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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm trying to decide on a Fiesta and wonder if the SES is worth the extra dollars vs an SE with the 302A package.

Do the 16 in wheels make a difference with handling/gas mileage?
 

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yes. the SES with 195/50-16 tires on 16x6.5 wheels will handle better than the SE on 195/60-15 tires on 15x6? wheels. the shorter side-wall tire mounted on a wider wheel is better for handling and steering. I picked the SES so I could get the the push-button start option. otherwise I'd just swap wheels on an SE.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
yes. the SES with 195/50-16 tires on 16x6.5 wheels will handle better than the SE on 195/60-15 tires on 15x6? wheels. the shorter side-wall tire mounted on a wider wheel is better for handling and steering. I picked the SES so I could get the the push-button start option. otherwise I'd just swap wheels on an SE.
How much would new wheels and tires would cost?
 

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How much would new wheels and tires would cost?
Aftermarket or Ford?

A new set of rims and tires can range from at least $800 and higher, depending on what you get (average $100/tire and $100/rim) in terms of manufacturer and size.

Ford Racing offers 17-inch rims that can be had probably about $560 a set, and slap on some tires ($450-ish for average quality set) and you're looking at least $1,000.

Are the rims the only reason why you are considering an SES?
 

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I got an SES because I had to in order to get leather and keyless entry/start. It depends on how badly you want the other features of the SES. If you just want bigger wheels, get an SE and aftermarket wheels/tires. If you're getting Sync(201A), I would spend the extra $160 and get the cruise/LEDs/wheels, too(203A). Add Sirius for $370 and rear mats for $35, and you've got an SES for $840 less than an SES. I believe the only difference would be the 16" wheels and the chrome 'zoids in front.

Come to think of it, if you want the CZ's and 16", I have both available. Those are the only things I didn't like/want on the SES.
 

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I got an SES because I had to in order to get leather and keyless entry/start. It depends on how badly you want the other features of the SES. If you just want bigger wheels, get an SE and aftermarket wheels/tires. If you're getting Sync(201A), I would spend the extra $160 and get the cruise/LEDs/wheels, too(203A). Add Sirius for $370 and rear mats for $35, and you've got an SES for $840 less than an SES. I believe the only difference would be the 16" wheels and the chrome 'zoids in front.

Come to think of it, if you want the CZ's and 16", I have both available. Those are the only things I didn't like/want on the SES.
That's the impression I got. Other than some extra chrome and LED lights, the larger wheels are the primary upgrade from SE to SES/SEL. I drove an SEL sedan on Saturday. This particular SEL had nothing extra on it. Cloth seats, no keyless entry, no pushbutton start. Just a straight-up SEL. I was disappointed in the difference in the sticker price for what to me was LESS vehicle than I was looking for, or had actually ordered.

I need to explain that --
I ordered the SE sedan with SFE, which includes a spoiler, so the 'showy' part of the sport appearance package comes with it. I also upgraded to the heated seats and added the interior protection package with the extra floor mats, etc. My ordered car came in at under $17,200 before subtracting my $750 private cash from Ford. The SEL I drove had the same interior as the SE I ordered, and no spoiler. I don't care for the extra chrome, and I can take or leave the larger wheels. Actually I think the smaller wheels with higher profile tires should ride a bit better in normal driving. The only other part of the equation missing is the extra lighting. I ordered the LED lights from the service dept. for $112, and I can do without the little lights on the mirrors. All in all, I think I got more car for about $1800 less, by accepting the smaller wheels.

To me, the only advantage you buy with the extra $$ for the SEL/SES package is the opportunity to add leather, keyless entry, and pushbutton start. If these are not on your "must have" list, the SE is a better deal. And as stated above, the wheels & tires can be swapped a bit cheaper in the aftermarket. Just one buyer's opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I got an SES because I had to in order to get leather and keyless entry/start. It depends on how badly you want the other features of the SES. If you just want bigger wheels, get an SE and aftermarket wheels/tires. If you're getting Sync(201A), I would spend the extra $160 and get the cruise/LEDs/wheels, too(203A). Add Sirius for $370 and rear mats for $35, and you've got an SES for $840 less than an SES. I believe the only difference would be the 16" wheels and the chrome 'zoids in front.

Come to think of it, if you want the CZ's and 16", I have both available. Those are the only things I didn't like/want on the SES.
What wheels/tires did you put on yours?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Aftermarket or Ford?

A new set of rims and tires can range from at least $800 and higher, depending on what you get (average $100/tire and $100/rim) in terms of manufacturer and size.

Ford Racing offers 17-inch rims that can be had probably about $560 a set, and slap on some tires ($450-ish for average quality set) and you're looking at least $1,000.

Are the rims the only reason why you are considering an SES?
I was considering the SES for the larger tires that I thought might perform better then the 15's. Also from what I've read, they reflect a truer Miles Per Hour. Also don't you get the ambiant lighting, leather wrapped steering wheel, and turn signal on the exterior mirrors with the SES? I don't know if I really need these items.

I've located a Silver SE HB with 6 sp Auto and the 203A package for 17,200 which seems to be a pretty good deal.
 

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I had this same dilemma originally. I ended up ordering the SES of the following:
  • 16" Wheels (also like the styling better)
  • SYNC (can add this to SE, but with the price difference should be considered)
  • Blinkers on the back of the side mirrors
  • Chrome Parking LED housing
  • Interior Ambient Lighting (ooo fancy!)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I had this same dilemma originally. I ended up ordering the SES of the folloeing:
  • 16" Wheels (also like the styling better)
  • SYNC (can add this to SE, but with the price difference should be considered)
  • Blinkers on the back of the side mirrors
  • Chrome Parking LED housing
  • Interior Ambient Lighting (ooo fancy!)
I think I'm heading in this direction too.
 

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You also get Sirius with a free 6 or 3 month subscription ,I don't remember which and don't really care, but you might.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I decided to go with a Monterey Grey SES HB with 301A and Black cloth
.
Through USAA I am getting it for invoice. 18956
 

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Mine is a loaded SES hatch and I've been very pleased with it. The handling is phenominal with the larger wheels. The upgrades really make the car stand out. I'm looking forward to using the heated seats during our Chicago winters. The ambient lighting is flashy and nice but I could've done without it. The keyless ignition is very convenient - especially when filling up the car at the pump as it makes the stop that much quicker.
 

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I also ordered the Monterey Gray, 301A, Manual Trans and am also going with the 2004 Focus 17" SVT 6 spokes with General UHP 205/40/17s. All mounted, balanced and waiting for my car!
 
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