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Pros & Cons

  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Nimble handling
  • Lots of available features
  • Mediocre cargo space in hatchback

Rankings & Awards

The 2012 Ford Fiesta's #7 ranking is based on its score within the 2012 Subcompact Cars category. It was the winner of our 2012 Best Subcompact Cars for the Money award and the winner of our 2012 Best Hatchback for the Money award. Currently the Ford Fiesta has a score of 8.1 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 45 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.5
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Ford Fiesta Overview

The 2012 Ford Fiesta comes with a four-cylinder engine, which test drivers said provides adequate acceleration in the city and on the highway. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and automotive writers reported it has an effortless clutch feel and precise shifter action. Some found the available six-speed automated manual has well-timed shifts, while other critics said it can be slow to downshift when more power is needed. Equipped with the automated manual transmission, the Fiesta gets an EPA-estimated 29/39 mpg city/highway, which is exceptional for the class. Reviewers were most impressed with how the Fiesta handles, saying that its steering is very precise, it corners confidently and is a lot of fun to drive. Additionally, they said that the Fiesta offers a comfortable ride.

Test drivers loved the 2012 Fiesta’s interior, saying it feels upscale and fitting of a more expensive car, thanks to quality materials and an attractive fit and finish. They also appreciated the availability of numerous features. Auto writers said the Fiesta sedan offers a decent amount of cargo space, but they noted that the Fiesta hatchback has less cargo space than rivals like the Honda Fit and Kia Soul. Auto writers said that there’s plenty of room in the front seats and an adjustable steering column helps tall drivers find a suitable position. Some test drivers found the climate and audio controls to be within easy reach and generally intuitive, though others thought they could be easier to use. The 2012 Fiesta comes with a four-speaker stereo, an auxiliary jack, a USB port and a tilt and telescoping steering column. Available features include a CD player, power windows and door locks, satellite radio, ambient lighting, cruise control, Ford’s voice-activated SYNC system, a power moonroof, leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats and push-button start.

When it was new, we named the Ford Fiesta our 2012 Best Subcompact Car for the Money and Best Hatchback for the Money.

Other Cars to Consider

As with the Fiesta, reviewers said the 2012 Mazda2 hatchback has excellent handling and sharp steering, and is a lot of fun to drive. The front seats are very comfortable and offer a good amount of support, they added.

The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is also available as a sedan or a hatchback, and test drivers were impressed with the Sonic’s handling, saying it’s particularly nimble around curves. The Sonic also earned praise for its comfortable ride and straightforward interior controls.

Compare the Fiesta, Mazda2 and Sonic »


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