2011 Ford Fiesta (835)

This week we’re looking at the 2011 Ford Fiesta. Wow, what happened to 2010? And what happened to the Fiesta since the one I bought in 1978. Daughter Jenny got a hand-me-down when she turned 16, with all confidence that it was a great first car for her to finish through high school.

The Fiesta is Ford’s all-new small car that comes to the North American market for the first time after success in other markets around the world – so says Ford. I’m yet to find out how my 1978 Fiesta relates to this NEW 2011 version.

It is offered in 4-door and 5-door hatchback versions, Ford claims 15 class-exclusive technologies for the Fiesta, resulting in luxury and convenience typically expected in more expensive models. I’m with ‘em on this. Fiesta is included in what they call ONE Ford plan, which is to design and develop vehicles for customers in markets around the world. More than 500,000 Fiestas have been sold in Europe and Asia, and I expect it will be a popular car here in the US.


Changing lanes – beware and alert when you change lanes. Avoid moving into the blind spot of the car in the lane you intend moving into, because they won’t see you and if they too make a move it too often results in a collision.

Posted Speed laws – unreasonably low posted speeds make law breakers of us all. Shame on the State of California posted speeds haven’t changed since your grandpa was driving a Model T. Many will tell you it is more about revenue generation than anything else. California already is known for having the highest fines for traffic violations than any other state. Shame, Shame, Shame on law makers!

We could get rid of hidden taxes in the form of traffic citations if we would simply fire some of those free loading bureaucrats.

But, in the meantime you will find the following link useful as a refresher on the rules of the road. Watch some of these DMV driving videos and I think you’ll agree it is an invaluable yet easy to watch visual explanation of driving etiquette for new or younger drivers.


Handling & Performance:

Powered by a 1.6-liter 119 horsepower 4-cylinder engine, the Fiesta is expected to achieve 40 mpg highway when equipped with the PowerShift six-speed automatic transmission and Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS). I tested the manual transmission model and it is geared well to overcome the low power so you will notice that on those long uphill inclines you must continue to downshift until you find the gear that will pull the grade. The 5-speed manual transmission handled everything well including starting out from a stop even on an uphill position.


The ‘Fiesta’ was very basic in the ‘70s and still is, but the design is deceptive in that it looks like a more expensive class automobile. It has matured and has a more streamlined look. Inside it is also more sophisticated looking and has features that add to the feel that you are in a more expensive brand / model. However it is the little things that bug us and for me it is the sun visors that I will complain about if they do not extend to cover more of the side window.

Fit and Finish:

Very good in class.


Average in this class.

Conveniences and comfort:

The years that have passed since I owned the 1978 Fiesta have allowed a lot of features and for the money Ford has included much more than I expected. For example, it is comfortable even on a long drive which I found out on a quick trip up to Santa Barbara and Buellton / Solvang areas in California. It was for a golf outing and that required two men with large Pro – size golf bags and luggage. It was very comfy but I think, in a pinch, we could have taken one more without much trouble. Four would be pushing it for trips of more than an hour.

The AC is very good and the Cruise Control works fabulously especially since it is married to a manual transmission. A small feature I like is the cap-less gas filler that is more common most recently. I believe they will be standard equipment on all cars in time.

Recognized Competition:

Ford Fiesta $13-17,000, Chevrolet Aveo $12-15,000 Chevrolet Aveo5 $12-15,000, Honda CR-Z $19-23,000, Honda Fit $15-19,000, Hyundai Accent $10-15,000, Kia Rio $12-15,000, Kia Rio5 $14-15,000, Mazda 2 $14-15,000, Nissan Versa $10-17,000, Scion xD $15-16,000, Smart fortwo $12-21,000, Suzuki SX4 Crossover $16-20,000, Suzuki SX4 Sport $13-19,000, Toyota Yaris $13-14,000.

Good News:

Affordable transportation that also looks more stylish than the price would imply, great fuel economy for a family commuter.

Bad News:

A bit underpowered pulling the hills, sun visors could bug you too.

Standard Equipment:

1.6 liter 119 horsepower inline 4 cylinder engine, 5 speed manual transmission, 16’ aluminum wheels, cap-less gas filler, power heated mirrors with inserts to expand rear view of other lanes, power windows and locks, audio input jack with USB, SIRIUS satellite radio, 12v Power outlet, leather wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, air conditioning, remote keyless entry with security anti-theft system and engine immobilizer, child safety rear door locks, trip computer, front disc and rear drum ABS brakes, front, side and side curtain and driver knee air bags.

Gas Stats:

$3.05/ Gal avg. October 20, 2010


for more information.

29 City and 38 Highway MPG


MSRP $13-17,000.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2010 – An Automotive Love Affair

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