The top of the Fiesta model line, the 2011 Ford Fiesta SEL, wants to change your mind about small cars. The 2011 Fiesta SEL urges you to consider the idea of a fuel-efficient sedan that carries a big list of technology, safety and a high-tech, fun driving experience.
Ford says the Fiesta is "a pretty big deal" in its advertising, and the Fiesta SEL is notable for what it offers rather than what it makes you give up. Standard equipment on the Fiesta SEL sedan (MSRP $16,520) includes SYNC®, premium 16-inch wheels and an exterior dressed up with body-colored door handles and mirrors, a chrome three-bar grille and standard LED parking lamps with chrome bezels.
The sense of movement that infuses the Fiesta's styling is translated into action by its sophisticated 1.6-liter Ti-VCT Duratec four-cylinder engine. This small displacement engine provides a big 120 hp and 112 lb/ft of torque funneled through a standard five-speed manual transmission. EPA-estimated fuel economy with the five-speed manual transmission is 28 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, which increases to 29/38 with the optional six-speed automatic transmission. Breaking with tradition, the PowerShift automatic transmission is an all-new dual-clutch design that flips the age-old paradigm of manual transmissions winning the fuel economy honors. Lighter than traditional automatics and tuned for seamless responsiveness, the PowerShift makes its North American debut in the Fiesta.
The 2011 Fiesta SEL is easy driving, too, thanks in part to Ford's Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) that is lighter and more efficient than traditional systems while also offering some truly noteworthy features. The system is speed sensitive, adjusting steering assist to driving conditions, and it calculates boost by taking into account speed, cornering force and braking or acceleration. The Fiesta features Ford’s proprietary “anti-nibble control,” which helps to eliminate rotational vibration in the steering wheel under straight-line driving conditions. Uneven tire wear and crowned roads are also automatically compensated for by the EPAS system, letting drivers enjoy the zesty chassis performance without annoyance. With dynamics born of European tuning, the sporty Fiesta uses specially tuned struts in front with a twist-beam rear axle. Bushings and dampers have been tuned for a blend of comfort and responsiveness, and stabilizer bars keep body roll minimized.
With its bold face and enthusiastic powertrain, the Fiesta would already be a winner. To the already-entertaining formula, Ford adds a stellar interior that's exceptionally well equipped in SEL trim. There are seven color combinations available for the front bucket and 60/40-split rear seats. Leather with contrasting piping is even available as an option in striking Plum Red, Cashmere or Charcoal Black. The standard cloth is durable and comfortable in Light Stone or Charcoal Black with accents in black or blue.
SYNC allows voice control of many popular devices and phones, and its portfolio of abilities is constantly growing. Features like 911 Assist™ add an extra layer of security by contacting an emergency response operator directly through paired phones, and Traffic Directions and Info gives drivers real-time traffic updates, navigation and search, all enabled by your phone and piped through the premium, six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system.
A four-inch multi-function LCD screen is also standard in the Fiesta, and it puts phone, audio and other functions within easy view, enhancing usability and safety. A message center with trip computer is nestled between the highly readable analog tachometer and speedometer in the instrument cluster, and the red illumination reduces glare and enhances readability. Beyond the high level of technology the Fiesta effortlessly integrates, the interior is strikingly designed with door panels that flow into the dashboard, and metallic trim dressing things up. The steering wheel is leather wrapped and carries controls for cruise and audio functions.
Ford makes it easy to add even more to your Fiesta with a Rapid Spec Package that includes Intelligent Access with Push Button Start, heated front seats and extra chrome trim on the decklid and along the vehicle's beltline. AdvanceTrac® electronic stability control is also standard, stepping in when necessary to make gentle corrections that avoid loss of control.
Ford's Personal Safety System includes seven standard airbags, more than any other compact, and even features a driver's knee airbag. Side airbags are mounted in the front seats, and the Safety Canopy™ side-curtain airbag includes a rollover sensor.
With a comprehensive and luxurious disposition, the 2011 Ford Fiesta SEL sedan obliterates the old notion of what a small car is. Replacing tired thinking with a vehicle that's fresh, fun and frugal, the Fiesta SEL is a new alternative for North American buyers looking for style and substance.