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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I finally got my chance to drive the Fiesta today. It was at Howard U in Washington DC. I located them through the GPS tracker they have at FiestaMovement.com. (They'll be at Howard again Friday and then possibly in Greenbelt, MD Sunday and Monday.)

Anyway, I've had a long night (drove a Taurus too at another Ford event). Here's the gist:
  • The seat is too narrow. I weigh less than 150 pounds, I'm rail thin and still felt the seat was too narrow. I will welcome the wider seat.
  • The engine felt refined and quiet for what little driving I did. It wasn't a long enough route to get a much of an impression. At least there was nothing untoward from the drivetrain.
  • Interior materials are typical for the class. They look okay from a distance but all the interior plastic feels really thin. This is not a criticism, I wasn't expecting much more from this class of car. However, from what I read here I was getting the impression that it was going to be super swanky.
  • It looks so good out in the real world, parked among normal cars, the Fiesta looks like it's in a different league.
On the whole I'd say "Meets or Exceeds Expectations". Certainly still tops on my list of cars to buy. I'll have much more, and pics, later in the weekend.
 

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Got mine two days ago, morello 1.6 TDci Titanium. I kinda agree on the interior plastic part, but only concerning the central console - that is hard plastic and the lower section of it is even rather cheap-looking. On the other hand if you compare this with other cars of the class such as VW Golf etc, they are almost all hard plastic all the way (albeit bit more refined looking than the one in Fiesta). I guess I can live with that small section..

Seat's fine for me (92kg/183cm). Engine is just plain brilliant; I'm currently averaging 4.0l/100km (59mpg) according to on-board computer (!).
 

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Well, I finally got my chance to drive the Fiesta today. It was at Howard U in Washington DC. I located them through the GPS tracker they have at FiestaMovement.com. (They'll be at Howard again Friday and then possibly in Greenbelt, MD Sunday and Monday.)

Anyway, I've had a long night (drove a Taurus too at another Ford event). Here's the gist:
  • The seat is too narrow. I weigh less than 150 pounds, I'm rail thin and still felt the seat was too narrow. I will welcome the wider seat.
  • The engine felt refined and quiet for what little driving I did. It wasn't a long enough route to get a much of an impression. At least there was nothing untoward from the drivetrain.
  • Interior materials are typical for the class. They look okay from a distance but all the interior plastic feels really thin. This is not a criticism, I wasn't expecting much more from this class of car. However, from what I read here I was getting the impression that it was going to be super swanky.
  • It looks so good out in the real world, parked among normal cars, the Fiesta looks like it's in a different league.
On the whole I'd say "Meets or Exceeds Expectations". Certainly still tops on my list of cars to buy. I'll have much more, and pics, later in the weekend.
Glad to finally got to check it out! It sure is a fun little car, isn't it? The more I drive it, the more I love it. I can't imagine a better balanced daily driver than the Fiesta- truly.

Glad I (and the 10+ others who sat in my Fiesta) aren't alone on the seat front :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's more observations from the test drive:

  • I'm thinking the "seat too narrow" issue could have something to do with the lumbar support not being adjusted properly. That is the only control I didn't adjust after settling in.
  • Speaking of seat adjustments, they were very intuitive and essentially the same as typical American cars. On the seat back adjustment, I couldn't get it completely vertical. I remember hearing about some EU or US regulation that says that the seat must always be reclined to a certain degree.
  • The seat was appropriately firm, none of the "squishiness" I've noticed in older Fords. I wouldn't want to see it get any softer, but if they made it even firmer, I wouldn't mind.
  • The cloth upholstery was of very good quality for a car in this class (or the next class up).
  • Back seat leg and headroom were very good. I'd say it's comparable with Yaris sedan and better than some C-level cars that have not adopted taller rooflines. The domed roof makes it look even more spacious.
  • As has been pointed out elsewhere, the rear headrest design is great for visibility. However, the back seat is uninhabitable with the headrests down. Anyone who goes back there will have to raise them, and when raised, I found the bottom part of the headrest pressed uncomfortably against my back. I'd probably just remove these headrests.
  • I found the brakes to very sensitive and reassuring in their feedback. A tap that would barely slow my car brought the Fiesta to a grinding halt. Maybe it just means my brakes need work. :p
  • All the stalk-mounted controls were easy to figure out, even though many of the controls are arranged differently than typical American cars. I hope Ford doesn't change any of them, because it would be easier to spend five minutes teaching each owner how to use them than spend millions re-doing the cluster.
Couple cool features:
  • The passenger side mirror has a built in blind-spot mirror. I bet it's not legal in the US, though. It's an excellent alternative to the electronic blind spot alert (BLIS) in the Taurus.
  • If, for whatever reason, the remote keyless entry fails, you can open the key fob and a little metal key pops out Swiss-Army-Knife style. Unfortunately that backup only works for opening the door and not starting the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
And now the pics:

The man holding up the hood is @FiestaSiesta on Twitter

I found the screen very easy to read even at sunset.

I think the multi-spoke wheels on this car were the best looking of the two wheel types they had on the test cars.

This is the one I drove.

Same car

Underhood, forget which engine this is. I discussed some maintenance issues with the reps, that'll be another post sometime.
 

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Looks like you drove the 4spd automatic , which has the 1.4L engine (96hp I believe). The 5spd manual spec FiestaMovement cars have the 120hp 1.6L Ti-VCT engines.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Both of the driveable cars were the auto. The display cars had the manual. I'm not sure which one I took the engine bay photo in.
 

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Both of the driveable cars were the auto. The display cars had the manual.

Hmmm.

I wonder why that was the case?

I really think that Ford has to work on REINTRODUCING American buyers to the joys and practical benefits of manual shifting. I haven't taken the time to think much about how they might achieve this aim. Since I have NEVER driven an auto since I bought my first car new, an amazing 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI. (Until that time I was driving my Dad's old 1976 Ford Granada with a slush box, and also a 83 SAAB also with auto.)

All I can say is that after I drove that Rabbit GTI I was sold on manual trannys and never looked back.

There are all kinds of reasons to buy manual over auto...

1) Most cost effective to purchase
2) Cheaper to service
3) More simple design than auto,
4) Generally much more reliable.
5) Give the driver more control in dangerous weather conditions (snow, mud)
6) More robust


I definitely think that one element of the marketing campaign should involve coaxing new buyers of the Fiesta to look at a manual equipped car.


Power,

That red metallic model you drove looks really sweet!!!!!!

I personally like both the 3dr and 5dr, but the 3dr just edges out the 5dr for style.....hopefully Ford will offer both models in the USA. Toyota started out with the Yaris in 3dr only but has had such great request for 5drs that it has decided to offer it in the USA. Now they offer both styles as well.
 

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That red metallic model you drove looks really sweet!!!!!!
I agree, I don't remember the red I saw in May being metallic and this doesn't look anything like the magenta either. Perhaps it's just this lighting but that's one of the best metallic reds I've seen in a long time. I'd have a hard time passing up the Ocean Blue, but just like when I wrestled with red vs. blue on the VW, it could again become an issue.
 

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I got my change here in Southern California - FocusWerks event.

LOVED it....

A few things I noticed.

- The interior is much better than I expected it to be. I like the leather option. The plastic wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It is qctually quite nicer. (I drive a Hyundai Genesis Sedan ~37k, the plastic is as least as good in my sedan.)
- It was relatively quiet there.
- Pretty room for a VERY small hatch.
- The power was ok, I wish it has a better top end or better bottom end torque, but it felt kinda wheezy there. The midrange was good, was this the intended outcome? Maybe some power development programs might help out, turbo, supercharger, cams, cold air, exhause kit...
- Good suspension! A bit soft for my tastes, but if they ever come out with an SVT like suspension, i will be on there in 10 seconds!
- AWEsome fuel milage, in my thrashing around, i got an average of 36... uhh... WOW!

Complaint! - While the center stack looks good, it is HORRIBLE to use. WAY too many buttons to get used to. If they were going for the cell phone look, go for the iPhone, not the jillion button phone.
 

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- The power was ok, I wish it has a better top end or better bottom end torque, but it felt kinda wheezy there. The midrange was good, was this the intended outcome? Maybe some power development programs might help out, turbo, supercharger, cams, cold air, exhause kit...
Why are you guys always complaining about power? It's a small compact car, not a Corvette!
My car has about 140 hp and goes 0-60 in about 8 seconds and has a top speed of 125Mph ... which I can drive in Germany! What is your speed limit? 65? And when do you need to go 0-60 faster than 10 seconds? Traffic light sprints? Oh come on, 120 hp is more than sufficient. Even the 1.4 liter engine can cope. The 1.25 liter I don't know, but having read (and translated and posted here) the Fiesta 1.25 vs Polo 1.4 review, apparently it does.
 

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Why are you guys always complaining about power? It's a small compact car, not a Corvette!
First, want and need are two different things. I've driven the Fiesta as part of the Fiesta Movement and the Honda Fit (which has comparable power to the 1.4L Fiesta) at a Honda dealership, and they both can be tough to get up to speed on short on ramps (L.A. is littered with them) and passing maneuvers (specifically around 50-70 mph) difficult. Is more power necessary, per se? Probably not, but it would be useful. 140-150 hp would make it plenty quick.

Second, from my test drive, it's apparent that Ford did an awesome job with the chassis: such a good job that it feels like the chassis is significantly faster than the engine. A little more power would go far to bringing the powertrain up to the chassis' capability, making for a more fun car.

Third, what's the big deal about wanting a mini-hot hatch? I'd love a
 

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A little more power would go far to bringing the powertrain up to the chassis' capability, making for a more fun car.
Up to 800 hp even (Pike Peaks!)

Third, what's the big deal about wanting a mini-hot hatch? I'd love a
If I think 'hot hatch', I think Focus. I wonder, are there any mini hot-hatches out there anyway?
(hmmm... yes, the Fiat 500 Abarth 695: 180 hp 1.4 Turbo, which is even smaller than a Fiesta, but apart from this car..?)

 

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Why are you guys always complaining about power? It's a small compact car, not a Corvette!
My car has about 140 hp and goes 0-60 in about 8 seconds and has a top speed of 125Mph ... which I can drive in Germany! What is your speed limit? 65? And when do you need to go 0-60 faster than 10 seconds? Traffic light sprints? Oh come on, 120 hp is more than sufficient. Even the 1.4 liter engine can cope. The 1.25 liter I don't know, but having read (and translated and posted here) the Fiesta 1.25 vs Polo 1.4 review, apparently it does.
Because I drive on highways and quite frankly if the car is going to be small I need enough power to get away from the soccer moms driving the 6000lbs sport utility tank. I just want a wee bit more zip.... If you're going to make it grunt, put some gears.... I think alot of it has to do with the undefeatable traction control. If they had a 2.0L version, i'd just purchase it straight out. I've always favored torque over revving the pee out of the engine.

I have a 10s car (0-60 in a verified 2.4s and 1/4 in [email protected]). But its not a drag car, its an open track car with a license plate. Realistically If the focus was a hatch i would have bought it. But since that's not an option anymore... :confused:
 
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