$4,616 - $5,746

2011 Ford Fiesta Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Ford Fiesta was new.


Performance: 8.8

Some reviewers say the 2011 Ford Fiesta is the best-driving car in its class. Though not all reviewers go that far, the majority agrees that the Fiesta's combination of smooth power, zippy handling and excellent fuel economy make it an outstanding and affordable choice for small car shoppers who want something fun to drive.

  • "Hustling about, the Fiesta was in its element. The quick steering and gutsy, 118-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder helped us slice through city traffic, while its compact dimensions and tight turning radius made it easy to nab tight curbside spots." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The new Fiesta's ride is butter-smooth, its turn-in ability is effortless and with sufficient feel that a driver stays connected, and its quiet cabin makes the internal fan sound loud." -- AutoWeek
  • "Small cars like this that don't compromise the driving experience in the name of cutting cost are incredibly empowering in traffic. Vision is good and you can work the gearbox to cut through small gaps in the split second that they open." -- Jalopnik

Acceleration and Power

The Fiesta is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 120 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but you can opt for a six-speed, dual-clutch automated manual.

The Fiesta has impressive fuel economy ratings. The EPA reports that the Fiesta gets 29/38 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission and 28/37 mpg with the manual. To get the 29/40 mpg city/highway Ford boasts, you have to select the SFE package.

Reviewers like the powertrain on the Fiesta and say that, in contrast to many other small cars, the Fiesta has ample power for almost any situation.

  • "The eager-to-rev 1.6 delivers ample punch down low and remains butter-smooth even when taken to redline. The manual transmission is precise and easy to shift, boasting a linear clutch and light throws. The available six-speed automatic is another unusual perk in this class." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

Most reviewers report that the Fiesta is really fun to drive, either in traffic or on the open road. The handling is crisp and responsive, making it easy to slide in and out of breaks in traffic. On back roads, that same handling is an excellent partner for tackling the twisties.

  • "The Ford's steering is the new segment benchmark, from the weighting of its effort to the immediate and precise response. And the sophisticated suspension tuning makes the Fiesta feel at once substantial and lithe. Handling is excellent, yet the ride quality remains supple, with bumps and ruts swallowed sans drama." -- Edmunds

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