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2011 Ford Fiesta

Overview
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2011 Ford Fiesta Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

Have you heard the story about the domestic auto industry that kept claiming its products were as good as Japan's best? It's a twist on the tale of the boy who cried wolf. In Aesop's original, nobody believes the boy when things really do go bad. In our update, people are skeptical when things really do go good. That's the battle Ford faces in selling America on the most impressive, most recommendable, most buyable lineup a domestic automaker has offered in many drivers' lifetimes. Do we think the 2011 Ford Fiesta is as good as Japan's best in the category (the Honda Fit)? It's better. And if you don't believe us, blame the past practices of the domestic auto industry.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're searching the sub-compact segment for style, interior quality, driving dynamics and/or fuel efficiency, just put the 2011 Ford Fiesta at the top of your list and then try to beat it.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Honda Fit is both roomier and more flexible than the Ford Fiesta, the Nissan Versa offers a softer ride and there are several competitors with lower sticker prices (although the Fiesta still compares favorably from a "you get what you pay for" perspective).

What's Significant About This Car?

Two things everyone knows: (1) America can't make good small cars and (2) Americans don't like small cars. The 2011 Ford Fiesta is good enough to change both perception and reality.

Driving the Fiesta

Driving Impressions Many months before we drove the first U.S.-spec Fiesta, Ford gave us a week behind the wheel of the European version. Some of us were impressed, others blown away, and...

everyone shared the same sentiment: "I hope they don't ruin the U.S. version." Hallelujah, they didn't. The Fiesta is comfortable and quiet on the highway, fun when you work the wheel and just feels pricier and more substantial – more European, really – than any of its competitors. Shortcomings? The fun part requires a little planning because there's not a lot of juice available at the bottom of the rev range, we think the dual-clutch auto deserves a manual control option, and some of us have reservations about long-haul seat comfort. But when you're talking about the best car in the class, that's really just nitpicking.

SYNC
Ford's voice-controlled SYNC infotainment system continues to grow ever more robust and desirable.

Integrated Blind Spot Mirrors
In the upper, outside corner of the 2011 Ford Fiesta's side mirrors is a small secondary mirror that finds cars hiding in that nebulous area between peripheral vision and mirror coverage.

2011 Ford Fiesta Details
2011 Ford Fiesta photo Interior

The 2011 Ford Fiesta boasts not only the sharpest sheetmetal in the category, it also has the most stylish and refined interior. Soft-touch materials and top-notch design permeate all trims, and you can outfit the Fiesta with features like heated leather seats, push-button start and selectable seven-color ambient lighting. A navigation system is the only glaring omission from the Fiesta's options list and instrument panel, but a four-inch multifunction LCD display carries some of that load.

Exterior
2011 Ford Fiesta photo

The 2011 Ford Fiesta is available in two styles: four-door sedan and five-door hatchback. We're partial to the hatchback, which is the only style offered in Europe, but America still prefers sedans. Kudos to Ford for not crippling entry-priced Fiesta models with black bumpers and door handles and such; the 15-inch covered steel wheels are about as cheap as it gets, and the covers are decent. Still, the more you pay the better you look, and loaded models feature things like chrome-bezeled LED parking lamps and 17-inch aluminum wheels. Every 2011 Ford Fiesta comes with Ford's cool capless fuel filler.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A 2011 Ford Fiesta S Sedan starts just under $14,000 and includes air conditioning, four-speaker AM/FM audio system with auxiliary audio input jack, four-way adjustable steering wheel, a five-speed manual transmission and the same fun suspension and powertrain found in every Fiesta. It also gets all the safety goodies, like electronic stability control and seven airbags – including the category's first driver's-side knee airbag. Base model shortcomings include 15-inch covered steel wheels, roll-'em-up windows and not even the option of SYNC or SIRIUS.

Optional Equipment

A fully loaded 2011 Ford Fiesta includes a six-speed automatic transmission, leather seats, moonroof, keyless entry and start, voice-controlled SYNC smartphone integration, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, heated seats, satellite radio and a trip computer. Step back five or 10 years, read that list again, and try to imagine the price – and badge – on such a car.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Ford Fiesta's four-cylinder engine is relatively smooth and strong, but it's more notable for its fuel efficiency than its power. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual and Ford's first dual-clutch automatic transmission. Compared to a traditional automatic, the six-speed "PowerShift" unit delivers more direct engagement, faster shifts and greater fuel economy. We're not big fans of electric power steering systems, which generally deliver better fuel economy at the expense of driving feel, but the Fiesta's qualifies as one of the less compromised units. To attain Ford's much-hyped 40 mpg highway fuel economy rating, you have to pay for the Super Fuel Economy (SFE) Package, which makes the car a bit more aerodynamic, a tad lighter and probably compromises handling to some degree, thanks to special mileage-maxing tires.

1.6-liter four-cylinder
120 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm
112 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/38 (manual), 30/38 (auto), 30/40 (auto w/SFE package),

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2011 Ford Fiesta Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 187 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    7.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.2/10
    Performance
    7.9/10
  • Comfort
    7.9/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

good economy

By on Sunday, April 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "fun to drive and cheap to run"

Cons: "hard to get in and out of revs up too high also"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"great small car except for where I live in the northeast it is helpless in the snow--its all over the road"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Excellent in bad weather with good tires

By on Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Gas mileage, excellent in bad weather, tough built"

Cons: "The 4 speed manual tranny needs a 5th speed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is excellent all around. Gas mileage -excellent. Excellent in snow and bad weather with the correct tires. Never had an issue in weather, even after a 17inch snowfall overnight, this car plowed through--buy good tires and you will not have an issue. Was recently in an accident with her (tboned by an SUV then another SUV) and because of the tough way she was built it saved my life. Car is totaled but it could have been so much worse. Will never buy anything but a FORD!!!"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

really zippy little car

By on Monday, March 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "na"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car. Right down to the AC. Good sound system. These are things that were lacking in my Nissan. Seats are comfortable, love that all the things are within reach on steering wheel. I can't honestly think of anything I don't like about this car. Good in snow."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

2013 SE Manual trans

By on Thursday, March 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "handles like a go-cart, tires wear perfectly even."

Cons: "sound system flaw."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Commute 150 miles a day, 95% highway with lots of 5-7 percent grade hills. I run on cruise control almost always at 70 miles per hour. I get 38.5 mpg on winter blend and 41.5 on summer blend. replaced tires at 50000, and change oil at 10000, using mobil 1 full synth. Not a single flaw except a buzzing noise in front speakers. dealer replaced right speaker to no avail. suspect problem is electronic inside radio. just enough power to keep up with highway traffic in mountains if I pace myself properly and plan ahead for changing traffic situations."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Cute and fun, but spent time and $ in the shop.

By on Monday, March 16, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Frequent repairs needed

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"This car spent a lot of time in the shop. Broken speaker at 30,000 another broken speaker at 32,000, broken A/C at 37,000 ($700.00), transmission problems at 37,000 and 41,000, broken door latch at 41,000 ($500.00). The repairs and the costs just kept adding up."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Good on gas

By on Wednesday, March 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "good mileage"

Cons: "very bad in snow and confort"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"i purchased this car used with 3300, i already had to replace transmission at 45000 miles. very bad in snow. other than the mileage i would not buy this car again. Very poor quality over all."

3 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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