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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Edmunds.com Inside Line did a comparo between a 2009 European spec Ford Fiesta Titanium and a 2009 Honda Fit Sport. Both equipped with 5 speed manual transmissions. The winner: Ford Fiesta! Edmunds seems to be quite smitten with the all new Fiesta. Their biggest concern is Ford watering it down somewhat for the North American market. Keep the great steering and suspension seems to be the common theme here.

Here's the article:

2009 Ford Fiesta vs. 2009 Honda Fit Sport Comparison Test and Video on Inside Line
 

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I'm guessing Ford keeps the steering and suspension identical. Someone on this forum posted that they got to see what Ford was doing to the US Fiesta and was told the suspension changes were only to compensate for the revised (heavier?) front crash structure required by US regs. Basically despite the extra weight it'll be as close to Euro spec as possible, which is great news.

Going by the spy shots we already know the interior door panels will be modified (who knows why) and the steering wheel will be changed (the new design looks good so it's not a bad change), along with the seats (which also seems to be a good thing as the Euro seats are reportedly too narrow). It is also possible that the center stack will be modified with easier to use if less stylish controls (Edmunds put this on their wish list in the comparo), but that remains to be seen. So overall the changes being made are pretty minor and mostly cosmetic, a step sideways at worst and a step up at best. The only modification I don't like that's being made is the new chrome grille which we've known for a while would feature; apart from that I imagine little will be diluted compared to what Europe gets.

Now one change I'd LOVE to see America get would be a fold-flat rear seat. Really, the way the seat folds down currently is pathetic...I can understand the Fiesta being smaller inside than the Fit (it's smaller outside so of course that would be the case) but being so much less flexible is inexcusable and will undoubtedly lose Ford some sales. At the very least make it some sort of flip/fold arrangement (flip the seat bottom up against the front seat, then fold the back down to create a flat load floor)...
 

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Good read and an even better report. About all they didn't like were the rear seat thing and the 'secondary' controls. Big deal. Just about everything else in the Fiesta was picked over the Fit, good news.
 

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I was the one the commented on the suspension being slightly revised to deal with the extra frontal mass. The driving dynamics will end up being the same as the EU version. Also conerning some of the interior spy pics, I talked to somebody working on production molds for the interior and they only shot the mold a few weeks ago. If that is the case, there is no way the prototype mules running around have production, or even first shots of interior parts.

As for the flat folding rear seats, I don't care either way. My Focus and Escape have them, but require folding the seat bottom first, then folding the seat backs. For 90% of the time, I just fold the seat back forward and skip the rest. That is exactly what the Fiesta does now, and it works fine. It would make loading golf clubs a little easier, but it is not a big deal.

The center stack buttons were a little overwhelming at first, but after a week or so, I could operate everything with a quick glance. It just takes getting used to it since it is very different than anything else.
 

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So, by what you're saying is that none of the mules have the production front end possibly? Now this has me wondering a bit.
 

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I have no idea about the bumper, but I do know about the production door trim panels. No idea if the door panels are different or the same as the EU ones.
 

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So, by what you're saying is that none of the mules have the production front end possibly? Now this has me wondering a bit.

Interesting....maybe Ford has LISTENED and is NOT going to graft on the chrome grill after all.

I simply cannot understand why Ford would change the door card panels or dash controls..it makes no sense at all......it cost tons of money to alter these items on a car and it cuts into profits as well.

Most of the customers buying this model will figure out the controls after a few uses (of course it they read the quick start manual they won't need to be in doubt!!!!!!!!!!!)
 
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