American car buyers are finally able to experience the Ford Fiesta craze that has swept Europe, Asia, and South America for the past 35 years, and it couldn't come at a better time. While Ford introduced the Fiesta to the American market for the first time in 2010, the automaker has introduced the 2012 model worldwide with a much-needed facelift. The new model has been well received; while Ford has sold 15 million Fiestas worldwide since 1976, over one million models have been sold in the last 28 months alone.

Ford wanted to keep the original European spirit of the Fiesta alive when it introduced the new model to the American market. The automaker is confident this success in the sub-compact market will translate in the United States as well. "It's a testament to the original Fiesta from 1976 and the engineers who have developed and improved the car through more than three decades that the Fiesta remains one of the world's most popular cars. Times and technologies have changed, but as long as the Fiesta continues to deliver the style, economy and performance elements that have been present from the very beginning, it will remain an enduring success," said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe.

The Fiesta has been the best selling car in Europe since 2009, and Ford expects this trend to continue with the introduction of the all-new 2012 model. Customers like the vivid exterior color palate that is available on all models, including funky colors like Lime Squeeze, Yellow Blaze, and Race Red. Another reason the subcompact appeals to a large range of potential buyers is its fuel efficiency, which averages 29-mpg city, and 38-40 mpg highway, depending on the package.

With an introductory price for the Fiesta S Sedan starting at $13,200, the attractive pricing also sways many drivers. While the price is low, the new Fiesta keeps it fresh by offering a wide variety of options for drivers. The 2012 Fiesta is available with an optional push-button start, which allows drivers to keep a key fob in their purse or pocket and still operate the vehicle. Another incentive is Ford's voice-activated Sync technology package, which includes features like Bluetooth phone pairing, voice activated music control, Pandora internet radio, and audible text messaging.

The Fiesta is available in five different models, with 3 sedans and 2 hatchbacks available on the American market. All models feature the same 1.6-liter Duratec engine, electronic power assisted steering, and a capless fuel filter, which allows drivers to fuel up without having their hands smell like gasoline all day.

The original Fiesta was first manufactured in Valencia, Spain in 1976. The car was an immediate success with Europeans facing an economic downturn and a worldwide fuel crisis. 35 years and 15 million models later, the Fiesta has become an iconic symbol of affordable, efficient driving worldwide. With the introduction of the Fiesta to the United States, it looks like it will stay that way for a long time to come.

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Cliff Turner has been an automotive enthusiast ever since high school, where he developed a passion for cars while working for the local Saturn/Hummer dealership. When he isn't writing, he is busy earning his Juris Doctorate at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta.

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