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Test Drove a new Fiesta today at Carlisle All-Ford Nationals. I must say, it was quite enjoyable! :D

Euro spec, 1.8 (1.6?) litre, 5-speed, 5-door hatch. White w/ gray interior. Oh, and black EAP style wheels ;)

Their little test track wasn't nearly long enough for a sound thrashing... I think I cleared it in under a minute.... and never got above 2 gear.... but first impression is of a VERY well put together little car. I dare say this, in stock form, handles just as well as any Focus I've ever driven. It's light and moves quickly and whips around corners like a pro. Smooth shifting, GREAT visibility and a cozy interior. I give it a thumbs up!

And now the pics:








 

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This is what encourages me so much about the Fiesta, it really is a sporty drive not a "sports car", sure, but very sporty, especially if you compare it to anything else in the segment today except the Mini which is very expensive for what you get.

This car is like a spiritual successor to the MKII VW Golf GTI 1.8L 8v engined car. It's not the fastest, but it is a joy to drive, well balanced, comfortable, and it will likely be more nimble than the current MKI focus we get because it is lighter in weight.
 

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Man, I drove the hell out of that car on Sunday... SO much fun! Spatakula was three-wheeling it and I definitely got the back end loose once or twice. I asked the Ford reps about the mods and they said the only things changed were the wheels and some Z-rated tires, which definitely says volumes about Europe's penchant for well-done suspension. This will probably change for the US market, I'm sure, but it shows the frame's capabilities.

It is definitely more nimble than the 2010 Focus, which was also there to test drive. The Focus definitely felt more refined though. It wanted to push in the turns a bit, but it never really felt like I would lose control of it.

Completely off-topic: the V6 Mustang was a yawner except for the trans, and I smacked my head on the roof pretty good trying to get in the damn thing. LOL

Anyway, the Fiesta is something I'm seriously considering after testing it out, though I'm still holding out to see the next global Focus.
 

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there is no doubt that the EU spec upgraded suspension is world class! I too am amazed with the grip this car has out of the box, I see no reason to modify it. Sadly, after seeing how good the EU car is, I hope we are not all duped next summer when the US car comes out.
 

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If the US spec cars turns out to be worthwhile (not holding my breath at this point)
I really really hope that Ford will make the euro sport suspension a stand-alone option on ANY Fiesta you can buy. That would be very nice!
 

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If the US spec cars turns out to be worthwhile (not holding my breath at this point)
I really really hope that Ford will make the euro sport suspension a stand-alone option on ANY Fiesta you can buy. That would be very nice!
I agree completely. The Fusion took a step forward in design for 2010 yet the sport package is now only a V6 option. In 2009 you could get the sport suspension with the 4cyl which meant you could also have a manual transmission. I'm all for having as much power as possible, but I'd prefer a manual over the added weight and hp of the V6 there.

I imagine if the Euro sport suspension is optional, which is one of the features I most want to see, it will be available with either transmission. I suspect it will only be available on the higher model lines not the base models. Ford has to maximize profit margin on this and as they have done in many other models, they will try to limit configurations by grouping options together and limiting options to certain models. This is not ideal for the picky consumer who wants a car spec'd exactly as he or she wants.

The ability to select specific features and options and special order a vehicle has always been something I have admired about American brands compared to the approach taken by VW where the dealer has to find a model that is hopefully to your liking. Grouping features into packages streamlines the build process and results in package discounts such as Sync and Sun. Unfortunately, some packages end up lumping things I have no interest in having on a car or things I really don't like at all. I am concerned the sport suspension may fall into the same situation--Ford may use it as its own model, the Fiesta Sport, complete with aero body kit, rear wing, and special wheels.

As much as I want the uprated Euro sport susp., I strongly doubt I will want the other features. Ideally, the susp. will be the standalone option you mentioned and I can get the 7-spoke alloys with Ocean Blue paint and a clean, unadorned exterior. That's assuming a lot, but I'm hopeful.
 

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I test-drove the same white Fiesta Slip did at Carslisle and had a blast! The only thing i think could be improved was the driving position. More specifically, the wheel felt very horizontal, almost truck-like. You seem to sit up high (higher than my lowered focus at least, so take that with a grain of salt) and when you're whipping around, it just felt a tad too upright for my liking. However, this didn't effect the center of gravity or the handling fun whatsoever. Overall, i was super impressed with the drive, but even more so with the quality of the overall package. The interior felt very high-quality. The doors shut with authority, the controls didn't feel tacky. I was very impressed and look forward to a real test drive in the future.

Oh, and a side note, this specific Fiesta had black multi-spoke Mountune wheels. Yummy. :D
 

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Met the suspension engineer yesterday for the Fiesta, don't worry, the EU suspension/dynamics is what we are getting. Minor tweaks to the front to adjust for the extra crash structure weight. Bushings, twist beam, shocks, rear springs are all the same. The front springs and struts are getting adjusted to make up for the extra weight. Everything is being done to keep the handling.

Not sure what the guys in powertrain, exterior, or interiors are upto. However, if you like what you see in the Fiesta, then please go to my Flickr' page and leave comments on the pictures of things you like. Ford is paying attention to them! When you go to ride/drive events, give feedback, take a video camera, post pics of what you like. They need to know your thoughts. What I can say is the end of dumbed down cars for the US market is near. Our cries are being heard and noted.
 

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I posted more in my interior review post under Fiesta Movement for you. :)
 

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I test-drove the same white Fiesta Slip did at Carslisle and had a blast! The only thing i think could be improved was the driving position. More specifically, the wheel felt very horizontal, almost truck-like. . :D
Were you made aware that the steering wheel in the Fiesta has tilt/telescopic feature?
 

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Were you made aware that the steering wheel in the Fiesta has tilt/telescopic feature?

I was not! I looked for it but couldn't find it. I'm sure that would have taken care of the driving position i found unusual.
 

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Dam, that fiesta looks REALLY good with the wheel/tire/drop. I think that picture just convinced me to look at them for my next car. Just have to see what it looks like for our market.
 
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