2011 Ford Fiesta

It’s the dawn of the second decade of the 21st century, and the American marketplace has just six vehicles that offer more than 40 miles to the gallon on the highway: three hybrids, two diesels, and the Smart ForTwo microcar. This lack of fuel-efficient models is especially sad and surprising to anybody who has recently visited Europe, where US companies make and sell small, sporty, fuel-efficient models. Good news. Ford is finally bringing its European design and engineering to America in the form of the excellent 2011 Ford Fiesta, due out in summer 2010.

The Fiesta, a small peppy 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas-powered car, might even make US consumers understand Europe’s ambivalence to hybrids. After all, why spend extra money on a gas-electric powertrain when sporty small cars can provide similar fuel efficiency numbers and a lot more fun behind the wheel? Pricing for the Ford Fiesta begins just above $13,000. You’ll have a choice of a five-speed manual transmission or a new six-speed PowerShift electronic dual clutch automatic transmission. The vehicle is offered as a sedan or five-door hatchback. Ford is estimating that official fuel efficiency ratings will be 40 on the highway and 30 in the city—not quite in hybrid territory but the price tag isn’t either.

Of course, the reluctance among US automaker to transplant small cars to America has been lack of consumer interest in small cars. Fortunately, the Ford Fiesta might once and for all shatter the myth that small fuel-efficient cars have to be sluggish ugly econoboxes. Reviewers are gushing with enthusiasm for the 2011 Ford Fiesta, offering favorable comparisons to the Honda Fit in terms of roominess and to the Mini Cooper in terms of fun and drivability.

Small Giant

Car and Driver wrote, “American drivers are in for a treat because this new Fiesta is probably the best-handling and most driver-friendly of all the world’s microcars.” Jalopnik wrote, “It doesn’t feel like our idea of what a small car should be either. It feels spacious and even, dare I say it, luxurious, an effect created by the large glass house, good packaging and high-quality materials.”

The Honda Fit’s cargo capacity is hard to beat in a car of its size—very similar dimension to the Fiesta—but Ford wins hands down on style and ride. “Even with the optional sport suspension, the Fiesta rides more comfortably than the Mini,” said Car and Driver. Motortrend agreed. “Unlike a Mini, the Fiesta can counter with superb ride comfort,…which soaks up high-frequency vibes and bigger disturbances without turning a hair.”

Above all, it’s the Euro style of the Fiesta that’s grabbing attention. Road and Track writes, “With its wedgy beltline, sexy roofline, pronounced fender flares and high-set faceted taillights…the Fiesta shows off Ford’s new kinetic design.”

The auto press gives the 2011 Ford Fiesta a standing ovation for the quality of materials, seat comfort, and the long list of amenities usually not found in subcompacts: standard four-inch LCD display, push button start, electronic stability control, curtain and side airbags, rain-sensing wipers and auto headlamps, leather seats, keyless ignition, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, power-folding mirrors, capless refueling system, and 15-inch sports alloy wheels.

Worth the Wait?

Ford’s marketing efforts are just as savvy as the vehicle. The company is now taking reservations for the $13,300 Fiesta. Signing up holds your place in line and gives you a “VIP experience,” such as automatic build updates. Moreover, reserving the Fiesta online gives customers a SYNC and Premium Sound package, worth $595, at no charge once the vehicle is delivered.

Keep in mind that these ebullient reviews are using pre-production models produced in Europe. We’re still waiting for the first models to roll off the line at Ford’s plant in Cuautitlán, Mexico, where Fiestas intended for the US will be made. But if these reviews pan out, the wait will be worth it.


Price quote for Ford Fiesta

2011 Ford Fiesta
Base MSRP: $13,300
Is this the vehicle for you? Want to find out what kind of deals are available? Fill out some basic details and we.ll have a dealer in your area send you a price quote to get the ball rolling.
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  • jdl

    It’s about time. I’ve been asking for this for over 30 years. Bring the European small car design, driveability, and fuel economy to the US. There are plenty of Ford and GM cars on the road in Europe that would help save these companies.

  • Mr.Bear

    If it starts at $13k, it beats the Fit by a couple thousand. I’m not sure that it beats the Fit’s mpg though.

    What does that say when Ford has to build cars in Mexico to be competetive with Japanese cars?

  • Dom

    While I happy to see Ford bring one of it’s European cars to the US (it’s about time!), and I’d love to drive one with the 5speed manual, I’m still really disappointed on one account – they could have made a much bigger splash with the diesel model on account of its amazing fuel economy. Sure 40mpg is good, but 60mpg would really turn some heads here, as it has in Europe. Maybe if the first run does well they’ll bring the diesel, but they’ll still have missed the first impression opportunity.

    But even the US version of this car is what I’ve been saying for awhile… we don’t need hybrids to get great fuel economy, we just need better small cars like Europe has. Go Ford!

  • TD

    “the reluctance among US automaker to transplant small cars to America has been lack of consumer interest in small cars”

    Perhaps that’s because small US cars have always been cheap pieces of crap when compared to European and Japanese small cars.

  • mick

    I bought a smart car, its about time a US auto maker brings over something like this. Like wise on the Diesel, if I can buy a subcompact with a diesel for around 15k, I’ll write a check today.
    There should be a gsa guzzler tax on anythig that does not get 40 mpg!!!

  • AP

    “This lack of fuel-efficient models is especially sad and surprising to anybody who has recently visited Europe.”

    It’s not surprising at all when you compare fuel prices. High fuel prices change everything. They don’t even need CAFE (though I think they’re getting it anyway).

  • AP

    BTW, the “Smart” car will probably die in the US unless sales pick up. One of Penske’s few mistakes.

  • Adrian

    This ford looks fantastic. 13500 for it? That price is great for a car with great looks and mileage.

  • ericbecky

    I agree with you on this. Definitely affordable.

    I also see you have made a few comments on other articles on the HybridCars site. You may want to consider registering as a member here. I’d be interested in reading more of your comments.

    Eric Powers
    Green Drive Expo
    * SF Bay Area – Second weekend in June
    * Madison, WI – Third weekend in July

  • Karkus

    Sure, maybe it gets 40mpg highway, but it’s city MPG is no good.

    You have to consider the combined fuel economy, and while we’re at it’s lets consider CO2, which is a more linear way of looking at efficiency (and also lets us compare gas vs diesel)


    The best new Fiesta has a CO2 rating is 127 g/km (and only has 60 HP.)
    The new Prius consumes only 88 g/km !!! and has about twice the power.

    There are DOZENS of gas and diesel vehicles below 110g/km. The Ford isn’t even on that list.

  • Karkus

    OK, so I guess that future version of the Fiesta isn’t on the UK list yet. So it stands to reason it will be lower than the current version of 127 g/km CO2.
    But since that combined MPG is only 35mpg US (and since that number is coming from a Ford person), I’m guessing it may not even make that <110 g/km list.

    However, it will be REALLY nice to have a sporty and efficient small car available in the US. I’ve driven the Yaris, and it just feels cheap and very non-sporty.xT

  • Brandt Hagedorn


    It says that the unions AND the car makers screwed up our auto manufacturing industry and handed it off to foreign companies and subsidizing governments.

  • Brandt Hagedorn

    My niece bought a Ford Fiesta in Freiburg, Germany. What a great big little car !!!

  • Chris B

    The thing is, the Fiesta and other small cars like it are also cheap. A Prius or Insight is definitely preferable from an environmental standpoint, but more people are going to be willing to buy a cheap, awesome looking car than one that costs $7,000 more. Hybrids aren’t outrageously expensive compared to some cars, but they’re still too high priced for a lot of younger people who are just out of college and getting started out in life (the kind of people who would be most likely to buy a hybrid if they had the ability). Cars like this are likely to have greater market penetration, at least in the near future, than hybrids. I would like to see 40 mpg highway become the new standard. If it does, then we’re definitely headed in the right direction.

  • Rob K

    Chris, I agree with you, although if the college kids wanted to be responsible drivers and buy a hybrid, you can pick up a used one for around the same price as this new Fiesta. Granted, it’s not going to be brand spanking new, but I’ve seen 2008 Honda Civic Hybrids with leather and nav going for $16k here in San Diego, so to me I’d rather buy a used Civic or Prius hybrid then a new Fiesta, Fit, or Yaris.

  • Dan S

    I certainly hope this Ford Fiesta is a MUCH better car than the Fiesta that Ford made in the 1970’s and 1980’s and, no, I’m not thinking of the Festiva? I test drove that Fiesta. I owned a Festiva.

    It would be nice to have another well made small car instead of trash like the Pinto and Vega.

    On this car, I’m hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and expecting something in between.

    They’ve had about 40 years to finally get it right. I’ anxious to see how this effort turns out.

  • Foxxy777

    Got mine yesterday. Wow! Blue SE automatic at $17k. What a fun car to drive. Drives like it is on rails without all the noise. I love it!!

  • jnxdbyndrpr

    Drove the family around today to do a little shopping. They said the car feels like a go-cart with a 4 cylinder engine. Got the car a week ago. It still has gas from when the dealer filled it up. Have driven about 200 miles already with about 1/3 a tank left.

  • joe

    It may be made in Mexico but the money ends up in the USA. Think about it.

  • david

    “It may be made in Mexico but the money ends up in the USA. Think about it”

    I did and think you’re wrong. ford invested millions building the Mexican factory and profits from sales in the US will be used to repay those millions. Think about the lost construction jobs that went to Mexico.

    I’d rather buy a Hyundai that’s made in Alabama than the Mexican Fiesta.

  • Anonymous

    I have seen my cousin use this car in Germany and I tell you – it’s all and more than what they say about it here!! It is high time that it appeared here in the US and I am sure that people will welcome it with open arms for all the features it has to offer especially since we don’t have many options for small, sporty and fuel efficient models!! I was very impressed by many of its features like the electronic stability control, rain-sensing wipers and auto headlamps, to name just a few!! Gps navigation

  • Eldon

    I drive a Ford Fiesta. It is definitely the greatest car ever. It is perfect for couples. But me and my wife want to have kids soon so we went to Philadelphia Nissan and bought a family car. I will keep the Ford for our future escapes, I mean without children. I am sure we’ll need that.

  • Rich Blandy

    These small cars have very good fuel economy but in a crash you are dead. I suggest you buy a large car or SUV in order to protect your life. Fusion Hybrid is a better choice.

  • nichol russell

    Can anyone tell me what the maintenance costs are like for the Ford Fiesta? What do the oil changes run and do you still get the oil changed every 3-5k miles?hutches

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  • Marc

    I’ve went for a ride in a few of these…they seem like they are really fun to drive. Plus gas keeps on going up so the fuel efficiency is a big plus. Sadly, I just bought a new truck last year :/

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  • tapra1

    The vehicle is offered as a sedan or five-door hatchback. Ford is estimating that official fuel efficiency ratings will be 40 on the highway and 30 in the city—not quite in hybrid territory but the price tag isn’t either.Yaneto

  • Benjamin Caerter

    I went and test drove one. I like the design of it,nice looking car. The quality I think is seriously lacking though,to be in such close proximity to the focus.
    Benjamin – air dryer

  • shanze lapee

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  • hofman alberto

    Nice looking.Grace full and i really love its dashboard really awesome look.I am eager to buy that car. cell phone spyware

  • Anonymous

    I agree with this comment because of the over priced crap that the union workers in the states have been turning out for a long time not something we can drive and save on fuel expense not some car we can pass on to our kids because it’s built to last but something that can’t stand the test of time so we will have to buy a new car sooner than we would like I talked to some guys who work in the industry and they don’t drive what they build because they know it’s not the best car for the money the unions have asked for big pay when turning out cars that people don’t want ford has listened to the people and that’s a big reason they did not have to be saved by government loans.

  • John Doe

    LET’S GO!!!!!!!!!

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  • Markk53

    What a bunch of crap on the unions comment. Seems Mazda built some good cars in a union plant in the U.S. The failures are not due to unions, it is purely management. The workers can only build what the management permits. Mazda permitted good stuff to happen. Kawasaki has also done well with unionized motorcycle plants too. The only politics at work are the industries that are preveniting the auto industry from selling the more efficient models in this country. The VW diesel that gets 70+ mpg is built in the U.S. but can not be sold here. Ask them wh., I guarantee you they don’t say it’s because of unions and poor workmanship.

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  • Inkas

    I had a Ford Fiesta 2 years ago and it truely was a fantastic car. I had it for over 5 years and never experienced any problems with it.
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  • Robbs

    Nice hybrid car which is really built for the users comfort. I think i should buy it at once ….
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  • Jack Quimby

    I’d get one… if it had the same specs as Ken Block’s Ford Fiesta
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  • Jazzi Geroge

    Lack of fuel-efficient models is really very sad.I completely agree with you that there is no reason on spending extra money on a gas-electric power-train when sporty small cars can provide the same functionality.
    Jazzi Geroge
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