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Ford Fiesta

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
Ford announced that it will reintroduce the Fiesta small car in the U.S. in 2010. The Fiesta was known as the Verve while the vehicle was in development, so the Verve concept car will become the Fiesta in Ford showrooms.

The Fiesta will compete in the "B" class segment, between the Focus and the Smart. The Fiesta's direct competitors will be the Chevy Aveo, Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Scion xD, Nissan Versa, MINI, and VW Rabbit, although the Rabbit and Versa are a little larger than the others. While the Smart is an "A" class two seater, it's not-so-low price, and the fact that it requires premium fuel (how dumb is that?) may prompt some Smart intenders to cross shop the four and five passenger B cars mentioned above.

Those with good memories will remember that there were two predecessors to the next Fiesta sold in the U.S., the '78-'80 Fiesta, and the Mazda designed, Kia built Festiva ('88-'93) and the slightly larger, more rounded Festiva derived Aspire ('94-97).

Although I've never owned a Fiesta, Festiva, or Aspire, here's what I know from being interested in these cars...

The made-in-Germany (I believe) Fiesta was Ford's answer to the original VW Rabbit. It was a decent, fun-to-drive, peppy car, but it was somewhat overpriced compared to what else was available at the time. One downside, for an economy car, is that although the Fiesta delivered good MPG numbers, it required premium fuel.

I understand that the Festiva, especially, was a tough little car, with many high mileage examples ( >200,000 miles, and even >300,000 miles on the original engine) to its credit. I occasionally still see one on the road, and the examples I've seen are in surprisingly decent shape for what, for many, would be a trow-away car. I've spoken to a few owners and they support the idea that, with proper care, these cars can last and last.

The successor to the Festiva, the Aspire, didn't fare as well as the Festiva. Many Aspires were sold to rental car agencies, and were equipped with 3-speed automatics, so that may account for much of the difference between the reputation of the Festiva versus the Aspire.

Do any of you readers who've owned or driven the Fiesta, Festiva or Aspire care to comment?


  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,352
    those '78-80 Fiesta models when they were new. I thought they were neat little cars. Seems like they only came in two colors though...economy car orange and yellow!

    My neighbors had an orange one when they moved into their house in 1985. Even though it was only 5-7 years old at that time (I can't remember what year it was), it looked pretty ratty by that time. They also had a 1977 era Corolla wagon that looked even worse I think the Fiesta was the better of the two, because that's what they mainly drove. The speedometer/odometer quit working, so they had no idea how many miles it had on it, but they guessed at least 200,000 by the time they got rid of it in 1991. At that time, they replaced both it and the Corolla with a CRX.

    In college, one of my friends had a Festiva. All I remember was that it was white with a gray interior that was more plastic than vinyl, rode on what looked like 4 temporary spare tires, and the whole car just seemed paper-thin. It was roomy up front, though.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 46,277
    I remember Fiestas when I was little, I liked them (as I did most small cars I guess, as I could imagine driving one easier than my mother's whale T-Bird). My friend's mother had a blue one, I remember riding in it, in the back with the seat folded down. Very dangerous to think about it now, but it was very fun then.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    Years ago, I owned a Festiva. It was actually a Kia with a Ford badge.
  • I purchased a 1978 Fiesta in 1982 as my first "good" used car; it was a Ghia model with about 60K miles on it. The Ghia package brought along a slighty nicer interior, a tach, and possibly aluminum alloy wheels and a factory sunroof- the last two I had but am not sure if they were stand-alone options or not.
    I'll always have good memories of this car, as it carried me through college when my "fun" cars (Mach 1's) were being wrenched on. It started no matter what the weather, got great mileage (45 mpg on the highway), and was fun to drive. The downsides included 12-inch rims (try finding tires for those), hydroplaning at highway speeds (very light weight) and, I'm guessing, poor crash protection. All in all, though, I felt it was equal to or superior to all the other competition, save the GTI.
    I sold it to a friend who ran the clock up to around 130K or so before he sold it. I had the opportunity to drive it one last time, after having purchased a new 1988 CRX, and was shocked at how primitive it felt, particulary the lengthy shifter travel. I guess we acclimate ourselves pretty quickly to the latest and greatest, but in fairness, I think the '88 CRX was so far ahead of its time that it would look quite at home on the dealer's lot today.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,197
    To the long list of cars I have owned.

    These were actually very good cars that were rugged and they lasted a long time.

    they used the 1600 "Cortina" engine that found it's way into some early Pintos.

    I remember you couldn't add air conditioning to these.
  • I owned a Ford Fiesta 2004. I live in Nicaragua, Central America. I have to said a few things about this car. I feel that this car in Nicaragua is sold for a very high price ($12,500) my model doesn´t have the full equipment, and the real price was $14,500. I made my decision because the $2,000 difference after a year I first saw it at the dealer. Since new it has a low MPG, and a lot of plastic stuff in the interior that suddenly falls apart. PRO: It has a powerful engine for a small car. This car for Latin America came from Mexico or Brazil, cars from USA are better than this one. Really feel the difference.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    The Fiesta is an Euro design.

    The Festiva/Aspire is the Ford-badged Mazda 121.

    Both the Fiesta & Festiva/Aspire co-existed around the world for a while, & eventually combined as the same car w/ its Euro-platform adopted by the Mazda version called the Mazda2 started in '02:

    I've heard that the Festiva's rear strut suspension can fishtail badly in the wet, which reminds me of My '90 Protege twin cam.

    The Fiesta 1.6 won the acceleration test in July 1978 Car & Driver's small car comparison, followed by the Civic 1.5 & Rabbit 1.5.

    After growing up, I eventually got to drive both the Fiesta & Aspire, but not the Festiva.

    The Fiesta competes w/ the VW Polo/Derby, not Rabbit/Golf. The Escort does. & the Cortina/Sierra competes w/ VW Passat (Dasher/Quantum). Ford of Europe also had their version of V6 sedan -- the Granada/Scorpio.

    Starting '91, our Euro-derived Escort got switched to become a twin version of the Mercury Tracer -- a rebadged Mazda 323/Protege called Ford Laser in the Pacific region. & British Car magazine liked it even more than their Euro-design Escort. But after the Euro-Escort got replaced by the state-of-the-art Euro-design Focus w/ the Control Blade multi-link rear suspension in the late '90's, Mazda 323/Protege eventually abandonded their Japanese-designed platform by '04 & joined the Focus II platform as the Mazda3, ditto the Mitsubishi-platform Volvo S40.

    Today, the FWD Rabbit/GTI/Passat/A3 all had their rear suspension switched to multi-link by the original Focus engineer(s). That means the Rabbit, now sharing its high-tech suspension w/ the Focus, does not compete w/ the low-tech torsion-beam B-cars such as Verve/Fiesta, Polo, Fit and Yaris. The Astra will also switch to multi-links soon. The Corolla finally got it as an option in this country. The Civic had it since '92!

    The new Fiesta sedan is beautiful:
    As an '07 Focus ST owner, I am jealous. Thank God my car still has better suspension. :)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I;m interested in these smaller cars, but unless Ford brings it over with the turbo diesel as an option, like they sell a zillion of in Europe currently, I'm going to have to pass.

    A 35mpg small car that has a huge gasoline powered engine... I'll have to pass. That doesn't even do better than a Yaris, let alone the 55-60mpg(in U.S. gallons, no less) a Polo gets in Europe.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 46,277
    Hopefully it will be offered with a good little diesel
  • Next door neighbor's daughter is in town, driving a red Fiesta with the decal on the back. It looks like a Focus ZX5 crossed with a Kia Rondo. Michigan plates. If there are only a hundred of these on the road this year, I wonder how big a splash it will make before release next year.

    Edit: Maybe I should clarify that it's the new Fiesta (2011 MY?).
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,894
    'yaris' is a warmed over 'echo'.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Not quite, but close. Heh. The Yaris IS a pretty pathetic thing.

    As for the Focus, it really really REALLY needs a TDI engine. 25mpg or so average isn't going to be adequate or even close to it. What impresses me is the models they have in Europe that get insane MPG ratings. I want one of those.

    I'd have already bought a VW TDI, but the things are full of problems as they age. I don't know of anyone who has a VW that isn't about as reliable as a typical 1980s car. What I and many others want is someone... Anyone else other than VW to come out with small and fun TDI.
    Ford Fiesta EcoNetic
    UK Gallons: 61.4 City 88.3 Highway 76.3 Combined
    US Gallons: 51.1 City 73.5 Highway 63.5 Combined

    That's mind-boggling. 73.5mpg highway?

    If Ford puts an engine out of a Mazda 3 series in it, forget about it. I'm not settling for only 30mpg. The U.K. version gets twice the MPG of the U.S. version. :sick:

    Lastly, I don't buy the "We can't do it" whining by the auto makers. If VW, which is about as technical and advanced as a golf cart compared to Toyota, Honda, and the other top-tier makers can manage it with almost every car they sell, then it's just an excuse and nothing more. If they want it bad enough, they can make it happen. Shoot, even the Mini is coming out with a TDI next year. Ford surely can manage something. The car is already made. It can't cost THAT much to convert the cleanest Ford TDI on the market there to pass U.S. standards.

    My prediction:
    - The first company to offer a small, reliable, and affordable TDI car in the U.S.(read: under $15K) will own the market like the Mini did for several years. The same goes for smaller trucks. The first company to offer a modern TDI engine in a small pickup will sell as many as they can make.

    Ford - if anyone from Ford is actually reading this - it's a golden opportunity to bring back a ton of younger customers to your company. Especially since GM and Chrysler are dying. (yes that's sad, but it's also business - you WANT all of that market share to go to Honda and Toyota?)
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Here in UK the Fiesta diesel is well regarded and the new Ford Ka is now out. we've had the Ka for a while but it's been re-designed along the same lines as the new Fiesta - it's a size down from the Fiesta and is based on the Fiat 500 floorpan etc, :shades: (not an association you might make automatically). Of course, the Ka comes with the 1.3 TDCi engine, (as does the Fiesta etc), and it's said to be a good 'un.

    Can't see it getting to USA in my lifetime, I'm afraid.

    Ford Ka
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    It would appear that the UK mpg figures are more optimistic than the US...or maybe it's just the larger gallon. They have a Focus with 2.0 L gas engine getting 35-40 mpg, combined and the Mondeo is rated at 30 mpg combined with 2.3 or 2.5 L gas engines. Still even shaving 10-20% off, the figures you list for mpg are still impressive.

    I don't think it is a matter of "we can't do it", I think the issue is more "we might not be able to sell it at a profitable price in the US".
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Couple of things affect UK, (i.e. Europe), vs US mpg figures :

    US Gallon is near enough 0.833 of a UK Gallon.

    UK mpg figures, (i.e. EU Sequence Tests), are said to be "up to" 8% optimistic vs "real world" figures. Manufacturers don't dispute this but point out that these are the only the figures they are allowed to officially publish. Handy, but true.

    If you factor in these two you'll arrive at generally achievable US mpg figures. Comparing those figures to official US figures, you'll need to understand just how "real world" the US test sequences are. I have no idea but you guys are closer to it than my 3000+ miles. Of course, on the road, some folks will better the figures, some equal them and some struggle to match. C'est la vie. ;)

    Hope this helps a little. At least UK still quotes mpg rather than L/100km - even though we buy fuel in litres.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    35 mpg for the auto trans UK focus X .833 US gal/UK gal X .92 = 27 mpg...which is just what EPA reports for "combined" mpg. So it would appear that your figures indicating that UK mpg figures should be multiplied by about 0.77 to get US number is about right.

    Still, even 50+ mpg for EPA "combined" rating would be amazing in a non-hybrid.

    At least UK still quotes mpg rather than L/100km - even though we buy fuel in litres
    That's really peculiar...the extra layer of confusion probably helps reduce complaints about poor mpg, though :) .
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Oh yes, we like "peculiar" things - apparently. Lots of folk here can do almost instantaneous Litres to Imp Gallon conversions mentally so we're not too easily fooled.

    I drive an '06 Volvo S60 with the 185bhp D5 engine and 6A Geartonic 'box. Last summer we did a 1700 mile Euro trip. Mix of roads; 120mph cruising on the Autobahns, rushing un and down Swiss valleys, ambling around the countryside and some town stuff. Overall mpg, (calculated on fill-ups), was 40.1 UK mpg so that's around 31 US mpg which, I think, is pretty good for this car and its EURO IV diesel. Think that could sell well over in your part of the world - but I'm guessing you'll not see it.
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,912
    I think that you are right that we will not see it, and the reason is in your post where you refer to your your Volvo's engine; its EURO IV diesel

    Diesel and gas engines have different pollution profiles. Diesel engines produce more NOx and less CO than gas. In Europe they acknowledge this and have different emission standards for gas and for diesel, where the CO limit is higher for gas engines and the NOx limit is higher for diesel engines. In the US, they only have one standard and it is written for gas engines. Thus, a diesel engine can meet the CO limit easily, but meeting the NOx limit requires expensive modifications. The US will not see a large variety of diesels until the EPA buys a clue.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv. (RIP 2001 Jaguar XK8 cnv and 1985 MB 380SE [the best of the lot])

  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Unfortunately, for you folk, you're correct. Seems to a way of a) keeping small diesels off the streets and b) legislating against the real strengths of the imports, (or maybe I'm just cynical).

    Either way, it's not helping your consumption of hydrocarbon fuels.

    Can understand the Euro makers not rushing to spend a fortune complying with your EPA regs when they already have a home market of 400 million people - plus some other big chunks of the globe - to play with where the USA makers are no real threat...................other than with locally-built stuff. And you can't even buy the best of your home-based makers' cars; Ford Focus, Mondeo, Vauxhall/Opel Corsa, Astra, Insignia etc, all of which have good diesel options. Ultimately, then, the EPA is denying you choice and hurting USA-based makers a more lucrative home market.

    Most odd.

    Maybe they'll discover e-Bay and bid for a clue on there. :)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 46,277
    Just preparing the US for a future of being second world - at best.
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,479
    Well, there are other reasons besides the EPA (and isn't another diesel issue particulates?) - don't you and the EU tax diesel less than gas? What's with that? More CO2/BTU from diesel...
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    No, the tax on gas and diesel in UK is exactly the same. At a pump price of 102.9p/Litre the real cost of the fuel is 39.12p/Litre. The rest is Fuel Duty and VAT...................yes, we even pay tax on the tax !

    Other parts of EU may tax gas and diesel differently - I'm not certain but the days when diesel was a fair bit cheaper than gas seem to have gone forever. Recently, UK diesel prices have typically been 4 - 5p/Litre higher than gas - but that was actual fuel cost; same Duty but higher VAT cost as that's a %.
  • Not sure if everyone got the most updated info on the Fiesta. There's lots of websites for the Fiestamovement and it was big in the XGames recently. It's the Ford Car spotlight in the SoCal Ford fanpage: SoCal Ford fanpage. Anyone test drive one yet? They are looking for comments on people who have test-driven or just in general feedback.

    Here's a hot video posted on the Fiesta practicing for XGames: Fiesta XGames Rally practice
  • roxy11roxy11 Posts: 27 this article: y-for-u-s-arrival/7#comments

    4000 rpms at 75 mph is ludicrous. im sick of these subcompacts being geared so low, especially with the manual transmissions. when will they get that those of us who choose manual transmissions are more than happy to downshift when we need more power.

    even the yaris isnt geared to where it would hit anywhere near 4k rpms at 75 mph. the honda fit manual comes close, and it is a very noisy, unrelaxed drive at interstate speeds.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    So go drive an automatic. Lug the engine and putter around town all you want.

    I appreciate that they are actually giving us the same sporty transmission that they offer in Europe. With proper gearing you don't need massive amounts of HP.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Well, that review was for a euro-spec Fiesta, so it does not necessarily tell us what we will be getting in the US. However, I'm sure the manual will be geared similarly, as they all are.

    There is supposed to be a ("power shift"?) DSG type transmission also available.
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    I disagree. Yes I want the first gears set up for sporty driving, but the last gear should clearly be overdrive. It is this kind of crap that has done just what you asked and sent all but the most aggressive drivers to automatics. With such a small market share, even the supposed sporty makes have dropped manuals. Try to buy a Mazda6 with a manual, you will be lucky to get A/C on your stripper.

    Nobody is lugging the engine unless they choose to with a manual. If a 5th or 6th gear gets you over 4k rpms at 75, add a 6th or 7th gear. I am not disabled and enjoying shifting down for more rpms when necessary. If you are scared to have to shift at highway speeds, get an automatic it will do it for you.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    But this was a euro spec model. So it would appear that the fact is, that even in europe where the majority still buy manuals, they do not gear them they way you (and I) would prefer. I tend to think this means that we are a minority and most buyers want them geared in the way they are.

    I'm a fairly aggressive driver and even I went to an automatic when I bought a car a couple years ago, because there were no longer any practical advantages to a manual (other than saving a few bucks up front, which you give right back if you ever sell). My primary reason for having had manuals was never the supposed thrill of stepping on a clutch and moving a shift lever around,
  • fintailfintail Posts: 46,277
    I'd think in the year 2010 a 6-speed manual shouldn't be a trouble...when 7 speed automatics aren't uncommon. For a car with fun or sporty aspirations, it shouldn't even be doubted.

    Europe doesn't have many stretches where you have to buzz along at 75mph for 4 hours on straight boring roads like so many areas in NA. This should be able to be adapted.
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