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Geneva Auto Show: Ford Fiesta

Posted by: David Kiley on February 27, 2008


Ford is showing the Ford Fiesta world car at the Geneva Motor Show. That’s because it will go on sale in Europe for the 2009 model year, while U.S. buyers will have to wait another year.

We don’t know for sure what body styles the U.S. will get. But I’d bank on the four-door sedan and the three door coupe. That’s a pity. I still believe this segment is defined by the five-door hatch, but Ford’s research says different. When the Fiesta, known as the Verve in auto shows up to know, arrives in the U.S. it will have features including all the usual airbags—driver knee airbag, electric power steering, a MacPherson front strut/twist beam rear suspension, cool ambient lighting, and, we hope, taut driving dynamics a’la the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa, the class of the segment these days.
For all global markets, the Fiesta engine lineup will include five powerplants: two gas engines, a 1.3-liter and a 1.4-liter four, and three diesels, topped by a 1.6-liter diesel four with 85 hp. A five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic are the transmission choices for European customers. Those tranny choices should also be available in the U.S.

The Fiesta’s internal styling theme is based on the look and feel of mobile phones—a styling cue often talked about by North American design chief Peter Horbury. The audio system is integrated into the whole center stack, with separate areas for volume, display and the electronics. Other features on the Euro Fiesta include Bluetooth connectivity; a capless fuel refiller and a telescoping steering wheel. We hope the U.S. version has all that stuff too, but we aren’t holding our breath for the diesel.

Some people in the U.S. don’t like the choice of the Fiesta name, which has been a mainstay of Ford’s European lineup. Ford marketing and PR says it plans to use the next two years to grease the skids for Fiesta’s arrival in America, playing up Ford’s prowess in high-performance fuel-efficient small cars in Europe being deployed in the U.S. as gas prices surge.

Reader Comments

paull mcgraw

February 27, 2008 11:07 PM

This is a nice car. Too bad that we won't get it until 2010. I've seen shows shot in Europe and I see all the nice looking cars available to European buyers. Why can't we get them??


February 28, 2008 9:00 PM

Nice looking little deevil, however punch-prone the front ende is. Not that 30's bumpers would be appropriate. Small cars should be decent quality and fully equipped with safety and convenience features these days. That's where the profits are for crying out loud, and the pleasure/pride on the part of the owners. Cars are lasting far longer now and costing far more regardless of where one is on the planet. And I have to add that America did not do much of a job in leading in this, not even in following. Our 'Land of the Free to Bitch non-stop' has suffered image problems long before the Crats placed all the blame on Bushie. Talk is super-cheap when one is out of power, not to mention lacking practical solutions to everyday problems.

For years I have wondered about the efficacy of goals and thus the resulting products of the US vs Europe. This was long before Japan lead Asia into the ring and is winning right and left in many segments. Rubber-burning straight line acceleration is rather simple-minded, however MRKN. Decent interior space, handling ability and fuel efficiency makes a lot more sense. But then we have 'wide open spaces' in places not generally recognized, even by us, while the rest of the world, being older and certainly more sophisticated, tends to think with its mind, not its right foot.

So good luck to Ford and lets hope that for a change, they do not compromise this little car in the interest of cost and perceived wishes on the part Americans, but hold out for the pleasures and eventually loyalty of the more intelligent buyers.


March 1, 2008 1:27 AM

The Ford Fiesta defines the look of the future small cars. As the official name for Ford's range of small cars, the Fiesta carries the hot stuff in a small package. When i heard the updates about the Geneva Auto show, i know the Fiesta will be the talk of the town. My all-time favorite vehicle is the CTS with its Cadillac fleetwood wheels, but now I'm confused. I'm torn between two great vehicles. The Ford Fiesta is simply thrilling and awesome!


March 1, 2008 1:34 AM

The Ford Fiesta is absolutely the exact definition of small cars. When i heard about the 2008 Geneva Auto show, i was assuming that the Fiesta will be the talk of the town. Talk about great fuel-efficiency, power performance and splendid features. The hot stuff in a small package! I'm actually a fan of the CTS with its brand new Cadillac fleetwood wheels, but i guess i have to go with the Fiesta now.

m. stiles

March 1, 2008 10:34 AM

Once again Ford elects not to offer the hatchback on a small car in N.A. form. Will they ever accept the fact that there is a market for it? Focus sales ,judging from what I see on the street, are driven by The 5-door.Ford's reaction? Eliminate it.Verve/Fiesta? Who needs a hatchback? I hope it does well when it gets here, but I would not buy a shrunken Taurus.


March 4, 2008 10:39 AM

And the domestics wonder why the imports are whipping their tail? They have GREAT cars in the rest of the world but delay and decontent them before they bring them to America. I agree that the Fiesta name is not the best choice for North America but if Ford will sell a nice car with good reliability the old Fiesta will be quickly forgotten. Mess up and the Fiesta name will help sink the car in no time.

Advice: work towards unifying European and North American certification procedures (air, safety, whatever). Release the same cars in Europe and North America at the same time. Dare to sell a variety of quality small cars along with the large vehicles that Detroit seems to be addicted to. It won't cannabalize the existing sales of the big three but it might win back some of the sales lost to the imports.
Next, don't taunt us with "future" models too soon. Release pcis and video about 6 months from the sale date or close to the sale date. By the time GM finally begins to sell the new Camaro it will be old news and ready for a re-body. By releasing car models here and Europe at the same time the car companies won't be selling a car there while teasing us with it here.


March 10, 2008 1:29 PM

i love this car


March 18, 2008 9:04 PM

I can't wait for this car. The Verve I saw at the auto show was beautiful, and the Fiesta is little different . . . EXCEPT we see 3 and 5 door euro Fiestas. I would prefer the 5 door here. Why not offer hatchbacks and save the additional engineering to build a sedan. Offer a 1.6L engine and a 1.4L turbo. Get them to market ASAP; if you delay the product while adding a trunk, you will miss the market buzz. Who knows what else will be available by 2010. If VW offers the TDI Polo, their MPG numbers will dwarf everything else in the press. Mr. CEO, ignore anyone on your team who says you have to have a trunk on a B car.


March 23, 2008 9:24 PM

I think they should bring back the FALCON name. This would convey a bit of prowess and attitude "Fiesta" is lacking.


March 25, 2008 3:07 AM

And somehow the cool high MPG in Europe will NOT make it to the US.
All auto makers think we are retarded and love only horsepower.

Where are all the 45+ MPG diesel cars from Europe? (I am watching Fifth Gear this moment).



March 25, 2008 9:49 PM

It's a dream car!

Mad Mondo

March 26, 2008 5:49 PM

Awesome looking subcompact that is needed in the us. The old focus ZX3 was great. But give it more performance at least a 2.0L with at least 150hp to get around. I will absolutely buy one.

Frank Dove

March 30, 2008 7:06 PM





March 31, 2008 8:55 AM

This is a nice car. I'll take it...IF it's a hatchback once it arrives here in the states.

I'm actually holding out to buy a car for this model.

Although I would rather see the Ka also brought here. My wife and I fell in love with that car when we were in Europe.

Johnathan D. Shade

April 3, 2008 1:33 AM

Two door hatch
Four door sedan.

Toyota got it right with this mix in the Yaris.

Let Ford get it right in every other way.

And I've owned 3 Festivas (not Fiestas) and one ZX3 Focus. Maybe the new Fiesta will capture the nimble lightness and zip of the 5spd Festiva while retaining something of the latter year Focus ZX3s solid quality and mid to high end torque.

Here's to hoping.


April 23, 2008 8:28 AM

Of course, in NA, we won't even get a chance to buy the diesel version --we never do.

If Ford goes this route, they'll get another chance to make the same screwup every manufacturer that brings Euro models to North America has made --deciding that drivers in NA don't desire great fuel economy. And if so, guess I'll have to wait for the 69mpg Volkswagen Golf TDI prototype to become a reality, since they are one of the few that truly "get it" when it comes to bringing diesel power to the US.


August 6, 2008 1:32 PM

The U. S. versions will be available only with surplus F-150 engines.....

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