North American Fiestas revealed
2 December 2009

The first official pictures of the US-spec Ford Fiesta have been released.

The car, which is due to be unveiled at today's Los Angeles show, will be sold in in America as a five-door hatchback and a four-door saloon.

Only one engine option will be available: a 1.6-litre petrol four-pot with 119bhp and 109lb ft of torque. It can be mated to a five-speed manual gearbox or six-speed dual-clutch automatic unit that is operated via a standard gear lever.

Ford claims the automatic will hit 36mpg in town and 48mpg on the motorway - not high by European standards, but class-leading in the US.

Although Ford says the US-spec car is 40 per cent different from the European car, the visual changes are minimal.

The front grille is a new design - particularly noticeable on the the saloon - and the foglamps have been replaced with an LED strip.

Inside, the seats are said to feature more bolstering, the dash shape has been mildly altered to meet crash test regulations (including the inclusion of a knee airbag) and there are styling changes, with less chrome trim on some models.

Standard kit includes a four-inch LCD display, an MP3 socket, push start button, Bluetooth capability and climate control.

Options include heated seats and side mirrors, powered seats, a sunroof and leather upholstery.

 

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
4

2 December 2009

I know we talked about most of this yesterday, but here a few more of my observations given the better quality of these photos compared to yesterday:

1. The saloon/sedan looks under-wheeled and slab sided, mostly at the back. Pretty typical with small saloons, especially with those based on hatchbacks. However, no doubt the saloon will be the one with septics all want because they're pretty clueless!

2. The grill treatment on the hatchback is poor

3. The grill on the saloon, the three chrome bars mimicking ford's larger US models actually works much better than I thought it would.

4. The interior looks less dull in these photos than yesterday, but is still lacking the extra dash of colour.

5. The whole LED light strip thing where the fog lights are is just crap. Hopefully, living in North America, but somewhere where it's bloody foggy 75% of the time they'll have fog lights installed instead.

6. Mechanically - shame on Ford Europe for this as well - imagine how much better the car would be with a close ratio 6 speed manual, rather than a 5 speed. Might not do much for the 0-60 sprint and wouldn't make a huge difference for official fuel economy tests, but on the motorway a 6th gear makes a huge difference and it'd make the car more entertaining.

2 December 2009

[quote theonlydt]

4. The interior looks less dull in these photos than yesterday, but is still lacking the extra dash of colour.

6. Mechanically - shame on Ford Europe for this as well - imagine how much better the car would be with a close ratio 6 speed manual, rather than a 5 speed. Might not do much for the 0-60 sprint and wouldn't make a huge difference for official fuel economy tests, but on the motorway a 6th gear makes a huge difference and it'd make the car more entertaining.

[/quote] Will they have the option of a coloured dash like they do here in the UK? Blue or red are the options, wouldn't have it myself though, my car has the standard black finish. I've driven a few 6 speeders recently and I have to say I can't see the point in a Fiesta. Especially not a sporty one. On a 6 speed, I found that first is only there to get the car rolling, then you treat 2nd as a dog-legged first. So it's a bit pointless. I know the Punto has it on the sporting but I wasn't keen on that gearbox when I test drove it. That said, with the 1.6TDCI in mine, I can pull away smoothly in third. Wouldn't do it often, but it can be done...if you forget to change gears at the lights.... or something... ahem... Interesting that the US Fiesta has the Sirius satellite radio option and a button to turn off the passenger airbag, otherwise it's the same as the Euro centre console. Worrying though, is that the designers used CAD to cut n paste the backside of a 90's Hyundai onto the sedan version.... the wheels look tiny on it !

2 December 2009

I wonder if this relativity poor fuel economy is simply a result of the US gallon being smaller than the imperial gallon? ie. 4.546 litres (UK) vs. 3.785 litres (USA). A friend had a passat which had worse than expected economy figures until he re- calibrated it for UK measurement.

2 December 2009

[quote TheWizardWeb]On a 6 speed, I found that first is only there to get the car rolling, then you treat 2nd as a dog-legged first. [/quote]

I would say that this is more about the obsession of trying to make all cars as economical as possible on the economy tests, rather than making the car as driveable and fun as possible. 5 close ratios and then 6th as a decent cruising gear for 60mph+ would, in my opinion, add to the Fiesta rather than being pointless. Only opinion though!

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