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Ford Fiesta



  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    To me if the ride is described as "plush", that'd be a negative, as I'd assume it meant floaty with vague handling...I'd be thinking Camry-esque, which would not appeal to me.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Have you driven an early base RX-8 w/ std 16" rims? It glides so well over bumps w/ such plush & silky ride unbelievable for a car that handles like a track racer ;)

    Another amazing thing about it is its electric pwr steering that's actually more confident inspiring than my Focus ST's hydraulic pwr steering.

    I wonder why Ford didn't bother using this platform to build a RWD sedan to embarrass BMW's? :D
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I did test drive a 2007 RX-8, don't recall what wheels it had, but I am am pretty sure that they were larger than 16 inches. The ride did seem fine to me, not overly stiff or anything like that. I don't that that I'd call it plush, but I do remember thinking that it was surprisingly smooth, far smoother than I had expected, given the great handling and low profile tires.

    I also enjoyed the fantastic handling of the RX-8, when I drove one several times at "Zoom-Zoom Live" a few years ago, I believe that was in 2006.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    C/D said this about the Fiesta;

    "....the Fiesta one-ups the Fit in any winding-road run. And a German-built version we tested here in Ann Arbor handled the worst of Michigan’s potholed roads with isolated solidity that bests some luxury cars."

    "...Ford of Europe’s engineering chief, says that the dynamics of the U.S. and European cars will be the same, a change from previous policy. If so, 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."
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    The early base RX-8 w/ 16" rims also got softer springs & sway bars. I believe that dark blue one in L.A.'s 2004 MazdaRevItUp test drive event came w/ this softer suspension set up even though it had 18" rims.

    Unfortunately the base model was not available w/ traction/stability control, & I fishtailed it about 180 degrees while stepping on the throttle hard making a right turn in the wet (on purpose). I would get the sport model w/ stability control, then replace w/ the non-sport springs/sway-bars/rims.

    If the Fiesta handled the worst of Michigan’s potholed roads with isolated solidity that bests some luxury cars, then the RX-8 w/ the softer set up can do the same in BOTH ride & handling to BOTH luxury cars & Porsche's :P
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    According to testing, the RX-8 also is .1 second slower in acceleration, handling, and just about every other test than a base Cayman. 99% as good for half the money is quite a feat. Now, is it a Cayman S or even a BMW 3 series? Of course not. But like the Subaru WRX, it gives a lot of performance for not a lot of money.

    My only gripe is that they need to put that setup in the Mazda 6.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    "... even the Polo failed miserably in steering feel & ride/handling when compare to the Fiesta"

    That's disappointing, since it seems that VW will offer the Polo in the U.S. Also, VW knows how to do steering feel and ride/handling because the Golf does very well in these areas.

    This is probably a dumb question, since they compete in different segments and one is RWD while the other is FWD, but since you own a 3-Series and a Focus, how would you compare their steering feel and ride/handling?
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Rotary engine sacrifices low-end torque (& mpg, clean air, reliability, etc.) for a light-nose handling, & thus improves ride/handling compromise. That's why you want to stay away from a heavy-engine FWD platforms such as the Mazda6 V6, or even worse, earlier Audi's w/ longitudinally-mounted engine.

    But lack of low end is no fun! If future technology allows RX-8's rotary powerplant be replaced w/ an electric motor, then that would solve the only problem. B/c RWD low-end power drifting w/ the rear LSD (limited-slip differential) is loads of fun even at SAFE low speeds, just like the superb-steering-feel old Miata's.

    & really, exactly how hard do you get to corner in the real world? I couldn't even reach the limit of the softly-sprung base '05 RX-8 w/ std. high-profile tires, at least not during test drives. It seemed even more impossible to touch the handling limit during my test drive of the Cayman/Boxter this year. So why sacrifice the ride comfort so far for the cornering limit you can't even approach?

    I ended up buying the Focus ST instead of the better ride/handling (& quietness) RX-8 mainly b/c I get to play w/ the Focus's limit-- trail throttle produces controlled oversteer, & (after the installation of the Quaife LSD, which cuts down the chance of triggering of the traction control to kick in) heavy throttle blasts the front tires out of corners, even in the wet when the traction control actually helps the performance by taming the spinning. The '07's traction control is not so intrusive compare to the '05's tuning.

    Talk about tuning, lets take a look at how Japan today ruins Fiesta's original design. -
    "Driven back-to-back with the Fiesta, the 2 doesn’t have the same delicate feedback through its steering, and its body control isn’t quite as good. Ride comfort is also firmer than the Ford’s.

    Yet while its set-up is harder, the suspension is settled over bumps and is comfortable enough around town."

    In this comparison, the Fiesta-based Mazda2's harder suspension set up trades ride comfort for a sportier handling, but why does this sportier set up come w/ less steering feel? I was already unimpressed w/ the level of steering feel from the Fiesta. dci.html
    "Hit the motorway and the Ford doesn’t isolate road noise as well as the VW, but it’s the most flexible car, with strong pace in fifth gear.

    So it’s more than happy as a long-distance cruiser.

    In fact, the ride comfort, stability and general refinement put some vehicles from the class above to shame.

    And on our 1,000-mile test route, which took in a proving ground, city streets, country roads and miles of motorway, we found no driving conditions that fazed the Fiesta.

    The chassis is faultless – it’s easy to drive in town and then comes alive on flowing roads. The steering is communicative, sharp and precise and, with superb body control and grip, the car is reassuring and engaging to drive.

    This dynamic excellence extends to the ride, too. The suspension is supple and easily irons out imperfections, so the Fiesta is as comfortable as it is fun.

    There is a cost for all this talent, though. A number of price hikes this year mean the Ford is the most expensive car..."

    Did you hear that, America? The Fiesta is the most expensive compact in Europe, even w/ worse sound insulation than the VW Polo! LOL
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "Also, VW knows how to do steering feel and ride/handling because the Golf does very well in these areas."

    Which models have you driven? VW lost steering feel since the late '90's. I ended up trading my '05 Focus ST for an '07 Focus ST instead of the '07 MkV Rabbit/Jetta due to VW's feel-free electric steering. Even the MkIV introduced in '99 lack steering feel at the cornering limit.

    Nevertheless, I still love the way this mid-'90's Jetta steers -- the resistance builds up so naturally progressive as the cornering load increases it just feels GOOOOOD! My Focus ST's steering feels unnatural & too elastic by comparison.

    MkVI has improved steering feel over MkV:
    "Spot on – although it takes me a while to work my way up to that level. The new GTI is fearfully competent. Does that concern you? It should. True, the last Golf was not a raw, trembling ball of energy either, settling for being richly satisfying instead, but in the new one you really have to go looking for entertainment. Cruise around and the stunning damping composure means the car is always too much in control, too able. So you hurl it into a tight-ish third-gear corner. Aha… now we’re talking. Now the steering is more alert, now you can feel what’s going on, now the front end sharpens up a treat. Now it’s a GTI.

    It’s a neat trick, a sudden sense of layers pulled back, true character revealed, but it’s also frustrating knowing how hard you have to drive it to have fun."

    While the new "Japanese Focus" ruins the steering feel further for this generation: volkswagen_gti-comparison_tests volkswagen_gti-comparison_tests/2010_mazdaspeed_3_page_2
    "...the new steering rack substitutes effort for feel." da96308c97c849c9db557f719.pdf
    STEERING FEEL: 5 points for GTI, 3 points for Mazdaspeed3 -- that's whopping 2 points apart!
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "...since you own a 3-Series and a Focus, how would you compare their steering feel and ride/handling?"

    My Focus ST still has less steering feel than my '90 Protege twin cam, '99 E36 BMW 328is & '84 manual-steering MkI Jetta. But it still has better steering overall than all of them! Here's why:

    The Jetta's manual steering does not have quick ratio for agility, while still too heavy doing parallel parking.

    The Protege's steering is sharp, quick & never heavy while brimming w/ feel all the time, but becomes too skittish & not relaxing enough to cruise in a straight line at fwy speeds.

    The E36's steering is both slow & heavy that trying to steer it feels like navigating a 19th Century pirate ship. Replacing it w/ a quick-ratio rack from the std Z3 now makes it steer just as quick as the E46 3-series, which has a less feel than the E36. The E36's steering system is still gravity sensitive so it tends to steer by itself left & right all the time when the road is not perfectly smooth & leveled, & thus cruising on the fwy feels like taming wild horses all the time w/ both hands. It's a handful, but in a way it's kind of fun, too, but I wonder what the fuss is all about.

    Below fwy speeds, my Focus's steering may seem kind of numb compare to my Protege's delicious unit. But once on the fwy, it's amazing how this quick/sharp unit can cruise in a straight line in such relaxing/confident manner while ready to attack curvy bends. It's the best of both worlds.

    My E36 coupe also has Torsen (similar to Quaife) differential installed. The horribly short springs from its original sport suspension was replaced w/ longer springs from non-sport suspension along w/ calmer-motion Monroe shocks. But Mercedes seems to have longer springs still.

    I noticed how the '99 newer-generation E46 sedan has a comfy calm-motion ride, while after 2001.5 the suspension has a quick-motion tuning for a less comfy/relaxing ride. & this is the non-sport suspension.

    The current E90 is badly compromised w/ run-flat tires, while the steering feels too light at lower speeds.

    The 2700+lbs Focus ST w/ 4-cyl may have a nose-bias weight distribution compare to the 3000+lbs RWD E36 w/ inline 6-cyl, but Focus's overall light weight makes up for overall agility & tossability. FYI, the BMW 1-series 6-cyl coupe & today's Mazdaspeed3, which is derived from the upcoming Focus III, all weight about 3200lbs.

    My RWD E36 feels like a rich man's Miata -- quieter, smoother riding & more powerful, but does require a higher velocity in order to drift the back end on every turn. & this fun feature is the ONLY reason I need to own a RWD car!

    Compare to my Bimmer, my Focus ST feels like a more competent car & requires less effort from the driver to deliver the same results on curves & straight roads.

    The '05 Focus ST's SVT shocks provide a ride motion so abrupt that I'm glad I traded it in for an '07 Focus ST w/ softer springs/shocks. But I might soften it further by replacing w/ Gabriel shocks later. & that'll leave my front springs about the only item stiffer than the Focus SES. & this is important b/c the Focus front springs are not very long to begin with, but probably pretty comparable to the lowered factory sport suspension from the more current BMW 3-series & Mercedes C-class. So don't expect any Focus to ride as smooth as BMW 3-series sedan or Mercedes C-class sedan w/ non-sport suspension, especially over deeper bumps.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    The Fiesta is the most expensive compact in Europe, even w/ worse sound insulation than the VW Polo! LOL

    Subcompact, actually...or "b-segment" in europeanese. It is priced lower than the Focus in the UK and I am sure that will be the case in the US, as well. Although, actual transaction prices may go the other way as the outgoing Focus is likely to have far more sales incentives than the new Fiesta.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Excellent comparisons! very descriptive details and comments. Thanks. It validates my opinion of the Focus, although I've read that, along with some improvements, such as a better ride, the steering feel of the Focus has deteriorated some with the most recent ('09 model year?) revisions.

    One of my cars is an E30, which I prefer to the E90 in terms of nimbleness and steering feel. Acceleration and electronic gadgetry are less important to me. The E30 also has more usable back seat space and accessibility than the I-Series.

    To me, the I-Series is ugly. Since the I-Series is essentially a 2-seater, the new Miata may be a lower cost, lower maintenance alternative. Due to its greater weight and size, however, the latest generation Miata may not be as satisfying to drive as the original one.

    In my opinion, in the quest for perfection, safety, and great performance numbers, much of the fun has been dialed out of many of the newer cars. Odd as it sounds, some imperfections can actually lend character to the driving experience.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    But lack of low end is no fun! If future technology allows RX-8's rotary powerplant be replaced w/ an electric motor, then that would solve the only problem. B/c RWD low-end power drifting w/ the rear LSD (limited-slip differential) is loads of fun even at SAFE low speeds, just like the superb-steering-feel old Miata's.

    If you have the manual and drive it correctly (basically flog it like a 600CC street bike), it's very fast. Just not what people are used to in this country. An electric motor would ruin the fun as well.

    With cars approaching 4000 lbs for a compact sedan, saving weight is a major incentive, or should be. Mazda has the engine but only puts it in one vehicle, which is a shame. At a minimum, it should be the normal engine in the MX/Miata. Imagine what 40 more HP and 200lbs less weight would mean for that already fast little car.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    In Europe, a c-segment car such as Golf or Focus is considered as mid-size. In fact, I noticed the Focus II (Ford's C-1 platform) is just a tad wider than the 6-ft-wide Lexus LS430.

    In case you U.S residents never saw a Focus II, just go to Mexico & see how the Crown Victoria police cars are being replaced by the Focus II sedans, which are imported from Europe.

    I am not interested in cars that wide, but still want multi-link rear suspension b/c I can afford it :P
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Not sure if the 2008 Americanized Focus switched to electric steering: ll
    "Moving to the new design, some of the ingredients have changed, such as the conversion to electrical power steering...
    Though much is the same, the new Focus has a different character than the old one, a more sober, mature character. The steering maintains the effortless, light feeling of the old car, but it's less hyperactive. While still precise it feels slightly dulled when going straight ahead, something I'd chalk up to the setup of the electrical power steering to require less inputs when driven at high speeds on the highway and fewer kickbacks from the wheel. The conversion to an electric rack also leaves the wheel mostly devoid of feedback, an area which the old Focus was very strong. The Focus' handling has also been tweaked fairly substantially to increase its stability. The new model now reacts neutrally to input, safely understeering its way out of problem situations, which is in sharp contrast to the current car's desire to oversteer upon throttle lift-off or when trail braking. Our Sport Package equipped Coupe tester featured a rear stabilizer bar for a slightly flatter ride, but there's still a fair deal of body roll."

    The old E30 3-series is the closest BMW to the Fiesta -- small exterior w/ simple rear suspension.

    Actually, the E36 ti hatch is even more so b/c, like the Fiesta, it rides better over bumps than the E30. But I just hate ti's rear visibility :D

    Only over the last few years did I get to drive the E30 -- both stick & auto w/ 4-cyl. The steering may have lots of feel, but the ratio is slow, & neither was the suspension comfy enough over large bumps. I love its small exterior/turning-radius as well as rear visibility good for both lane-change/passing & backing up. This is also why I like the high-chair big-rear-glass 1-series coupe, but not sure how good its steering feel is. & maybe only the convertible comes w/ the decently comfortable suspension tuning.

    I can always enjoy the high chair in my Focus ST.

    I did remember some early UK review on the redesigned comfy-riding '06 MX-5 Miata complained about not able to tell if the road is wet or dry from the new electric pwr steering.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032

    When the Fiesta already got so much inner beauty, Ford can't afford to allow too much outer beauty, or rest of the Ford line up won't sell. LOL So, at least for now, we only get the Fiesta sedan w/ cheap-looking tail lights too ugly to match rest of the car? :sick:

  • When the Fiesta already got so much inner beauty, Ford can't afford to allow too much outer beauty, or rest of the Ford line up won't sell. LOL So, at least for now, we only get the Fiesta sedan w/ cheap-looking tail lights too ugly to match rest of the car?

    Sure, if you are buying a 3 year old artist rendering from mainland China.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I think the hatch looks even better than the euro version. If it's priced the same or better than the Scion XD (with similar content), this will most likely be my next new car.
  • .................I noticed the Focus II (Ford's C-1 platform) is just a tad wider than the 6-ft-wide Lexus LS430.

    In my book, (UK), the Focus is shown as 184cm wide and the Lexus LS as 188cm. Yes, the Focus is pretty wide for its sector but still not Lexus-wide, well not quite. ;)
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,364
    that 5 door has my interest peaked.

    I really wanted the 5 door BMW 1 series, but of course that never came over. Ditto for the Civic.

    at least the Fiesta should be cheaper!

    hopefully they have one you can sit in at the philly car show in February.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032

    LS 430 (UCF30)
    Also called Toyota Celsior (JDM)
    Production 2000–2006
    Model year(s) 2001–2006
    Engine(s) 4.3 L 3UZ-FE V8
    Transmission(s) 5-speed A650E automatic
    6-speed A761E automatic
    Wheelbase 2,926 mm (115.2 in)
    Length 4,996 mm (196.7 in) (2000)
    5,014 mm (197.4 in) (2003)
    Width 1,829 mm (72.0 in)
    Height 1,491 mm (58.7 in)
    Curb weight 1,812 kg (3,990 lb) (2000)
    1,810 kg (4,000 lb) (2003)
    Fuel capacity 84 L (18 imp gal; 22 US gal)

    The LS430 is the 2006 model -- @ 182.9cm (6-ft) wide. The current LS is the LS460.

    The Focus II (available world-wide since 2004) is 184.0cm wide:

    Please, what's so hard about building a car w/ multi-link suspension w/in 170cm width? My 170cm-wide '00 Civc hatch got double-wishbones front & back!

    Looks like I have to keep my 170cm-wide '07 Focus ST forever...I'm not interested in fat cars :D
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    "that 5 door has my interest peaked."

    Me too. I have pretty much owned hatchbacks (5 doors) since the mid eighties. I never understood what turned Americans against hatchback styling. There popularity seems to be growing again though.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    It's a personal thing, I know, but those Verve tail lights are nasty. I don't like busy. The China ones are OK but I still prefer the US spec taillights. If Ford had gone too far and went with all red, I would not have liked that. I think amber rear turn signals are better from a safety perspective.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    I actually prefer the styling of hatchbacks, but only if it's fastback rather than square-back of a wagon. But fastback-shape hatchbacks ruin the structure unless you're willing to ruin the cargo space by installing the rear strut tower like the one in the recent Nissan Z-car. A sedan has continuous cross metal structure (rear-speaker shelf) just behind the rear seat back to keep the whole car stiffer than the fastback hatch, as a UK car magazine noticed the difference in structural stiffness b/t the sedan & hatch versions of the Focus II 4-door.

    For convenience & safety of passing & lane-change (to the right), I don't like hatch's lack of width in rear-visibility due to the glass's farther distance from the driver (like tunnel vision) as well as the glass area taken away by the hatch frame. Have you seen how much tinier the Nissan Versa hatchback's rear glass area compare to its sedan counterpart? The '92-95 Civic hatch did the best job preserving rear visibility width.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    I seems that virtually every new generation of cars is wider than its predecessor. I don't like this, either. We must be in the minority, though.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Hey creakid,

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  • Abject apologies from a humbled Brit. I was looking at the LS460..........and has also but on some beef since the LS430.

    Darn, I should have thought to go into Wiki and change the LS430 spec. Only joking. :)
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