The Fiesta is Ford's new subcompact car, intended to compete with models like the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris. The 2011 Fiesta sedan and four-door hatchback are Americanized versions of Europe's second-best-selling car, the current generation of which has been sold since 2008.
The Fiesta marks Ford's attempt to market the same basic car here that is sold in Europe at higher prices, by standardizing the basics and making optional some upscale features, including heated leather seats, automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, keyless entry and push-button engine start. Some of these features have never been seen in this price class.
Of the two body styles, the sedan is more conservatively styled, with a Ford-signature three-bar chrome grille. The hatchback has a narrow front grille and a sportier design. Upscale elements include a deck lid spoiler and LED side marker lights on the front fenders with the Sport Appearance Package. Chrome belt line moldings are available.
The base trim level starts with 15-inch steel wheels, but alloy rims are available in 15- and 16-inch diameters, depending on the trim level. Ford Racing offers 17-inch alloy wheels.
Ford also offers a selection of side decals for owners who want to customize the car's look.
The Fiesta's interior is among the higher-quality offerings in the class in terms of materials and features. A height-adjustable driver's seat and tilt-telescoping steering wheel are exceptions among subcompacts. Seat choices include cloth and leather, with optional accent-color piping. Multicolored ambient lighting is another option currently seen on higher-priced Fords. Through Ford Custom Accessories, buyers can opt for metallic door sill plates and shift knob, and even illuminated versions of the same.
Convenience options include cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, keypad keyless entry, push-button engine start and even remote start. Entertainment features start with a standard analog MP3 player input jack and range all the way to a Sync-enabled premium stereo with steering-wheel controls and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Under the Hood
The Fiesta's engine is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder, which teams with either a five-speed stick or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. Technically an automated manual, the automatic is a technology that's begun to spread among larger cars, bringing the light weight and efficiency traditionally associated with manual transmissions. It operates with only an accelerator and brake pedal. In a change from the norm, Ford says, the highest mileage is expected with the automatic — up to 40 mpg with an optional Super Fuel Economy Package.
The Fiesta is equipped with seven airbags: dual-stage front airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the front seats, curtain airbags to cover the side windows along front and rear seats, and a driver's knee airbag, which protects the driver's legs and helps prevent them from sliding forward, which makes the other restraints less effective.
The Fiesta also offers antilock brakes with an electronic stability system.
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