2011 Ford Fiesta Sedan & 2012 Hatchback. Click image to enlarge
Review by Justin Pritchard
Vehicle Type: Subcompact Sedan / Hatchback
History/Description: Fiesta hit the Canadian market in its most recent iteration for the 2011 model year, and has just been redesigned for 2014 – meaning early copies of the latest Fiesta have now moved under our used-car microscope.
Used car shoppers can check Ford’s entry-level model out in five-door hatchback or four-door sedan configurations, depending on their need and lifestyle.
Depending on the model selected, feature content included Bluetooth, 16-inch wheels, heated seats, exterior thermometer, the slick Ford Sync infotainment system, fog lamps, USB audio inputs, cruise control, ambient interior lighting and more.
Full power accessories, remote access and push-button start were also available. Finally, the ‘EasyFuel’ capless refueling system was on board, saving owners a step at the gas station by replacing the gas-cap with a self-sealing flap.
Key used-car competitors include the Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, Mazda2 (with which it shares a platform) and, perhaps most closely where sporty handling performance is concerned, the Honda Fit Sport.
Engines / Trim: Trim grades included S, SE, SEL and Titanium representing the ascent from basic to loaded, respectively. All models in this early Fiesta generation got a 1.6L four-cylinder engine sending 120 horsepower to the front wheels. A five-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic were available. This power plant should prove slightly above average where performance is concerned in its segment, and is fairly athletic relative to its displacement.
What Owners Like: Owners tend to speak highly of the Fiesta’s fun-to-drive character, styling, and flexibility – especially on hatchback models. Solid build and ride quality, as well as great fuel mileage, are also noted. An attractive cabin design and even comfortable seats are also commonly praised. End of the day, many owner reviews reflect a car that’s very ‘well done’ relative to its price and size.
Ford Fiesta, 2011–2013. Click image to enlarge
What Owners Dislike: Cramped rear-seat legroom, modest performance with the ‘PowerShift’ dual-clutch transmission and a tight cabin for larger drivers are among the most common complaints. On models with a manual transmission, some driving enthusiasts complain of a ‘mushy’ clutch that lacks bite and feel. Other complaints include rear seat headrests blocking rear visibility, as well as folding-seat action. These folding rear seats don’t fold flat to the rear floor, which frustrates some owners, too.
Common Issues: Start your test drive with a check of the transmission, ensuring the manual-equipped Fiesta shifts smoothly and is able to engage all gears easily. Note any clutch slipping and ‘feel’ for any signs of the transmission ‘grinding’ or biting back at you while shifting. A transmission that pops out of gear when the clutch is applied, or tries to, is another sign of trouble. Though manual transmission problems were only reported by a small portion of Fiesta owners, common transmission trouble signs should be kept in mind. If any issues are apparent, have them investigated by a mechanic or move to another model.