Sunday, April 25, 2010

2011 Ford Fiesta Review - Better than the Honda Fit?

After driving the 2011 Ford Fiesta for about two days in San Francisco, CA I can honestly say this small car is better than any other subcompact - better than the Fit Sport, Yaris, Smart, Aveo and probably even better than the current Focus (although Ford is quick to point out the current Focus won't be with us much longer).

The Fiesta's 1.6 liter inline four isn't dripping with power but it is more than adequate. The 120 hp engine also gets decent fuel economy - in mixed city and highway driving from Half Moon Bay back to the city I averaged 38.9 mpg. This is thanks, in part, to the new PowerShift six-speed dual clutch transmission. Sadly, there's no shift it yourself feature.

Handling is excellent for such an inexpensive car - Scion's xD feels sloppy by comparison and even the Fit Sport doesn't quite deliver the Fiesta's crisp, sure feel.

Amazingly, the interior remains quiet even on the highway, the seats are comfortable and the interior materials are well above anything you'd expect from a $14,000 - 19,000 car. A texturized rubber material covers the dash and the optional leather is soft and cool looking thanks to a white border.

There is a upgraded stereo - the Sync and Sound package means an 80 watt stereo with six speakers. 911 assist in case you're in an accident, turn by turn navigation, vehicle health report and traffic info. Ford's new AppLink means you can access certain smartphone apps through the car by just pressing a button and saying what you want - Pandora is the first smartphone app. You can listen to your Pandora channels, assign each a hard button on the radio head unit and even thumbs up or down a song while you're in the car. This one feature moves Ford so far ahead of the competition it'll take years to catch up - the Pandora feature alone is just plain awesome! An excellent car overall - this is exactly the kind of small car we always hoped Ford would sell here in the US.

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