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Updated Dec. 14, 2023

2011 Ford Fiesta: Has It Aged Well? It's Pros And Cons Today, Reliability And Possible Mechanical Problems

Related: How To Get The Lowest Price On A "Brand New" Ford

While historically high new and used car prices have forced buyers to look for "older" vehicles that may have aged well as a way of saving money, the issues of reliability and dependability have become even more crucial.

2011 Ford Fiesta Hatchback

And in the case of the 2011 Ford Fiesta, history has proven its had a bit of a mixed mechanical history. While it gained popularity for its design, fuel efficiency, and handling, some owners have also reported some ongoing and problematic mechanical issues.

This doesn't mean that all of these older Fiestas should be avoided. But it is important to know the potential for these issues to occur going forward, making it essential to find either low-mileage, very well-cared for vehicles, or ones that have had any of these issues already repaired.

It's also important to note that individual experiences can vary widely. Many 2011 Fiesta owners have had trouble-free experiences and found their cars to be reliable for daily commuting and general use. Regular maintenance and adherence to service schedules have often contributed to better reliability outcomes.

So here, ...

- We'll take a look at the overall pros and cons of the 2011 Fiesta all these years later.

- Next, we'll review its features as it was originally released in 2011.

- Then we'll list areas of possible mechanical problems that some owners have experienced that should be checked before buying.

- And finally, we'll suggest ways of buying one today at the lowest price.

But first, and very importantly ...

Things To Do When Considering An "Older" Vehicle

Locate Lower Mileage Vehicles: They are certainly out there to be found with careful and patient shopping. Be willing to drive a distance if you have to.

Vehicle History and Maintenance: Ask for the vehicle history report (CarFax or AutoCheck) as well as documented maintenance and repair records. If not provided by the Dealer or private seller, it's best to move on.

Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have the vehicle independently inspected before making a final decision. This usually will cost in the $150-$200 range but is well worth it given the potentially thousands in savings over the long term.

Also, Always Know The Value Of Your Trade-In!

Whether you are trading or selling on your own, it's just a good idea ... even whether you are in the market or not at the moment. You can then use this important information for a number of purposes ... to negotiate with a dealer, or to know how to price your car in the retail market, or simply to know the value of one of your assets, which is always a good idea.

Getting trade-in values online tend to vary a lot from site to site. But I've found the one at Edmunds Trade-In Quotes is particularly comprehensive and accurate. It's free, it's quick and there's no contact by any third parties. I think what helps its accuracy is the inputs will include either your plate# or VIN#. They really focus in on the specific vehicle.

2011 Ford Fiesta Pros

Cost Savings: Used cars generally come with a lower price tag compared to newer models, allowing you to save a significant amount of money upfront. However, this has to be weighed against the risk of higher maintenance and repair costs going forward.

Depreciation: Older cars have already undergone a major portion of their depreciation, so you won't experience the steep initial depreciation that occurs with new cars.

Fuel Efficiency: The Fiesta is known for its good fuel economy, making it cost-effective for daily commuting.

Stylish Design: Its sleek and modern design appealed to many buyers.

Agile Handling: The Fiesta offers nimble handling, making it fun to drive in urban settings.

Tech Features: It was equipped with advanced technology for its time, including SYNC infotainment system and Bluetooth connectivity.

Compact Size: Its small size made parking and maneuvering in tight spaces easier.

Affordable Insurance: Insurance premiums for older cars tend to be lower compared to newer models, contributing to overall savings.

2011 Ford Fiesta Cons

Reliability Concerns: Some owners reported problems with the automatic transmission, including jerky shifts and hesitation, as well as issues with the electrical system and engine components (more on this below in the Mechanical Watchlist section).

New Mechanical Issues: Older cars might have built up more overall wear and tear, potentially leading to more frequent repairs or maintenance costs.

Outdated Technology: The technology in a 2011 model might not be as advanced as newer cars. Infotainment systems, safety features, and connectivity might not meet current standards.

Safety Features: While considered safe, safety standards in vehicles have improved over the years and tthis Fiesta does not have all the latest safety advancements found in newer models.

Limited Space: The backseat and cargo space might feel cramped for some passengers.

Interior Quality: While stylish, the interior materials in some models might not feel as high-quality as some competitors.

Ride Comfort: The Fiesta's suspension could feel a bit firm, leading to a slightly rough ride on uneven roads.

2011 Ford Fiesta Review

The 2011 Fiesta was its first year here in America. It was available in Europe for years, providing a highly regarded, well-built, fun-to-drive and fuel efficient subcompact. As gasoline prices rose here at the time and shoppers sought smaller and more economical cars, there were not many choices for American-made vehicles among the top rated vehicles. This then changed as the new Fiesta zoomed to the top of its class.

2011 Ford Fiesta Sedan

The 2011 Fiesta offers car buyers an affordable sedan or hatchback with an engaging drive, an appealing cabin, solid construction, outstanding gas mileage and access to a number of higher-end luxury features not typically found in an economy car.

While the Honda Fit was the reigning class leader at the time, the 2011 Fiesta upped the ante for those who valued a sportier driving experience, thanks to its lively engine, responsive steering and agile chassis. This Fiesta demonstrated that when it comes to a small, practical and inexpensive car, one no longer had to be restricted to a boring drive.

Even with its sporty handling, the Fiesta still mangages a smooth and compliant ride as well as a quiet cabin when cruising down the highway. In addition, available features such as keyless ignition and Ford's renowned Sync system (voice-controlled audio, cell phone and other functions) are unexpected features in this segment.

Not all is perfect for the 2011 Fiesta, however. It lags solid picks such as the Honda Fit and Kia Soul when it comes to cargo capacity and rear passenger room. While the Fiesta provides useful storage, these other vehicles would be better suited for those with larger transporting needs.

Trims, Standard Features And Options:

The 2011 Fiesta is available in four-door sedan and hatchback body styles. The sedan is offered in three trims (S, SE, and SEL), while the hatchback has two (SE and SES).

The Fiesta S sedan is the sparsely-equipped base model with standard features that include power mirrors, a capless fuel filter, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, 15-inch steel wheels, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a 4-speaker AM/FM audio system with a USB port and an auxiliary input jack. The SE sedan then adds power door locks, power windows, metallic cabin trim and a CD player.

More Car Buying Tips:

Understand Wholesale And Trade-in Values

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Use Auto Lease Residual Value To Your Advantage

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Standard features added on the SEL sedan include 16-inch premium-painted wheels, an upgraded 6-speaker audio system, satellite radio, a rear spoiler, ambient lighting, LED parking lights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and the Sync multimedia voice-command system (now also includes turn-by-turn navigation).

The Fiesta SE hatchback is outfitted similar to the SE sedan but also gets a rear spoiler and rear window wiper. The SES hatchback gets the same equipment as the SEL sedan, plus the rear wiper.

There are several option packages that can be found on some models that add upper trim features to lower trims. And optional features for the upper trims include keyless ignition/entry and heated leather seats. Other optional features, depending on the model, include a sunroof, additional paint colors and 17-inch alloy wheels.

There's also a Super Fuel Economy package that uses aerodynamic modifications such as underbody panels and a blocked-out lower grille, along with lightweight wheels and special tires to still further improve fuel mileage.

Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:

Powering the 2011 Ford Fiesta is a peppy 1.6-liter inline-4 that produces 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with either a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 6-speed automatic. The automatic is technically an automated dual-clutch manual transmission that allows for faster gearchanges than a traditional torque converter-based automatic. It does not come with a manual-shift feature, however.

Find your next car, truck or SUV on Edmunds.com

The EPA-estimated gas mileage for an automatic Fiesta comes in at an outstanding 29 mpg city and 40 mpg on the highway. The manual is rated only slightly lower at 28 mpg city and 37 mpg highway. The Fiesta's 40 mpg highway rating is 4 mpg more than the Toyota Yaris and 5 mpg better than the Honda Fit.

This best-in-segment fuel efficiency is due to a number of fuel-saving technologies not typically found in this price range. The Fiesta's a new DuratecĀ® engine with Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) features an aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff as well as an engine accessory drive system that reduces the energy necessary to power the air conditioning and alternator.

Additionally, the Fiesta's 6-speed automatic PowerShift transmission combines the fuel advantages of a manual with the driving convenience of an automatic. Toss in the electric power-assisted steering and some aerodynamic design factors and the Fiesta puts up some impressive efficiency numbers.

Safety:

Standard safety features on the new Fiesta are also impressive for the segment and include antilock disc brakes (ABS), traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags.

2011 Ford Fiesta Hatchback interior

Interior:

Ford has sometimes been criticized for its use of cheaper interior materials and an abundance of hard plastic in some of its vehicles. Not so with the Fiesta. Again, with its distinctive styling, solid build quality, soft-touch dash and metallic trim, the Fiesta sports a cabin with a far more premium look and feel than is expected in an economy car.

The layout is attractive and well-conceived while the instruments and gauges are easy to read and user-friendly. Particularly impressive is Ford's Sync system (standard in the top trims) which also includes a navigation system. The available keyless entry and ignition system is another more upscale and unexpected feature.

Seating is comfortable and supportive, however taller rear passengers may find the accommodations a bit tight on longer trips. And while the sedan's 12.8 cubic feet of trunk capacity is about average for the class, the Fiesta hatchback's seats do not fold completely flat, allowing for a total of 26 cubic feet, small when compared to the Honda Fit's 57 cubic feet the Kia Soul's 53.

Drive:

Even with a myriad of appealing attributes, the 2011 Ford Fiesta is at its best when demonstrating its both capable and comfortable road manners ... clearly the best drive in its class. From its precise and well-weighted steering, to its energetic engine, to its sophisticated suspension tuning, the Ford Fiesta is equally adept in around-town tight cornering as well as cruising at highway speed. Even with its excellent handling, the Fiesta handles the bumps and rough spots with little fanfare, providing an overall ride quality that is surprisingly smooth and quiet.

It's hard to notice that the Fiesta's acceleration is about average because its performance in stop-and-go traffic and highway merging is so effortless and engaging. The Fiesta's eager four-cylinder engine is quick to rev, providing ample torque down low while remaining silky-smooth when pushed to the redline. The manual is easy to shift and precise while the available 6-speed automated dual-clutch automatic is yet another unexpected feature in this segment.

2011 Ford Fiesta Mechanical Problem Watchlist:

When considering a used 2011 Fiesta (or any used car), it's crucial to perform a comprehensive inspection or have a mechanic examine the vehicle. Here's a checklist of potential mechanical problems to include:

Transmission Issues: The Fiesta's PowerShift dual-clutch automatic transmission has had reported problems including rough shifting, hesitation, and in some cases, complete transmission failure.

Clutch Issues: Wear and premature clutch failure were reported by some owners, causing issues with engaging gears and necessitating costly repairs or replacements.

Electrical System Malfunctions: Some owners experienced issues with the electrical system, including problems with the power windows, lights, and various sensors.

Engine Component Problems: Complaints included issues with engine sensors, coolant leaks, and occasional failures in engine-related components.

Suspension and Steering Concerns: A few owners reported problems with the suspension system, including premature wear on certain components, leading to noises or an uncomfortable ride. Steering issues, such as power steering failures or vibrations, were also reported.

Braking System: While not as widespread, there were occasional complaints about brake-related problems, including premature wear on brake pads or issues with the brake system's effectiveness.

Build Quality: Some owners mentioned concerns about certain interior components, such as loose trim or panels, indicating potential build quality issues.

Please remember, not all 2011 Fiestas will have these issues, and many might have been well-maintained, minimizing potential problems.

Lastly, Suggestions For Getting The Lowest Fiesta Price

First of all, here's a Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a very effective method.

Here's another method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.

In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them.

And for those of you who might be interested in a "brand new" car if the price was really good, here's info on exactly How To Get The Best Price On A New Car. This works just phenomenally well.


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