Interior/Exterior: This is one well-built, good-looking little car
Lined up next to other, larger cars, the Fiesta stands out due to its small size and good looks. The exterior design captures the inherent cuteness of a small car, but not to the point that it becomes wimpy or weak. More spunky than a Yaris, but not as artificially edgy as the Fit, the Fiesta looks exciting and athletic, ready to hit the open road with confidence.
On the inside, the Fiesta has a modern interior that feels quite spacious and makes good use of the relatively small dimensions. The cloth seats are firm and supportive, and the dashboard is nicely laid out, with a well-placed LCD screen in the center, on top of controls for the climate and sound systems. Materials and craftsmanship are quite good, and should compare favorably to the competition. For buyers with more discerning taste, the Fiesta will also be available with upscale options like leather seating and automatic climate control.
Verdict: A smaller future looks pretty good
Altogether, the Euro-spec Fiesta is a compelling little car that definitely goes beyond just basic transportation. With its stylish exterior, exceptional road manners, and solid interior, the Fiesta should easily move to the head of the subcompact class. If there’s one thing we’re left wondering, it’s how much better the Fiesta would be with a bit more power under the hood. Although no other engine options have been announced, Ford has confirmed that it will be making a 1.6 liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine – a downsized version of their powerful, yet fuel efficient and low emission, V6 Ecoboost engine. Unfortunately, for now it looks like this engine is destined for larger cars like the Focus and Fusion, but here’s hoping Ford has the sense to see how successful a high performance, hot-hatch Fiesta could be.
Price levels for the new Fiesta haven’t been set, but the base model will likely start at around $13k, with a fully optioned Fiesta topping out at around $18k. Although this is not much less than Ford’s own Focus, 2011 also sees the release of a completely redesigned Focus that should be a bit more refined and upscale than the current model. Ford is betting that for both cars buyers will be willing to spend a bit more to get a quality product with some upscale features, and we can’t say we disagree.
With the all new Fiesta and the redesigned Focus, Ford hopes to emerge as a major player in the small car segment. Although we haven’t seen the new Focus yet, based on our impressions of the European Fiesta, Ford seems headed in the right direction. If Ford can keep its promise and deliver to the US the same eye-catching, spunky, and well-built car that it sells in Europe, then this new, smaller future looks quite good indeed.
Click on thumbnail to view full size image
Pages: 1 2