• Dec 8th 2010 at 8:58AM
  • 141
2011 Ford Fiesta – Click above for high-res image gallery

Despite the wave of all-new compact and subcompact fighters hitting the market right now, sales of small cars in the U.S. don't appear to be budging much. According to Cars.com, models like the much-hyped Ford Fiesta are struggling to do much better than their older, stale counterparts at other automakers. So far, the Fiesta is number four in sales in the subcompact segment, falling well behind the Nissan Versa with 6,724 sales in November, the Honda Fit with 4,180 units and the Hyundai Accent at 4,052. In fact, Ford only managed to move 3,473 Fiesta units – just a hair above the 3,262 soon-to-be-replaced Chevrolet Aveo vehicles that rolled off of dealer lots last month.

Fortunately, the news is a little better for larger vehicles like the Chevrolet Cruze. General Motors managed to sell 8,066 of its small sedans in the vehicle's first full month on the market, and a total of 8,955 new-for-2011 Volkswagen Jetta models found homes during the second to last month of the year as well. Even the aged Ford Focus saw its sales jump by 27 percent to 13,030 in November thanks in no small part to an aggressive incentive program.

Head over to Cars.com for a full breakdown of America's disappointing subcompact sales, then chime in with your thoughts on the matter in Comments.



Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Cars.com]


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  • 141 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am surprised the Ford Fiesta is not selling like crazy. They are just terrific cars from what I can see. Clearly a better offering then the other cars mentions (Versa, Accent, etc).

      In this segment, perhaps people buy the brand and whatever is available they just sign up for it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The problem with the Fiesta is that by the time you add the cool options to it, you're looking at $21000. The 2012 Focus with the fun stuff will be about $25k. The obvious answer is to lower the price of the Fiesta.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I could not agree more. Add sync, an automatic, alloy wheels and heated leather seats and it's 22k. The focus is cheaper in most cases so the Fiesta only has the hatchback as a sales advantage.

        It's a charming little car but it's priced close to a Sonataa and needs another 20 HP.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Who would want to buy a small car?

      How about someone who wants to do something good for their country?

      If two thirds of oil is imported, we use less foreign oil on our small car. Less money drained out of the US. Less money making its way to unfriendly governments. Less money that buys weapons that kill US troops.

      That's reason enough for me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm honestly very surprised the Fiesta is selling like the Aveo, as the Fiesta is actually a good car and the Aveo, crap.

      I've driven both, and read all the reviews. From practical concerns like fuel economy and crash test ratings and reliablity, to more subjective questions like design, fit/finish, enjoyability behind the wheel the Fiesta is leagues ahead. I feel sorry for anyone that chose the Aveo based on anything other than price. What are you thinking?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I went on the Ford website and built and priced a 2012 candy blue Focus 5 speed hatchback sport package with almost all the options u can get on the SE package and it was right at 23 grand. If i order early ford will give me 500 dollars savings off some of the technical stuff that i wanted. I feel it is worth the money considering all that is on it and it is one beautiful car. Another way to get more money off from ford is to ask for more info on their cars like the brochures mailed to u. They don't send much of a brochure but they will send u a coupon worth 750 dollars off some of their cars. I did it all last year and had all kind of coupons and some were worth up to 1,500 dollars for the trucks, so if u think u might get a new ford then go to their website and ask brochures to be mailed to u. My last coupons were good for the fiesta , focus (2011) the escape and i think it was the fusion. All 750 dollars coupons above and beyond any deal u make with the dealer. I really want a focus but i will wait and look and the new Elantra too. I just hope Hyundai can put a decent suspension under it so it don't ride so hard. That is what i don't like about the Kia forte. And they are knocking 2000 dollars off fortes around here. A thousand rebate and the dealer is taking another grand off.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They move more next year when gas prices are $5/gallon.
      • 4 Years Ago
      i believe its in the price point, right now you can buy a new Focus for the same price of a new Fiesta. Regardless of subjective taste; it makes more sense to buy the Focus since you are getting more for your money...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ darex

        Not everyone wants a tiny vehicle like your useless Mini. The Fiesta looks great on the outside, and has some premium features and materials (just like your Mini) BUT its interior packaging is terrible. It doesn't have a lot of useful space, especially in the back seat where there is no foot room for passengers.

        Ford is offering $3,000 off of MSRP for the Focus in the mid-Atlantic region. That price is before any of your normal negotiations which you can usually saw $1,000+ more off of MSRP. I would rather have a fully loaded Focus for the price of a entry to mid-level Fiesta.
        • 4 Years Ago
        the majority of consumers just want a cheap affordable car with features and the enthusiast are the minority, "they" are just good for promoting the brand..any sane person walking into a showroom floor and seeing a Focus with the features priced equivalent to an entry lever Fiesta will come to the same conclusion..
      • 4 Years Ago
      The problem is simple. Sub-Compacts sell well in Europe because they have limited parking space and smaller roads, not because they offer spectacularly better fuel economy as opposed to Compact and Mid-Size cars. So in America, where we have ample space to drive and park, we find them less useful. Add in the fact that their purchase price is no longuer "several thousand dollars" less than a compact and mid-size car and they become even less attractive.

      I have always been for sub-compact cars, but only because they were cheap AND efficient. Remove the "cheap" part and this romance is over. Just go on www.fueleconomy.org and use the fuel cost calculator there to see what I mean.

      Someone mentionned that we'd be begging for sub-compact cars when gas hit 4$ a gallon gas earlier in the threads, so I put down 5$ a gallon gas and 15,000 miles a year and did the math on the Ford lineup of cars starting with sub-compact and moving up to full size.

      Ford Fiesta SFE - 33 mpg Average - Cost of fuel a year: 2273$ - a month: 189.42$
      Sounds pretty decent until you realize that technically speaking you're only saving under half a gallon of fuel every one hundred miles over the Ford Focus.

      Ford Focus w/ Manual - 29 mpg Average - Cost of fuel a year: 2586$ - a month: 215.50$
      Sure it would cost 26$ a month more in fuel than a Fiesta, but it's bigger and not that more expensive. Not to mention that I'm sure the new 2012 Focus will get better fuel economy... though probably at the cost of a higher base price, so it'll be a toss up.

      Ford Fusion 2.5 - 24 mpg Average - Cost of fuel a year: 3125$ - a month: 260.41$
      Using a little over one gallon of fuel more per 100 miles than the Fiesta, the question returns. Why not the Fusion? Sure, it's 71$ more in gas a month, but considering that you'd already be paying almost 300$ a month in gas bills, why not?

      Ford Taurus FWD N/A - 21 mpg Average - Cost of fuel a year: 3571$ - a month 297.58$
      Actually, I don't have anything to say here except to ask how the hell it's possible for a modern unibody FWD V6 car with 6 speed transmission to barely be more fuel efficient than the ancient V8 body-on-frame car with a 4 speed that it replaces. It's a better cruiser, no argument, but 21mpg is the best they can do for the base V6/FWD combo? I was expecting at least 23-24. Did they test the car with rocks in the trunk?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @darex

        And if most Americans lived in cities like Boston and New York, compacts would sell better, but that is not the case.

        I know the fanatics that want us all to drive tiny compacts and pay $4.00 for gas do not want to admit that, but it is what it is.

        It is why I believe this piece is misleading as consumers do not have to settle for a compact to get good mileage. This is just to ruffle feathers among the "politicos" on here.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Bloke, first of all those engines don't make 60mpg on the US cycle. You have to take into account the differences in measurement. The highest mpg model in the UK (ECOnetic Diesel) still would only be rated about 47mpg combined on the US system. This is a lot higher than the 33mpg of the Fiesta SFE we have, but it's not the near double you imply.

        But the biggest part is that those higher mpg engines generally come in two classes, dog slow and expensive. Dog slow makes a car into an econo box, and people don't want to pay a lot for an econo box. And expensive makes a car, well, expensive, most Americans aren't going to spend the extra on a higher mpg engine at current gas prices because they can do the basic math and if that engine pays back at all, it takes 3 years or more.

        Example: Ford Fiesta SFE annual fuel cost (15000 miles per year, from fueleconomy.gov) is $1345. The ECOnetic Diesel above would be about $900/year (took the fueleconomy.gov Prius figure even though the Prius gets 6% better fuel economy and gas is cheaper than Diesel here). So you're going to save under $500/year, and you lose your automatic transmission. And the engine (depending on which package you compare it to) costs $1500 or so (comparing Zetec 1.6DPF 5-door at £12140 versus Zetec 1.4 petrol 5-door at £10982).
        • 4 Years Ago
        As a Montrealer, you should know that this "rule" of yours does not hold true for older East Coast cities, and we face very similar parking situations and have very similar requirements as many European cities do. Only an idiot buys a massive SUV where I live. Examples: Montreal, NYC, Philadelphia, Boston: all have challenging street parking situations and streets that are too narrow for many larger cars to drive down.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The problem is simple. Sub-Compacts sell well in Europe because they have limited parking space and smaller roads, not because they offer spectacularly better fuel economy as opposed to Compact and Mid-Size cars."

        The real problem is that Americans don't get the most fuel-efficient engines. In Europe, it's possibly to buy Fiestas capable of over 60mpg (US), and Focus and Mondeos capable of more than 50mpg (US). Europeans get a multitude of engine choices for any given model, whereas Americans generally get one or two, usually with larger capacities because Americans are psychologically swayed by horsepower in their buying decisions more than they are fuel economy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am married and have 3 kids. I live in teh burbs, commute to an office with it's own parking lot. I travel about 60 miles on the highway a day, not really much traffic to deal with. I DO NOT WANT a tiny car. It doesn't make sense for me with a family of 5. Plus I hate feeling packed into a tiny car. I also like having gobs of power available when you hit the gas pedal. This is why I'm driving a G8 GT. I couldn't be happier. It's the best car I've ever owned.

      Now I'm a bit different than most. there aren't a lot of 'car guys' around anymore. This is why Accord and Camry's sell so well. Most people want a car just to get them from point A to point B. If they have a family, they surely don't want these tiny compact and subcompact cars. Gas is still relatively inexpensive here in the US so who doesn't want to have a bit more room in their car? I see a lot less SUV's on the road than I used to but I see a lot more 'crossovers' which at this point seems to be a fancy word for jacked up station wagons.

      I'll stick to my mid/full size sedans with RWD and lots of power please.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's gas prices. People have forgotten the shock of $4+ gas from two years ago and are going back to buying SUV's. When gas prices go up, these will start to sell well again. I sat in a Fiesta at the Miami autoshow and was extremely impressed with it. My biggest gripe, and possibly a deal breaker wasn't the price, or the size... it was the poor backseat design. When you fold down the seats that couple inch lip that is created by the backrests not laying flat is a deal killer for me.Cargo space is already at a premium in the Fiesta as compared to its competitors so that little thing annoys me to no end. If Honda could figure out how to make the seats in the Fit fold completely flat how come Ford couldn't do it. I think the Fiesta is nicer in almost ever aspect, but the extra versatility of the Fit would probably win me over if I had to choose between the two.
        • 4 Years Ago
        humans have such a short memory. I still remember spending $600 a week to fill the Santa Fe I had at the peak price. It was about $5 a gallon here at the time. I'll never go back to that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Drove the new Fiesta for three weeks and just loved it. It's a great little car. Don't buy with the automatic tranny. Good job Ford!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Also when you factor in the obesity problem in many Americans they might feel cramped in small cars.
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