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2012 Ford Fiesta

Overview
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2012 Ford Fiesta Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.4

The 2012 Ford Fiesta sub-compact is the first American in the sub-compact segment that can actually run in the same circles as the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa. The 2012 Ford Fiesta is available as both a 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback (Ford calls it the "Hatch"), and runs the price range from entry-level bare-bones to a nicely-equipped commuter pushing into the $20,000 range. Beyond its slick European good looks, impressive 40-mpg fuel economy, and fun-to-drive factor, the 2012 Ford Fiesta sub-compact is loaded with features uncommon in this class, including a wide variety of wild interior and exterior color choices, a watered-down version of Ford's popular SYNC audio and communications system, and more interior room that one would expect.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a fuel-efficient small car, but you don't want to sacrifice the interior quality or modern features usually only found on larger, more expensive cars, the 2012 Ford Fiesta sub-compact is an easy choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're all about room and high resale, the Honda Fit trumps the Fiesta in both categories. Newer models such as the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio offer just as much styling and features as the Fiesta, but at a lower price.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Ford Fiesta sub-compact sedan and hatchback adds two new interior option packages to the SEL and SES trims, sees a revised Sport Package with more features, and makes integrated side blind-spot mirrors standard on all models.

Driving the Fiesta

Driving Impressions Having driven the European Ford Fiesta, we were certain Ford would water down the car's excellent chassis to better suit American drivers. But, to our surprise and...

delight, the 2012 Ford Fiesta subcompact remains intact. On the highway, the Fiesta delivers a ride that is both comfortable and controlled, with only mild wind buffeting outside the windows to distract from an otherwise quiet interior. Push the Fiesta through a curving on-ramp or twisting back road and you'll discover a little slice of heaven on four wheels. 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. If there is one drawback to the 2012 Fiesta's playful nature it can be found in the rather anemic 4-cylinder engine. With the 5-speed manual transmission, the driver can keep the rpm high enough to get some decent acceleration on level surfaces, but Fiestas equipped with the dual-clutch automatic lack a manual-control option, meaning you're at the mercy of the transmission computer for your fun.

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

Integrated Blind Spot Mirrors
Standard on the side mirrors of every 2012 Ford Fiesta are small secondary mirrors that find cars hiding in those nebulous areas between peripheral vision and mirror coverage.

2012 Ford Fiesta Details
Interior

If you're looking for a reason to purchase the 2012 Ford Fiesta over its Japanese and Korean competitors, it can be found in the car's interior. Ford has done a masterful job with both the Fiesta's interior styling and execution, offering a number of interior packages, including white/black leather seating, black leather with contrasting piping, and plum leather seating surfaces. Soft-touch surfaces reside where you'd expect and require them to be (armrest, console lid, steering wheel) and high-end options include heated front seats, push-button start and multi-color selectable ambient lighting. Missing from the 2012 Ford Fiesta's option list is navigation, something most of is competitors offer. However, given the affordability of aftermarket units from Garmin, not to mention the widening use of Google Maps via most smart phones, this omission is not a glaring one.

Exterior
2012 Ford Fiesta photo

The 2012 Ford Fiesta subcompact can be had in either 4-door sedan form or as a 5-door hatchback - the "Hatch." While the sedan's trunk does offer a bit more security, we think in this segment the Hatch makes much more sense. We applaud Ford for not handicapping entry-level Fiesta models with cheap-looking unpainted parts and ugly wheel covers, an attribute that makes even the least-expensive 2012 Ford Fiesta sub-compact appear upscale. Of course, the more money you're willing to lay down, the fancier the Fiesta becomes. Upper-end trims include such nice details as chrome-bezel surrounds for the LED parking lamps, sporty 17-inch aluminum wheels and a host of bright paint colors. Also worth noting is the Fiesta's capless fuel filler that negates the need for a twist-off fuel cap.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A 2012 Ford Fiesta S sedan includes air conditioning, 4-speaker AM/FM audio system with auxiliary audio input jack, four-way adjustable steering wheel, a 5-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 manual crank windows and not even the option of SYNC or SIRIUS Satellite radio.

Optional Equipment

A fully-loaded 2012 Ford Fiesta includes a 6-speed automatic transmission, leather seats, moonroof, keyless entry and start, voice-controlled SYNC smart phone 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 2012 Ford Fiesta's 4-cylinder engine is relatively smooth and strong, but it's more notable for its fuel efficiency than its power. Transmission choices include a 5-speed manual and Ford's first dual-clutch automatic transmission. Compared to a traditional automatic, the 6-speed "PowerShift" unit delivers more direct engagement, faster shifts and greater fuel economy. 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 in-line 4
120 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm
112 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/38 (manual), 29/39 (automatic), 29/40 (automatic w/SFE package)

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2012 Ford Fiesta Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 199 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

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

Lots of Transmissions issues

By on Saturday, June 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,101

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "cheap priced car"

Cons: "plagued with issues"

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

"The 2011-2013 Fiesta's are plagued with transmission issues that the dealer can not fix. I have had my Fiesta in the shop 4 times for the same issue with no fix available. It only has 20,000 miles on it and the clutch is having issues. It is an automatic but has a clutch in it. I am pursuing the Lemon Law with regard to this car and will never buy another Ford again (this was my first one)."

Great car for getting groceries.

By on Thursday, June 25, 2015

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

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Gas mileage, Sync, gets up and goes."

Cons: "transmission issues the first year"

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

"I do really like my Fiesta. I've had all kinds of transmission issues with it and ended up having my fuel pump replaced before I even replaced my windshield wipers, but after that it ran perfectly. It's great for getting groceries, a short work commute, or maybe a college student that doesn't do a whole lot of traveling. I put 50,000 miles on it in two years and it really wasn't made for that. I've traveled very far with it and its always held up well but you can tell when the car is getting tired (if that makes sense) It gets really great gas mileage and gets up and goes really well (which is perfect for merging on the interstate, or pulling out.) Sync is a very nice feature. My ipod screen is completely shattered and I talked through my sync to play songs and stuff. So it was really nice. I like this car alot."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

My first brand new car, bigger on the inside

By on Monday, June 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,495

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great gas mileage, fun to drive."

Cons: "autotrans sluggest when punching it,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I got this car with 5 miles on it. The inside is quite roomy. It handles curves excellently and turns on a penny. I love the squeeze green color. I can't lose my car in the parking lot. I've had no mechanical problems. The only complaints are: Though it has get up and go, the autotransmission can be a bit slow in calculating when you need to punch it. The other complaint is the seats do not fully recline they only go 3/4 back."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

This Is My First Car

By on Saturday, June 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,065

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price,Great first car, MPG (see tips)"

Cons: "Center Console, PLASTIC MANIFOLD, Small Backseat,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is my first car. I got the Base model Sedan and I love it completely. Pros. Interior/ Exterior Looks Great MPG is great Sport Mode is Awesome Electric Power Steering Trunk Space is big Steering feel is great Rear Window Defroster Cons. Biggest con I have is that the things Ford made soft material are the things you don't bother touching and the things you do touch are hard plastic. For example, the dash is soft touch but the door liner is plastic material so I think Ford is confused how this works exactly. The center console is annoying like crazy. Theres tons of cup holders but nowhere to put my wallet at. Im struggling where to put my stuff as there is no center console. The change dispenser is a joke. Cant put pennies anywhere. Yes, The back seat is small. Not a con for me but might be for you. Ford used a plastic manifold under the hood. Yes, you heard it right. It is PLASTIC. I do wish the Sedan version came with a rear window wiper. (My Opinion) Tips I got mine from the dealership and the tire pressure was all off. I filled it up to 32psi like it said and the MPG was bad. I increased the psi to 40psi and I noticed a huge increase in MPG. Doing this can be unsafe depending on your area. I live in CA, so I don't have snow and stuff like that. Not a big deal for where I live. But is recommended to use 32psi. From Ford. The passenger seat left side has a pocket to put stuff but not much. I guess Ford did that to make up for not putting in a center console and that is why my rating went down for interior design."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

only reason I gave it an 8 for comfort

By on Friday, June 05, 2015

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "it was a little high ended for the car meaning cos"

Cons: "if your 6 ft. not an easy car to get into to"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"My husband has a hard time getting in and out of it. He is 6 foot. Also I feel every bump. This is a cool zippy little car. I went to SC, it took very little gas. I enjoyed the heated car seats and mirros during winter weather. It got around in the snow."

8 people out of 17 found this review helpful

2015 Molten Orange Fiesta ST

By on Thursday, June 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,200

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great handling, get-up & go w/o sacrificing mpg"

Cons: "Not 1 con."

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

My Tangelo

"I thoroughly researched this car, wanting good gas milage but sporty, fun-2-drive handling & p/u. I special ordered it & received it 09/26/14. It does everything the MANY reviews said it would. I got the moonroof, gray Recaro seats, My Ford Touch, but no Nav. and no red brake calipers. I plan to do many performance upgrades w/o voiding the warranty. I love the 6-speed stick shift. I listen to my iPhone 5S music & books via the Bluetooth on the radio. I get 26.5 mpg around town when I don't use my lead foot! @ 73, this may be my last new car, bought to protect my 2004 SVT Mystichrome Cobra."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

My Tangelo

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