The Fiesta, which debuted as a 2011 model, is Ford's subcompact car, intended to compete with models like the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris. The 2012 Fiesta sedan and four-door hatchback are Americanized versions of Europe's second-best-selling car. It seats five people.
The Fiesta marks Ford's attempt to market the same basic car here that is sold in Europe at higher prices by standardizing the basics and making optional some upscale features, including heated leather seats, automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, keyless entry and push-button start. Some of these features had never been seen in this price class before.
All Fiestas get blind spot mirrors incorporated into the side mirrors and a driver's seat armrest. New packages for the top-of-the-line SEL sedan and SES hatchback offer two-tone leather seats and door panels in black and red or black and white as well as color-coordinated trim on the steering wheel and instrument panel. Embroidered floor mats and a leather-wrapped gearshift are also included.
In addition, the Premium Sport Appearance Package for the SES hatchback includes 16-inch alloy wheels plus dark accents for the headlights, lower grille, side mirrors, window surrounds and rear spoiler. The package also includes a 4.25-to-1 final drive ratio on manual-transmission cars for quicker acceleration from a stop.
Of the two body styles, the sedan is more conservatively styled, with a Ford-signature three-bar chrome grille. The hatchback has a narrow front grille and a sportier design. Upscale elements include a deck lid spoiler and LED side marker lights on the front fenders with the Sport Appearance Package. Chrome belt line moldings are available. Exterior features include:
- Standard 15-inch steel wheels; alloy rims are available in 15- and 16-inch diameters
- Ford Racing offers 17-inch alloy wheels
- For a customized appearance, a selection of side decals is available
The Fiesta's interior is among the higher-quality offerings in the class in terms of materials and features. A height-adjustable driver's seat and tilt/telescoping steering wheel are exceptions among subcompacts. Seat choices include cloth and leather, with optional accent-color piping as well as available two-tone trim on high-end models. Multicolored ambient lighting is another option currently seen on higher-priced Fords. Through Ford Custom Accessories, buyers can opt for metallic door sill plates and shift knob and even illuminated versions of the same. Interior features include:
- Standard AM/FM stereo with MP3 jack
- Optional CD stereo
- Optional Sync system
- Optional cruise control
- Optional auto-dimming rearview mirror
- Optional remote start
- Optional push-button start
Under the Hood
The Fiesta's engine is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder, which teams with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Technically an automated manual, the automatic represents a technology that's begun to spread, bringing the lightweight and efficiency traditionally associated with manual transmissions to those who don't want a car with a clutch pedal. Mechanical features include:
- Four-cylinder makes 120 horsepower
- Engine uses regular gas
- Front-wheel drive
The Fiesta is equipped with seven airbags: dual-stage front airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags to cover the side windows along front and rear seats, and a driver's knee airbag, which protects the driver's legs and helps prevent them from sliding forward, which makes the other restraints less effective. Additional standard safety features include:
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system