2011 Ford Fiesta – Click above for high-res image gallery

So you're ready to be your own 2011 Ford Fiesta agent, but you'll actually be paying for yours instead of the company giving you one to drive for free. If you want one that's got all the doodads, this is what you need to do: bring money. A base Fiesta sedan starts at $13,320, but go for the pricier hatch and check a few boxes and you'll hopscotch your way past the $23,000 line -- and there will still be options left.

Ford doesn't see this car as just a small American hatchback for people who want a smaller footprint but all the style and utility. The base and lower end models fit the bill for that, but on the other end, Ford officials tell Automotive News that it sees the Fiesta as an aspirational, high tech hatch that can command attention and commensurately elevated prices. Said Ford's Jim Farley, "Americans have shown us if we bring out aspirational products, not only will they pay the base price, but go up."

We played with the Fiesta configurator and wound up at $22,970. Yes, it's easy to do, but that does give you just about everything -- we skipped the graphics packages, the smoker's kit, and a couple of other accessories. But of that $9,650 difference between the sedan's base and our wishlist hatch, about half of the cost is loaded on the front end: the SES starts at $17,120 before you do anything to it, and that goes to $18,190 if you go for the automatic. Ford's getting premium prices in Australia for the Fiesta, and it believes it can do the same here. If you think so – or don't – let us know in comments.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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