2011 Ford Fiesta SES

Don Sherman Jeffrey Jablansky
Matt Tierney

With so much buzz about the Fiesta over the past year and a half, you'd almost forget that the car is actually a typical small hatchback. The engine isn't terribly powerful, although it has a 20-hp advantage over Mazda's mechanically similar Mazda 2. I'm looking forward to sampling the dual-clutch transmission on another Fiesta later this year, but I suspect that the manual transmission will still be the enthusiast's choice for the Fiesta.

I hope the Fiesta sells well for Ford. No matter how often we write about cool hatchbacks with good interiors and luxury touches like Sync, if the people in the market for a new car don't step up and actually purchase Fiestas equipped like this, Ford won't be able to justify offering a small car with big features in the U.S. market. The real question is: will people find the Fiesta interesting enough to buy when gas is cheap? In a world where people camp out for a week to buy the newest iPhone (even though it's not THAT much different from the old one) I think Fiesta stands a good chance. Check back next summer for the sales story.

Phil Floraday, Senior Web Producer

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This premium subcompact needs to come down in price.
Why would I buy this when I can get much more for almost the same with a base model Hyundai Sonata?With the Sonata, you get 4 wheel disc brakes, 100% more space and 67% more hp while only losing 10% in fuel economy based-on Sonata drivers' observed average 30mpg on the EPA website (fueleconomy.gov). And that's still on regular fuel. All that while paying only 11% more?!The Hyundai Sonata seems like the better call.

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