Brandy Schaffels and her Fiesta Sedan
We wanted to get the views of an expert in the States, so who better than Fiesta owner Brandy Schaffels, chief editor of website 'Ask Patty'?
How do I love my Fiesta sedan? Let me count the ways…
As an automotive journalist, I’m often asked, “What’s your favorite car?” With a smile, I always tell them, “I might be biased, but my favorite car is the car I drive every day, my 2011 Ford Fiesta sedan.” And then I explain why I love my little car so much:
First, it was affordable: fully loaded, with all the bells and whistles including keyless entry and start, alarm, heated leather seating, sunroof, premium stereo, and (at the time) state-of-the-art voice-controlled SYNC Bluetooth connectivity and navigation, my top-of-the-line 2011 Ford Fiesta sedan cost only $19,500 before taxes.
Second, it’s super fuel efficient: The Monroney indicates 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, and during the first five years I drove it, I consistently beat those numbers, averaging 32 mpg around town and often better than 45 mpg on the highway. It is an awesome little commuter car: Even when gas prices were at their highest in the Los Angeles area, the most I have ever paid for a full tank of gas was about $45, and I could drive more than 300 miles on that.
Third, it’s super fun to drive: With its 119-horsepower/1.6-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission (yes, I prefer to drive a manual), this little rollerskate on wheels delivers unexpectedly sporty performance and is nimble enough to spritely dodge through traffic and do donuts on most Los Angeles-area city streets. (I used to love hooning it around and around my parking structure when I left the office late at night!) I get it, some people might not be impressed with a 0-to-60 mph time of more than 9 seconds, but I can still chirp the tires in first and second gear, and on long, straight highways, the hamsters under the hood can actually achieve speeds faster than 110. It’s actually been GPS-validated at 114 mph, and though I’ve seen the sleek Fiesta sedan’s speedo hit 120, I’m not entirely sure it’s accurate. I admit, sometimes I yearn for a sixth gear, and after having driven it for six years, I still try to upshift out of fifth when I hear the engine revving at 3000 rpm around 70 mph.
Fourth, it’s relatively low maintenance: According to the owner’s manual, required maintenance should be done once a year or every 10,000 miles, whichever comes first. A quick trip to my local Ford dealership sets me back less than $75 each year. That’s for an oil and filter change, tire rotation, check fluids, hoses, and brakes, blah, blah, blah. New spark plugs aren’t due until 100,000 miles, and it won’t need a new timing belt until 150,000 miles. Except for my regular scheduled maintenance, I’ve paid for no additional repairs. I put new tires on it at Christmas, and replaced the battery last summer, but aside from that, still haven’t even had to replace the brake pads.
Fifth, like her owner, my Fiesta is just damn cute: I special-ordered my Fiesta sedan before it even went on sale, so it was built just for me; in fact, my name is on the Monroney. I paid extra for the blaze yellow metallic tri-coat paint, and it was worth every single penny. Because of how she glows when the morning light hits her through my garage windows, I named her “Sunshine.” I can find her in any parking lot, and my friends and neighbors always recognize me when I’m out and about. Bees are also strangely attracted to her. Unfortunately, the eye-searing shade of yellow and personalized “FYSTGRL” license plate make it difficult to discretely stalk ex-boyfriends, but that’s better for all of us, right? I chose the sedan body style over the more popular hatchback because, at the time of my purchase, I had both a pre-teen and a child in a booster seat, and needed the extra trunk space for hauling around sports gear and general family stuff.
Sixth, I fell in love with this car the first time I laid eyes on it, when it debuted as the Verve concept at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. I admit, in the beginning, I had my second thoughts about its name, but that was because I remembered the original Fiesta as being a rather plain econobox. (I owned a Festiva in the late 1980s and fondly remember it as my own auto-sized 58-hp rollerskate. It averaged 40 miles per gallon on my freeway commute, and the rear seats flipped and folded flat to create a cargo space large enough to carry a giant rolling craftsman toolbox and matching top box. It wasn’t high-tech: it didn’t have ABS, fuel-injection, or airbags. It was cute and fun to drive, but it was NOTHING like the sleek and sexy Verve concept that captured my heart.) However, the sporty Fiesta had a very successful presence worldwide, so much so that Ford knew it would be easy to build on that global reputation.
Seventh, even more to love in later models: Since its introduction, Ford has expanded the model line to include a small-but-mighty super-fuel-efficient 123-horsepower/1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, and a specially tuned high-performance 200-plus-horsepower ST edition is rumored to be released for the 2017 model year.
So whatever your desire, Fiesta has got an affordable option for you!
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