2011 Ford Fiesta SES Review By Larry Nutson +VIDEO
2011 Ford Fiesta SES
A City-suitable Hatchback
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel
Various automotive pundits, analysts and experts have often said that Americans don’t like hatchback cars. Maybe that was true at some point in the not-to-distant past, but given the evidence of all the minivans, SUVs and crossovers with big hatches that are on our roads, that view just might have changed.
The Fiesta seats 2 very comfortably up front and 3 in the rear. At 67.8 inches wide, I noticed that if I did a good job at parallel parking…the law requires the vehicle to be no more that 12 inches from the curb…I really didn’t need to fold in the outside mirror since the Fiesta usually was the most narrow in a row of parked vehicles. It’s another nice city-friendly feature.
The front-wheel drive Fiesta is powered by a 120 HP 1.6 liter DOHC 4-cylinder. EPA fuel economy estimates are 28 city mpg and 37 highway mpg for the 5-speed manual transmission that I drove. I took a 100 mile road trip from Chicago to St. Joseph, MI to the Krasl Art Center Concours on the Bluff and had trip computer readings of 38-39 mpg on my expressway drive. With the 12 gallon fuel tank, around 450 miles of driving should be achievable.
Watch the 2011 Ford Fiesta promo video
The manual transmission is very smooth and light to shift and worked well in city driving. Hill start assist is available. Great to have if you live in San Francisco…it holds the brakes on for a couple seconds as you apply the throttle and let out the clutch. A Powershift six-speed automatic is available for those who prefer no left leg exercise. EPA estimates are better for the automatic achieving 29 city mpg and 40 highway mpg. MacPherson struts up front and twist beam axle in the rear handled big-city potholes quite well. Steering effort is light but with the right amount of feedback and makes for easy maneuvering on congested city streets, in parking garages and of course for the always challenging parallel parking job where you try to get it right the first time. A parallel park on the left side of a one-way street is always a little more challenging.
Another great feature is Ford’s Easyfuel Capless Filler for the fuel tank. Simply open the fuel filler door and insert the pump nozzle. No cap to twist off, no cap too loose. Saves on broken fingernails, ladies.
Warranty coverage is 3 year/36,000 miles bumper to bumper, 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain and 5 year/60,000 mile roadside assist. With a plethora of Ford dealers across the U.S, the ownership experience should be very convenient. I’m not a big fan of owning a vehicle and having the nearest dealer being a long distance away.
Fiesta: City-friendly and handles the highway too.
Watch the interview with Ford's team members talking about bringing the Fiesta to America
© Larry Nutson