The 2011 Ford Fiesta may be a subcompact, but it's been designed, engineered, and equipped to offer the ambience and amenities of a much larger car.
Ford touts no fewer than 15 separate features not found on any other competitor, among them the PowerShift automatic transmission, the popular SYNC infotainment system, a push-button starter, an adjustable steering wheel that both tilts and telescopes, and Ford's EasyFuel capless fuel filler system. Ford also points out that the adjustable cup holders can accommodate containers from a Red Bull can to a Big Gulp--score one for the pre-diabetics.
The Fiesta can be ordered in four trim levels: base, SE, SES Sport, and SEL. A staggering variety of options and packages are available either within the trim levels or as separate line items. The SE adds a several options, including remote keyless entry, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo, power windows and automatic door locks, an instrument cluster message center, visor mirrors, metallic interior accent trim and additional interior lighting. The SES Sport and SEL add a premium 80-watt sound system with six speakers, LED driving lamps, European-style side indicators integrated into heated door mirrors, a 12V auxiliary power point for rear passengers, and 16-inch aluminum wheels. A 17-inch Ford Racing wheel package and a power-operated moonroof can be ordered with several trim levels.
It's all about choice, which doesn't surprise us, given the fact that Ford's new marketing boss came from Scion. What does surprise us is what a loose hand on the order sheet can do. Tick all the boxes and you'll spend more than $23,000--as much as a mid-size Fusion sedan.
Which brings us back to the small-car conundrum: Are there enough of you willing to trade wide open spaces for pert little economy cars with more than a dash of style and substance?
Well, are you?