2015 Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Long-Term Test - The Purchase

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

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.

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?

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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  • Laserwizard Laserwizard on May 09, 2016

    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!

  • VoxMortis VoxMortis on May 10, 2016

    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.

  • MaintenanceCosts Yawn. I just can't get excited about a redblock that doesn't have either a turbo or extra cylinders. Given the base trim and overall good condition, though, this one would be a killer sleeper with a V8 swap. You could even find some wide steelies that would fit the OEM wheel covers.
  • The Oracle The early sounds of the death knell for CCP EVs.
  • FreedMike "This week, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) "Oh, THAT clown. The Undistinguished Gentleman and Brave Christian Culture Warrior from North Arkansas - I mean, Missouri - who was caught pulling a Brave Sir Robin act on January 6th, after he egged on the rioters? This guy shouldn't be running for dog catcher, must less consuming oxygen in the Senate chamber. Assess his proposals accordingly.
  • EBFlex Yawn. It’s still a white refrigerator. A Camry has more soul and passion than this.
  • Jkross22 For as nice as these were at the time, I always preferred the 850, even with wrong wheel drive. Especially the early 90s. In sedan form. The 850R. Mmmmm.