June 19, 2013
Written by Steven Macoy
Thursday, 17 March 2011 13:45
Vacationing in sunny Florida while the rain was falling in torrents back in Connecticut in early March, we rented a 2011 Ford Fiesta that had just eight miles on its odometer. We hadn’t driven a Ford of any kind in some time, so we figured, why not review our Florida Fiesta?
Rolled out as a 2011 model in the U.S. market last year, the Fiesta shouldn’t be confused with its similarly named subcompact predecessor, the Festiva. That was a Ford-badged, South Korean-built subcompact dating from a time when the Koreans really didn’t have their automaking act together. By contrast, Ford has been selling cars in Europe and elsewhere under the Fiesta nameplate since the 1970s. The U.S. version, derived from a popular European model, is being built in Mexico.With a smooth ride, agile handling and refined road manners, the Fiesta competes ably with Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai/Kia subcompacts. (It blows away Chevrolet’s Aveo by every consequential measure except cost.) The Fiesta’s 120-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine accelerates and cruises easily on highways like Florida’s, where the speed limit is 70 mph. We averaged a little better than 35 mpg even though our Fiesta wasn’t yet broken in; it’s rated at 28/37 — a critically important asset as gasoline prices soar toward $5 a gallon.
At a base price of $13,320, the Fiesta costs more than the Aveo, Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent. Our rental car was a higher-end SEL model, with a starting price of $16,320.
The Fiesta is available as a hatchback or sedan. Our rental car was a four-door sedan with a good-sized, nicely trimmed trunk (12.8 cubic feet), and room for four adults to ride in comfort as long as the driver and front passenger were willing to give up an inch or two of leg room.
Controls are conveniently located and easy to use, and they feel sturdy. Overall, the car seems well built, with considerable attention given to the quality of materials used.
Our Fiesta was not as fun to drive as the Honda Fit we test-drove a couple years ago, and the Fit also has an edge in utility thanks to its cleverly designed interior. But the Fiesta felt quicker off the line, smoother and quieter, qualities that may carry the day for some consumers who test-drive both cars.
Subjected to rigorous crash-testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Fiesta came away with a Top Safety Pick designation. Reliability data are unavailable on this new model.
The Fiesta’s major weak spot, as we saw it, was its automated dual-clutch manual transmission. This gearbox delivered power somewhat unevenly, a trait that may have been exacerbated by our lightfooted driving style. Stomping on the accelerator launched the Fiesta with little or no hesitation. We don’t know whether the transmission’s behavior is one of those quirks that disappears during the break-in period. Still, we occasionally wished our Fiesta was equipped with the available five-speed stick shift.
Engine: 1.6-liter inline DOHC Four, 120 horsepower, 112 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: 6-speed PowerShift automatic
Weight: 2,578 lb.
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, torsion beam rear
Wheels: 16-in. painted alloy
Tires: P195/50R16 84H all-season
Luggage capacity: 12.8 cu. ft.
Fuel capacity: 12 gal.
Fuel economy: 28 mpg city, 37 highway
Fuel type: Regular unleaded gasoline
|< Prev||Next >|
The requested URL /components/com_nklf/tent.php was not found on this server.