New cars: 2011 Ford Fiesta

What the critics say about the $15,795 Ford Fiesta

MotorWeek

The Fiesta was “a global success” long before its debut here, “and yes, the U.S. version is as good as Fiestas sold elsewhere.” It’s loaded with standard features, including stability control, Ford’s impressive Sync infotainment system, and “a class-leading total of seven air bags.” But while this new subcompact offers an unusually “silky ride quality” for its class, its 120 hp engine “felt breathless” on hills and highway passing “required a lot of effort and faith.”

Automobile

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Yet if any vehicle can convert Americans to subcompacts, “it just might be the Fiesta.” The interior “makes you feel like you’ve purchased a more expensive car,” and the Fiesta’s handling and styling “make up for the fact that it’s oozing-molasses slow.” Miserly fuel consumption—estimated at 30 mpg in-town, 40 mpg on the highway—is obviously the big draw. “The question is: Will people find the Fiesta interesting enough to buy when gas is cheap?”

The Detroit Bureau

The Fiesta has a lot to offer. “One of the coolest features is its automated manual six-speed transmission,” which is so smooth it helps you overlook the tepid acceleration. It’s just frustrating that the better-looking hatchback is priced $1,800 higher than the base-model sedan. If Ford wants America to embrace subcompacts, it can’t put such a stiff premium on style.

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