Responsive controls; rewarding handling; engaging styling; stout and economical engine.
Expensive automatic transmission has quirks; marginal rear-seat legroom; 40 mpg comes in sedan-only body.
The almost supernatural growth of the subcompact segment proves car buyers in America are becoming more than off-handedly interested in better fuel economy. It's now almost mandatory for full-line automakers to offer at least one or two cars (and soon, crossovers?) sporting the 40 mpg rating on the EPA highway cycle, which has emerged as today's fuel-sipper benchmark.
The stylish 2012 Ford Fiesta — an all-new car introduced in 2011 — churns out the requisite 40-mpg rating, but you have to plump for the extra-cost Super Fuel Economy (SFE) package to get it. And going SFE does impose some limitations on how you can equip the Fiesta.
The $695 SFE package can be specified only for the Fiesta four-door sedan — less stylistically expressive than the oh-so-Euro Fiesta hatchback — and you must choose the sedan's midlevel SE trim. Moreover, choosing the Fiesta's SFE package also demands the optional $1,070 "Powershift" automatic transmission. Most buyers insist on an automatic anyway, but the traditional path to optimum fuel economy has been with a manual transmission. So if you want a Fiesta that delivers 40 mpg on the highway (as opposed to the 39-mpg rating for the standard automatic-transmission Fiesta), you must get the four-door SE sedan with an automatic transmission to purchase the SFE package.
Aside from the transmission, the SFE package includes cruise control, low-rolling-resistance tires and a number of aerodynamic trim pieces, including shutters that block drag-inducing air from backing up within the engine compartment.
Meanwhile, Hyundai never tires of saying that each and every variant of its all-new 2012 Hyundai Accent achieves the 40-mpg highway rating, as does the brand's larger Hyundai Elantra sedan, too. And other newer rivals for the Fiesta SFE, such as the turbocharged 2012 Chevrolet Sonic hatchback also boast 40 mpg on the sticker. How quickly has 40 mpg become the new standard? The Honda Fit, long reputed as one of the snazzier choices in the subcompact market but way overdue for a refresh as the 2012 calendar year begins, manages a highway fuel economy rating of just 33 mpg.
The 2012 Ford Fiesta SE with Super Fuel Economy package uses the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine as all Fiestas, and its 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque make for performance that's likely to exceed the expectations of drivers that can remember the wheezy subcompacts of the past. The Fiesta compares well to newer models such as the 2012 Mazda 2 and its 100 hp, not to mention the 117 hp Honda's Fit brings to the party. The Fiesta is outpunched, however, by the 138-hp four-cylinder engines of the 2012 Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent and Chevy Sonic, with the Sonic adding the enjoyment of turbocharged shove if you choose its optional 1.4-liter engine.
The Fiesta's easy-revving and nice-sounding inline-4 engine is more than competitive in its class when it comes to power, but if you want the Super Fuel Economy package, you have to back the 1.6-liter with Ford's dual-clutch six-speed automated manual transmission. Just as with all these automated manuals, the Powershift is, in effect, a six-speed manual transmission with an automated clutch, meaning it can be driven just like the conventional automatic, and there is no clutch pedal. But because it doesn't have the torque converter that makes a conventional automatic's gearshifts so imperceptible, pulling away from a standstill and certain other transitional maneuvers can be, well, not entirely smooth.
The different way in which the Powershift transmission goes about its work definitely requires an acclimation period, but it certainly achieves the goal of shifting gears automatically. When the Fiesta was introduced, some drivers reported frustration with the transmission's reluctance to let the car creep forward at engine idle, while take-offs were less than seamless and the shift logic seemed a little off. Ford engineers have worked on recalibrating the transmission's performance, and apparently it's a better match with the Fiesta's 1.6-liter engine than it initially proved to be with the larger 2.0-liter engine of the Ford Focus.
The Powershift isn't perfect, but its mechanical efficiency makes a crucial contribution in helping the Fiesta SFE achieve its high fuel economy rating. This transmission certainly wouldn't prevent us from purchasing an automatic-transmission Fiesta, and there are times when the Powershift's automated gearchanges are a delight.
The 2012 Ford Fiesta SFE is no different from other Fiesta models in that it's going to impress front-seat passengers with ample legroom, unexpectedly supportive seats, an easy reach to all the controls and just a couple of steps to find a purposeful driving position. Engine noise isn't a problem unless you're wringing out the four-cylinder to its utmost, while wind rush and road noise are acceptable but not outstanding at interstate cruising speeds.
Rear-seat occupants aren't as fortunate, with most likely to find legroom scarce and the seatback flimsy. But the Fiesta is a subcompact, after all, so a certain amount of awareness of the tight quarters isn't unusual in the second row. Older children or those in safety seats won't feel pinched, though, and the Fiesta's large-ish rear windows help, although the rising beltline might leave some shorter rear-seat passengers with the feeling of sitting too low to see out.
The Fiesta's dashboard and gauge cluster are mostly straightforward and effective, though the center stack's multiple buttons — particularly the over-the-top phone-style keypad on the right of the upper console — don't seem the easiest to use. And we find the large, multifunction main dial that controls several infotainment functions to be fiddly and nonintuitive. Best to go for one of the Fiesta's rapid-spec packages that include the always-improving Sync voice-activation technology that helps mitigate the need to use the buttons.
The four-door Fiesta body style does offer what some see as an advantage of a fully enclosed trunk, though its 12.8 cubic feet of capacity is down markedly compared to the 15.4 cubic feet available from the hatchback. The rear seat can fold in a 60/40 split, though, a boon for carrying extra-large cargo while still using the backseat for a passenger.
Design/Fit and Finish
The Fiesta impresses with several interior materials that are visibly of a higher quality than you might expect from an entry-level car. The large, soft dash top is unexpectedly nice, while most plastics employed throughout the interior avoid the über-cheap look and feel many cars in this class don't bother to hide. Controls such as the shift lever and the stalks for the turn signals and windshield wipers have a quality feel, too, and the fit and alignment of panels is good.
The Fiesta SE offers other helpful amenities such as a one-touch up-and-down function for the driver's window and USB and audio input jacks sensibly placed in the center console just forward of the cupholders.
Who should consider this vehicle
The 2012 Ford Fiesta SFE is one of the higher-style, higher-quality choices in a market segment that is being joined by surprisingly sophisticated cars every day. It has recently added excellent new entries such as the Chevrolet Sonic, Kia Rio and Toyota Yaris. The Fiesta stands out in this crowd because of its high-quality appearance and excellent driving dynamics, two things that make this car a pleasure to drive every time you're behind the wheel.
We doubt we'd put up the $695 for the Super Fuel Economy package, however. The SFE equipment delivers just a 1 mpg improvement over the 39 mpg highway rating of the everyday Fiesta, while the SFE's combined rating of 33 mpg is identical to every other Fiesta with an automatic transmission. In addition, many of the segment's newer models offer a 40 mpg highway rating throughout the model range without the need for an extra-cost package like the Fiesta SFE, which requires the expensive automatic transmission.
The 2012 Ford Fiesta is a great car that gets great gas mileage, but the price for the last mile per gallon might make you think twice.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
2012 Ford Fiesta Overview
The 2012 Ford Fiesta is offered in the following submodels: Sedan, Hatchback. Available styles include SE 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M), SE 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M), and SES 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M). Fiesta models are available with a 1.6 l-liter gas engine, with output up to 120 hp, depending on engine type. The 2012 Fiesta comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual. The 2012 Fiesta comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a used 2012 Ford Fiesta?
Save up to $206.2 on one of 40 used 2012 Ford Fiestas for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $5985 as of Dec 17, 2017, based on data from 18 dealers and 107 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 2.3 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 2012 Ford Fiesta trim styles:
The 2012 Ford Fiesta SES is priced around $7762 with average odometer reading of 76350 miles.
The 2012 Ford Fiesta SE is priced around $7295 with average odometer reading of 64478 miles.
The 2012 Ford Fiesta S is priced around $7048 with average odometer reading of 53598 miles.
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Is the 2012 Ford Fiesta a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2012 Ford Fiesta and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2012 Fiesta featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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How do people like the 2012 Ford Fiesta? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2012 Ford Fiesta and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2012 Fiesta 3.1 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2012 Fiesta.
Review Like everything about this car except transmission gear whine in 5th gear (manual transmission), like traveling on the highway so not good. Dealer says they will rebuild the transmission but I'm thinking there is too big of downside to that. Waited a long time to get a new car and a Ford so really dissapointing, will probably drive a year and trade.
2012 Ford Fiesta inventory listings Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Ford Fiesta for sale near Ashburn VA. There are currently 365 new and 464 used and CPO 2012 Fiestas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as 4999 and mileage as low as 18301. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2012 Ford Fiesta. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to 206 on a new, used, or CPO 2012 Fiesta available from one of 2807 dealerships in your area.
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Is the 2012 Ford Fiesta safe? The 2012 Ford Fiesta earned a 4-star overall safety rating from NHTSA and "GOOD" ratings from the IIHS in the following caregories: Side Impact Test, Roof Strength Test, Rear Crash Protection/Head Restraint, Moderate Overlap Front Test Results, and a JD POWER overall quality rating of 3.0 out of 5. Among Edmunds' many tools and resources for finding your perfect car are detailed safety ratings and analysis from NHTSA, IIHS, and JD Power, including overall ratings, frontal barrier crash ratings, side impact tests and crash ratings, rollover test results, roof strength tests, rear crash protection and head restraint ratings, side barrier ratings, combined side barrier and pole ratings, and more.
2012 ford fiesta SE 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M), 5-speed manual, regular unleaded 33 combined MPG 29 city MPG/38 highway MPG
2012 ford fiesta SE 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M), 5-speed manual, regular unleaded 33 combined MPG 29 city MPG/38 highway MPG
2012 ford fiesta SES 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M), 5-speed manual, regular unleaded 33 combined MPG 29 city MPG/38 highway MPG
What options are available on the 2012 Ford Fiesta?
Available Ford Fiesta 2012 Submodel Types: ST, Sedan, Hatchback
Available Trims: ST, SE, Titanium, S, SES, SEL
Exterior Colors: Shadow Black, Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Magnetic Metallic, Tuxedo Black Metallic, White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat, Chrome Copper Metallic, Bohai Bay Mint Metallic, Magnetic Metallic (Late Availability), Kona Blue Metallic, Storm Grey Metallic, Black, Green Envy Metallic Tri-Coat, Ingot Silver Metallic, Lime Squeeze Metallic, Monterey Gray Metallic, Performance Blue, Blue Flame Metallic, Orange Spice Metallic Tri-Coat, Race Red, Blue Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Electric Spice Metallic, Yellow Blaze Metallic Tri-Coat, Lightning Blue Metallic, Violet Grey Metallic, Molten Orange Metallic Tri-Coat, Oxford White, Red Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Bright Magenta Metallic, Hot Pepper Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
Interior Colors: Charcoal Black w/Red Stitching premium cloth, Charcoal Black w/Charcoal Accents cloth, Charcoal Black w/Embossed Seat Design premium cloth, Medium Light Stone w/Embossed Seat Design premium cloth, Charcoal Black w/Reverse Contrast Stitching premium cloth, Charcoal Black leather, Smoke Storm leather/cloth, Charcoal Black premium cloth, Charcoal Black w/Charcoal Bolster Accents cloth, Charcoal Black w/Reverse Silver Stitching premium cloth, Medium Light Stone leather, Molten Orange leather/cloth, Light Stone w/Charcoal Black cloth, Light Stone w/Charcoal Black premium cloth, Cashmere w/Charcoal Black Piping leather, Charcoal Black w/Blue Accent premium cloth, Charcoal Black w/Sterling Stone Insert cloth, Red w/Charcoal Black Surround leather
Popular Features: Alarm, Auto Climate Control, Heated seats, Mobile Internet, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Keyless Entry/Start, Sunroof/Moonroof, Aux Audio Inputs, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Post-collision safety system, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Tire Pressure Warning, Trip Computer, Back-up camera, Leather Seats, Parking sensors, Power Driver Seat, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Bluetooth, USB Inputs, Navigation, Upgraded Engine, Remote Start, Upgraded Stereo