When it comes to cheap cars, most people think of Korean imports now that Japanese makers have started charging more for their vehicle. Specifically, most people think of Hyundai and KIA, both of which are based out of Seoul, South Korea and have base model, entry level vehicles listed at under $15k. For years, these manufacturers stood unopposed in the entry level market, but now Ford has a foot in the door, but is it worth it? What should you keep in mind next time you are checking out car dealerships in Barrington?
The problem with low dollar, entry level vehicles is that the quality of the car often reflects this fact. Base model vehicles are notorious for having cheap, plastic interiors and less than ideal reliability, but neither of these is an issue with Ford’s Fiesta, their most affordable entry. While the interior won’t compare to higher models, it definitely does not reflect the cost cutting methods formerly common in this market. The interior feels like it is going to last, rather than feeling cheap and poorly made.
This is where Ford shines the most. While imported vehicle often cut corners on part manufacturing for cheaper models, Ford uses the same high-quality components you would expect from them. Since they are such a widely known brand, having a reputation for reliability and reparability are important. Ford has continually worked to improve its already impressive reliability rating over the past several years. This places Ford as one of the most reliable brands currently on the market.
So far Ford has been at the top of the list, but when it comes to power, they do fall behind slightly compared to the competition. Hyundai and KIA both use the same 1.6L four cylinder made by Hyundai which is capable of producing 138hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. By comparison, Ford’s 1.6L four produces 120hp and 112lb-ft of torque. This may not be a huge difference, but it is definitely a win for imports.
While the Ford Fiesta may not be as powerful as the similarly priced Rio and Accent, it does handle better, offer better reliability, and a better interior.