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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 179 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

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

Barks When it Parks

By on Sunday, February 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Barks ALOT"

Cons: "Could bark even moar with some tuning."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Really, all it ever does. Just barks then it parks. The one time my wife parked it and the car was like: bark bark bark, barkley. I was impressed. Really Impressed."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

very economical and fun to drive

By on Thursday, February 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "excellent gas milage"

Cons: "cup holders are not big enough"

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

"purchased new in June 2011. Average daily driver 37.9 mpg. Highway only 41.5 mpg. No maintenance problems. I use full synthetic oil. Black paint and black interior is not a good combination in the summer."

18 people out of 36 found this review helpful

Not recommended for wintry areas

By on Thursday, February 12, 2015

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

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "good price, mileage and handles well"

Cons: "Heater and defrost blower motor freezes up in cold"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"With 4 studded snow tires, this car handles well on the wintry roads. The mileage is great, as marketed, and the winter package & heated seats work great. HOWEVER, for a different reason, I would not recommend this car for places with snowy and cold weather. There is a definite problem with the design and layout of the defrost/heat blower motor. The blower motor freezes up when it is most needed. We had it to the dealer for service and they are aware of the problem and advised to keep the vent near the windshield free of snow. They also advised opening the hood and making sure there is not snow or ice collected below the air intake vent below the windshield on the driver’s side. This past week, there was no snow and no ice and the blower motor still froze. This does not help when the car is needed for transportation to work with an outside temperature of zero."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

I am very happy with this car

By on Thursday, January 15, 2015

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

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
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Easy on gas and decent ride"

Cons: "Auto transmission is jerky."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I bought this car as a commuter car, I don't belong to a car pool so I needed a thrifty car to get to work daily. Aside from regular maintenance I have not had this car in the shop in the first 100K miles. For a small gas efficient car it has performed as I expected and I am very happy with it."

30 people out of 51 found this review helpful

Very Wonderful Car To Drive

By on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,500

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: "42 hwy-36 city fun to drive very comfortable"

Cons: "NONE AT ALL"

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

"We bought this car for my wife to drive to work (89 miles round trip)Let me tell you this is one fine car !! I have owned several luxury vehicles in the past and this rides better, handles better with more options than anything I have ever owned. Please believe me this is the Best Car in it's class. We will buy another if and when this one ever wears out. 2014 SE with all options. P.S. I am 6'4" and weigh 250 + pounds"

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

2914 had for almost a year. Automatic

By on Friday, December 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"The car drives great and has a hands free phone service, beeps when a car is in blind spot.rear view mirrows shows when other cars in blind spot to change lanes and very easy to park. Just what I need for an older person like me."

22 people out of 48 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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