the University of Michigan wrote that “Generation X refers to adults born between 1961 and 1981” and it “includes 84 million people” in the U.S”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_X

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          People in ’86 should be allowed to go older generation as well. I learned computers at school on green screen DOS and played Oregon Trail and used 5″ floppy disks. Didn’t have wireless Internet until late high school age, and my first phone didn’t have a camera.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I dunno, if we start making exceptions next thing you know everyone will want to join the winning team.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s fine, I’ll just be the best sort of Millennial on offer. Should help my future employment prospects immensely, as I can write and speak in English and have polite dinner conversation without talking about greenspace and saying things like “Let’s calendar that later.”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Let’s calendar that later”

            This phrase is used?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Assuming you want to take the discussion offline, yes. These types like to re-appropriate nouns as verbs.

            Here’s another d0uchey example!

            “Our company is agnostic to that idea.”

            Meaning they have no preference one way or another on an outcome.

  • avatar
    emg77

    Congrats on the Fiesta, and sounds like a great deal. I’m still driving an Astra… Original owner, now with 103,000 nearly trouble free miles. I think I have the Astra that is a testbed of adding technology. I’ve got an Astra specific Eonon 7″ touchscreen radio, with added back-up camera, as well as a Parrot MKI9200 bluetooth system integrated into the car. My phone also fits perfectly in front of the recessed DIC screen, so I ended up with 3 LCD screens (the parrot, the phone, and the Eonon), and the ability to voice dial, play music via bluetooth, USB, SD Card, CD, DVD, Iphone, or Aux input. I also have a Bluetooth OBD reader, always on, to read codes or view data from the engine. I have my Galaxy Note Edge set up to automatically start the “Car Home Ultra” app whenever I start my car and the phone connects to the Parrot system. It all works great, and I’m usually streaming SiriusXM from their app.

  • avatar
    Brent Bubba Mazur

    I’m very interested in this particular Fiesta model and happy that you’ll be posting updates.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Mark-

    The SFE in Canada has a center arm rest, correct? I remember driving a Fiesta SE sedan with no center armrest on a 300 mile trip and being very unhappy about it..

  • avatar
    Dingleberrypiez_Returns

    Also, props for keeping it real on the cost considerations. Seems like on the internet everyone who buys an inexpensive car has to add the qualifier that they “could have afforded a new BMW/Merc/Lexus/whatever.”

  • avatar
    Robbie

    This is a saddening account of the idiosyncracies of buying a car. As long as buying a car has to be such a depressing exercise in the dealership trying to screw you brutally and knowing arcane discount strategies, I will prefer to drive my cars for 12+ years.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Congratulations on your new ride! Hopefully you can have many years of driving excitement.

    Whenever I contemplate upgrading the electronics on my now 11-year-old Uglibu, an animal eats the wires. I think it’s a sign.

    You have that one road up there, and it’s plenty smooth most of the time – happy motoring!

  • avatar
    scott25

    My girlfriend and I have been dreaming/contemplating/semi-planning moving from Ontario to Halifax pretty much since we met, it’s one of our main goals, but the lack of any sort of job certainty there is what holds us back.

  • avatar
    EAF

    I’d like to see some roll races between your Fiesta and Bark’s. :-)

  • avatar
    baconator

    Congratulations on the new Fiesta! Driving a slow car fast is always more fun than driving a fast car slow.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Congrats on the purchase! I very nearly ended up with one of these. I had found a used hatchback for a good price at a local dealers store in another town. I went in to put a deposit on it only to find that it had sold :-/

  • avatar
    John

    Three days ago, in Murilee’s column, having a three cylinder engine made a car an object of derision. Today, it makes a car an object of envy. Not sure what that means, in the greater scheme of the universe.

  • avatar
    cjpaul

    I bought the identical car in Dec 14. I went in to buy the ST, but liked the SFE better as a daily. It’s frugal and fun. In 70°F, low winds on 93 octane at 60 mph I get 51mpg reliability.

    So far, +20000 miles and nothing wrong. Even SYNC cooperates.

    Funwise, it feels like the old 92 Sentra SE-R I had, with the same weaknesses: modest tires, too much body roll and not enough top-end hp. Low rpm torque is impressive though: 148 ft-lbs regularly now that I can consistently put it in overboost.

    Modest tire grip is resolved with new Sparco Asetta Garas for summer, oem steelies with winters.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Congrats on the purchase, although Green Envy would probably be my first choice and black my last. But I won’t be driving it. :-)

    Looking forward to updates, if I were shopping this would be on my list.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Sounds like a good car well bought. Congratulations, and best wishes for a clean move. I am disapointed that I wont get your ideas on bringing modern conectivity to an older car though. 3 days in a rental Camry while my 05 Legacy GT got prettied up renewed my taste for bluetooth goodness over a touchscreen with a backup camera, but damn was I happy to be back in the 3 pedal torque monster. If both is possible without excessive financial compromise, I’d sure like to know how. A FoRS is … everything I want for too much money to feel good about it.

      Sorry Russycle, didnt mean to nest this, I was aiming standalone.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Hey Mark,
    It’s good to see you got yourself a new set of wheels, irrespective of what it is ………….. an appliance.

    But, some of these appliances are fun to drive and own. My ex had a Suzuki Swift, now that was a fun vehicle to drive over my pickup and SUV.

    The great thing about your car is you don’t need to know how to parallel park, just pull in.

    Hopefully it doesn’t live at the Dealer’s service centre and it gives you days of fun;) I could of stated years, but it’s a Ford;)

    Joking! Ford’s do have some good products.

    I think you should of bought a high roof 3.2 diesel Transit and decked it out for touring and RV’ing. Better still a diesel Colorado and tow a camper trailer and go out fishing.

  • avatar
    tedward

    Excellent little car, I can’t wait to see where this goes. Just reading this makes me miss owning our fit. Every single car I own now is massively faster, more comfortable, more capable and safer. And yet, that particular kind of driving thrill is no longer on the table. F#ck it just chuck it, that’s how these cars feel to me on a fun road. The best part of it is that many more road conditions qualify as a good time.

    I still own an e30 (which dimensionally speaking sort of qualifies) but even that doesn’t fill the void entirely.

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    I am looking forward to hearing about the trials and tribulations of the 1L Fiesta. Drive on and do tell. Is it wrong to fantasize about a 1L? I already had a bit of a chub for the Nissan Micra after I learned about how you can get it all race ready in Quebec. That must mean it’s okay, right? I imagine breaking late and deep with my featherweight, hitting every apex at the perfect top speed, conserving momentum at the very limit of tire adhesion; dog legging and blipping, wringing it through the range in the blink of an eye, double clutch shifting down to second gear…. getting on the throttle early because who the hell cares, and hearing it whine with all its got. All afternoon baby. I expect to spend at least 6 bucks. And of course, we will never once have to exceed 50 mph! ….sigh…. 1L Fiesta….

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    One liter engine? Excuse me, I think I’m gonna faint…

    Unless there’s three of em, I don’t want anything to do with it.

  • avatar
    bikephil

    Typical millenial moron. Spend $15k on a new car when your 2008 runs fine, and any typical repair on it will probably be less than 1 or 2 monthly payments on the Fiesta. Enjoy your new debt!

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    I’ll be checking on your reports – if my 1997 Ford dies, I want the exact model and engine you have in your Fiesta.

    Good luck!

  • avatar
    VoxMortis

    I had this exact car for a while. I would frequently visit my folks in Atlanta and drive from Chattanooga to Marietta each weekend. I averaged 50-51 MPH using cruise control 90% of the time. Great little engine.

    The sad part of this car is really the radio. Or lack. Mine has a tiny screen that reminded me of an old Atari screen. I’m not sure why the felt the need to charge more for the engine, but not offer a better infotainment option.

    Also, the hubcaps replace the Alloy wheels on the SFE version to contribute to the fuel efficiency. If you replace the wheels, expect a few miles less per gallon penalty.

    I’m seeing a new heavily discounted 2016 SFE in Virginia for $13,483. Great price. Now fix the radio.


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