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Once I trade in my Explorer for the Fiesta, I'll no longer have a 4WD vehicle for the Illinois snow. (Of course, if I can find a job in Austin, TX, that won't be an issue).

Does anyone know how the Fiesta drives on snow and ice?

I came across this video in my search:
YouTube - Ken Block Drift new Ford Fiesta 2011 on Snow and Ice HD

and it made me feel sick. :) That guy is nuts!
 

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I drove the Fiesta all last winter and found that it went very well in snow, ice, and even deep snow. I took the Fiesta to the Sno*Drift Rally last January, and had no trouble getting around the ice covered two track paths that lead to the stages. In fact, the Fiesta was a ton of fun pushing the car hard on the narrow, twisting roads. As Blurbyu can attest, the Fiesta does very well. He rode with me to the rally, and drove the Fiesta back from Atlanta Michigan. Since my Fiesta had summer tires, I switched to a set of 6 year old Blizzaks that were down to the wear bars. Even with those worn tires, the Fiesta was much easier to drive in the winter than our AWD Escape limited. Many times we left the Escape at home and drove the Fiesta. The ESC did not enjoy my handbrake turns, but with some practice, I was able to get the Fiesta to slide nicely around corners and could do flick turns.
 

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I would guess the Fiesta will handle great in snow. When the first snow falls in Michigan, you see more Exploders and Grand Cherokees that slid off the side of the road upside or backwards than Focuses. my Saturn had winter tires and it was fun not foot-braking for corners in snow and seeing SUVs getting smaller in my mirrors :) AWD or 4WD is only as good as the tires.
 

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One thing that the Fiesta has for good driveability in the snow is ABS/Traction Control/Stablility Contol. My wife has all that on her minivan. It's unbeliveable. Just don't go any faster than what you would without it. Also the tires on the Fiesta aren't overly wide, you don't want wide in the snow. I would think the Fiesta should be at worst, be average in the snow. I have a 60 mile round trip to work in Minnesota, some in the city, some on secondary roads and some interstate. Never had four wheel drive. The four wheel drives are the one that are in the ones in the ditch most of the time.
 

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Move to Southern California, great weather, crap politics.
 

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I'm not so big on TCS after my near accident caused by it this winter and the usual problems of it causing me to get stuck and kill my Focus climbing my grandparents hill unless I take it off. I think if it were fitted with the type used on Mustangs that distingushes accidental wheel spin from being done on purpose say a burn out at the drag strip or having to floor it to get up a hill where wheel spin is necessary for traction I wouldn't have a problem. Other wise I actually accelerate better in the snow with it off than with it on using rally take off techniques.
 

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As Blurbyu can attest, the Fiesta does very well. He rode with me to the rally, and drove the Fiesta back from Atlanta Michigan. Since my Fiesta had summer tires, I switched to a set of 6 year old Blizzaks that were down to the wear bars.
Blasting down the ice and snow covered gravel back woods in Northern Michigan was amazingly fun!! It was also amazing how well the car handled those conditions. Especially since we were loaded up with 3 adult men and enough cold weather gear and camera equipment to make a documentary on the mating habits of the Emperor Penguin.

The Fiesta is getting rave reviews on how well it handles on dry pavement. The traits that create that handling translate directly to how the car will handle in the snow. This is a car that handles the way it does because of perfectly engineered suspension geometry and tuning, not because there are some massive sticky tires under it. It will be well balanced and poised. It will communicate the road conditions to you and allow you to be in control.

Every time I had the good fortune to drive BRGT350's Fiesta, I was reminded of my own car, just 7 years newer... My SVTF has been the best winter car I've ever driven. With a set of proper snow tires the car is virtually unstoppable. Whether it's deep snow in my driveway or a couple inches on the highway, the car is always stable, balanced, and communicative.
The Fiesta should be no different.


The only vehicle I've ever owned that flat out scared me in the winter was my 2001 Ranger with the 4x4 Off-Road package. It was pure hilarity in an open parking lot, but the highway was almost always a white-knuckle event. There was just no sensation of what was actually happening where the tires meet the road. The only indication of slippery conditions was that the rear-end would change lanes without the front.
I think that's why the medians are always sprinkled with SUVs and pickups. The driver isn't being careful and there just isn't a sensation of danger until the vehicle is out of control.
 

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I am happy to hear about this subject and the experiences of those who have driven Fiestas in snow and ice conditions. I live in a valley that gets a lot of rain and only a flurry or two each winter, usually, but sometimes we get a few weeks of the whitestuff. Also, I drive through the mountain passes to visit family a couple times a year. I am fine to equip winter tires for the season, but the rest of the car has to do its part too. Glad the Fiesta isn't skimping on the front!
 

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The majority of the time my Blue Flame does GREAT, especially with the 6spd. Today was the first day in about 10 trips that I didn't make one of the worst hills. It had ice underneath 3-4" of snow. I think I could have made it but a Nissan Versa tried to creep up the hill and I had to stop and wait. TheVersa got out of the way and I tried to get enough momentum but........ no luck. I got turned around and 1/2 way down was a Deputy in a driveway. I let him know that 2 cars were stuck and that it was time to shut down the road b4 someone got hurt. He pulled out of the driveway in his 4x4 Explorer and promptly got stuck. Oh well, one of those days no one was going up that hill until some sand/ salt or cinders were put down.

I back tracked and had to climb a similar hill and didn't have an issue, even though other cars were stuck.

The PowerShift is one of the smoothest and transparent shifting autos I even driven. If you need engine braking just drop it in low and w/o a jerk or pull it will downshift sooo smooth.

Gotta run.
Neil S.
 

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This thread actually has a lot of first hand testimonials to the fiestas handling in the snow with and with out stock tires.

http://fiestafaction.com/forums/fiesta-buzz/32378-turning-off-traction-control.html

My personal experience has been pretty positive overall (MN/IL snow). Fresh snow, slush and snow packed roads have been fine. I'm not sure why (maybe it's curb weight) but starting and stopping traction has been a little less then expected with stock tires. I would drive the fiesta in the same snowy conditions and the same day as my girlfriends cavalier and often it would have a harder time getting out there.
 

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I have the stock tires on mine, and it handles excellent in the snow. Much better than how my Civic did. It was driving fine in 5" of the white stuff here in KS.
 

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The 16-inch Hankook Optimo's our Fiesta came with are doing great so far, on snow and ice combined. A recent issue of Consumer Reports called these tires out for having better-than-average handling characteristics regarding snow, ice, and the ever-popular hydroplaning.

Harry :)
 

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I live in East Lansing Mich (going to school at State, GO GREEN) anyways, we've had decent amounts of snowy/icy conditions and lately and I was pleasantly surprised at how confident the car felt.

I have the 5speed with stock tires and I havent had a problem yet handling snow, traction control kicks in when necessary and handles the job just fine
 

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my fiesta did wonders in michigan this past weekend for sno drift. when illinois got is first snow for this winter, me and the hubby immediately took mine to an open field to test its limits and such. i have all faith in my fiesta.


and yes the hand brake turns are a blast. we used several during sno drift to park on the side of the road for stages:D
 

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the Fiesta handles great in snow and we survived the Groundhog Day dump in southeast Michigan.
 

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My Fiesta seemed to handle just fine in the snow after the snowmegeddon this past week. I still have the stock tires as well.

Only heading uphill on icy/slippery roads did I have any problems.
 

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I live in Manitoba Canada and this car is great in the snow, I've had the car for a month in January(stock all seasons). some sheet ice sections at stop lights have been a bit tough to get started on, but everyone else is driving slow at those times anyways. This car has excellent stability control even with heavy cross winds in snow covered highways. I am planning on getting snow tires for next year but this winter has been fine in the snow.


here is a video showing how a typical fiesta handles in the snow:
YouTube - Ken Block goes flat out in his Rally Fiesta on ice during Sno*Drift testing
 

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ICE and SNOW

I drove over 800 miles in my Fiesta during the two weeks of the "Great Tulsa Blizzard" driving 140 miles round trip home from work daily. The turnpike was a 50 mile long washboard and the snow was no fun, but the Fiesta was predictable and handled well. Never ended up in the ditch.......after 800 miles of driving on washboard roads and hitting hundreds of chuck holes, there are no rattles...probably need a front end alignment and tires balanced, otherwise car performed well....only issue was snow built up in the front suspension and in the engine compartment during the second heavy snow, drove 100 miles in blowing snow...caused some vibration in the front end.

Car did well.
 

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Had my first experience of tc trouble. My drive has a slight incline 10%- ?
Coming up the drive in 4" of snow tc flashed and wheels ceased to turn. I was able to back-up and then go forward without wheel spin stopping. I guess(?) everything's ok.
 
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