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2001 ford fiesta review



The 2011 Ford Fiesta gives economy car shoppers reason to celebrate with its fun-to-drive personality, nicely trimmed cabin, tight build quality and unexpected features.

Sporty driving dynamics, smooth and peppy engine, high fuel economy, welcoming cabin, available high-end luxury features.

Limited cargo and rear seat space, conventional navigation system unavailable.

The 2011 Ford Fiesta is an all-new subcompact available in hatchback and sedan body styles.

The 2011 Ford Fiesta is an all-new subcompact available in hatchback and sedan body styles.

For decades, small economy cars from American carmakers have been about as desirable as a cold hamburger. Overall build quality, upkeep costs, reliability and longevity -- the most important factors in this segment -- were points of embarrassment for Escorts, Neons and Cavaliers. But with the Euro-bred 2011 Ford Fiesta (which slots under the Focus to become Ford's new entry-level model), the U.S. looks to have something on the economy car menu as mouth-watering as an In-N-Out Double-Double.

Up until now, the Honda Fit was the subcompact class standout thanks to its impressively versatile interior, pleasing driving dynamics and high overall quality. But those who truly get a kick out of driving will likely find the Fiesta even more fun. Its smooth, eager engine, precise and well-weighted steering and an agile chassis show that one needn't be resigned to a dull drive just because one needs a small, practical and inexpensive car.

Unlike much of its competition, the Ford Fiesta is available in both sedan and hatchback body styles. Of course, the hatchback provides greater cargo capacity, but some folks prefer the more formal look of a sedan, which is likely why Ford is offering both. Either way, the Fiesta provides sprightly handling, a compliant ride and a quiet cabin at freeway speeds. It also offers features that are uncommon in this class, such as keyless ignition and Ford's superb Sync system, which, among other things, allows one to control audio and cell phone functions via voice commands.

There are some distinctive Fiesta alternatives in this competitive segment. Among hatchbacks, the 2011 Honda Fit and the 2011 Kia Soul stand out, and the aptly named 2011 Nissan Cube makes a unique aesthetic statement. Compared to these, the Fiesta hatch lags well behind in terms of maximum cargo capacity and rear seat room for taller passengers. The Fiesta sedan, meanwhile, has a bit less rear seat room than the 2011 Chevrolet Aveo. 2011 Hyundai Accent and Nissan Versa. But it floors them all with its more engaging and well-rounded personality. It's definitely a car to look at if you're shopping for an inexpensive but desirable set of wheels.

The 2011 Ford Fiesta comes with four doors in both sedan and hatchback form. There are three trim levels for the sedan (S, SE, and SEL) and two trims for the hatchback (SE and SES).

The S sedan is the bare-bones, entry-level Fiesta and comes with 15-inch steel wheels, a capless fuel filler, power mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a four-speaker AM/FM stereo (with an auxiliary input jack and USB port) and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. The SE sedan adds metallic cabin accents, power windows and door locks and a CD player. The SEL sedan adds LED parking lights, a rear spoiler, 16-inch "premium painted" wheels, a premium sound system (with satellite radio and six speakers), ambient lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and the Sync multimedia voice-command system which now also offers turn-by-turn navigation.

The SE hatchback is equipped similarly to the SE sedan but adds a rear spoiler and wiper. The SES hatchback is equipped similarly to the SEL sedan but adds a rear wiper.

Some options are grouped into packages that allow lower trims to have the upper trims' features, and the upper trims have access to optional features such as keyless entry/ignition and heated leather seating. There's even a Super Fuel Economy package that optimizes fuel mileage via aerodynamic tweaks (blocked-out lower grille, underbody panels), lightweight wheels and special tires. Individual options, depending on trim, include 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof and special paint colors.

All 2011 Ford Fiestas are powered by a 1.6-liter inline-4 that generates 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. Technically, the automatic is actually an automated dual-clutch manual transmission; it provides quicker gearchanges than a traditional torque converter-based automatic. Disappointingly, there is no manual-shift feature.

The 0-60-mph sprint for a manual-equipped car takes 9.5 seconds -- about the same as a Honda Fit. Ford estimates the Fiesta's fuel economy at 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway for the automatic and 29/38 for the manual.

Standard safety features include stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Also included is a class-exclusive driver knee airbag.

In the government's new, more strenuous crash testing for 2011, the Fiesta earned an overall rating of four stars out of a possible five, with four stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side crash protection. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a Fiesta sedan eared a top rating of "Good" for its performance in frontal-offset and side-impact collisions. In Edmunds brake testing, a Fiesta stopped from 60 mph in a respectable 119 feet.

With its soft-touch dash top, metallic accents, edgy styling and tight build quality, the Fiesta's cabin has a premium vibe to it that's unexpected in an economy car. The center stack controls for the audio system look odd at first but prove intuitive, while the three-knob climate control system couldn't be easier to use. Ford's Sync system (standard in top trims) allows voice control over the audio system and your cell phone, and it also provides features such as voice-prompted turn-by-turn navigation (it works respectably well) and emergency assist. Another high-end feature not often seen in this segment is the available keyless entry/ignition system.

At 12.8 cubic feet, the sedan's trunk capacity is class-competitive. The Fiesta hatchback offers a bit less than that with its rear seat up. Unfortunately, the seats don't fold completely flat, and the Fiesta's 26 cubes of maximum cargo capacity pale in comparison to the Honda Fit's 57 cubes and the Kia Soul's 53 cubes.

We can say without hesitation that the 2011 Ford Fiesta provides the most rewarding drive in its class. Though its acceleration is just average, in the real world of stop-and-go traffic and freeway merging, the Fiesta's mill is a pleasure. The eager-to-rev 1.6 delivers ample punch down low and remains butter-smooth even when taken to redline. The manual transmission is precise and easy to shift, boasting a linear clutch and light throws. The available six-speed automated dual-clutch automatic is another unusual perk in this class.

The Ford's steering is the new segment benchmark, from the weighting of its effort to the immediate and precise response. And the sophisticated suspension tuning makes the Fiesta feel at once substantial and lithe. Handling is excellent, yet the ride quality remains supple, with bumps and ruts swallowed sans drama.

Great little car after 91,000 miles 5 speed manual

by John S on Oct 29, 2016
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Fiesta SE 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I have owned over 25 cars, this is a good car. It was willed to me, and I am happy that I wound up with it. It has good acceleration on the freeway, is comfortable, has a great stereo system, SYNC works well, it even has the Sirius Satellite option. The only problems I have had with it are: Stud for bracket for shifting mechanism backed out of the transmission housing causing it to not go into gear, had to repair with a Time-Sert (helicoil), ignition switch just went bad, and there was some issue with the gas pedal sensor that was covered under warranty. My car is white, I tinted the windows, added an aftermarket center console and found some 15 spoke 17x7 Ford Racing wheels, alloy, so it looks very sporty. I am overall happy with my car.

by paul on Aug 9, 2016
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Fiesta SE 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

Do not buy this model I have replaced the absence module and the power shifter module and transmission control module car is it 6 yrs old

by Erin on May 24, 2016
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Fiesta SES 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I feel completely duped by the dealer and Ford. I bought my 2012 Ford Fiesta (auto transmission) in April of 2014. It was fine for the first 6 months or so, but started developing an increasingly apparent shudder of the transmission when I would start moving from a stopped position. I eventually took it in and they adjusted the computer. It was good for a while, but the shudder came back, so I took it in again and they adjusted some air seal which again made the shudder stop. A few months later it was back, and worse than ever. My father (retired certified auto mechanic) told me he didn't want me driving it; he was worried about my safety. I took my Fiesta in AGAIN, in November; this was about a year and a half after I bought it, and they replaced the clutch. Again, the shudder went away, and again, 6 months later it's back. Now I've had a wrench light come on and a message pops up on my display that says "Engine Failure, Service Now". So again, today I've dropped off this car for service. I've had this car for two years, and it's been nothing but trouble. I shouldn't feel like my 4 year old car is unreliable, but I do. I worry about long distance trips. Like another person said, I can't sell this car. I can't put another person through what I've gone through. I feel like I'm stuck with this unreliable POS until my load is paid off and I can trade it in for something better. Most likely a Honda. Ford has provided a very poor product to consumers and has done almost nothing but put bandaids on the problem, there is no real solution. So all of us suckers who bought these Fiestas are just out of luck. I will most likely never buy a Ford again. I don't even get a loaner vehicle from my dealer when my car is in the shop because they only give out loaners to people who bought NEW cars from them. Because I bought it used I don't deserve the same level of treatment.

by Jill Stockman on Mar 29, 2016
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Fiesta SE 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

Yes, I liked the car or would not have bought it. It handled nicely until it didn't. Ford issued a recall regarding transmission problems which only continue to get worse as the dealership gives me the run-around for the past year. Funny that the problem would get worse since that is exactly what the recall said. Yet try getting a straight answer and even worse something done about it before you stall out or kill yourself. It is no fun to drive because it jerks and shakes and makes noise and makes you wonder when it will simply stop. Not only can I not get it repaired/replaced. how do I sell a car when it is all over the internet that they are a huge problem! Thanks Ford. Finally after contacting Ford directly and a bit more runaround from the dealer. I got someone to look at it (same moron who had first said I did not have the problem. that I was "too light on the gas"). well, this time as soon as he got in and started it he said (many expletives included) this is the worst f'n one he's seen and that I could not drive it like that. Ah, no foolin' buddy. So miraculously they happened to have the new parts in stock and it was repaired the next business day. Replacing the whole transmission plus some other issue that had been affected because it had gone so long in that condition. Yes, now it drives like new and I am happy to have it done. However, that does not change my review of this vehicle. I still say think twice.

by Teresa M on Feb 11, 2016
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Fiesta S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

Very difficult to find a rearfacing convertible car seat that will fit in the backseat. Even with the passenger seat pushed all the way forward, it is almost impossible to find a convertible car seat that will recline properly to rear face in the tiny backseat. Our infant seat barely fit. My husband has always called it a clown car. Not a car for a family with young kid(s)

by van kham on Jan 1, 2016
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Fiesta SE 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

Bought this car used with 45k, it was to be my commuter car and a replacement to my older 2000 celica gts with 200k. First the goods: mpg is great, good looking car, good ride, most things are within arms reach, power is ok for little car, good cargo space. Now the bad: Yes, the world famous transmission issue with this car, car was at the dealer twice, things started to fall apart at 54k, little things, too much to list, got the car fixed and sold it at. I wish I had done my research before I bought the car. Yes, i am back driving my 2000 celica, she never give me problem in 7 years.