Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Review: 2011 Ford Fiesta SES Five-Door
The Ford Fiesta proves that the American auto manufacturers are taking the small car market very seriously. It also proves that Americans are finally embracing hatchbacks. In fact, Ford stated that the majority of its Fiesta models—which are available in both sedan and hatchback form—are being sold as hatchbacks.
The Fiesta's European good looks have made their way to America. It's sophisticated, modern, and attractive. It’s not overly polarizing like a Kia Soul or Nissan Cube, but isn’t bland like the Scion xB or Toyota Yaris (and I own a Yaris). Of note, the front bumper’s chrome inserts, which house white LED lights; a chic touch. In fact, that is one of the few visual cues that separates it from the European models. The SES’s 16” alloy wheels, high-mounted rear taillights, and distinctive front end set the Fiesta apart from the competition in the appearance department.
On the road, the Fiesta feels substantial. It’s got wonderfully weighted steering and it rides firmly, yet smoothly. Once again, this does not feel like what most people would envision as a “subcompact car.” The car is comfortable on the highway, although passing does require downshifts. Luckily, the shifter is good, with precise movements, albeit, somewhat long throws. Power isn’t neck snapping, but it isn’t glacial, either. When equipped with a manual transmission, the Fiesta is EPA rated at 28 city, 37 highway; my time with the Fiesta yielded 30 MPG in mostly city driving. Not bad.
Handling is outstanding, and makes the Fiesta very entertaining in the curves. Really, it's a hoot to drive. I had a chance to really test the vehicle’s handling months ago at the vehicle’s launch in San Francisco where we took a highly spirited drive through the hills. My week with the Fiesta in Oregon reinforced the fact that this car loves the corners.
Ford Fiesta on Ford.com