The new Ford Fiesta is the first “One Ford” product to hit the US market. With very few changes from the Euro-market version, it makes a statement about Ford’s resolve to maximize efficiency and create a more globally recognizable product lineup.
Available in sedan and 5-door hatch (typically absent is the 3-door), a strong stance is clearly evident in the hatch.
Featuring very controlled, sculpted surfacing, both variants show welcome hints of the 2005 Iosis concept and bear strong resemblance to the 2007 Verve concept.
The large headlamps create the impression of an upbeat optimist, while the surfacing suggest a somewhat nimble, sporting nature.
Of particular design interest is the accent lighting in the front valence; uncovered and nestled in a sunken, chromed bezel/surround are what appear to be some quite unique driving lamps.
Both US-market variants sport Ford’s familiar trapezoidal lower intake, though the hatch stays global with its grill and the sedan shows its colors with the 3-bar treatment.
The 4-door resembles a Corolla from the rear and lacks the confidence and assertiveness that is exhibited by the sharply faceted 5-door’s tail.
The hatch portrays itself as a fresh, modern vehicle; the chamfered backlight and standard spoiler may remind some of the Honda Fit, but the taut rear quarter panels and the hinting bone lines create an air of dynamism.
Again, strikingly similar to the Verve concept, the center stack is reminiscent of a cellphone keypad and projects an air of tactility and familiarity.
Overall, the interior forms and surfaces exude modernity–though some will find it a bit too busy.
The quality of plastics may be questionable, but on such an otherwise feature-rich product at this price point, certain concessions must have been made.
Optional interior accent lighting (à la Mustang and Cube) enables 21 variations on color and intensity for an added touch of personal customization.
The 1.6 liter 4 musters roughly 120 HP and manages 40 MPG (yes, trumping the Fit, Yaris, et al.) by way of Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing and a 6-speed dual dry-clutch automatic.
Electric power steering helps with the fuel economy, though also enables two more features of interest: Pull-Drift Compensation and Nibble Control. The former adjusts tracking by compensating for road surface irregularities and even crosswinds, while the latter makes allowances for tire wear and imbalance.
All in all, this makes for a surprisingly complete package. Consider the starting price in the low-to-mid teens, availability of SYNC, push-button start, customizable interior lighting, and available exterior graphics… this could be an attractive car to tuners and non-tuners alike.