Ford Fiesta a contender

By Jerry Robbin

With gasoline prices hovering at around $4.50 per gallon, Ford has the perfect vehicle for great gas economy and transportation. Ford has raised the bar for entry-level vehicles with the Fiesta.

The competition, such as Kia, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota, should definitely be concerned, as the Fiesta is  a contender for the top entry-level vehicle.

Under the Hood
A 1.6-liter twin-cam four-cylinder engine that produces 120 hp and 112 lb-ft of torque powers the Fiesta. This four-cylinder DOHC produces fantastic fuel efficiency and power.

My test drive had the optional new automatic transmission, resulting in a great fuel economy of 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway.

Driving Impression
The Fiesta handles like a larger vehicle and the seating is very comfortable. The design and shape of the vehicle gives the illusion that it is bigger than it really is.

The Fiesta holds the road and has excellent driving dynamics when making quick hairpin turns. The steering is responsive and the four-cylinder drivetrain is adequate for city or highway driving. Electronic power steering is standard.

The Fiesta has a futuristic interior with contemporary touches that make you feel like you are in a larger vehicle. The center stack has the controls for the door locks and  other creature features like stereo, air conditioning, phone – the list goes on.

The front seats are very comfortable; the rear seat is adequate for children and tight for adults. The Fiesta storage space is amazing in the hatchback or the sedan.

The Fiesta styling has a contemporary flare and bold design that does not look inexpensive.

The exterior has neat touches such as projector headlights, fog lights, LED tail lights and side-marker turn signals in the mirrors.

The Fiesta I tested had the optional 17-inch alloy wheels.

* Four-wheel ABS
* Front and rear head airbags
* Dual front side-mounted airbags
* Child seat anchors
* Ventilated front disc /rear drum brakes
* Rear door child safety locks
* Engine immobilizer
* 2 front headrests
* 3 rear headrests
* Passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation
* Rear center 3-point belt
* Front seatbelt pretensioners
* Turn signal mirrors
* Stability control
* Traction control
* Electronic brakeforce distribution
* Emergency interior trunk release
* Front height-adjustable headrests
* Rear height-adjustable headrests
* Post-collision safety system
* Tire pressure monitoring

If you are in the market for a commuter vehicle that has great gas mileage and is fun to drive, you should test-drive the Ford Fiesta. It’s a great vehicle for those with kids or for a second vehicle.

* Width: 66.8 in.
* Height: 58.0 in.
* Length: 173.6 in.
* Front track: 57.7 in.
* Rear track: 57.7 in.
* Wheel base: 98.0 in.
* Cargo capacity with all seats in place: 12.8 cu.ft.
* EPA interior volume: 97.9 cu.ft.
* Curb weight: 2578 lbs.
Front Seats
* Front head room: 39.1 in.
* Front hip room: 50.6 in.
* Front leg room: 42.2 in.
* Front shoulder room: 52.7 in.
* Cloth
* Bucket front seats
Rear Seats
* Rear hip Room: 49.2 in.
* Rear head room: 37.1 in.
* Rear leg room: 31.2 in.
* Rear shoulder room: 49.0 in.
* Split-folding rear seatback
* Rear ventilation ducts