Pictures of tweaked five-door hatchback and four-door saloon released
1 December 2009

The first pictures of the US-spec Ford Fiesta have leaked on to the internet.

The car is due to be unveiled at tomorrow's Los Angeles Auto Show. It will be sold in in America as a five-door hatchback and a four-door saloon.

See the US-spec Ford Fiesta pictures here

Minor changes to the car's styling have been made for the American market, including a slightly different upper grille design and reshaped front and rear bumpers.

Full details of the car's launch will be revealed tomorrow.

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Our Verdict

Ford Fiesta
Fiestas sold in Europe are ostensibly the same as those sold in America and Asia

The seventh-generation Ford Fiesta is the UK's best selling car, helped by frugal engines, handling verve and a big car feel

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Comments
16

1 December 2009

[quote Autocar]Minor changes to the car's styling have been made for the American market[/quote]

The restyled bumpers are because of a silly, outdated law on bumper design in the US. It makes the majority of cars look like they have their lower lip jutting out, pouting. Ruined the lines of the original focus.

I'm now out in N.America, having moved from the UK three months ago. If Ford can deliver on this car it'll probably be our second car (I'll be buying a hatchback for me soon). It needs to have the same chassis/suspension settings as the European model and the same interior. If they've cheapened down the interior it'll be upsetting (for those who question whether the Fiesta interior could get any cheaper you are yet to try a N.American car - the interior plastics are appalling. I don't care about "soft touch", but they scratch easily, they bend, they have poor panel gaps etc).

Small hatchbacks (and saloons) have been doing better over here the last couple of years, as they are becoming more accomplished and people downsize (at least on their second car) to save fuel/money.

Compared to its competitors the Fiesta should be miles ahead - if it's the same to drive as the European spec one (had the pleasure of driving one a few times before I moved). The competition is in the form of the Yaris (ok, but nothing on the Fiesta), Nissan Versa (clio underneath, alright, comfortable, but stodgy), Kia Rio (crap), Hyundai Accent (really crap) and Honda Fit (N.American name for the Jazz, expensive, not as good to drive).

Ford - please, please, please tell me you haven't f***ed this one up.

1 December 2009

For me the one thing that ruins the look of every car over there is that number plate. Unless it's the back of a truck, its near squareness looks completely out of kilter with the vehicle to which it has been bolted - and particularly on European models where it positively swims about in the oblong space provided and looks plain daft. Not much you can do about it either.

1 December 2009

There's some extra buttons on the dash that aren't on my Uk spec version. I wonder what they do. Hopefully proper photos will make the interior look less shiny plastic than in these pics. Otherwise you can kind of tell the exterior has been Americanised. It doesn't look as good as the Euro model.

1 December 2009

[quote TheWizardWeb]There's some extra buttons on the dash that aren't on my Uk spec version. I wonder what they do.[/quote]

Down by the gearstick those are almost certainly for heated seats - pretty important in the N.American market (almost all range toppers and even a lot of mid-range models have them) due to the temperatures you get in the Northern States and Canada (when it's -30 it's actually quite nice to have your arse warmed!). It does look like there are two buttons on each side though, so not sure what the second one would be for each side?

They're bringing in something that they call "Sync" in Ford models over here, it's a voice command system for the radio/cd thing, not sure if that makes a difference to dash buttons. It's bound to be utterly crap though - I can't stand voice command stuff.

Interestingly (from a mechanical viewpoint) they're talking about a 1.6 turbo version over here eventually - it'll be somewhere between 150 and 180bhp and apparently it'll be in the European C-Max first before other models (assuming it'll be in the Mondeo pretty quickly and maybe even the s-max, although there's also a 2.0 turbo coming out). If they put the 1.6 turbo in the UK Fiesta tuned to 180bhp that's a pretty perfect rival for the VW Polo GTI.

Mechanically there will be at least one difference - the automatic over here will be a "powershift" (automated manual) on the 1.6 rather than the 4 speed torque converter on a 1.4 like the UK market. Ford Europe really missed a trick here, by economies of scale they could make the powershift with 1.6 almost as cheap as the 1.4 with torque converter, while for the consumer the fuel economy would likely be similar (powershift far more efficient than torque converter) and the performance vastly improved.

1 December 2009

I think they should adopt the crisper rear bumper design over here...

1 December 2009

I wonder how much money they're saving by not painting the ventilation/heater controls fascia and door release handles in silver. It's amazing how gloomy the doors look without the silver highlight.

If they brought the Fiesta saloon to Ireland they'd probably ruin Nissan's Tiida (hideous EU version of the equally hideous Versa) saloon sales... which for me, would be a very welcome thing.

1 December 2009

[quote pdmc]I wonder how much money they're saving by not painting the ventilation/heater controls fascia and door release handles in silver. It's amazing how gloomy the doors look without the silver highlight.[/quote]

Yeah its a bit silly, and other little things like the missing center rear headrest. I don't understand the point of that sort of cost cutting.

1 December 2009

It does look a bit cheaper inside, but I notice they've put a button where that annoying bit of blank plastic normally is on the European models. In terms of the exterior, I like parts of it, such as what will presumably be the foglamp surrounds, but not keen on the new, thinner grille and bigger upper grille. I think the European model looks classier. Not terribly keen on the saloon, either.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

1 December 2009

[quote J400uk]

[quote pdmc]I wonder how much money they're saving by not painting the ventilation/heater controls fascia and door release handles in silver. It's amazing how gloomy the doors look without the silver highlight.[/quote]

Yeah its a bit silly, and other little things like the missing center rear headrest. I don't understand the point of that sort of cost cutting.

[/quote]

Ford UK quote £50 to add in a 3rd headrest in the back. I can see why they cut cost here, as it's £50 and how often do people sit three abrest in the back?

The lack of silver trim in the interior is a joke though - the savings must be pennies and it definitely does make the interior seem more dull. Perhaps it was a decision because they've decided Americans (and Canadians, just sticking up for the other 31m over here who get forgotten) don't like colour inserts? Who knows... eh? (Only been in Canada 3 months, still working on my "eh")

Prices still haven't been announced, but I'm not sure if the Fiesta will be able to compete on price unless the Mexicans pay Ford to make them there. Doing a basic conversion a 1.6 Titanium makes $26,000 - a Focus starts at $16k (though would be lower spec) and their next size up is the fusion saloon at $20k starting. So to scrape the Fiesta down to a price even near its poorly built/engineered rivals there must be cost-saving in the production/materials as Americans don't want to pay real money for their cars, they're stuck in the 70s where a "POS import sub-compact crap-box" can't cost more than a double hamburger with cheese and extra lard.

1 December 2009

[quote theonlydt]The lack of silver trim in the interior is a joke though - the savings must be pennies and it definitely does make the interior seem more dull. Perhaps it was a decision because they've decided Americans (and Canadians, just sticking up for the other 31m over here who get forgotten) don't like colour inserts?[/quote] Hmm I wouldn't be surprised as the dashboard isn't coloured either, like it is over here. The original press cars from the unveil back in March 2008 had the silver-painted door handles, but nothing else did since. VW can afford it with the Polo, and that's cheaper!!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

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