Hot Car: 2011 Ford Fiesta

This week, at the L.A. Auto Show, Ford has unveiled their Toyota Yaris/Honda Fit competitor, the Ford Fiesta.  It’s an important car for Ford, because it is the first of several “global” cars, which are designed in more than one country, and built the same way for all of Ford’s worldwide markets.  The Fiesta is what the Focus was originally supposed to be, although in 2002, when Europe got a redesigned Focus, we in the States didn’t even get a refresh until 2005.  The Fiesta promises to be fun to drive, get great gas mileage, hold all your stuff and your passengers, and have amenities not currently found in its subcompact rivals.

The first thing that strikes you about the Fiesta is its shape.  While most of the subcompact cars sold in the United States either round or square everything off, the Fiesta takes a more European approach, melding the two.  Ford did a fantastic job designing the Fiesta’s exterior, giving the car racy curves with enough angles mixed in to keep the viewer’s eyes busy.

The interior is the odd part of this car, looking a little too sci-fi.  Featuring what Ford calls a “cell phone inspired” center stack, it doesn’t really flow with the exterior of the Fiesta.  It reminds me of something out of Transformers, but Ford promises it’s packed with technological goodies the Fiesta’s younger buyers will be looking for.  This will include the ubiquitous (on Ford vehicles) SYNC technology, which ties into the audio system, navigation system (if equipped), and the driver’s cell phone.  Beyond the center stack area, the rest of the interior looks decidedly upmarket from where we in the US usually see subcompact cars.

Speaking of the interior, Ford has announced the feature list for the US-destined Fiesta, and it reads like a near-luxury car, not a tiny runabout: Push-button start, keyless access, leather (with or without contrast piping), Bluetooth (as part of SYNC), 6-speed automatic transmission, driver’s knee airbags.

The automatic transmission in the Fiesta is what Ford calls PowerShift, and it melds the worlds of automatic and manual transmissions, giving passengers smooth, quick shifts with increased fuel economy.  Bucking the trend of manual transmission cars getting better fuel mileage, the Fiesta equipped with the PowerShift transmission is expected to get 40 mpg on the highway.

This all leads to a car which should be far more fun to drive than its competitors, and should spark a new era of subcompacts in the United States.  The Fiesta will be on sale sometime during Spring 2010, as a 2011 model.  Check back with us for more detailed information once on-sale dates and prices are announced.

by John Suit

Source: Ford


2 Responses to “Hot Car: 2011 Ford Fiesta”

  • I think this new Fiesta is very nice but it shows how expensive new cars can be…a few years ago these would have run you around $13,000 topped out now they are creeping into midsize sedan price…that will be the deal breaker for most people.

  • Based on feedback I’ve gotten from some other readers, the Fiesta, even at $20,000, should sell very well. Americans are waking up and realizing that premium small cars aren’t like the econoboxes they used to be.


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