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Cheap Cars With Big Value: 2011 Ford Fiesta

2011 Ford Fiesta

2011 Ford Fiesta

Family cars come in all sizes. Some are fuel-sipping compacts or subcompacts, or fuel-efficient midsize sedans. Some families consider a crossover, SUV or minivan essential. But the family vehicle stable generally includes one or more inexpensive cars. Continuing the Family Car Guide week-long series on cheap cars with big value, today’s highlight car is the 2011 Ford Fiesta.

First, a word about the criteria. To qualify, the base starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) has to be under $20,000. In addition, the car has to offer more than expected, whether in standard safety or technology features, styling, high fuel economy, or other factors.

2011 Ford Fiesta

Making its debut in the U.S. after being sold in other world markets for a couple of years, the 2011 Ford Fiesta subcompact, available as a sedan or hatchback, meets the price criteria for cheap cars with big value. The base S sedan carries a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $13,320. SE sedan starts at $14,320 and SEL at $16,320. In the hatchback form, Fiesta SE begins at $15,120 and top-line SES at $17,120. So what else does Fiesta offer in the area of more than expected? Let’s take a look.

2011 Ford Fiesta Sedan

2011 Ford Fiesta Sedan

All-New Model – Yes, the 2011 Ford Fiesta is an all-new model – to the U.S., that is, and it’s one that’s been eagerly awaited by consumers familiar with Fiesta’s top reputation in European markets. Key attributes that contribute to Fiesta’s growing popularity here include zippy ride, youthful design, high build quality, comfortable cabin (for the price), and hybrid-like fuel economy. A tilt and telescopic steering wheel, height-adjustable driver seat, and capless fuel filler are standard. The sedan has 12.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity, but the hatchback, although the rear seats fold down, only has 26 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row.

Performance and Fuel Economy – Most reviewers agree that Fiesta offers a winning combination of smooth power, zippy handling on the road and excellent fuel economy. There’s only a single powerplant, a 120-horsepower 1.6-liter twin-independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT) Duratec four-cylinder engine that teams up with a standard five-speed manual or optional six-speed dual-clutch automatic. As for fuel economy, the best is achieved with the SFE package (available with SE sedan/SE hatchback with automatic) – an EPA-estimated 29 mpg city/40 mpg highway. Models with five-speed manual get 28 mpg city/37 mpg highway, and six-speed auto (not SFE) is 29 mpg city/38 mpg highway.

Safety – Fiesta comes with seven standard airbags (including driver’s knee airbag), integrated blind-spot mirrors, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic stability control, traction control and antiskid system. In safety tests, the 2011 Ford Fiesta sedan and hatchback received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick. In new, more stringent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) testing, Fiesta earned an overall rating of four out of five stars, with four star rating in front crash and rollover tests and a five-star side crash score.

2011 Ford Fiesta Hatchback SES Instrument Panel

2011 Ford Fiesta Hatchback SES Instrument Panel

Gadgets & High-Tech – Notable among Fiesta’s available features are Ford’s Sync voice-activated control for cell phones and MP3 players, keyless engine start, sunroof, and heated front seats.

Bottom Line

The 2011 Ford Fiesta sedan and hatchback offer families affordable transportation in a small car that’s fun-to-drive, efficient, versatile, comfortable, offers near-hybrid fuel economy (especially with SFE package), and impressive safety ratings. All good reasons why Ford Fiesta ranks right up there in Family Car Guide’s list of cheap cars with big value.

Also check out The Car Connection review of the 2011 Ford Fiesta where editors give it an overall 8 (out of 10) rating.


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Comment (1)
  1. So does this mean the Ford Focus is really the bottom of the Ford Line of cars.. as Ford was perfecting it's return home? I once had TOYOTA's bottom of the line '80 Tercel. Inside was all plastic/vinyl. Ciould hose entire interior down with a hose and poof! it'd sparkle and still start. Every time. This makes THAT bottom-line car one of the Great Ones! Never an electrical issue even. Ugly Car but reliable. THAT'S what a bottom-line car should be. Thats all I except from it as well as demand. But my 2006 Focus From it's constant SRS lights on plastic pieces and made in China parts breaking. So is this 2011 Fi3esta going to replace (i wish) the focii or be a rung above it. has way more extras. But will it be like the Tercel of 1980 or lower-priced lower-quality 2006 Ford Focus, if so then no thanks. Not even if Oprah gave it to me on one of her "free cars give aways". B/C like her, it sounds great! FREE CAR! But if she hasn't changed, then she's still sticking these poor people with the new-car taxes to pay. And if you can't drive the free car around then it isn't a free car - not for you!
    and if the lower-priced basic sedan doesn't start, or can't pass inspection then hey! Same outcome. Youre screwed. And Im so tired of being screwed. And Lets Buy American and all that crap? Every part I;'ve removed says Made in China. No exaggeration. It's all slight of hand and emty wallet syndrome. and I habve no higher hoped for this Fiesta.

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