By Veeno Dewan
2011 Ford Fiesta
think I am uniquely qualified amongst auto journalists to write about the new 2010 Ford Fiesta compact car. The reason is one of my first cars back in my native England was indeed one of the earliest Ford Fiestas ever made. UGD366R (See I can still remember the number plate!) was a cherry red 1976 Fiesta L two-door model that had seen better day when it was acquired by a spotty, pimply teenaged Veeno Dewan in 198….? Well we won’t go that far back as to reveal my age!
Anyway my Fiesta, Ford’s first modern day ‘world car’ served me well until it was retired a year later after many adventures with me and my friends including crashing it into a solitary bus in the middle of huge empty car park! Believe me that four- speed manual gearbox with a tiny 1.1 liter engine is nothing like the new Fiesta that has just been launched in Canada. Whereas my old Fiesta had the grand total of zero comfort features or options, the new 2010 Ford Fiesta feels and looks like the space shuttle in comparison!
The 2011 Ford Fiesta is going to be a success for Ford in Canada just like the phenomenal success in Europe the Fiesta has enjoyed for over three decades. It brings to the table a great looking, well engineered, value for money, economical compact car. Looks wise the Fiesta is a treat, interesting lines and body creases, a sleek upper profile, smart elongated headlamps and a sculpted, well proportioned look round off the sedan or hatchback model
The range in Canada starts with a five door sedan, at $12,999 and the five-door Fiesta hatchback priced at $16,799.
The five-door Fiesta S comes with power door locks, keyless entry, a rear wiper, four-speaker stereo with Sirius satellite radio pre-paid for six months, air conditioning, very cool ambient lighting, removable package tray in the cargo area, cloth seats and power windows. The fully loaded Fiesta SES five-door ($18,899) has all the toys you could want including cruise control, heated front seats, a six-speaker sound system, Ford excellent Sync voice-activated communications system and other goodies. Fancy piped leather seating is a $1,200 option.
What really stands out to me and other journalist is just how expensive the Fiesta look on the inside with soft-touch materials on the armrest on the door and the dash, places where small cars often lack padding, the gauges look great and features such as the keyless start and Fords excellent Ford’s Sync system; a voice-operated infotainment system is amazing in this class The Sync allows for hands-free operation of a driver’s phone and music player. The system is simple to use and is the benchmark in efficiency
Other reasons why the Fiesta is so good in my opinion is that a lot of the sporty European flair has not been dialled out such as the quick, nimble handling, defined steering and supple suspension which make for entertaining driving. Once recommendation is the optional $1,200 six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission with its sophisticated dual-clutch manual-automatic that delivers precise fast, smooth shifts, while also saving fuel. For power, the Fiesta has a refined 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine equipped with twin independent variable camshaft timing and delivers a creditable 120 horsepower and fuel economy at 6.8 litres/100 km in the city, 5.1 on the highway).
Interior design is very smart and well thought out with features such as the ‘cell phone” design upper center console, the push button start feature and the use of high quality plastics and fabrics. Interior room is good for its class and the rear cabin is also comfortable, but six footers will find it a squeeze. The sedan trunk is spacious. But I think most buyers will opt for the arguably better looking and more versatile hatchback model. What stood out was the exact, precise way the little Fiesta shows Fords three decades plus of engineering on the test drive evaluation. Great road manners in stop-and-go city traffic, long legged cruising ability on the highway, supple, sporty yet refined handling in fast curves and switchback roads, a quiet ride, safe predictable dynamics and surprisingly good fuel economy make the Fiesta an enticing proposition if you are looking for a compact car.
Our lime green hatchback model looked particularly cool and elicited many looks from, other drivers. This new Fiesta looks to be the right car at the right time in these days of rising fuel, congested roads and slimmer wallets. It could well be the best small car on the planet! Look out for more detailed test reports as we carry out a test drives. For now highly recommended.
2011 Ford Fiesta sedan and hatchback models – priced from $12,999
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