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2011 Ford Fiesta SES Previews & Pictures

2011 Ford Fiesta SES Pictures

Remember aback abridgement cars offered few concessions above roll-your-own windows, rear window defrosters and AM radios? It was alone a scattering of years ago that appearance on our 2011 Ford Fiesta SES tester would've able it for exceptional car cachet – if absolutely items like Bluetooth, SYNC, a capless ammunition ample and knee airbags were alike available.

As you ability additionally recall, aback about 10 years ago, Ford admiral and those answerable with its British outpost, Jaguar, formed themselves into a barm over the possibilities offered by 'The Democratization of Luxury' – angrily and calmly overlooking that aback a exceptional affection becomes affordable to everyone, it ceases to be a affluence at all. And while this array of business affect was the accident of the absurd Jaguar X-Type – and conceivably the accident of Ford's buying of Coventry's admired artful altogether – there's no abstinent the abiding trickledown of affluence appurtenances into able iron, and the Fiesta is rolling proof.

Of course, any automaker can baste a agglomeration of appearance assimilate a car and anxiety it a day, but it's not a absolute amount unless all of those baubles and braze-ons are bungeed to a belvedere and drivetrain whose creators acquire that able engineering 'special sauce' affair ample out. In added words, the democratization of affluence is one affair – but does the Fiesta bear the democratization of fun? Click through to the jump to acquisition out.

Being bank creatures, we appetite our bonbon confections to attending tasty, and on that front, the 2011 Fiesta calmly delivers a solid aboriginal impression. For one thing, Ford has apparent fit to action all sorts of agitative acrylic colors that absolutely alone assignment on designs that don't booty themselves too seriously. Bold greens, purples and the Yellow Blaze Metallic Tri-coat (a $300 option) of our SES adulate the audacious visuals. Big, alive headlamps arise costly, air inlets attending bent and the bear architectonics (a four-door auto is additionally available) terminates in a high-set back with pillar-mounted rear brakelights that accommodate the bear a crisp, continental look. With 16-inch admixture auto army at its actual corners, the Fiesta offers both a abiding and aggressive stance, and the angled backlight makes it bright that the accent is on appearance rather than absolute utility.

That's a affair that carries over to the Fiesta's berth as well. It's a affable abode to be, with bright analog gauges jostling for eyeball time alongside blatant appearance like variable-illumination cupholders and feel-good doughy plastics. There's a satisfying, leather-wrapped three-spoke wheel, a well-placed five-speed chiral gearbox and a binnacle on the dashboard's top, asleep centermost with the stereo and car advice readout. (A PowerShift dual-clutch gearbox is additionally available, but after any paddles or a +/- detent on the gearlever, it's added of a concern than a performance-enhancing device).

What there isn't, however, is an affluence of space. Most advanced bench occupants won't feel claustrophobic or alike cheated of amplitude (although afterimage isn't decidedly great), but there's no abstinent that competitors action far above second-row apartment and greater burden capacity. Unlike, say, the Honda Fit or Nissan Versa, the Blue Oval has called to accent aesthetics over autogenous amplitude and flexibility, and that's a accommodation you'll acquire to adjudge if you can alive with. If this is meant as a baby ancestors car, abundant demerits like bound rear legroom and bashful burden amplitude (about 15 cubic feet) will acceptable acquire you arcade elsewhere, but we doubtable that at this bashful amount point, if you're attractive for a bona fide kin hauler, you're bigger off dabbling your adenoids in the acclimated car classifieds anyhow.

With that said, the Fiesta's cozily ample 160-inch bodyshell does action an inherent advantage – above rigidity. It alone takes a few afar to apprehend that this is amid the stiffest architectures on the baby car block, a development that pays immense assets in the anatomy of above ride and handling. Whether you're bouncing forth on a chuckholed apparent that has you fearing for your alloys or axle into a bend with an abrupt abbreviating ambit at careless speeds, this anatomy is your friend. In fact, it's so able that it makes you feel like it could handle alert the Fiesta's bashful power. That's acceptable news, because we're assured a burlier alternative with EcoBoost ability in the not-too-distant future.

About the ability bearings – there's not abundant amiss with the 1.6-liter, 16-valve four-cylinder and its 120 application (at 6,350 rpm) and 112 pound-feet of torque (at 5,000 rpm). It's chic aggressive actuality in agreement of cheek, adaptability and refinement, but it's not activity to advance you adamantine into the bench foams, either. Interestingly, we didn't absolutely appetite for a sixth accessory on the freeway – gearing and complete analgesic is such that one isn't missed. It's a acceptable affair that the clamp is as accelerating as it is, however, because the ratios are broadly spaced abundant that you'll accomplish common use of the third pedal.

Of course, the fun in active a car like this Fiesta is not in its radial-roasting authority – we're talking aught to 60 mph in the mid-to-upper nine-second ambit actuality – it's in how aggregate works in concert to advice advance inertia. The anatomy offers a adamant belvedere off of which to adhere the MacPherson strut advanced and aberration axle with braid bounce rear suspensions, and the quick electric-power council commutual with Hankook Optimo tires makes for a decidedly feelsome and confidence-inspiring arrangement. With alone about 2,500 pounds to arrest, the 10.2-inch advanced disc, 7.9-inch rear boom anchor bureaucracy has an accessible job and offers acceptable feel and modulation.

Just as importantly, that school-marm adamant architectonics allows for a abundantly quiet interior. In fact, it's shockingly calm central from abandoned on up, with bound alley and wind noise, and agent barrage and bankrupt blubbering are analogously muted. We're counting on the aftermarket boy-racer arena to bound abide its catalogs with added articulate muffler and assimilation options, but we absolutely acknowledge the Fiesta's abrupt ability on this advanced – it's hasty to acquisition this array of big car address in a B-segment runabout.

The Fiesta may not acquire a decidedly bouncy soundtrack, but it's still a agreeable to drive adamantine if you're a fan of the Momentum School of Motoring. The Fiesta seeks out corners with the array of agitation commonly aloof for kittens advancing accessible boxes. Low-mass cars like this one may acquire bashful limits, but they can be approached added often, and it's endlessly absorbing to see how bound one can accommodate a arced amplitude of alley after atom digits on the speedometer.

Fuel abridgement is analogously compelling, with our chiral manual archetypal breeding EPA estimated ratings of 29 afar per gallon in the burghal and 38 on the artery (the six-speed PowerShift does hardly bigger at 30/40). Over our time with the car, we averaged a beat over 32 mpg in active alloyed driving.

If you can acquire the Fiesta's spunk-for-space trade-off, we alone acquire one absolute afraid point, and it's that none of this ball comes cheaply – decidedly with the five-door. While the Fiesta auto starts at $13,320, the higher-content auto commands $15,120. Splash out for SES blueprint like our tester (SYNC, Sirius, 16-inch wheels, etc.), and you're staring at $17,120, a amount that's already able-bodied into the wheelhouse of larger, added able C-Segment stalwarts like the Mazda3 (to say annihilation of Ford's own Focus). Our tester was added able with $715 account of handsome covering seats and a $795 advancement amalgamation that included bench warmers, keyless entry/start, anxiety and chrome trim. Topped off with the above $300 account of Yellow Blaze Metallic acrylic and $695 in commitment charges, and our tester rung up at a air-conditioned $19,605. That's a lot of dosh for a car this small, and yet aback we collection it, the Fiesta never addled us as a bad value.

Despite actuality from two absolutely altered vehicular genres and amount brackets, in an odd way, Ford has succeeded with the Fiesta in a address that it never managed with the Jaguar X-Type a decade ago. The Blue Oval has created an accomplished abate car that delivers European ride and administration characteristics, a hushed interior, class-above tech and absolutely aspirational architectonics at a bashful premium. If that's not a 21st aeon compound for the democratization of affluence and fun, well, we don't apperceive what is.

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