Attempting to leverage global manufacturing efficiencies, Ford designed the new Fiesta in Europe but will manufacture and offer it all over the world. In the U.S. the Fiesta slots in as Ford's smallest car, below the Focus, and comes in sedan and hatchback versions.

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Ford came up with a unique design for the Fiesta, using a big-mouth lower air intake and an upper grille that looks merely ornamental. Angular inserts on the corners of the front fascia contribute to the individual look of this car.

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The Fiesta comes with one engine choice, a 1.6-liter four cylinder. With its variable valve timing, this engine makes 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque, enough to give the Fiesta some pep.

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We found the front seats quite roomy, although backseat leg room was easily compromised depending on front-seat position. The trunks is surprisingly spacious, a deep well using every spare cubic inch.

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The Fiesta's independent front suspension benefits from a stabilizer bar to keep the car planted while cornering. The torsion beam rear suspension is adequately tuned for comfort.

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The Fiesta uses a unique center dash design that Ford says was inspired by cell phones. The monochrome display in the center of the dash is a European touch, providing plenty of area to look at radio stations, MP3 player music libraries, and cell phone contact lists.

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The Fiesta gets an electric power-steering unit, taking some of the load off of the engine. The steering is well-tuned, allowing good road feel.

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It is telling that the car's overall design is even reflected in the gauge surrounds, an attention to detail that shows the care Ford put into building the Fiesta.

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Although automatically shifted, this transmission uses two clutches instead of a torque converter, offering better fuel economy than a standard automatic transmission.

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Satellite radio is available in the Fiesta. We found it easy to browse radio stations using the car's controls.

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Sync allows for MP3 player connectivity, letting us browse music libraries by artist, album, genre, and other categories.

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We were pleasantly surprised by the audio quality from this system. Although it lacked strong bass, it showed good detail, bringing out all instruments in each track.

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Sync also connects with most Bluetooth phones, making contact lists available on the display or through voice command.

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Sync offers a number of associated services, one being 911 Assist, which automatically calls 911 through a Bluetooth-paired phone if the car detects that it has been in an accident. The car can send its location to emergency operators.

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