The Festiva is a worthy and honorable successor to the Ford Fiesta. This car has seen me through fair weather and foul. It's brought me safely home to my family on weekends in the worst of weather, when I was working hundreds of miles away. It has provided basic, reliable transportation for daily trips to Pittsburgh, taking the kids to school, the dog to the vet, grocery shopping and so on. It's not hard to recognize in the mall parking lot, though you may have trouble seeing it behind all of the land yachts. It has all of the character that 3 kids and a lot of road time can give a car over 13 years. I can hear how it's running, I can feel how it's driving, it suits me.
It's inexpensive to own and operate. The engine is rugged, the transmission is strong. It's easy to see out of. With the rear seat down there's room for two people and all the supplies for a week long trout fishing / camping trip. It looks neat with my bicycle hanging off the rack on the back.
Ford should never have quit selling this car in the US. They wouldn't be in the mess they're in now. Add the most desirable modern safety features, but leave the basic concept and design alone. Don't allow it to gradually morph into gas slurping, obnoxious travesty. Keep it simple, but keep it.