2011 Ford Fiesta SES

Don Sherman Jeffrey Jablansky
Matt Tierney

I can take the gutless engine, the bad drone at 78 mph, and the fact that my fun-to-drive detector never went off. This is an entry-level car, and shortcuts are part of the deal. But I am annoyed by the lack of coat hooks and grab handles-essential features in any automobile. Why load up on dozens of dash buttons and Sync features when life's basics are ignored? Where does one hang a coat? How will the blue hairs make their annual New York to Miami trek with nowhere to anchor their clothes bar?

The cloth upholstery is serviceable, the soft dash-top pad fits well, and the center-mounted miniature electronic display is handy. That said, I could not convince this Ford to cease and desist with automatic door locking. Nor would the rear seat cushions fold forward to provide a lower nesting place for the hinged backrests. I support the importation of Ford's best and brightest cars from Europe, but the Fiesta needs attention before it can thrive as a winner among cheap, small sedans.

Don Sherman, Technical Editor

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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