History has shown us that the economy or compact car has been a great seller for automobile manufacturers. They’re small, economical, great on fuel and for the most part pretty damn reliable, there are also a lot of them to choose from. Last week I had the opportunity to test out a new entry in the econo-box market segment, the new 2011 Ford Fiesta. I am not an economy car guy, but I actually really like the new 2011 Ford Fiesta as you actually get quite a bit of car in a small car package. You trade power for economy, space for practicality and in the process end up saving quite a bit of coin. Upon entering the new 2011 Ford Fiesta I found out that as a consumer, you’re actually not giving up all that much by purchasing this little car as the Fiesta is packed with some really wonderful features.
Lets start off with the basics first and then we’ll get to the meat and potato’s of what makes the Fiesta such a great little car. For a starting price of around $14,000 you get a 1.6-liter four cylinder that pumps out 118 hp through you’re choice of either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. I drove the automatic and while I would never consider the Fiesta to be fast, you could definitely call it peppy. Keep your foot pinned to the floor and the little engine will rev all the way to the 6,000 rpm red line. Granted you’re not going very fast, but it does make it a bit more fun when you punch it. Keep your foot out of the throttle and you’ll be rewarded with a very nice mpg rating of 29 city / 40 hwy. That’s almost 500 miles per tank!
Throw the Fiesta into a corner and you’ll also find yourself smiling as the Fiesta has some pretty decent handling. Remember, this is a $14,000 economy car not a Porsche, so you can’t expect that. What the Fiesta does deliver are great road manners that inspire confidence. The suspension is set-up a little soft which is fine as I think the majority of the buyers will most likely be in an urban setting. It also has absolutely no problems soaking up bumps and road imperfections and does this all without any squeaks or rattles.
Interior space, as you can imagine is limited and even with front seat fully adjusted I still felt a bit cramped. Yes I had ample head room, but leg and shoulder room was definitely lacking, in fact anyone over 6 feet tall will feel a little claustrophobic in this thing. As a potential purchaser I would consider the 2011 Ford Fiesta to be primarily a 2 passenger automobile as putting anyone in the rear seats for more than 5 minutes would simply be cruel.
For two people the 12.8 feet of cargo space would seem to be ample. That gives you enough space for a few backpacks for that special weekend getaway or enough room for a big trip to the grocery store. Anything more than that and you’ll be left wanting more.
The 2011 Ford Fiesta also offers a very nice list of standard and optional features. My test car for example came pretty loaded with options such as Ford’s stellar SYNC system with integrated phone and blue tooth as well as power windows, cruise control, traction control and heated front seats. Not to shabby for a little puddle jumper of a car. The 2011 Ford Fiesta is a car that does exactly what it was intended to do. It delivers good quality, for a decent price while at the same time rewarding the driver with competent road manners, fuel economy and great build quality. I like this little car and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is in the market for a small, peppy, wallet friendly econo-box.