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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 193 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

Great small car!

By on Tuesday, May 26, 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
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"I have a 2011 SES hatchback with a 5speed manual transmission so I haven't had any issues with the transmission. The car is used as a second car in the summer and a daily driver in the winter. It is a great handling car and I average 31-32 combined city/hwy driving. I don't drive slow 75-85mph on my commute so the mileage is excellent. Excellent in the winter with studded snow tires."

junk

By on Monday, May 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good mileage"

Cons: "has been in and out of the shop (transmission)"

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

"Purchased this vehicle and have had problems with it from day one. 11000 miles and two recalls and it still doesn't run right. Spend a little more and buy the focus. Trading it in."

11 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Don't waste your money !

By on Saturday, May 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Great Gas Mileage,"

Cons: "Shudder, slip, hesitation transmission"

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

"This vehicle has a newly designed automatic clutch assembly and they are known to slip and shudder severely in lower gears. Ford replaced the trasmission clutch under warranty and they had it in the shop 5 consecutive weeks. Vehicle only has 80,000 miles and it already needs another transmission clutch. SYNC system had to be replaced and the bluetooth micophonne has been replaced 4X. Power window issues, cruise control issues, and numerous recalls. I've hired an attorney to sue Ford Motor Company !"

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Not too shabby

By on Saturday, April 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Great on gas"

Cons: "It's a subcompact car."

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

"Look, it's a tiny car. Don't expect it to have the comfort of a Cadillac or the zip of a Porsche. IT gets over 40 mpg. I've never had a problem with mine, and it's got 81000 miles on it. the sync works great, and it will get you from point A to point B."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Would not recommend

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Acts like it does not want to go sometimes!"

Cons: "Good Gas Mileage!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I bought this car in June of 2014 and i have had nothing but trouble since about November. My engine light has came on and went back off about 10 times. Another light regarding the transmission came on yesterday and came on and off 3 times already. The dealership told me last time I had something checked on it that it drives like a Fiesta should (JUNK). This has a automatic/manual/automatic transmission and i just do not like it! I just have not had very good luck with this car. I will be looking to trade it in for something different really soon as in tomorrow! ONE good thing about this car is the gas mileage! I get 36.8 miles per the gallon right now, when driving to school an hour away twice a week and the rest driving around town. It takes anywhere from 20 dollars to 24 dollars to fill up when i have about 50 miles to empty."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great small car!

By on Sunday, April 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,700

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
9/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Incredible value, low maintenance."

Cons: "Lacks useful cargo space."

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

"Owned for four years now, no maintenance except for routine oil changes. Put on the snow tires in the winter!"

2 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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