Our Autoblog colleague Noah was in Europe last week to get a preview of one of the new cars we'll be seeing in American Ford showrooms in a little more than a year. The new Fiesta is now on sale in Europe and production is due to start at a soon-to-be-former F-Series truck factory toward the end of next year. The Fiesta marks the beginning of Ford's move to consolidate its worldwide product lineup and bring the European styling language to the U.S. market. Noah found the 1.6L diesel-engined version he tried first provided decent performance from its 90 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, it appears Ford has no interest in offering small diesel engines to American buyers at this time.

When we get the Fiesta in early 2010, we'll probably only get the 120 hp 1.6L gas engine. While the gas engine has lower torque compared to the diesel with only 112 lb-ft, Noah found driving the petrol Fiesta pleasurable, with a capable chassis, and good steering and brake feel. If Ford avoids watering down the Fiesta for the U.S., and all indications are that they will, this could be a very capable competitor to the Honda Fit and superior to the Toyota Yaris.

[Source: Autoblog]

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