I have been harping about the 2011 Ford Fiesta in India in almost every alternate news that has been posted here. Well, the time has finally come in for some action now. The action relates to the test drive of the 2011 Ford Fiesta and that too here in India. This was a test mule that I actually managed to wrench out from one of my associates in Ford India. Things finally are falling into place with Ford for their Indian operations. The reason behind the same is that Ford have adopted their “One Ford” campaign in India as well. The new 2011 Ford Fiesta that we have in India here is the same one that is available all over the world now. Mind you, this car comes with some rave reviews especially in Europe. I believe that we are the first ones to go in for the test drive of this brilliant vehicle. A review for the same would follow on later for the 2011 Ford Fiesta in India.
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First about the looks. Well, it is not similar to the Fiesta available in India now. If anyone tells you that both are same, then just slap them and ask them what similarity do they see, other than the Blue Oval logo. “Kinetic Design” philosophy that Ford speaks about, has been adopted in this car. The head lamps are shaped in the form of an Arabian dagger whereas the nose of this car resembles the one from the older generation Ford Focus. The gaping grille with those chrome accented fog lamps in the bumper reek of a class which was unfound in the previous Ford Fiesta version. The wing mirrors carry the turn indicators on them and the 15 inch wheels add a dash of spice to the design. The rear slopes much like in a coupe and blends seamlessly into the well sculpted boot. Speaking of the boot, it resembles the Kammback one from the Toyota Prius or more so like the Honda FCX Clarity. In Europe, Ford sell the hatchback version of the Fiesta with the same nose. The tail lamps are split by the chunky looking boot lid and the reflectors find their way to the lower bumper. The tail pipe unfortunately is hidden from view. Ever seen Ken Block going on doing his antics? If yes, then the car you have seen is most probably the Ford Fiesta hatchback.
Like the radical exteriors, the interiors have also changed very much. Gone is the staid flat look found inside the old Fiesta and in comes a Civic rivaling space age interiors. The first time, I saw it, I felt like it was actually the interiors of the Ford F150 truck. It is so lavish. There is the Sync like system which Ford affords to give to its American customers. Sync is basically the pairing of the Bluetooth with the phone’s. First the steering wheel. It is a small contoured unit and much like the one found in the Honda Civic. It has now got steering mounted controls. Though the steering felt a bit in my face, it was adjustable and finding the correct position wasn’t a problem. Moreover the front seats were extremely supportive and viola, now I also have a dead pedal. Upon touching the surface of the dashboard, a soft German kind of feeling was creeping up on me but then that immediately vanished once I got to touch the lower door pads and below the dashboard. Those materials felt cheap and hard. The 2011 Ford Fiesta in India now gets the automatic climate control, a wonderful single CD changer music system which has got the go to match the show and also various other features. The wing shaped central console would take any one’s fantasy. The hooded instrument binnacle would feature in next after the Honda Civic’s for its desirability factor. There is a multi information display between the two hoods and on the central portion of the dashboard, a large display screen provides for various other information. Unfortunately there aren’t too many storage spaces and what I felt was a case of “form taking over function”. Cut to the rear seat and here too you would be disappointed as the 2011 Ford Fiesta in India hasn’t rectified its predecessor’s weak point. The new Ford Fiesta provides for better seating materials but taller passengers like me would be hard pressed to find more head room as also leg room. Boot space is at par with the competition.
Global Ford Fiesta Photo Gallery
From the short drive I had with this car, it seems that the new class bench mark in India as far as the ride and handling parameter goes, would be the new 2011 Ford Fiesta. The delightful steering wheel tickled me to no end with its perfect feel at the city and highway speeds. It is electronically assisted as well. The car’s suspension is tuned to be on the softer side however the chassis is what makes all the difference here. It is borrowed from the Mazda 2 platform and is called the B2E in company speak. Mazda cars are said to be as enjoyable as BMWs in North America. The chassis is made up of higher tensile steel and Boron. However the chassis is overall light in construction and this reflects in the short drive that I had. The suspension soaks up everything thrown in its path. NVH is well damped but after nearing the 5,000 rpm mark, the Ford lets out a raspy note.
As far as the engine configurations are go, the 2011 Ford Fiesta in India would get two new engines. It is also said that the existing engines wouldn’t be offered for the new Fiesta. The variant that I had with me had a 1.6 liter petrol engine, the same one which is in the Fiesta S version. It now makes 120 Bhp of peak power and is mated with a 5 speed manual transmission. The reason for the increase in power is by the use of variable valve timing. The diesel version is rumored to be a 1.6 liter motor producing 90 Bhp. It will also have a 5 speed manual transmission. An automatic is also said to be on the anvil. The manual gear box is super responsive as also is the 1.6 petrol engine. I couldn’t time the runs that I had in the car but expect 0-100 kmph times of 10 seconds or even lesser. Top speed would also be in the region of 180 kmph. Brake feel however left a lot to be desired. The soft pedal feel doesn’t go down well with the car’s performance. Discs at front coupled with drums at the rear, EBD and ABS handle the braking department. Height adjustable seat belts with pretensioners, 2 air bags, collapsible steering wheel and side intrusion beams complete the set of safety features in this car. As far as fuel efficiency goes, expect the new Fiesta to return around 12 kmpl in city and 16 kmpl on the highway with crude oil running through its engine.
As far as the 2011 Ford Fiesta in India test drive is concerned, I am really happy that I got to check out this car. If you are single and would occasionally carry friends around, then the 2011 Ford Fiesta would be the best sedan. It would satisfy the boy racer in you plus behave sensibly when the occasion demands for it. But then the exteriors don’t actually look too good. This is my personal opinion. However unanimously, the interiors would win over everyone looking at it. Want to own this car straight away? Unfortunately the only thing other than the specifications of the diesel variant that Ford India refused to divulge, was the launch date of this car here. Expect prices to start from Rs 6.5 lakhs for the base petrol and going all the way upto Rs 10 lakhs for the top end diesel version. Mind you, these are only estimates and the prices would only be disclosed at the launch of the vehicle.