August 15th, 2010 // 4:10 pm @ Shannon Arvizu
Can Americans handle this much Fiesta? We had to wait awhile to get our hands on a 2011 Ford Fiesta. Ford has been touting the vehicle for over a year now through their highly successful Ford Fiesta Movement and Fiesta Project on YouTube. Finally, this summer, the Ford Fiesta is now available for purchase.
I test drove the Ford Fiesta for one week all across Southern California. I usually only test drive hybrid and plug-in vehicles, but I gave the Fiesta a shot because it is known to be a fuel-sipping, low-emitting vehicle with an attractive price tag.
Let’s talk efficiency first. It is clear that Ford paid a lot of attention to how to maximize efficiency from this vehicle. From its very responsive PowerShift six-speed automatic transmission to its aerodynamic exterior, the Fiesta is designed to eke out the highest mpg possible. The model I drove came with the Super Fuel Economy Package, which offers additional aerodynamic details such as underbody shields and blockers on the lower grille.
Over the course of 350 miles, I averaged 33.7 mpg. This is what I would have expected, given the EPA estimate of 40 mpg (hwy)/29 mpg (city). However, I can’t say that I drove the Fiesta very efficiently. Since the Fiesta is also engineered to provide a smooth ride, even at high speeds with its electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system, I could easily put the pedal to the metal and feel like I was just cruising.
I could have maximized more mpg if the Fiesta had an efficiency gauge that showed me real-time fuel consumption. Efficiency gauges now come standard in most hybrid models so that drivers know how their fuel consumption varies according to how one drives. In lieu of an efficiency gauge, I set the Fiesta on cruise control at 65 mph for longer freeway trips during my last 100 miles of traveling. As expected, my fuel economy increased significantly to over 40 mpg at times.
However, the Ford Fiesta is not only known for its fuel economy. It also stands out for its cutting-edge features intended to enhance the overall driving experience. In the second installment of my review, I attend to those creature comforts that really make this economy model stand out from the rest of the pack.
To read the second installment of the Ford Fiesta review, check out the additional featured article on Honk.com.