Fiesta:

2011 Ford Fiesta: Changing the American Small Car Reality

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Ford’s little Fiesta bears the weight of the Ford world on its shoulders, if you believe the hype. Ford’s been heavily promoting Fiesta for a year, and very effectively getting the buzz out on social media and at a grassroots level. 100,000 people have requested more information, and another 10,000 put in a no-money-down reservation.
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Whether a result of luck or skill, Fiesta launches when media soundbites tell us that the future is small and efficient. Anything else need not apply. Fiesta, on paper, is the godsend of the moment: A car for the city, boasting 30mpg city and 40mpg highway. Sexy and smart, and for all ages.
Some of us have some healthy skepticism as to the depth of demand for small, or B-segment, cars. And because American makers so thoroughly earned their reputations for only building small-as-penalty-box when it came to entry cars, the stakes are particularly high for Ford. That reputation that can only be dented by knocking our socks off and then overcome by doing it again.
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So, with that kind of build up: Does Fiesta deliver? In a word: Yes.


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2011 Ford Fiesta: Let's Make a Party!

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We recently got a chance to drive the European version of the Ford Fiesta, which is due to hit American Ford showrooms this summer. Engineered and developed mostly by Ford’s European unit in Köln, Germany (but using a platform developed by Mazda), the Fiesta is an early example of the company’s One Ford initiative that aims to leverage its global resources and commonize Ford products around the world. Up until now, Ford has usually developed specific Fords for specific markets, but the company believes that global tastes are converging and offering greater opportunities for cars like the small Fiesta to come to North America.


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Ford Fiesta Poised for USA Launch in 2010

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We got the opportunity to briefly drive the new Ford Fiesta in Port Hueneme in anticipation of Ford’s “Fiesta Movement” program where they will place 100 5-door Fiestas with influential Millennium drivers. Millennium means they were born between 1979 and 1985 and influential means that they have over 500 Facebook friends and thousands of followers on Twitter. To get qualified participants – or “agents” as Ford is referring to them – Ford held a contest on their website. There were about 3,300 applicants. Since all 100 of these European Fiestas will have manual transmissions we hope Ford screened for ability to shift and clutch.
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The Fiesta has been on sale in Europe since August 2008 and about 117,000 have been sold to date. With the assistance of the EPA, Ford has been able to bring in 145 into the states for testing and evaluation purposes. The 45 not in the Fiesta Movement program will be used for other drive duties. Those have automatic transmissions.
During the short drive we were able to form some conclusions…
Fast A-Pillars: The styling of the Fiesta is great – using Ford’s European “kinetic” design language. But, the styling comes with a price. Getting into the front seats is tough because the A-Pillar is so fast. The Fiesta is another car that you have to think about how to get in without injuring yourself.
Shin Warmer: The left side of the console gets so hot that it is objectionable. “Shin Burner” may be a better term than “Shin Warmer”. This is an issue that needs to be addressed prior to launch in the USA.
Lacks Peposity: A small high image B-Car… certainly personified by the Fiesta… needs to be “peppy”. The 1.6L 4-cylinder engine has 118 horsepower and, frankly, it feels like less. AutoPacific happens to be evaluating a Scion xD now as well. It is a 1.8L 4-cylinder with 128 horsepower with an automatic transmission. The Scion auto feels much better than the Fiesta with a manual. Very surprising.
Ford’s powertrain plan includes an EcoBoost version of the Fiesta, but, hopefully, Fiesta’s performance can be enhanced prior to its launch in the USA so you won’t have to spring for EcoBoost to get sparkling performance.


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