First Impressions: 2011 Ford Fiesta – Betting the future on a stylish, spunky subcompact

Expert Reviews Ford

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.

Ford Fiesta CoupeFord Fiesta CoupeFord Fiesta Coupe

Ford Fiesta interiorFord Fiesta center consoleFord Fiesta driver's cockpit

Ford Fiesta sedanFord Fiesta sedanFord Fiesta interior

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  • Peter Anastopulos says:

    I wish Ford would give us the the option of the Fiesta TDI Ecocentric .This European model gets 76 mile per gallon wasting the Prius.This car would shake the green car world up .Why is it not here?Time for Mullaly to push harder and get this vehicle on our shores.I would gladly pay Pruis money for this vehicle.

  • Derek says:

    I am glad to report that Fiesta is off to a great start. Just a week after being introduced at the LA auto show the Fiesta reservation site (, where you can build and reserve your Fiesta, has received more than 1,000 reservations and California is one of the top states!

    Fiesta will not arrive in showrooms until summer of next year and usually to reserve a vehicle customers have to place deposits, however, through customers can reserve a Fiesta with no money down and also receive special services and Free SYNC!

    Visit for more information.

  • Peter Anastopulos says:

    What a good looking vehicle but it’s a surprise that it reach’s our shores before the Euro. spec. Focus .We love renting that car in Europe and feel America has not had the option to buy cars of that quality.I think Ford did not realize that we would pay more for a high featured small vehicles in the past.I think they will be surprised because many of us have been waiting for this type of car.It’s not just the sub 30 age group but those of us who came of age during the 70′s energy crisis . Who have committed to always driving fuel efficient vehicles .We are not as small a group or as eccentric as we sound.Maybe sensibility and class has returned to save us from the very baroque last 10 years .

  • francois says:

    I love it. Rear view of the 5-door spells winner!


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