2011 Ford Fiesta Review – Leading the small car revolution

Expert Reviews Ford

2011 Ford Fiesta Hatchback has adequate legroom for a medium size person


Slip inside the Fiesta and there’s no mistaking that this is a small car. The car almost seems even smaller than when we drove it for the first time last fall, although that probably has more to do with spending much more time inside this time around. On the plus side, the relatively deep dash and sloping roof line does help create a sense of spaciousness, and lets just say that parallel parking has never been easier. The standard cloth front seats are reasonably supportive, but also quite narrow and would make comfort a legitimate concern for larger individuals. Rear seating is also quite tight, with limited leg and head room, but should be sufficient for kids or smaller occupants.

Pop the hatch and you’ll find a modest little trunk that should be good for at least a few medium sized suitcases, and cargo space can be increased by folding down the rear seats. Unfortunately the seats don’t fold flat, making loading of larger objects a bit more tricky. You can fit a bicycle in the back, but it requires removing both wheels and even then it barely fits. Two-wheel aficionados should definitely look into a roof rack.

2011 Ford Fiesta - enough space for a few bags of groceries2011 Ford Fiesta Hatchback with bike2011 Ford Fiesta Hatchback

When we first sampled the Fiesta we were impressed with the build quality, which still remains true, although upon closer inspection the car’s economy class status does shine through a bit more. Some of the plastics are hard to the touch and come across as a bit cheap, and the seat fabric looks a bit thrifty, but altogether the car is solidly put together. Surprisingly little engine noise makes its way into the interior, even with the little motor buzzing at over 3000 rpm on the freeway, and road and wind noise are also quite low.

For anyone who thinks buying an economy car means sacrificing all creature comforts and other fun options, the Fiesta’s interior will be a pleasant surprise. Power door locks and windows have replaced the manual locks and hand cranks of yore, and the a/c cranks out plenty of cool air for those hot summer days. The dashboard looks modern and even stylish, although style seems to have trumped ergonomics a bit, in the sense that some of the controls and buttons are a bit high and hard to reach. Our test car also featured an optional 6-speaker CD stereo system with surprisingly good sound and Ford’s excellent SYNC system, both of which should appeal to the younger crowd.

2011 Ford Fiesta Hatchback cabin cockpit2011 Ford Fiesta Hatchback center console2011 Ford Fiesta Hatchback

Although we still like the Fiesta’s cute and cheerful exterior, after several days of driving around in the car it started to look almost a bit too cute. Some of the styling elements, such as the lower front grill and triangular psuedo-fog lights, seem excessive and unnecessary, and the whole package lacks some of the edge and aggressiveness of Ford’s other recent designs. Still, the car is a lot better to look at than must budget boxes and for some, the Fiesta’s cuteness will be a big part its appeal.

Class Competitors
EPA Mileage
Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback 119 hp 1.6 L 5 speed manual 29/38 $15,120
Nissan Versa 1.8 S Hatchback 122 hp 1.8L 6 speed manual 26/32 $13,400
Honda Fit Sport 117 hp 1.5 L 5 speed manual 27/33 $16,410
Chevrolet Aveo5 1LT 106 hp 1.6L 5 speed manual 27/34 $14,250
Kia Rio5 LX 110 hp 1.6L 5 speed manual 28/36 $13,895
Scion xD 5-door 128 hp 1.8 L 5 speed manual 27/33 $14,650



At the end of the day, folks shopping for a small car are likely looking for good value and although the Fiesta isn’t the cheapest car around, there is plenty of value packed into this small Ford. The base S sedan starts at just $13, 320 and an SE hatchback can be had for just over $15k. Our test car did feature a few extra options, including the SYNC and Sound package as well as the Sport Appearance package, which bumps the price up to $16,550. Even though this is starting to knock on the door of larger compact cars, the price is still quite reasonable given the level of equipment and should be very competitive with other comparably optioned subcompacts.

Once you factor in the Fiesta’s superior ride, fresh styling, class leading fuel efficiency, and available features, such as the SYNC system, it becomes much harder to justify buying the typical bland subcompact, even if you could save a grand or two. Although there are already some compelling small cars on the market, such as the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa, and others are soon to join this growing segment, the Ford Fiesta makes a good case for automotive downsizing and should enjoy a lot of success in the coming years.

RATING 4.5 4.0 4.0 4.5 4.0 4.5 4.25 B+


2011 Ford Fiesta 2011 Ford Fiesta Video Review by Driving Sports TV
Rating: 4 stars 

“Thankfully, this new Fiesta is not a watered-down version of its European brother… “

2011 Ford Fiesta First Impressions: 2011 Ford Fiesta – Betting the future on a stylish, spunky, sub-compact
Rating: 4.5 stars
By Alex Kramer 

“Altogether, the Euro-spec Fiesta is a compelling little car that definitely goes beyond just basic transportation.”

2011 Ford Fiesta Photo Gallery

Ford Fiesta

2011 Ford Fiesta Specs

Ford Motor Co.Official website for Ford cars, hybrids, trucks, and SUVs – www.fordvehicles.com

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  • Fordman1 says:

    What a crappy report. This guy obviously has a bias against Ford. The car is excellent and meets or exceeds the requirement of this segment. It is not a sports car or a battle tank. It is an economy car and it does an exceptional job of it too. The writer of that report should go back to testing his free Toyotas.

  • Peter Anastopulos says:

    I test drove the Fiesta at my nearby dealer and had no problems with my 6 ft 200lb frame.I sit tall in a car having a long torso so it seemed Van tall.I think if your proportion more leggy at my height your experience might not be as pleasant. The seats were comfortable in an Audi /VW ergonomics which I believe are the best in mass produced vehicles .Your complaint about the rubber was fair since I would never own a car with Kumho’s and always upgrade my tires.Beyond that this is a car that makes driving light pleasant and fun.I believe this car comes alive in San Francisco even though highway cruising is very good.The warren of streets around the Mission are were this car excels.This is the Car for urban and not the burbs as much where the Mini Van is king.

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