2011 Ford Fiesta sedan
Last year, well before cars landed at dealers, Ford’s relentlessly promoted Fiesta Movement put 100 European-spec Fiestas in the hands of young, digitally savvy drivers who talked them up over Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and wherever else they could find a forum.
You may have missed all of that; if so, perhaps you were lucky. Nonetheless, we’ve now driven the finished Fiesta. At last we can tell you about its strong points and flaws, just as 2011 models start to flow into U.S. dealerships—albeit slowly, given a string of unfortunate events that slowed deliveries earlier this year.
The lines of the 2011 Ford Fiesta are definitely distinctive, and it won’t be mistaken for more anonymous competitors, including the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, Hyundai Accent, and Chevrolet Aveo. The prominent air intakes above and below the front bumper, along with the swept-back headlights and a beltline that rises toward high-mounted tail lamps, give it a much more aggressive look than the rest of the pack.
But it’s inside that the Fiesta really stands out, with a heavily styled gauge cluster and dashboard, along with a center stack that nods to the keypad arrangement of mobile phones and video games. Some will like it—Ford hopes they are younger buyers—while some may feel it looks too much like a Transformer or, in a certain light, the shape of the old Firebird hood logo.
Given Ford’s excellent digital instruments and display screens in other vehicles, the Fiesta’s monochrome bright-orange system display feels just a little dated, already. But we liked the large chrome ringed air vents, both for styling and positioning.