Back for more accolades, the Ford Fiesta won’t have you opening the curtains and looking out at the driveway in disgust at last night’s car lot activities. It’s got quite the opposite effect, actually. Ford has managed to package tight performance, a good interior feel, and always great value into their reinvented party patroller.
Here’s what to expect when you ring the doorbell for the 2012 Ford Fiesta.
Ford Fiesta Trims and Features
The Ford Fiesta is a subcompact economy car that competes with nameplates like the Honda Fit, Chevy Cruze, and Hyundai Elantra. Ford offers the 2012 Fiesta in either sedan or hatchback mode, with three trim levels for each style: base S, SE, and top SEL (sedan) or SES (hatchback). Buyers can find both the sedan and hatchback starting under the $15,000 mark, giving Ford prime positioning within a rising subcompact market. Fiesta traits include strong safety marks, good drivability, excellent fuel economy, and available features that rise above the economy tag. Granted, the base Fiesta S is pretty minimal, but higher trims offer options like alloy wheels, leather trim, heated seats, and SYNC infotainment with voice activated navigation.
Check out the entire array of Fiesta options, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Ford Fiesta Performance
Fiesta owners gain possession of a 1.6 liter inline-4 engine capable of 120 horsepower and 112 lb.-ft. of torque. All Fiestas are front-wheel drive and equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission, though a 6-speed automatic is optional. Drivers who choose the automatic get a dual-clutch setup that Ford says will deliver improved performance and economy, though the effects can be summarized as minimal.
Ford Fiesta Fuel Economy
The EPA estimates 29/38/33 (city/highway/combined) MPG with the manual Fiesta, with the automatic version gaining 1 highway MPG. While the aforementioned achieve virtually identical numbers, true fuel sippers will want to look toward the SFE (Super Fuel Economy) packaged SE Fiesta, which is the only choice capable of the vaunted 40 MPG. Even so, at 29/40/33, the gain is minimal. But don’t read that the wrong way; these are all great numbers any way you go.
Ford Fiesta Interior Highlights
One could use the term ‘pleasant feel’ here. Expect an attractive interior featuring quality materials and solid tech features, such as SYNC, on higher trims. Rear seating is predictably tight (at 31.2”, Fiesta loses to Cruze, Fit, and Elantra) and both models share the same dimensions, so don’t overthink it. The major interior difference between the two Fiestas is luggage room. Fiesta hatchbacks win the space battle with an overall volume of 26 cubic feet (15.4 behind the 2nd row), compared to the sedan’s 12.8 cubed trunk. There are a few downsides to the hatch, however. There is some anger over the fact that the back seats don’t fold completely flat. And, competition like the Honda Fit (57.3 cubes), or the VW Golf (46 cubes) outclass Fiesta for overall cargo volume.
Ford Fiesta Safety
Fiesta standards include 4-wheel antilock brakes, stability/traction control, and 7 airbags- including driver’s knee and 2-row curtain bags. For its size Fiesta scores well in crash tests: the hatchback and sedan receive identical scores of 4/5 stars overall in government tests, and both are stamped as 2012 IIHS Top Safety Picks. A few downers will testify that rear visibility can be poor, and there’s no option for a rearview camera- so watch the parking lots. It shouldn’t be too tough, though, considering Fiesta’s petite frame.
Fiesta: Great Memories or Massive Hangover?
There will be no buyer’s remorse with the Fiesta. Critics are in love with the overall value, and most say that Fiesta can be pretty fun to drive too. Functionality depends on what your needs are, but if you need- or want- to save money and get a best-in-class return, throw yourself a- well, you know. The 2012 Ford Fiesta. Come join the party.