Well, it's over. After four days of driving across the eastern half on North America, splitting time between a manual-transmission Ford Fiesta SE and an automatic-transmission Fiesta SES. We have already covered each day in individual posts this week, and now it's time for a quick wrap-up.
The tour started in Los Angeles and is traversing around the world in a time frame of just under 60 days. I joined the group in Detroit and we drove from southeast Michigan across Ontario to Niagara-On-The-Lake. Day two, we journied from there to Montreal with a lunch stop in Toronto, and then it was on to Montreal. The next day we made for Boston via Vermont and New Hampshire. On our final leg, we shot down to New York City and New Jersey, before parting ways.
At each stop, we experienced a unique event, whether it was tasting icewine (wine that is made from grapes grown in winter) in Niagara, or shooting pictures near a Toronto beach, or stopping by a famous deli in Montreal. Other events on the trip included a lunch prepared by culinary students in Vermont, a visit to a cemetery with very unique headstones and a meeting with rapper/DJ Funkmaster Flex, who owns several vintage muscle cars and who helped Ford customize a Fiesta for a giveaway.
Along the way, I found myself becoming more impressed with the Fiesta as a road trip car, even as I complained about its lack of power and the lack of certian features, such as a center armrest. The ride was pleasantly smooth on most highways, and the handling is sporty and fun.
Other observations after four days with the car? Well, Ford's Sync multimedia suite continues to be a generally easy to use, notwithstanding the occasional voice recognition hiccup. The lack of a console is offset by three cupholders, plus one more in each map pocket, which makes it easy to store water and coffee for long rides. The controls are easy to use, although the audio menu takes a bit of getting used to, and the gauges are easy on the eyes, even at night.
But I've mentioned most of these points before. There were other big-picture observations. No matter where you go in this country, the state of driving on our roads is still a bit, um, lacking. The lack of driving skills is a topic for another column, but let's just say it's not getting any better any time soon.
Also, a lot of this continent appears to be under construction. Crumbling infrastructure appears to be an issue in both Canada and the U.S. Somethings are universal, and the orange construction barrel appears to be one of them.
People across both countries took notice of the Fiesta, in part because are cars had bright paint jobs (one was magenta and the other blue), in part because the car is new, and in part because there has been so much buzz about the car. I expect that as Fiesta's begin to arrive in showrooms, the first models to be sold will attract plenty of attention as well.