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Ford Fiesta 2011 US Revealed

Wed, 02 Dec 2009

The US Spec Ford Fiesta has been revealed

We ran a picture the other day of the US Spec 2011 Ford Fiesta, and I have to say we were a little underwhelmed by what has been done to Europe’s favourite small car to make it appeal to American tastes. But now the real deal has arrived and it’s not as bad as it first looked. Not by a long way.

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. The saloon – the Fiesta Sedan – just looks plain unappealing to our European eyes. The boot at the back; the tacky-looking front grill; the loss of fog lights; the whole presence of the Fiesta seems to have been lost in what seems like an unnecessary sop to American tastes. But Ford US know their market, so the Fiesta Sedan it is. But do they?

They say 23% of Fiestas will go in to homes in either LA, New York, Washington DC, Chicago or Dallas. Which is what we’d expect. Young, affluent, Eurocentric and cosmopolitan tastes. I bet they all buy the hatchback. Maybe the Fiesta Sedan’s there for the ‘Mom & Pop’ buyer. But will they buy such as car?

That’s the bad stuff. The good stuff is that although something like 60% of the US Fiesta is different to the Euro Fiesta, it is still a Fiesta. It still looks good (the hatch, that is, with a few reservations), the quality seems to be there and the interior is finished to a spec the Americans won’t believe in a B segment car.

The US Fiesta gets an auto ‘box, but you can have manual. It gets just one engine option – the 1.6 litre petrol – which is almost identical to the one in the Euro Fiesta. And that makes sense. The US has yet to ‘Get’ diesels in a big way, and the thought of a 1.25 litre Fiesta is probably a step too far at this point.

Ford say they have tweaked the suspension of the Fiesta for the US, but that it will still be as much fun as the Euro Fiesta. It needs to be. That is the fun of the Fiesta. Its ‘Chuckability’ is the reason it’s such a fun car (as we discovered when we did our Ford Fiesta Review). It’s not particularly powerful, so if the great Ford driving dynamics are lost in a sop to perceived American tastes the Fiesta will be lost. We haven’t driven one – and nor has anyone else – so we’ll just hope Ford got it right.

On the face of it Ford seems to have got the Fiesta hatchback about right. We’ll just dismiss the saloon as a necessary American foible. It should be a big hit. Ford already have 60,000 buyers waiting for the Fiesta. Let’s hope the Fiesta they get is the one they’re expecting.

For more detail check out the US Spec 2011 Ford Fiesta Press Release. Be warned – it’s big.

By Cars UK