Prices for the eagerly awaited 2011 Ford Fiesta will start at $13,995 for the four-door sedan, but prices for the new subcompact will go as high as $23,000 for top-line model when it goes on sale next summer.
The base sedan with a five-speed manual gearbox carries a sticker price of $13,320, plus mandatory shipping of $675. The five-door hatchback starts at $15,795, including shipping.
The difference between base price and typical sale price is starkly shown on Ford's website. A green five-door 2011 Fiesta is shown with "$13,320 starting MSRP" in large letters. Below that is a small line saying "As shown $20,540"--or 54 percent more expensive.
2011 Ford FiestaEnlarge Photo
One engine, two transmissions
It's the difference between low-volume base models and the more common highly-optioned versions that Ford hopes will make the Mexican-built Fiesta profitable. Historically, subcompacts have returned low profit margins for U.S. carmakers.
The Fiesta offers only a single engine, a 119-horsepower 1.6-liter four cylinder. In addition to the five-speed manual, a six-speed dual-clutch automatic--Ford calls it "PowerShift"--is available, a first in the class and a technology found more often in the likes of Porsches.
Up to 30 mpg city, 40 mpg highway
Fitted with the five-speed, the 2600-pound 2011 Ford Fiesta is rated at 29 mpg in the city, 38 mpg highway. The PowerShift automatic gives an even better 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. A special SFE package maximizes fuel economy, taking the highway fuel economy to 40 mpg.
Every Fiesta also gets electronic power steering, seven airbags, and antilock brakes with stability control.
The 2011 Fiesta offers four different trim levels. Above the base model, the SE adds several commonly-ordered options. The SES Sport is the performance package, and the top-of-the-line SEL brings together the most luxurious features. Buyers can also select from dozens of dealer-installed options.