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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure that most of you know by now that the Ford Fiesta that's been so popular in Europe for so long is finally on its way to North America, slated to come out next spring as a 2011 model. As part of a drive program at work, I got to drive a number of Ford's new products. And, one of them was the European Fiesta. It was basically the same car we're getting. It was in left-hand-drive, with the MPH cluster, with all the controls where they'll be in our cars, and with a manual transmission. The only real difference was that the car I drove had the European 1.4L gas engine, whereas I believe we're getting the 1.6L here in the States.

My impressions:

The gauges are well-arranged and easy to read. The seats seem well-shaped and I think they would be fine for a trip (a huge complaint I had with the new Fit were the awfully-shaped seats). I was able to push the seat back far enough that, at 5' 10", I was unable to reach the pedals. I didn't pay a ton of attention to the main radio controls during the drive. I could see how the main controls could be a bit awkward, but the important stuff is duplicated on the steering wheel. The clutch felt great, with amazing feedback, a comfortable amount of resistance, and good solid gear engagement. In fact, that car has the clutch that I could only DREAM of having in my Element.

Although I didn't get to really get after it too hard (we were on a 45-mph maximum handling track), my impressions are that the 1.4 would be sufficient, but not peppy, for most driving. I think the 1.6 that we're supposed to get here would give the car a nice bit of ooomph. The handling was quite good, and the car seemed quite responsive, definitely more responsive than the Element. Again, I didn't get to really get after it, but my impressions are that the car would handle quite well and be pretty solid even in emergency scenarios. The ride was smooth enough, too. The car handled the little "bunny hills" on the handling track just fine, and I didn't feel any jitter from cracks in the pavement and the like.

Other things: I didn't have coffee or a pop with me, so I can't say if the cupholders were useful or not (very few cars have actually useful cupholders, so I look for this normally). The back seat seatbacks fold down to give more cargo room, so I could very likely fit a bike or something else a bit bigger in the back. My only concern there is that the back of the seatbacks are metal, so I'd be very hesistant to throw a bike in there with no other protection (like an old blanket). I don't know how passengers in the back seat would do as far as room (with the external cage on my leg, I'm not exactly a representative case right now since I don't fit in the back seat of any car right now).

Overall, I'm very impressed with the Fiesta. To be quite honest, the Fiesta will be my next car. The big question will be whether I keep my Element for the cargo capacity or whether it becomes the down payment on the Fiesta.
 

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Now THAT'S funny. And the Fiesta handled the deeper water like a champ! :D
 

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Bwahahahaaa "Now go shoot the enemy in the middle of his face!"

Kinda weird they have a car called the Fiesta and a few years ago they had a car called the Festiva. Hmmm i think Ford needs to turn the page in the book of baby names.

Focus
Flex
Festiva
Fiesta
F-1/2/3/450
 

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I like the Fiesta. It's about time Ford got back in the game. The Festiva was a terrible car. I unfortunately dated a girl who owned one. The Aspire aspired to be something that I shouldn't say. (Basically P.O.S.) I wonder if they will completely de-eurofy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
And about thirty years ago they had a car called the Fiesta. It was sold in the US from 1978 through 1980.
Actually, the Fiesta has existed in Europe continuously since then. The U.S. got the Fiesta from '78-'80, and we're finally going to get the new version.

The Aspire was actually the second generation of Festiva. The Festiva, and the subsequent Aspire, were both Kias that were imported by Ford.

Ford actually toyed with naming the new Fiesta "Verve" in North America, but they later decided to maintain the global name and the global strength of the name (Fiesta's a perpetually popular car in Europe) rather than trying to establish a whole new name.

And if I need to escape some baddies in a shopping mall, I know the Fiesta will be a good car for it!
 

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Yup. My first wife and I test drove a '79 Fiesta. Poor salesman was white-knuckling it in the back seat 'cause she was a holy terror in traffic and she was at her best/worst testing the limits of the thing.

We didn't buy it (...obviously...). While it was peppy and handled relatively well considering its three-adult load, it was tinny with a really busy ride. My car-guy gut was also telling me "not very durable", and that gut was right - the Fiestas of the day earned the nickname "Ford Fiasco" because of their multiple problems.

I tend to gravitate towards Fords (Explorer and Escape preceded our E) and certainly wish the best for the latest version. We'll put it on our radar for when I finally drive the wheels off the HCH.
 

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Back again:

There are actually two guys in the Kansas Region SCCA that road race Fiestas. According to one of them they are cheap and fast for their class (ITC). This one sold on Ebay last year for $4594.44.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So Ford finally revealed the American version of the Fiesta last week in LA. We got a sedan with that gaudy-ass chrome three-bar thing in the front, but we also got the five-door hatch. Ford's also doing an online reservation thing, where those who reserve get free Sync and "premium sound", as well as a sort of concierge-type thing. Apparently in one week, Ford's received over 1,000 reservations. http://www.insideline.com/ford/fies...reservations-in-high-gear-says-automaker.html

And, I now have a confirmation code for a Fiesta SES hatchback. :grin:
 
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