|Photos by Ulysses Ang|
Just like the Ford Focus before it, everyone’s in love with the hatchback version of the Fiesta. And you can’t blame them; it’s absolutely stunning from just about any angle and with the right paintjob (the molten orange hue comes to mind), you’ve got one of the best head-turners money can buy. But while everyone’s all oohs and ahhs over the Fiesta hatchback, tucked neatly alongside it is the equally capable Ford Fiesta sedan.
There’s no denying that the Fiesta sedan’s not the prettier of the siblings, but don’t let the awkward proportions fool you. Granted the trunk looks like a design afterthought, the Fiesta sedan still carries with it some ‘street cred’—some umph if you will, especially compared to other cars out there. The big, sculpted eyes and wide trapezoidal mouth are truly eye-catching while the interplay of sharp lines and pronounced bulges connote a young, sporty demeanor. Besides the awkwardly grafted-on trunk, the blacked out front fog lamp housing (the Fiesta sedan doesn’t come with front fog lamps) is something to be desired as it lends an econo-box vibe to an otherwise stylish, upscale looking car.
The Fiesta sedan’s cockpit also suffers from the very same problem: there are too much blank buttons scattered throughout. Of course, this is the only genuine complaint you can level at the Fiesta as it is downright modern, funky and practical all at the same time. The seat is mounted on the high side, perfect in providing excellent visibility all around the car. The steering wheel, though adjustable only in tilt, offers good reach; and the thick-rimmed wheel itself is nice and comfortable to hold despite being finished in urethane. The instrumentation, including the center-mounted multi-information screen may look small, but thanks to the simple typeface, is perfectly legible and easy to understand. The rest of the buttons and controls are a bit confusing for those who’re more adept with Japanese cars, but after a while you’ll get used to all but one of them: the central door lock. The location of the central door lock button isn’t a big issue: it’s very European, sitting atop the hazard switch on the center stalk; what is an issue is that it doesn’t give any visual indication as to whether the doors are closed or not, except for a miniscule LED light on the switch itself. With all the bukas-kotse and carnapping incidents out there, redundant visual cues to the door locks are appreciated.
The overall atmosphere inside the Fiesta is luxurious and upscale, to the point of disbelief at its P 766,000 price tag. Though you don’t get such fancy stuff like Bluetooth hands-free and a voice-command audio system (that’s only on the Fiesta Sport hatchback), the Fiesta sedan’s still nicely loaded. Plus, the interior fit and finish is quite good, with soft-touch plastics adorning the upper dash and most, if not, all of the controls.
Space-wise, the Fiesta’s still not the class leader—that honor still belongs to the Honda Jazz—nonetheless, you can’t deny the Ford’s tidy packaging. Despite its small stature (it’s smaller than the Jazz), the interior room is comparable. And while the Fiesta hatchback’s got the looks, the sedan shows off its practical side the moment you pop the trunk. The compartment’s low loading height makes for easy access; coupling that with a long, deep trunk and you’ve got enough space to fit two balik-bayan boxes (no kidding)!
With 121 horsepower and 151 Nm of torque from its 1.6-liter engine, you already know that the Fiesta’s going to be good to drive. But that’s not enough to prepare you for the reality of how it blows the doors off the competition—convincingly. The engine’s gutsy, providing lots of low-end launch power—perfect for those impromptu stoplight duels and traffic squeezing maneuvers. And peachy as it is doing the urban crawl; it’s perfectly suited too as the speeds build up. The secret is Ford’s PowerShift 6-speed dual clutch automatic. It’s highly responsive and smooth, giving the Fiesta a zippy attitude. It provides effortless merging power as well as quick progress to warrant a speeding ticket or two. The PowerShift also lends the Fiesta some commendable fuel mileage figures: 9.5 km/L in the city despite a heavy right foot.
Typically cars of this class are neutered in terms of driving excitement; not so with the Fiesta which manages to strike the perfect balance between firmness and comfort. You feel potholes and other road imperfections, for sure, but you’re also well-connected to the road beneath you. The steering response and feedback are simply excellent. The Fiesta is an all-rounder: perfect for the car guy who enjoys hitting the road on Sunday mornings just for fun, while remaining accessible that “car-as-appliance” drivers will still find it fun when they do the groceries. The Fiesta feels right at home whether you’re darting in and out of traffic or blasting out of the city and onto roads that are actually fun to drive.
Before considering the Ford Fiesta hatchback just because it looks good, stand back a moment and consider the Ford Fiesta sedan as well. Again, the Fiesta sedan may not be the prettier of the siblings, but it may very well be the smarter and more practical of the two. The Ford Fiesta 1.6 Trend sedan still carries the same amount of driving excitement, only this time, given a much more practical rear. But whatever you decide, the Ford Fiesta, in any shape or engine size provides driving excitement without breaking the bank. And that’s the best news of all.
2011 Ford Fiesta Trend 4DR
|Ownership||1.6 Trend 4DR|
|Body Type||4-door sedan|
|Engine / Drive||F/F|
|Under the Hood|
|Layout / # of Cylinders||Inline 4|
|BHP @ rpm||121 @ 6,000|
|Nm @ rpm||151 @ 4,050|
|Fuel / Min. Octane||Unleaded / 93~|
|Dimensions and Weights|
|Curb Weight (kg)||1,153|
|Suspension and Tires|
|Front Suspension||Independent, MacPherson Strut|
|Rear Suspension||Torsion Beam|
|Front Brakes||Vented Disc|
|Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)||Yes|
|Traction / Stability Control||Yes|
|Steering Wheel Adjustment||Tilt|
|Steering Wheel Material||Urethane|
|Folding Rear Seat||Yes, 60/40|
|Power Door Locks||Yes|
|No. of Speakers||4|
|Steering Wheel Controls||No|