Update: sadly, Ford has ended production of the Fiesta. However, this outdated article lives on for nostalgia purposes.
Buying a new car typically doesn’t make the list of best personal finance practices. That being said, we all know that, and whole bunch of us still end up doing it. IF you’re going to buy a new vehicle in the coming years, you may want to look no further than the Ford Fiesta. Here’s 6 reasons why:
1. The Ford Fiesta’s Price is Incredibly Competitive
A while back, I highlighted the top 10 cheapest new cars of 2010 (with automatic transmission). In case you missed it, here’s a brief recap of MSRP’s.
- Nissan Versa: $12,710
- Hyundai Accent: $13,715
- Toyota Yaris: $13,905
- Kia Soul: $13,995
- Kia Forte: $15,390
- Kia Rio: $15,390
- Scion XD: $16,270
- Honda Fit: $16,410
- Scion XB: $16,420
- Nissan Cube: $16,750
Note: I now have a more up-to-date list of the cheapest new cars.
The Ford Fiesta wasn’t on this list because it debuts as a 2011 model. The MSRP for the 2011 Ford Fiesta sedan model (with auto transmission) is $14,390. Should the above list stay about the same, that would put the Fiesta firmly in the #5 spot with its price point, and only $600 out of the #2 spot. For an American car, with all of its legacy costs usually included in the price, that is unusually affordable.
2. American Made Quality is Back
In last year’s JD Power Survey, Ford was even with Toyota (long viewed to be superior to American manufacturers) for initial quality. More recently, Ford surpassed Toyota in overall quality perception in a survey of 150,000 potential car buyers. Of the top 7 (shown below), Ford also owns a controlling share of Mazda, who made #3 on the list. 5 years ago, who would have imagined the 4 out of the top 7 non-luxury vehicle brands in terms of quality perception would be American?
3. Ford Fiesta is the Most Fuel Efficient
My look at the top 10 cheapest cars also included EPA mileage estimates. If EPA estimates did not change from this model year to next, the Ford Fiesta would be the #1 most fuel efficient vehicle at 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway, of the top 10 cheapest cars.
4. Ford is Profitable Again – your Warranty is Good
Ford is back in the black. They ended 2009 with a profit of $2.7 billion, which blew away estimates. Market share is gaining, and the company appears to be on the right path. Unlike GM and Chrysler, Ford did not need to be bailed out by the U.S. Government. Their prospects for surviving, and even thriving are excellent at the moment. You do not need to worry about Ford’s business being in trouble and them not being able to honor your warranty.
5. Did I Mention Ford is American?
Yes, I know that many foreign vehicles sold in the United States are actually made in the United States. However, that doesn’t mean that profits are kept and re-invested locally. What’s good for Ford is good for Detroit and is good for the American economy.
Believe it or not, I have zero affiliation whatsoever to Ford. No friends, no family, no monetary relationship. The closest affiliation I’ve had with Ford is that I used to work for a non-profit in Michigan, and the #1 and #2 corporate givers and volunteers were Ford and GM, even in the years when their futures both looked very bleak. How much did we receive from Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, and others? Nothing. Score another one for Ford.
6. The Fiesta is a Cool, Sexy Little Car
We’re not chatting about a bugly little piece of crap. The Fiesta doesn’t evoke thoughts of vomiting such as the Chevy Aveo, Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, or just about anything from the Hyundai/Kia lines. It’s a pretty good looking little car with a cool look to it. I wouldn’t feel the least bit ashamed or embarrassed to drive one.
Interested in Buying a Ford Fiesta?
If you reserve a Ford Fiesta before April 2 of this year, select models will come with Sync, navigation, and premium sound at no extra charge. When you reserve, you are under no obligation to purchase and don’t have to put any money down.
Ford Fiesta Discussion:
- Have you reserved a Fiesta? Are you planning to?
- If you’re going to be getting one, why did you decide to?
- If not, what vehicle are you going to be purchasing instead and why?
6 reasons why you should never buy an Ford:
1) If Ford fails (goes bankrupt), kiss your extended warranties goodbye. This was a topic for major discussion that forced Congress to bail out the American car companies.
2) Honda has better durability, and lasts longer. Contrary to the post, the Honda Accord looks much better than the Ford (Ford has just recently began to manufacture cars for good looks)
3) American cars give lots of problem, I speak from personal experience on this. I used to work at a used car dealer- American cars began to break down after 60k to 70k, while Japanese cars lasted until 200k
4) American cars have a legacy? Not a chance. If people can afford it they buy German, never American.
5) Don’t be fooled by Ford being in the black. They might have made made it out of financial ruin thanks to consumer awareness, but they will get back in a few years.
6)If you’re looking for efficiency, why not get a VW Jetta Hybrid? It gets 50 MPG on the highway, its much more slick, faster, and you can get it for 300 a month lease.
@ Kevin – OK, you like Honda, I’m fine with that. But some of your points just don’t make any sense. ‘They might have made it out of the financial ruin thanks to consumer awareness’. Consumer awareness of what? They were profitable because they sold good vehicles that people wanted to buy. Also, the VW Jetta Hybrid will run you $30K+, or more than twice as much. If you save 10 mpg on it, it will take you a few hundred years to make up the difference.
@ Wizard Prang – How much of Toyota’s revenue and profit stays in the U.S.? That was my point in the post.
@ Dan – Didn’t mean to offend you by offering an opinion about a car. I have no affiliation with Ford whatsoever, so this post was not a sales pitch. Why would a post about cheap new cars not be related to personal finance?
The Smart Car is cheaper to buy, cheaper to run and easier to park.
And there is no such thing as an “American” car. My wife’s Camry was made in Georgetown, KY.
I’m sitting here smiling because all 3 comments are negative and I drive a Chevy Aveo (please don’t vomit). That’s funny to me since I appreciated your list of the cheapest cars of 2010 and your Fiesta review. :-)
My Aveo is only 5 years old with about 40,000 miles, so I’m hopefully fine for a while, but it was nice to see that I can get a nice, cheap used car in a few years. I was leaning towards the Toyota Yaris or the Nissan Versa, but I’ll keep the Fiesta in mind since it’s gas mileage is so high.
Out of your 6 points, I focused on price and fuel efficiency. I really couldn’t care less whether it’s patriotic to buy a certain car or not. I’m a true American – a capitalist. I will find the best deal for me and jump on it like a rabid monkey…that means a great price, a high fuel efficiency, and enough room for a medium dog cage and groceries.
I look forward to seeing future Ford Fiesta reviews when I’m in the market again.
Side note, does anyone else find it funny that this “All-American” car has a Spanish name?
@ Budgeting – Ouch, I knew that vomit comment would come back to bite me. =)
Yeah – Fiesta is truly an ironic name considering where it’s made and how much is at stake for the American small car market with this vehicle.
Ok – as a car blogger (shameless plug time! http://www.everyroadtaken.com) I have to dispel lots of myths that will come up (or have come up) in the comments.
First off, Ford is profitable, they are in NO risk of going bankrupt. Even if they did go bankrupt, your warranty would be safe as that is an asset held in trust until it expires.
Second – Honda does make a very durable car, but at this day in age, just about every car on the road is durable. I would imagine in 10 years your cost of ownership of a Fiesta v a Civic would be about the same. “The Honda Accord looks better than the Ford.” The Ford what? Looks are all subjective, but the Fusion is generally lauded as being the best looking car in that class.
Third – no such thing as a Jetta Hybrid. You are thinking of a Jetta Diesel which will run you 10,000 more than a Fiesta. The Jetta Diesel (called a TDI) is a great vehicle, but its not even in the same league as this.
Hybrids, generally, are a bad deal. You will never make their increased upfront cost up against a efficient and lower priced gas car.
The Smart Car certainly is not cheaper to run. The Fortwo (only two seats remember!) only achieves low 30s in mpgs. The Fiesta will get about the same and have more room for more people/stuff. That means you can carpool with 4 people making 34 MPG or two people making 34 MPG – which is more efficient?
I understand how some may feel that it reads a bit like a sales pitch, but (again as an automotive industry blogger – shameless pitch two: http://www.everyroadtaken.com – follow us on twitter!), it is 100% accurate in what it states.
From a professional perspective I think the Fiesta will probably be the best small car on the market this year. Hugely bold prediction, I know, but I believe it. If I was in the market for this segment the Fiesta and the Civic would be the only two on my list.
@ Paul – Well spoken – not sure why there is so much venom towards Ford. Thanks for dispelling some myths.
@GE – Sorry that my comment was a little vitriolic. As a new reader though, the tone of this article set off a bunch of red flags.
I mean, seriously, “Ford Fiesta: The Must Buy Car of 2010”? On a personal finance blog? You have to at least see the possibility of how a new reader could be concerned by that. The phrases “must buy car” and “personal finance” just REALLY clash in my brain. Even “6 Reasons why your Next Car Should be a Ford Fiesta” is a little dangerous to me since you don’t ever qualify any usage scenarios. What if the reader had kids to cart around?
I didn’t really mean to insinuate that you’re being compensated for writing this (you’re probably just excited about a cool new car), but from an outside perspective it does resemble a sales pitch. And in this age of being bombarded by ads every waking moment, I think it’s only natural to be skeptical of anything even close to one.
Anyway, I appreciate your prompt response. I don’t mean to tell you how to write your blog, but I just thought I should let you know how this kind of article can come off. And again, I apologize for letting my emotions get the best of me on my last comment.
I think about that question frequently, to the point where it literally keeps me up at night. I think there are a couple of reasons.
1) As the second biggest asset most of us have (biggest for many people) a car becomes a hugely personal signal of how well you are doing. For some, that means buying the Mercedes. For this crowd, I think it means making the best use of your money. Because of that, the implication that there may have been a better choice available makes people VERY uncomfortable. This means the “Japanese cars are best” myth (and it is a myth, they are excellent, but so are cars from lots of places) will be very difficult.
2) We are sold by marketers that cars are an extension of self. We all by into this heavily (yours truly included) and when that is challenged by a new make/model, unless you are of the aspirational (have to have the best/newest!)mindset, it is taken personally. We are manipulated into being brand advocates.
Both of these are challenging to overcome from a psychological perspective. Its too bad because there are huge numbers of quality cars out there for the budget minded that people are neglecting because brand “X” is bad. I am firmly of the mind that there are very few brands that are universally bad, but all brands have the ability to build a dud.
The car sounds like a winner,
From the personal finance slant, DON’T BUY NEW CARS! You take a huge depreciation hit when you buy new. Even if the car was pretty cheap to begin with, you can get much better deals in the used car markets where you don’t take such a large depreciation expense.
A two or three year used car can be just as nice and reliable as a new car. You sacrifice the new car smell for a huge savings in depreciation! Small price to pay in my opinion.
this is a sponsored post right? you couldn’t have been this spontaneously overwhelmed with affection for a specific car. Often read the blog, I’m really not impressed.
fiestaagent33, LOL on the name choice! Really made me smile!
GE, No prob on the vomit comment from me…it really did make me smile. I actually don’t like the Aveo even though I think it’s cute. It also rattles and needed $500 of work done at 37,000 miles (O2 sensor and some kind of belt). It is vomit inducing for a few reasons, but I still think it’s cute.
If I could bring myself to spend $20,000-$25,000, I’d get a used Prius like my husband’s…it really does make 45-55 mpg every time and is fun to drive. It also has 60,000 miles and had has needed no repairs as opposed to my lovely little POS…
Toyota, “Hang On and Enjoy the Ride”. :-)
FWIW: I would personally recommend against a used Prius. At some point (probably 100,000 miles) it will need new batteries and that will set you back BIG bucks.
In the 20-25,000 range you can get a VERY nice TDI VW, which are EXCELLENT vehicles and are cheaper per-mile than hybrids.
CF, I’m spontaneously overwhelmed by the love of all sorts of products. I could do a post just like this on a Tempurpedic mattress…don’t you know of something that makes you want to tell people about it?
Paul, But I like the Prius *whiny voice*.
Seriously though, the Prius owners we have met have not needed to replace their batteries yet and two of them have the 2004 model with more than 150,000 miles. How sure are you about the battery replacement problem?
I’m also more interested in gas hybrids and electric cars than anything that uses diesel.
Honestly though, my Aveo was $12,000 brand new after everything (including financing)…I doubt I’d ever be comfortable spending more than $15,000 on a car. I’m looking at used Nissan Versa’s and Toyota Yaris’s right now. In a few years, I’ll probably look at used Ford Fiesta’s as well.
The honest answer on batteries is “we just don’t know yet.”
Toyota is claiming they have never replaced a battery due to end of life issues, but its hard to say if that is accurate.
I would count on a fairly large number of the batteries needing to be replaced at some point, but I can’t predict if that is 30% or 70%
I understand the preference of the Hybrid – but if we are talking total environment impact and lowest cost per mile, diesel is the way to go.
sorry for hijacking your thread GE!
Paul, so if there hasn’t been many batteries replaced yet due to regular use and the Prius has been out since 2001 as a sedan-looking thing and 2004 as a hatchback…wouldn’t that prove that the batteries last way longer than 100,000 miles?
I’ve never driven a diesel and haven’t seen any TDI’s on the road in Houston yet…I’ll look into them more when I’m in the market again.
GE, Ford Fiestas look promising as well…there,that was thread related. :-) Sorry anyway though…
Unfortunately it does not mean anything. As we now know, Toyota and their data are not to be trusted with blind faith.
I have been hearing (anecdotally) of replacements – but I wouldn’t put numbers or percentages to it as I cannot confirm them. That said, regardless of batteries, diesel tends to be cheaper per mile.
Lots of good options on both fronts!
My husband and I have a Toyota and we’re freakin’ out man! Thanks for bringing the Fiesta onto my radar and hopefully my hubby & I will make a decision soon :) By the way, I’ve only been reading for a short time but I’m infatuated with your blog. Keep ’em coming!
One of the selling points of my ’09 Accent SE hatch was the appearance. Which is much nicer in person than in most image floating around on the internet. It wasn’t cartoonish or garish looking, but had a classic hatchback profile. It’s conservative styling will wear very well over time. The Fiesta, I’m not so sure about. The Accent has a much better warranty than the Fiesta, and yes it’s less expensive too, but the SE version gets high marks for handling and grip in the turns. My car came with satellite radio, alloy rims, foglamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, sport-tuned suspension, very nice sound system, and lots of standard stuff. A similarly equipped Fiesta would cost thousands more. I know, because I priced them. My Accent is solid and free or any creaks or rattles, and it’s a blast to drive. Don’t believe me? See for yourself. Go to YouTube….search “Accent chaos”.
I had no idea this post would be so controversial… OK, I had a little bit of an idea. =)
Let me say this about my enthusiasm for this vehicle and why this post probably came across as a sales pitch. I live 30 miles from Detroit. The Michigan economy has long been devastated by the long, slow decline of the American auto industry as people flocked to higher quality foreign automakers. The U.S. automakers deserved it – they were putting out an inferior product. Unfortunately, Michigan’s unemployment rate is the highest in the nation because of it and the entire city of Detroit has been completely decimated. And we’re constantly reminded of that through the media and whenever we go downtown to catch a ballgame.
A lot of people across the country, to this very day, like to joke about how feeble the American automakers are and how low quality the product is. It’s just not true anymore. Ford, in particular, has clawed and scratched its way back to being relevant again, against all odds. They are putting a high quality product out there that is relevant in the marketplace again. And they are competing on price, fuel efficiency, looks, and market appeal. It’s been a long time since that has been the case. A lot rides on this one vehicle, and quite frankly, I’m very excited about its prospects. If you’re buying a new small car next year, you’d be kind of crazy to not at least take a look at a Fiesta.
The Fiesta means a lot for Ford, the American auto industry, and most importantly, my home state. We haven’t competed in the subcompact market in a loooong time. If you’re an American and have any shred of pride left in American manufacturing and business, why not root for them? As always, do your research, explore the market, and weigh the costs of buying new vs. used. And don’t be surprised if it is voted as the best new subcompact of 2011.
G.E. , you’re a great writer, I didn’t mean to be offensive in anyway with my post. I just wanted to clarify things from my PoV.
For the Jetta Diesel, although it costs 30k, there are great deals that can get you a lease for $1.5k down and 300 a month.
When I said “consumer awareness,” I meant to say that the media coverage of Ford was everywhere when they were getting bailed out.
This ultimately leads to more Ford sales because Americans pity a home grown company that is about to fail, so they get the ‘sympathy vote.’
Note – Ford was never bailed out – they did not accept federal funds.
That I know, but it was going to be a possibility, correct?
They denied their bailout, which made them seem even more reputable in the eyes of the taxpayer.
Especially with Toyota about to make 5 year interest free loans available, buy a ford now, but beware, Toyota will come back bigger and stronger than ever!
A good friend of mine owned and older Ford Fiesta and she LOVED it. She actually told me that when she moves back to CA from NY, she’ll be looking to buy another one as it was so great on gas and had plenty of room for storing stuff.
GM was not “bailed out” by the government. They received a loan.
Bought one two days ago. Love it!! p.s. I am OLD!!
Where is the Mazda 2 in all this? Mazda is the company that taught Ford about quality, thus saving it.