By on June 7, 2016

2018 Ford Fiesta

An updated version of Ford’s tiniest offering was just spotted on the road, and while the camo is strong with this one, it’s clear the subcompact Fiesta now sports higher-end clothes.

Expected to bow in mid-2017 as a 2018 model, the Fiesta (the unofficial car of TTAC) keeps its old platform, but makes big changes in design and, apparently, price.

2018 Ford Fiesta

No longer resembling a strawberry (or raindrop, take your pick), the upcoming Fiesta gains a mildly squared-off front and back end, and should get an updated version of the corporate grille.

By sticking with the old architecture for a seventh generation, Ford plans to pump the cash it saved into improved interior finishes and content. Expect soft-touch materials and an upgraded infotainment system, along with a larger touchscreen and SYNC3 interface. A host of safety aids, including lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring and road sign recognition, should be available.

2018 Ford Fiesta

With all this new content, there’s good reason to believe Ford will drop the lowest trim lines from the Fiesta stable. Say goodbye to the Studio and Style trim lines, and say hello to a starting price in the $18,000 range.

No one wants to build small cars in the U.S., and Ford is no different — the next Fiesta rolls out of the company’s new assembly plant in Rayong, Thailand. Current models are sourced from Ford plants in Mexico and India.

[Images: @ 2016 Spiedbilde/The Truth About Cars]

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40 Comments on “SPIED: 2018 Ford Fiesta, Making a Move Upmarket...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    Are they finally giving it a conventional automatic?

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      +1 The DSG in the Focus and Fiesta spoil what are otherwise nice cars.

      • 0 avatar
        April S

        Exactly. When I was looking for a replacement for my Mazda2 I was dissuaded from getting one by my friend who works in the parts department at a nearby Ford dealership. Their repair shop was doing seal kits on many customers cars. Was still a unsatisfactory fix.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        My sister’s fiance just dumped his (14 I think) Fiesta sedan with the DSG. It was shuddering badly after 40k miles. He took it to several Ford dealers, who claimed “It’s not bad enough to fix.” and wouldn’t do anything about it.

        So now he has a Sonata.

    • 0 avatar
      larrystew

      +1 Amen. I’ve had my ’13 Focus for two years and have yet to drive it in a relaxed state, always waiting for the inevitable shudder from stop or the grind from 2-3. For what I paid, I should’ve been able to enjoy the other great aspects of this car.

  • avatar
    Sam Hall

    It looks bigger. Maybe the next-gen Focus is going to grow, too, and have a real back seat?

  • avatar
    LIKE TTAC.COM ON FACEBOOK

    It carries strong elements of Honda Fit, Ford Focus, Mazda 2 (of course) and even a bit of Chevy Spark in the hindquarters.
    Starting at 18K will take it out of the running among economical economy cars. It’s likely to be a much nicer generation of Fiesta, but I wouldn’t be surprised if sales numbers to be less than stellar.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      It is highly unlikely that Ford will drop the lower trim lines. They are not stupid and they know that many people who buy vehicles in this class are only shopping this class of vehicle because they are the lowest priced new cars. Dropping the lower trim levels would only prevent those people from purchasing one and with the low volume in this segment Ford needs every sale to amortize the vehicle in a reasonable time period.

      It is another case where the news bot has forgot that it’s job is to copy and paste not to come up with a crazy conclusion. In this case “because they are adding options to the top trim levels the lower trim levels will go away”.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “It is another case where the news bot has forgot that it’s job is to copy and paste not to come up with a crazy conclusions”

        But this newsbot is a savant: “…while the camo is strong with this one, it’s clear the subcompact Fiesta now sports higher-end clothes”

        That conclusion wasn’t at all apparent to me when squinting at the camo, but he can see things I cannot.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          Maybe the low-rent newsbot thinks camo constitutes “higner-end clothes”.
          Speaking of camo, I wonder what the two horizontal add-ons on the doors are covering up. Either there is some sort of interesting fold or crease under there, or maybe just nothing at all.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “With all this new content, there’s good reason to believe Ford will drop the lowest trim lines from the Fiesta stable. Say goodbye to the Studio and Style trim lines, and say hello to a starting price in the $18,000 range.”

    is this coming from any source, or is this post just one big guess? ‘cos I don’t see how one could reasonably come to these conclusions just based on a handful of pics of a camouflaged car.

  • avatar
    Monty

    I saw the headline and automatically assumed it was Bark’s byline. Quel suprise.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “By sticking with the old architecture for a seventh generation…”

    I suppose this means the curb weight will continue to be high, and the interior packaging will continue to be terrible?

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      How much should it weigh?

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        2250 pounds base.

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          What changes would you make to remove those 300-500lbs?

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Smaller wheels and tires, lighter suspension parts, thinner body panels and glass. The Yaris is around there, and the Prius c is about 2600 pounds with the battery pack and hybrid gear.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Those are the reasons that people don’t like to drive/buy the Yaris. It’s lightweight garbage that feels paper-thin.

            Same case with Prius C.

            The Fiesta is going more into the “premium subcompact” (if that’s even a thing), while items like the Yaris/Prius C/Mirage are “miser subcompact.”

            Different customers.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            “Premium” subcompact is what Mini, Fiat, and smart do already. Ford doesn’t have nearly the cachet or pedigree to prevail in that venue.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            All those you listed are “specialty” offerings, which many people would avoid if they’re wanting a standard brand offering.

            I wouldn’t buy a Fiat. I would buy a Ford. I would not buy a Mini, as they’re not known to be brilliantly reliable, and shout “OMG LOOK AT MEE” everywhere you go.

            Smart is a joke.

    • 0 avatar
      Shawnski

      Or put another, by using the existing chassis it will continue to have the best ride and handling and quietness in its class.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Instead of a nice interior they need to spend that money on a bigger back seat and a torque converter to smooth out the DCT like Acura does. Or just go back to a conventional auto with more lockup like Mazda. Nobody is buying these things to have soft touch plastics or whatever.

    • 0 avatar
      Occam

      What’s interesting about this is that the Nissan Versa hatchback has gone the opposite direction. My wife has a ’07 model – it doesn’t have a lot of upscale features (e.g. sunroof, leather, satnav) but it’s very nicely finished inside – soft-touch materials everywhere, noise insulation to block tire/road noise, small details like felt-lined compartments and auto up power windows, plushly cushioned armrests, etc.

      The (2013?) redesign was actually a completely different model – the original Versa was a Nissan Tiida, and rather than bringing the updated Tiida, Nissan substituted the down-market Note instead. Hard plastic, louder interior, and the optional 1.8L engine (same one used in the Cube) disappeared. We grabbed one on a weekend trip as a bargain-priced rental and she was shocked by how crude it was in comparison… and she’s the prototypical appliance buyer who doesn’t care about cars as long as it sips fuel and doesn’t break down.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        The current Versa looks to be the ultimate argument against spending any money at all to make your B-segment interior any nicer than the inside of a Rubbermaid bin. I liked the 2007 with its surprisingly nice interior touches, and almost bought one. But I wouldn’t touch the current model with a 10 foot pole. The market, however, disagrees and are rewarding Nissan for it.

        • 0 avatar
          Occam

          The Tiida was (and still is) a more upmarket car than the Note.

          The (US first generation) Versa reminds me more of the early Honda CR-V than anything. Light weight but tuned for a soft, mushy drive, with a tall-roof and low beltline, small engine, cavernous back seat (the back seat in that car is comfortable for 6+ foot passengers.

          But man, it’s dull; It makes a Corolla feel engaging and taut. My wife’s car is, hands down, the least exciting car I have ever driven in my life. Hitting a curvy stretch of backroad is like dragging a morose, eye-rolling teenager to a social function.

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    I read people saying a bigger backseat in the comments… Uh, they have model for that, called the Focus.

    “Well the Focus needs a bigger backseat” – The Escape

    Why does every car have to grow?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Consumers should be able to benefit from increased manufacturing efficiencies. A Civic is as big inside as a 10 year old Accord, but much much cheaper when adjusted for inflation/equipment/performance. This thing is the same size as a Honda Fit, but the Fit has 8″ more total legroom. That’s like going from a Fiesta to a Taurus (actually the Fit has the Taurus beat). Fiesta ST has its charm but like Mitsubishi shows you can’t save a model with a performance trim. They need to fix things

    • 0 avatar
      Occam

      The Escape is a cute-ute – don’t you mean the Fusion?

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “I read people saying a bigger backseat in the comments… Uh, they have model for that, called the Focus”

      Well, no they don’t. You can’t get a real backseat in the Focus either.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    As much praise as the fiesta gets, the one I drive at work is terrible. I don’t know what drivetrain it has, other than that it is the basest base model you can get. Its so slow people honk at me when I’m trying to go, the transmission feels like its going to fall out of it with less than 10000 miles on the car, it handles and rides like complete crap especially on the highway. A rusted out 98 Cherokee with beat suspension and 240000 miles is much more fun to drive than that car. Also, the seats are incredibly uncomfortable, the stereo is confusing, and that singular lock button on the dash is just stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      anti121hero

      It gets 28 mpg by my math too. Progress?
      I had a 99 Saturn that got much better mileage, was much faster, but otherwise just as cheap feeling. At least the Saturn had power windows and a transmission that didn’t scare me when it cluncked and slipped into gears like the fiesta.

    • 0 avatar
      banjopanther

      I drove a rental fiesta once and loved it. I drive a Focus ST.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Looks like a current Fiesta that is trying to look like a Golf. Which, I guess, is not such a bad thing. At least as long as it doesn’t gain much weight.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Putting the Fiesta badge on a convincing NEV would be a move upmarket.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    One of the worst reliability records of any car on the market.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    Fiesta’s aren’t bad for what they are, specifically the “S” trim models. An inexpensive vehicle, cheap to run and own without much else. In comparison with similar class vehicles of yore such as the Beetle, Fiesta’s are far and above better cars. My daughter bought an “S” sedan new in ’14 for right around $13.5k out the door and is very pleased with it (other than the engine power). Being my child she chose one with a 5MT so no PowerSh*t issues and commutes with it daily on a 60-mile state highway run. She looked at the Focus before her purchase and liked the Fiesta better as it seemed pretty much 90% of a Focus at a much lower price. As for reliability, the passenger side door speaker blew out (she likes her music) and she went to aftermarket for a new set of front speakers. That has been the only issue in around 28k miles. As an aside, our local dealer has hired an extra full time transmission man to service PowerShift transmissions – there are usually 3 or 4 Fiesta’s/Focus’s daily awaiting his attention.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      The fleet at my work has become an all-Ford affair, and it seems immune from these PowerSchlub issues. Other than jerkiness in reverse, the DCTs are indistinguishable from conventional automatics in our Foci. And in the Fiesta, where the DCT seems tuned for quicker, firmer shifts, it actually makes the hamster-wheel 1.6 enjoyable. Overall I prefer the PowerSchleps to the lazy conventional auto that fizzles the fun in our Fusions (which are otherwise a stellar drive).

      Then again, maybe we just haven’t put enough miles on them. Our reservation computer is programmed to check out the oldest cars first, to push them over the replacement mileage expeditiously, so the awful box-shaped Malibus and floaty chop-top Stratuses have only recently disappeared.


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