Car Review

2011 Ford Fiesta: Used Car Review

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Used 2011 Ford Fiesta SE Sedan
Used 2011 Ford Fiesta
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author photo by Ron Sessions February 2015

Along with the Ford Focus, the Fiesta is a tangible representation of Ford Motor Company's drive to leverage its well-regarded and popular-selling European small cars for U.S. consumption. The 2011 Ford Fiesta is the sixth-generation version of this subcompact, available as a conventional 4-door sedan or a sporty 5-door hatchback. The front-drive Fiesta is renowned for its taut and responsive chassis and good fuel economy.

The 2011 Fiesta launched in the U.S. with a comprehensive array of standard safety equipment, including dual front airbags, side airbags, overhead airbags, a driver's knee airbag, anti-lock brakes and stability and traction control systems. Most versions of the Fiesta are also available with Ford's excellent SYNC hands-free phone connectivity system. SYNC AppLink, first rolled out in the 2011 Fiesta, allows for voice command control of Pandora, Stitcher and OpenBeak apps.

What We Like

Fun-to-drive character; decent fuel economy; available SYNC voice-activated infotainment controls; choice of sedan or hatchback body styles; comfortable front seats

What We Don't

Cramped back seat; poor rearward vision; cluttered dash; windshield glare; narrow cabin; cumbersome seatback adjustment

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

A 1.6-liter 4-cylinder powers all 2011 Fiesta models. With four valves per cylinder and dual overhead camshafts, the 1.6-liter generates 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque on a diet of regular unleaded fuel. It's teamed with a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. Equipped with the manual 5-speed, the 2011 Fiesta has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 28 miles per gallon in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, while 6-speed dual-clutch automatic versions are rated at 29 mpg city/38 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2011 Ford Fiesta is available in S, SE, SEL and SES trims.

The base S is available only as a 4-door sedan. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, a 4-speaker AM/FM stereo with an audio input jack, variable intermittent wipers, 185/60 tires wrapping 15-inch steel wheels, stability and traction control, a split fold-down rear bench seat, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, dual front- and side-impact airbags, overhead airbags, a driver's knee airbag and power door locks and mirrors.

SE models come in sedan or hatchback body styles. SE standard upgrades include power front windows, keyless entry, a trip computer, premium cloth seats, a compass and an outside temperature display. Popular SE options can add heated front seats, 185/60 tires on 15-in alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, heated door mirrors, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an MP3 decoder, SYNC hands-free phone integration and SiriusXM, steering-wheel audio controls, cruise control and a power moonroof.

SEL sedans upgrade to 195/50 tires on 16-in alloy wheels, cruise control, the 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an MP3 decoder, SYNC, SiriusXM and steering-wheel audio controls, adjustable ambient interior lighting and heated door mirrors with turn-signal indicators. The SEL can be optioned with leather seats, push-button start and a power moonroof.

The hatchback-only SES comes with a standard rear spoiler and otherwise offers the same standard and optional features as the SEL sedan.


The Fiesta is proof positive that small cars don't have to feel cheap just because they are inexpensive to purchase and operate. As good as the 5-speed manual transmission is, expect to pay more for Fiesta models equipped with the 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. The Fiesta has a full complement of standard safety features, including seven airbags, anti-lock brakes and traction and stability control, so it's a good choice for first-time buyers on a budget.

To get a good idea of the 2011 Fiesta's price range, investigate the used-car values at You can also search the AutoTrader listings to see which models are for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a single recall for the 2011 Fiesta:

The passenger side-curtain airbag won't deploy when the front passenger seat is empty, even if a passenger is seated in the right rear seat, increasing injury risk to the rear passenger in a collision.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2011 Fiesta four stars overall, with four stars for frontal impacts, five for side impacts and four for rollover performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2011 Fiesta 4-door sedan Good ratings for moderate-overlap front and side impacts, roof strength, head restraints and seats, but just a Marginal score for small-overlap front impacts. The Fiesta 5-door hatchback fared better, netting Good scores each for moderate-overlap front impacts, side impacts and roof strength.

Ford Motor Company sold the 2011 Fiesta with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/unlimited-distance corrosion-perforation warranty and 5 years/60,000 miles of roadside-assistance coverage.

Ford-certified pre-owned vehicles can't be more than five years old or show more than 80,000 miles. Every certified pre-owned Fiesta undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and powertrain coverage extending 7 years from when the vehicle was first sold or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Also included is a vehicle-history report and roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2011 Nissan Versa -- The top-selling subcompact Versa is available as a 5-door hatchback or a 4-door sedan, with a 107-hp 1.6-liter or a 122-hp 1.8-liter 4-cylinder. Both versions offer a good ride and roomy interior, and the ever-popular hatchback model has 50.4 cu ft. of cargo space with the rear seat down, though the rear hatch opening is small.

2011 Scion xD -- The smallest Scion is a 5-door hatchback. No sedan is offered. Its 128-hp 1.8-liter makes generous power for the class and is EPA-rated at 27 mpg city/33 mpg hwy with either the base 5-speed manual or the optional 4-speed automatic. The xD is stylish and well equipped, but cargo space is a disappointing 10.5 cu ft. behind the rear seat and 35.7 cu ft. with the rear seat folded.

AutoTrader's Advice

The Fiesta is part of a new crop of small cars that are fuel efficient, easy to maneuver and fun to drive. The 2011 Fiesta has been a top seller in Europe for many years. Even though the Fiesta is inexpensive, we think the ownership experience will be more enjoyable if buyers opt for the better-equipped SE, SEL or SES models that have power windows, mirrors and door locks, cruise control and the upgraded audio system with Ford's excellent SYNC hands-free phone interface and SiriusXM radio. Although the dual-clutch automatic 6-speed transmission will satisfy the needs of most buyers, we also think that the Fiesta's inherent fun-to-drive character will be more easily accessible with the 5-speed manual gearbox. Stick with lower-mileage examples when possible. Going the Ford-certified pre-owned route is always a wise choice. Make sure the Fiesta you're considering purchasing has had any applicable safety recalls attended to by the dealer.

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Used 2011 Ford Fiesta SE Sedan
Used 2011 Ford Fiesta
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2011 Ford Fiesta: Used Car Review - Autotrader