Last post on Mar 06, 2012 at 11:43 AM
You are in the Ford Fiesta
What is this discussion about?
Ford Fiesta, Hatchback, Sedan
Feb 15, 2008 (7:23 am)
Ford announced that it will reintroduce the Fiesta small car in the U.S. in 2010. The Fiesta was known as the Verve while the vehicle was in development, so the Verve concept car will become the Fiesta in Ford showrooms.
The Fiesta will compete in the "B" class segment, between the Focus and the Smart. The Fiesta's direct competitors will be the Chevy Aveo, Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Scion xD, Nissan Versa, MINI, and VW Rabbit, although the Rabbit and Versa are a little larger than the others. While the Smart is an "A" class two seater, it's not-so-low price, and the fact that it requires premium fuel (how dumb is that?) may prompt some Smart intenders to cross shop the four and five passenger B cars mentioned above.
Those with good memories will remember that there were two predecessors to the next Fiesta sold in the U.S., the '78-'80 Fiesta, and the Mazda designed, Kia built Festiva ('88-'93) and the slightly larger, more rounded Festiva derived Aspire ('94-97).
Although I've never owned a Fiesta, Festiva, or Aspire, here's what I know from being interested in these cars...
The made-in-Germany (I believe) Fiesta was Ford's answer to the original VW Rabbit. It was a decent, fun-to-drive, peppy car, but it was somewhat overpriced compared to what else was available at the time. One downside, for an economy car, is that although the Fiesta delivered good MPG numbers, it required premium fuel.
I understand that the Festiva, especially, was a tough little car, with many high mileage examples ( >200,000 miles, and even >300,000 miles on the original engine) to its credit. I occasionally still see one on the road, and the examples I've seen are in surprisingly decent shape for what, for many, would be a trow-away car. I've spoken to a few owners and they support the idea that, with proper care, these cars can last and last.
The successor to the Festiva, the Aspire, didn't fare as well as the Festiva. Many Aspires were sold to rental car agencies, and were equipped with 3-speed automatics, so that may account for much of the difference between the reputation of the Festiva versus the Aspire.
Do any of you readers who've owned or driven the Fiesta, Festiva or Aspire care to comment?
#2 of 636 I remember...
Feb 15, 2008 (8:05 am)
those '78-80 Fiesta models when they were new. I thought they were neat little cars. Seems like they only came in two colors though...economy car orange and yellow!
My neighbors had an orange one when they moved into their house in 1985. Even though it was only 5-7 years old at that time (I can't remember what year it was), it looked pretty ratty by that time. They also had a 1977 era Corolla wagon that looked even worse I think the Fiesta was the better of the two, because that's what they mainly drove. The speedometer/odometer quit working, so they had no idea how many miles it had on it, but they guessed at least 200,000 by the time they got rid of it in 1991. At that time, they replaced both it and the Corolla with a CRX.
In college, one of my friends had a Festiva. All I remember was that it was white with a gray interior that was more plastic than vinyl, rode on what looked like 4 temporary spare tires, and the whole car just seemed paper-thin. It was roomy up front, though.
#3 of 636 Re: Ford Fiesta [hpmctorque]
Feb 15, 2008 (11:02 am)
I remember Fiestas when I was little, I liked them (as I did most small cars I guess, as I could imagine driving one easier than my mother's whale T-Bird). My friend's mother had a blue one, I remember riding in it, in the back with the seat folded down. Very dangerous to think about it now, but it was very fun then.
#4 of 636 Fiesta/Festiva
Feb 17, 2008 (7:30 am)
Years ago, I owned a Festiva. It was actually a Kia with a Ford badge.
#5 of 636 1978 Fiesta
Feb 18, 2008 (12:57 pm)
I purchased a 1978 Fiesta in 1982 as my first "good" used car; it was a Ghia model with about 60K miles on it. The Ghia package brought along a slighty nicer interior, a tach, and possibly aluminum alloy wheels and a factory sunroof- the last two I had but am not sure if they were stand-alone options or not.
I'll always have good memories of this car, as it carried me through college when my "fun" cars (Mach 1's) were being wrenched on. It started no matter what the weather, got great mileage (45 mpg on the highway), and was fun to drive. The downsides included 12-inch rims (try finding tires for those), hydroplaning at highway speeds (very light weight) and, I'm guessing, poor crash protection. All in all, though, I felt it was equal to or superior to all the other competition, save the GTI.
I sold it to a friend who ran the clock up to around 130K or so before he sold it. I had the opportunity to drive it one last time, after having purchased a new 1988 CRX, and was shocked at how primitive it felt, particulary the lengthy shifter travel. I guess we acclimate ourselves pretty quickly to the latest and greatest, but in fairness, I think the '88 CRX was so far ahead of its time that it would look quite at home on the dealer's lot today.
Feb 26, 2008 (3:53 pm)
To the long list of cars I have owned.
These were actually very good cars that were rugged and they lasted a long time.
they used the 1600 "Cortina" engine that found it's way into some early Pintos.
I remember you couldn't add air conditioning to these.
Apr 03, 2008 (12:50 pm)
I owned a Ford Fiesta 2004. I live in Nicaragua, Central America. I have to said a few things about this car. I feel that this car in Nicaragua is sold for a very high price ($12,500) my model doesn´t have the full equipment, and the real price was $14,500. I made my decision because the $2,000 difference after a year I first saw it at the dealer. Since new it has a low MPG, and a lot of plastic stuff in the interior that suddenly falls apart. PRO: It has a powerful engine for a small car. This car for Latin America came from Mexico or Brazil, cars from USA are better than this one. Really feel the difference.
#8 of 636 Fiesta = Festiva ? No!
May 31, 2008 (9:05 am)
The Fiesta is an Euro design.
The Festiva/Aspire is the Ford-badged Mazda 121.
Both the Fiesta & Festiva/Aspire co-existed around the world for a while, & eventually combined as the same car w/ its Euro-platform adopted by the Mazda version called the Mazda2 started in '02:
I've heard that the Festiva's rear strut suspension can fishtail badly in the wet, which reminds me of My '90 Protege twin cam.
The Fiesta 1.6 won the acceleration test in July 1978 Car & Driver's small car comparison, followed by the Civic 1.5 & Rabbit 1.5.
After growing up, I eventually got to drive both the Fiesta & Aspire, but not the Festiva.
The Fiesta competes w/ the VW Polo/Derby, not Rabbit/Golf. The Escort does. & the Cortina/Sierra competes w/ VW Passat (Dasher/Quantum). Ford of Europe also had their version of V6 sedan -- the Granada/Scorpio.
Starting '91, our Euro-derived Escort got switched to become a twin version of the Mercury Tracer -- a rebadged Mazda 323/Protege called Ford Laser in the Pacific region. & British Car magazine liked it even more than their Euro-design Escort. But after the Euro-Escort got replaced by the state-of-the-art Euro-design Focus w/ the Control Blade multi-link rear suspension in the late '90's, Mazda 323/Protege eventually abandonded their Japanese-designed platform by '04 & joined the Focus II platform as the Mazda3, ditto the Mitsubishi-platform Volvo S40.
Today, the FWD Rabbit/GTI/Passat/A3 all had their rear suspension switched to multi-link by the original Focus engineer(s). That means the Rabbit, now sharing its high-tech suspension w/ the Focus, does not compete w/ the low-tech torsion-beam B-cars such as Verve/Fiesta, Polo, Fit and Yaris. The Astra will also switch to multi-links soon. The Corolla finally got it as an option in this country. The Civic had it since '92!
The new Fiesta sedan is beautiful:
As an '07 Focus ST owner, I am jealous. Thank God my car still has better suspension.
#9 of 636 Diesel is a Must
Jun 03, 2008 (11:37 am)
I;m interested in these smaller cars, but unless Ford brings it over with the turbo diesel as an option, like they sell a zillion of in Europe currently, I'm going to have to pass.
A 35mpg small car that has a huge gasoline powered engine... I'll have to pass. That doesn't even do better than a Yaris, let alone the 55-60mpg(in U.S. gallons, no less) a Polo gets in Europe.