2011 Ford Fiesta CL Sedan Review Photo:
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What's Hot
Massive boot, extensive features list.
What's Not
Small rear seats, low levels of standard safety equipment.
European design meets Asian-built affordability.
Kez Casey | Jun, 01 2011 | 4 Comments


Vehicle Style: Light sedan
Price: $18,990

Fuel Economy (claimed): 6.1 l/100km
Fuel Economy (tested): 6.7 l/100km



If Ford’s impressive European-designed Fiesta hatch doesn’t fit the bill, and you need four doors and a lot more load-space, Ford still has the right Fiesta for you.

It’s the sedan version of the light sporty hatch, the Fiesta CL sedan, and it’s got the same edgy front end styling and the same zesty on-road charm.

The Fiesta sedan adds a boot - and it’s a big one, one with enough room to shame cars from the small and mid-size classes.

And while the derriere might be a tad outsized, at the wheel the brisk little Fiesta sedan is very easy to like.



Quality: The swoopy dash looks the goods - the Fiesta’s crisply modern interior design still retains its appeal - and the mobile phone-like user interface works superbly.

However, the sturdy interior plastics are hard and uninviting and our test car suffered from a rattle somewhere above the driver’s head.

Comfort: Up front, while the seats feel on the small side, there’s enough adjustment to make settling in easy. Rear passengers however will find the backrest too low. The high window line also reduces visibility from the back.

Equipment: There’s a multi-function trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity, voice-control and steering wheel audio controls, front power windows, six-speaker CD player with aux in and MP3 playback.

Storage: That hippy big-bummed boot provides 430 litres of luggage space - not bad for a car as small as the Fiesta - and it’s deep enough to be truly useful. Inside the cabin, lidded storage is limited but there are plenty of recesses for oddments.



Driveability: On the road the Fiesta is a very capable little handler. The sedan’s extra weight over the rear end helps make things a little more controlled than the hatch, and the perky engine gives the Fiesta a playful edge missing from many small cars.

With 89kW and 151Nm to play with, it’s not a scorcher, but the Fiesta’s light weight and a willingness to rev, can make the little sedan a lot of fun around town (it’s also far from shabby on a winding road).

Refinement: While the engine can get pretty buzzy when pushed hard, the noise insulation and ride make the Fiesta feel like a bigger car.

The powershift transmission will occasionally hold gears a little longer than we’d prefer, but for low-speed commuting is one of the better, and smoother, dual-clutch transmissions.

Suspension: The MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension is tuned just about right for patchy city streets and Australian roads. It’s surprisingly compliant for a small, light car.

Braking: Front discs and rear drums are not class-leading, but adequate for the Fiesta’s light weight.



ANCAP rating: 5 star (LX and Zetec models)

Safety features: Dynamic stability and traction control, ABS braking with EBD and emergency brake assist. Dual front airbags (upgradable to seven airbags at extra cost).



Warranty: Three years/100,000km with five-year warranty against perforation corrosion.

Service costs: Ford's servicing costs vary from dealer to dealer. Contact your local Ford dealership before purchase.



Toyota Yaris YRS Sedan ($19,790) - While still a strong and spacious package, the Yaris is showing its age with uninspiring handling and a four-speed automatic. (see Yaris reviews)

Kia Rio Si Sedan ($18,840) - Outclassed in looks, performance, features and without a clear price advantage, the Rio has a hard time against the far superior Fiesta. Will that change when the new Rio arrives? (see Rio reviews)

Holden Barina Sedan ($17,990) - Not as well specced as the Fiesta, and the purchase saving might just be eroded by the Barina’s poorer fuel economy. Like the Yaris and Rio, thoroughly outclassed by the Fiesta. (see Barina reviews)

Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.



Light sedans are a relative rarity on the Australian market - and Ford’s Fiesta sedan is the stand-out. None of its competitors can match its breadth of abilities and appeal.

For a light car, its compromises are few. It’s surprisingly comfortable on-road; it’s got a good-sized boot, some zing under the bonnet and a smooth twin-clutch transmission.

Ford’s littlest sedan is sensible buying and the perfect companion to both new drivers and older motorists looking to scale down.

The Fiesta CL currently ranks as the cream of the light sedan crop.

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