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#8

in 2012 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $10,173 - $12,838
Original MSRP: $13,200 - $17,500
MPG: 28 City / 38 Hwy
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2012 Ford Fiesta Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Like most affordable small cars, the base Ford Fiesta is fairly basic, and comes with air conditioning, an AM/FM radio and an auxiliary input jack, but the Fiesta can be equipped with Ford SYNC, which controls the stereo, Bluetooth and gives turn-by-turn directions. Reviewers are pleased with the number of options available on the Fiesta, and many say that it also has one of the highest quality interiors in the class and comfortable seats, which is high praise in this class. 

Shoppers in need of a lot of cargo space should consider the Honda Fit. Not only will they get up to 57.3 cubic feet of cargo space, but they’ll also get a back seat that’s roomier than the Fiesta’s.

  • "With its soft-touch dash top, metallic accents, edgy styling and tight build quality, the Fiesta's cabin has a premium vibe to it that's unexpected in an economy car. The center stack controls for the audio system look odd at first but prove intuitive, while the three-knob climate control system couldn't be easier to use." -- Edmunds
  • "Comfort was never an issue; the Fiesta's refined interior and compliant ride far surpass the city-car norm." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Not only is the interior a welcoming cockpit, with a contemporary design--from the instrument panel, to the thick, formed steering wheel, to comfortable seats for adults of all sizes--but the packaging is sufficient to carry it all." -- AutoWeek

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Seating

Space inside the Ford Fiesta is impressive for a small car, reviewers say. Most agree that there is plenty of room in both the front and rear seats, and there is plenty of headroom for tall passengers, but people in the back seat may not have enough legroom depending on how far back the driver and front passenger put their seats.

  • "The bucket seats-leather-clad in this car-were comfortable, with a nice range of adjustability. Pedal placement was sports-car correct, and the shift lever for the five-speed manual was close to the reach. Okay, scratch that last part; of course it was close to the reach, nothing in a subcompact car is very far away." -- Car and Driver
  • "There's plenty of headroom, but taller drivers might yearn for more legroom. A tilt/telescopic steering wheel and height-adjustable driver seat help tailor the driving position, but no center armrest is offered. The seats themselves are quite comfortable; heated front seats are optional, as is leather upholstery. … An average-size adult can sit behind another average-size adult, but legroom almost completely disappears if the front seat is set all the way back. Headroom is adequate for 6-footers. Door openings are on the small side, which is most noticeable when trying to get your feet out." -- Consumer Guide
  • "While a 6'5" colleague raved about the head and legroom, something about the Fiesta felt a little claustrophobic to me. The back seat is comfy and has lots of headroom (tight on legroom, though) and the cargo bay is smartly shaped, though a bit small." -- About.com

Interior Features

The majority of reviewers are impressed with the interior features on the Ford Fiesta. For the most part, though, they were driving the higher trims which come with more features and options and higher price tags. The base S trim comes standard with air conditioning and a four-speaker AM/FM stereo. The base stereo doesn't have a CD player, but it does have an audio input jack for MP3 players. A four-inch LCD screen, which shows audio settings, phone information and other data, is also standard.

If you trade up to the SE, you'll get a stereo with a CD player and a trip computer. SEL and SES trims come standard with Ford's SYNC infotainment system, which uses voice commands to control the stereo. It also allows drivers to control some MP3 players and most Bluetooth-enabled cell phones with voice commands. SYNC also gives turn-by-turn directions through the stereo, but the system doesn’t show a map with the Fiesta’s current location like the Honda Fit and Kia Forte. Some reviewers think SYNC is difficult to use. Be sure to test the system thoroughly if you’re interested in adding it.

While the Fiesta is well-equipped for an affordable small car, some reviewers note that the layout of the interior controls is unconventional because they are mounted high on the dash, which will be out of reach for some drivers.

  • "The Fiesta's interior is among the higher-quality offerings in the class in terms of materials and features." -- Cars.com
  • "Ours was clearly an optioned-up version with leather and a nice stereo, but even the base model will benefit from the solid, attractive dash, comfortable seats and room for four adults (five in a pinch). US Fiestas will also get Ford's industry-leading SYNC connectivity system." -- Jalopnik
  • "Gauges are clear if a bit on the small side. Audio controls are unconventional. They're mounted high on the dash, with some being just out of easy reach. … Some functions are counter intuitive, taking more time to master than necessary. Climate controls consist of easy-to-use rotary knobs. They're mounted low on the central dashboard stack but within reach." -- Consumer Guide

Cargo

Even though it shares a space-maximizing wedge shape with the Honda Fit, many reviewers say that the Fiesta hatchback lags behind the competition when it comes to cargo space. The hatchback's seats fold down, but not flat, and it only has 26 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front row. The sedan has less trunk space at 12.8 cubic feet, which is easily topped by the Hyundai Elantra and Chevrolet Cruze.

There is also little interior storage, and reviewers say that the available compartments are pint-size.

  • "At 12.8 cubic feet, the sedan's trunk capacity is class-competitive. The Fiesta hatchback offers a bit less than that with its rear seat up. Unfortunately, the seats don't fold completely flat, and the Fiesta's 26 cubes of maximum cargo capacity pale in comparison to the Honda Fit's 57 cubes and the Kia Soul's 53 cubes." -- Edmunds
  • "Interior storage is limited to a modest-sized glovebox, three cupholders, a couple of small trays, and map pockets; there's no console box." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Both the Fiesta and the Fit have the same basic jelly-bean silhouette, which maximizes interior space, but the Honda, with an extra 6.1 inches of length and marvelous folding rear seats, wins on cargo size and versatility. When folded, the Fiesta's rear seats don't make a flat load floor, but the Honda's do." -- Car and Driver

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