Subcompact car; Built in Mexico
  • 4-door hatchback
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $3,500 – $16,200*

2011 Ford Fiesta Front

2011 Ford Fiesta Rear

2011 Ford Fiesta Interior

2011 Ford Fiesta Front-2

2011 Ford Fiesta Front-3

2011 Ford Fiesta Profile

  • Fuel economy
  • Steering/handling
  • Acceleration (with automatic transmission)
  • Folding of rear seatbacks
  • Passenger room

Ford promotes the Fiesta as a sporty, upscale subcompact. In that regard, it hits the mark. When fitted with the automated-manual transmission, fuel economy may well top the class, but low-speed acceleration suffers. Fiesta doesn’t have nearly the passenger room and cargo versatility of most competitors, but Ford countered with availability of several unexpected class features, such as heated seats and leather upholstery. If overt practicality is secondary to style and substance when looking for a used subcompact, the Best Buy (2011-12) Fiesta should be on your shopping list.


Ford’s little Fiesta made its U.S. debut for 2011, after being sold in other markets for a couple of years. This subcompact car came as a four-door hatchback or a four-door sedan. Hatchbacks were offered in SE and SES trim levels, while sedans came in S, SE, and SEL versions. Sole engine for all models was a 120-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder that teamed with either a five-speed manual gearbox or a PowerShift six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission, which behaves much like an automatic. S and SE models had standard 15-inch wheels. SEL and SES versions rode on 16-inch tires, with 17s optional.

Standard safety features included antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain side airbags, front side airbags, and a driver’s knee airbag. Ford claimed the Fiesta’s seven-airbag total led its class. A tilt/telescopic steering wheel, height-adjustable driver seat, and capless fuel filler were standard. Among the available features were Ford’s Sync voice-activated control for cell phones and MP3 players, a sunroof, keyless engine start, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. A number of dealer-installed dress-up accessories were offered as well. Fiesta competitors included the Honda Fit, Nissan Cube, Mazda 2, and Suzuki SX-4.

Yearly Updates

2012 Fiesta
Except for minor trim changes and new options, changes were modest for the 2012 Ford Fiesta in its second season on the U.S. market. Two new interior style packages were offered, and an expanded premium sport appearance package for SES hatchbacks debuted, featuring blacked-out accents. All models now had spotter mirrors integrated into the exterior mirrors. Some 17-inch optional wheels were no longer available. Newly available AppLink software allowed certain applications for data-plan-enabled smart phones to be controlled by voice and the Sync system. A Super Fuel Economy (SFE) package combined the automatic transmission with a rear spoiler, side air deflectors, underbody shields, and low-rolling-resistance tires.
2013 Fiesta
Fiesta saw a lineup shuffling and reorganization for 2013. While equipment was generally the same, the names were slightly different.
2014 Fiesta
Fiesta added two new engines to the Fiesta line for 2014. A turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder with 123 horsepower was aimed at those who wanted better fuel economy. A turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder with 197 horsepower powered the sporty ST model that was new to the U.S. that year.
2015 Fiesta
Save for some minor trim revisions, Ford’s subcompact car stands pat for 2015.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Initially, all Fiestas were powered by an 120-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine mated with either a five-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission that behaved much like an automatic. Fiesta added two new engines to the Fiesta line for 2014. A turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder with 123 horsepower was aimed at those who wanted better fuel economy. A turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder with 197 horsepower powered the sporty Fiesta ST that was new to the U.S. market that year. The ST was only available with a 6-speed manual transmission.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.6/97
Engine HP 120
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 112
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual 28/37 34.1
dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.6/97
Engine HP 120
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 112
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic 29/38
Turbocharged dohc I3
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.0/61
Engine HP 123
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 148
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
6-speed automatic
Turbocharged dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.6/97
Engine HP 197
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 202
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual 26/35

Road Test

Fiesta offers adequate acceleration regardless of transmission, but passing punch is lacking. Both the clutch and shifter actions with the manual gearbox are impressively smooth and precise. In what was undoubtedly an effort to boost fuel economy, the automated-manual transmission has a tendency to get caught in too high a gear at low speeds. It then suffers from a noticeable delay when called upon to downshift for more power.

In Consumer Guide testing, a manual-transmission sedan averaged an excellent 36.9 mpg. Manual hatchbacks averaged 34.1 to 34.6 mpg in fairly even city/highway use. An automated-manual model averaged 37.5 mpg in mostly highway driving. Fiesta uses regular-grade gas. In 2012, the extra-thrifty SFE edition with automatic got an EPA estimate of 29/40 mpg, versus 29/38 for the regular Fiesta, whose estimate also increased a bit.

All Fiestas ride firmly in the European tradition, but most bumps are absorbed well. Ride quality differs little between models equipped with the 15- or 16-inch wheels.

Crisp turn-in, good steering and brake feel, and minimal body lean in fast corners give the Fiesta sportier moves than most cars in this class. Also aiding that cause are two features incorporated into the automated-manual transmission. Though not quite as agile as a Honda Fit Sport, this Ford has a much better ride. A button on the side of the shift lever prompts lower gears to be used on downhill stretches to increase engine braking, and also when entering corners to allow more power on exit. A “Low” setting keeps the transmission in a lower gear for quicker response in all driving situations.

Ford promotes the Fiesta as being the quietest car in its class. However, some wind noise is noticeable at highway speeds. A fair amount of tire noise seeps through as well. The engine gets buzzy at high rpm, but it settles down nicely on the highway.

Gauges are clear if a bit on the small side. Audio controls are unconventional. They’re mounted high on the dash, and some are just out of easy reach. Some functions are counter-intuitive, taking more time to master than necessary. Climate controls consist of easy-to-use rotary knobs, mounted low on the central dashboard stack but within reach.

Detail work beats the subcompact norm. Part of the dashboard is padded, as are the door armrests. The remaining hard plastic doesn’t look cheap, and silver-painted plastic trim adds some class to the design. Two-toning has been available with certain color combinations.

Front-seat headroom is plentiful, but taller drivers might yearn for more legroom. A tilt/telescopic steering wheel and height-adjustable driver’s seat help tailor the driving position, but no center armrest has been offered. The seats themselves are quite comfortable. Heated front seats have been optional, along with leather upholstery. Visibility is good in the sedan, but more limited in the hatchback, which has thick rear roof pillars that block the view to rear corners. Under sunny conditions, the dashboard reflects noticeably in the windshield.

In the backseat, an average-size adult can sit behind another average-size adult, but legroom almost completely disappears if the front seat is set all the way back. Headroom is adequate for six-footers. Door openings are on the small side, which is most noticeable when trying to get your feet out.

Fiesta falls short of its boxier competitors in luggage space. The hatchback’s cargo hold is somewhat narrow. Oddly enough, it’s better in the longer sedan, which has a section that widens behind the rear wheel wells. The cargo bay is tall and liftover is low, making for easy loading and unloading. In both body styles, folding the rear seatbacks can be cumbersome, as the rear headrests must be removed if the front seats are even halfway back. Furthermore, the seatbacks don’t lie flat, and they rest about five inches above the level of the cargo floor. Interior storage is limited to a modest-sized glovebox, three cupholders, a couple of small trays, and map pockets; there’s no console box.


Model Tested: 2011 Ford Fiesta SES hatchback with manual

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 4
Fuel Economy - 10
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 6
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 5
Room/Comfort Front - 5
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
Cargo Room - 7


Value - 9

Total: 60


4-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
98 160.1 67.8 58 2537
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
NA 12 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 37.2 42.2 31.2
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
98 173.6 67.8 60 2578
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
12.8 12 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 37.1 42.2 31.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2011 Ford Fiesta 4-door hatchback


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Rear Passenger Injury - 5

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: The automatic transmission may develop a leak requiring replacement axle seals and reprogramming of the powertrain control module. (2011-15)
Blower motor
Description: The blower motor may not work and its fuse may blow in cold weather due to ice forming in the motor unless deflector is installed at the fresh air inlets. (2011-12)
Manual transmission
Description: The manual transmission may pop out of gear in low or reverse requiring replacement of the reverse idler gear and low-second gear synchronizer. (2011-12)
Audio system
Description: The SYNC system may not respond to voice commands requiring an update to its software. (2011-12)
Description: Manual windows may drop while driving. (2011)
Transmission problems
Description: On light acceleration, vehicles with automatic transmission may experience clutch shuddering. (2011-14)
Transmission problems
Description: Faulty transmission control module could cause intermittent transmission engagement, lack of power, or failure to start. (2011)

Recall History

2011-13 Fiesta
Description: Faulty door door latch may make it difficult to close the door. The door may seem securely closed when it is not.
2011-14 Fiesta
Description: The doors may be difficult to close and someone could believe a door is securely closed when, in fact, it is not. A door that is not securely latched could open while the vehicle is in motion.
2011-2013 Fiesta
Description: Passenger side-curtain airbag will not deploy in a side collision if the passenger seat is empty. This is by design but is not explained in the owner’s manual as required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. A passenger in the right rear seat will also not have the protection of side-curtain airbag in this scenario.
2014 Fiesta
Description: The fuel tank may leak and lead to a fire.
2014-15 Fiesta
Description: The fuel pump may fail and stall the engine.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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