Now that gasoline costs almost $4 a gallon, the small auto market segment is the hottest in the United States. The Ford Fiesta and Focus are both small cars, and anyone visiting a Ford dealership will wonder which is better.
Ford executives attributed the faltering sales performance of the Fiesta to the impressive rise of the latest Focus. While 43,000 Fiestas were sold this year, a decline of 24 percent, sales of the Focus rose by 91 percent to almost 187,000. Ken Czubay, Ford’s U.S. sales chief, said this was the plan.
The Ford Focus review generally salutes its handling. `What Car?` called it “the sweetest-handling car in its class,” Edmonds.com said its handling was “sharp,” and the high profile British `Top Gear` television show said “it drives superbly.”
The Ford Fiesta review commends its styling, with thecarconnection.com terming it “spicy,” Edmonds.com calling it “edgy,” and cardekho.com saying the Fiesta was synonymous with style.
A Focus will cost around $16,200, while a Fiesta will set you back by $13,200. The U.S. News ranking of small autos put the Fiesta in second place, with the Focus at fifth.
The Fiesta is much slimmer and marginally shorter than the Focus. The Fiesta also has a smaller turning circle than the Focus. All in all, it will be easier to fit into the tight parking spaces of cities in a Fiesta.
There are more details. Passengers in the rear seat will be able to stretch more in the Focus, while the Fiesta has slightly more room for the driver and passenger. Both the Fiesta and the Focus will make a similar number of stops at gas stations, as they achieve almost the same milage: 37 for the Fiesta and 36 for the Focus. The Fiesta has much less horsepower than the Focus, but this will reportedly earn a lower insurance premium. The Fiesta and Focus accommodate the same number of people and can contain similar amounts of groceries. Both being Ford autos, the Fiesta and Focus will have essentially the same warranty.
The Fiesta has the edge in terms of safety. The 2011 Fiesta was named as the Top Safety Pick of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It earned fine ratings for front, side, rear, and rollover tests and was lauded because stability control comes as standard. Ford altered the design of the door handles to reduce the chance of their opening in a crash. The Fiesta is so far the only mini car that is an IIHS Top Safety Pick. The Focus is yet to be evaluated.
And there it is. It will be easier to maneuver in a Fiesta and it is cheaper, better for safety and stylish. The Focus has more power and handles very well. There is more space in in the back in the Focus, and more in the front in the Fiesta. More U.S. consumers prefer the Focus, but you can make up your own mind.