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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
...[while] it would be possible to add an in-dash navigation and infotainment system, Ford isn't planning one for cost reasons, relying on Sync's turn-by-turn feature instead.
...the SYNC system is a voice-activated breath of fresh air once you've paired your devices...
There is also a standard tilt-telescoping steering wheel that allows drivers of all sizes to get comfortable.
You can order an 80-watt, six-speaker stereo that actually sounds decent.
...[tested] a $20,675 SES hatchback with six-speed automatic, heated leather seats, 16-inch wheels and lower-profile tires.
While the 2012 Ford Fiesta is the smallest car in Ford's U.S. lineup, as well as one of the smallest cars on the market, the automaker is going against the grain in offering most of the amenities and features of a larger vehicle.
The PowerShift dual-clutch automatic transmission, SYNC connectivity and infotainment system, push-button start, and tilt/telescopic steering wheel are all features you'll be hard-pressed to duplicate on other entry subcompacts. The adjustable cupholders are also particularly useful for households that might have both espresso sippers and Big Gulp gulpers. Another exclusive is the seven-color ambient-lighting system, and heated seats in a subcompact are a rarity in North America.
Between the Fiesta's four trim levels: base S, SE, SES Sport, and SEL, there's a staggering range of options and packages, with the bottom-line price ranging from a quite-affordable $13,995 all the way up to about $23k for a fully loaded SEL hatchback. The base Fiesta S starts at just $13,995 and includes a decent sound system with auxiliary input, a split-folding back seat, rear heater ducts, A/C, power locks, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel--none of them to be taken for granted in this class of vehicle.
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.
With items like Ford's SYNC interface and heated leather seats on offer in the 2012 Ford Fiesta, you might actually forget you're in a value-priced subcompact.