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2011 Ford Fiesta

Overview
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2011 Ford Fiesta Review

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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 165 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    7.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.2/10
    Performance
    8.0/10
  • Comfort
    7.9/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

Terrible vehicle

By on Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,800

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great gas mileage when it runs"

Cons: "everything other than the gas mileage"

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

"I would advise against this vehicle. I do not like what Ford did with the interior, for one. Additionally, I have already had a major breakdown at 6500 miles (yes, I sai 6400). Not only that, the artery died less than 24 months of use. This is truly a terrible car."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Fast Fun to drive great gas millage

By on Thursday, October 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Performance, gas millage, fun factor, Recaro seats"

Cons: "none"

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

"The is the best value I found when looking for a sports car! It has great styling, very smooth 6 speed manual transmission, and corners like it is on rails. It gets 35 MPG commuting to work and 32 overall."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

I love this car!

By on Monday, September 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "small, maneuverable, reliable, great gas milage"

Cons: "small, SYNC doesn't work very well"

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

"I have a 2011 Fiesta SE Hatchback with a 5 speed manual transmission. I absolutely love it. It's small and maneuverable, has great gas mileage, and a lot of cargo room considering it's such a small car. I've got 100,000 miles on it, and the only thing I've done is replace the breaks (at 80,000 miles!) and the shocks (right at 100,000 miles). I'm surprised to see the comments about reliability, but they mostly seem to come from the automatic transmission, which I would never have considered buying. I need to replace the AC compressor, which is making noise but still works. My main complaint is with the Voice-Activated SYNC stereo, which is showing its age when compared to SIRI on my iPhone, though I was never very impressed with it. I will probably replace the stereo with a 2DIN car-play/android stereo once I find a good aftermarket 2DIN kit for this car. I really wish they could have gone with a more standard dashboard arrangement for the stereo."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Might be the best car I've ever owned.

By on Monday, September 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Handling, economy, motor"

Cons: "Center console layout, 12v outlets (only 1)."

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

"I'm 6' 1", and this fits me perfectly. Handling is superb, motor loves to run. We went across the country - 9400 miles in 25 days - it got an average of 42 mpg, with the AC on @ 70 mph. Trunk is big enough for two people for a trip like that."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Automatic Transmission Problems!

By on Friday, September 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "good gas mileage"

Cons: "major transmission flaw, not good investment!"

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

"I am the original owner of a white, 2012 Fiesta SFE, 6-speed auto, with heated seats, mirrors, block. It does get 40-45 hwy mpg when empty, but not if you are climbing hills or have passengers and cargo (28-34 hwy mpg). My biggest problem is I have had transmission problems for about 24 of the 30 months of ownership. They replaced the transmission once(took 3 weeks). The main problem is when the car is in drive and you step on the gas, the transmission slips or doesn't engage. Not good when crossing intersections and it leaves you stranded facing oncoming traffic! Now Ford sent me a free extended warranty up to 7 years or 100,00 miles because of their poor craftsmanship on the 6 speed transmission. But I don't think this is worth keeping it. My plans are to get rid of this car soon! Here is a quick breakdown of the problems with this car ranking from high to low. 1. Transmission doesn't work (slipping or not engaging gears) 2. Cheap paint job...the paint is flaking and chipping off all over (this car is also stored in garage) 3. Door seals don't stay on 4. Brakes squeal all the time since it was new."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

A great car with abysmal reliability.

By on Thursday, September 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Far more comfortable we thought it would be"

Cons: "Unreliable"

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

"First the good: I bought it in 2011 to use as a commuter car. Before driving 1000 miles to my inlaws for Thanksgiving that year, our Volvo was acting up. We were going to rent a "comfortable" car, but my partner convinced me to take the Fiesta although taking a "cheap econo-box" was not my idea of fun. We had only driven it around town and feared it would be rough, uncomfortable, etc. Instead, we were both genuinely surprised at how comfortable it was on such a long road trip. The gas mileage was fantastic (which we already knew) and keeping up with 90 mph traffic on West Texas was a breeze (the speed limit on the interstates is 85). From then on, it became the go-to car for long trips. Now the bad: Last December, it turned 50K miles. Since then, I've replaced the electric driver window motor ($450), the transmission and transaxle (under warranty, but because we were on vacation when it happened, I'm still out of pocket $600 in other expenses because of it, not to mention the extra trip back to pick up the car and time off work), a valve in the fuel filler line that prevented me from putting gas in the tank ($400), and now the electric fan motor that cools the engine ($700). Add that up, and I'm out over $2000 injust nine months. The bloom is off the rose. I'm getting rid of this car as soon as I can. This has been the most unreliable car I've ever owned, with the *possible* exception of a 1974 AMC Hornet I had in college -- and even then I don't recall four expensive repairs in less than a year. Needless to say I'm done with Ford."

3 people out of 4 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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