Ford Fiesta SES Hatchback
- Features galore
- Luxurious ride
- Most fuel-efficient of the three
- Handling as lively as a corpse
- Lethargic acceleration
Ruling: The perfect subcompact for long-term highway duty.
It’s quite amazing that both the MAZDA2 and the Ford Fiesta are based on the exact same platform, because they are polar opposite in the dynamics they deliver the driver. Where the MAZDA2 is zippy, nimble and eager, the Fiesta is lethargic, clumsy and reluctant. However, the Fiesta delivers in areas where the Mazda can’t, namely with the most luxurious freeway ride of all three subcompacts and the highest fuel efficiency.
The Fiesta has been an overwhelming hit in Europe for decades with good reason – it offers a lot of luxury and practicality for the money. Our Lime Squeeze Metallic 5-door SES hatchback was loaded to the gills with every feature available including the Sync voice-activated system, Sirius satellite radio with premium 6-speaker audio, power door locks and windows with keyless entry, power and heated side mirrors and message center with trip computer. All for a shade under $18,000.
Not only does the Fiesta deliver a luxurious experience with its available features, but Ford NVH engineers have yet again hit another grand slam. The Fiesta is incredibly quiet and composed on the freeway; light years better than the MAZDA2, but of course, the Fiesta is also 300 pounds heavier. Therefore, it’s 1.6L 120hp four-cylinder struggles to get up and go, with a 10.1 second 0-60 time, the slowest of the trio. Additionally, the Fiesta’s handling characteristics feel like they’ve been numbed to the gills with Novocain. It simply doesn’t attack the back roads like the MAZDA2. It’s not even slightly motivated. The Fiesta would be far happier if you just stuck to the freeway, thank you very much.
And on the freeway is where you’ll experience the best fuel efficiency of all three cars, with the Fiesta delivering 40 mpg with the six-speed auto and 38 mpg with the 5-speed manual. It does well in the city too, offering 30 and 29 respectively.
Just like the MAZDA2, it’s obvious who the Fiesta is geared towards; those who need a well-appointed, fuel efficient freeway machine that feels far more luxurious and refined than its $14,000 base MSRP sticker indicates.
|MAZDA MAZDA2||FORD FIESTA||HONDA CR-Z|