Environmental Protection

blind spot

Fun Fiesta Isn't Made for Me

Ford Motor Company invited me to take the 2011 Fiesta for a ride. I've never done that before and it wasn't really on my bucket list, but I thought what the heck, this could be fun.

Dashboard

And it was. The Fiesta Hatch SES, with 1.6 L TIVCT Duratech DOHC1-4, Power Shift 6-speed automatic turned corners like you wouldn't believe. I felt lighter when driving it and comfortable, too (I'm about 5 feet 3 inches tall). I started the car without a key and could change the color of the ambient lighting to fit my mood…fuchsia anyone? Is it cocktail hour already? The dashboard, or centerstack, looks like a giant cell phone with lots of options: Audio, Radio, Sirius, HVAC. In fact, if I had a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone, I could have called home hands free using SYNC. Four adults, including one that is 6 feet tall, went for a ride to a local restaurant, less than 10 miles in distance, without grumbling. Getting out of the back seat was somewhat of a challenge for my 81-year-old mother because the front seat was left in the farthest back position. My kids, who are 15 and 12, really liked it.

I became enchanted by the side mirrors that filled in the blind spots. I never felt safer and think all carmakers should include these as standard. For other reasons, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Fiesta its Top Safety Pick award.

My best highway mileage was 35.4 mpg on a trip from Texas to Arkansas. Edmunds.com says the car has a fuel economy rating of 32 mpg. (Ford lists a projected 40 mpg.) Its aerodynamic design is also supposed to promote fuel economy. The only other significant environmental measure I could find is that the vehicle's interior fabric inserts include 25 percent recycled material. I would have liked to have known how the Fiesta fares in greenhouse gas emissions or smog ratings.

The MSRP is $17,120 but the car I drove has lots of options ─ leather seats, Power Shift, keyless entry, red candy metallic paint and more ─ which added $2,760 to the price tag.

So? It was a fun ride but not one I could take every day. I prefer a simpler mode of transportation with little flash, low cost and a great warranty. Can you guess what kind of car I own?

In the end, I realized I'm not a tech savvy young driver.

 Fiesta SES

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Sep 09, 2010 at 12:43 PM


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