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Ford Fiesta 2011

Just wondering whether this is really a good choice, especially for new drivers and in snowy winter weather? Thanks

Well, since none of us in the US have had a chance to drive this new car, it would be very difficult to say. However, it has been sold in Europe for a year or so, and it has been a really big success on that continent.

Regarding winter weather, it is advisable to equip the car with a set of 4 winter tires. The so-called “all-season” tires that most cars come equipped with are no match for winter tires when it comes to being able to get going, to turn, and to stop on snowy or icy roads.

A winter tire will allow you to stop the car in about 30 feet less distance when driving on slippery winter roads at low speeds. The difference at high speed would be even greater. My car has AWD, traction control, and vehicle stability control, and I still use a set of Michelin X-Ice tires from December through March each year.

Proper driver’s training, airbags, ABS, ESP, four real winter tires and experience are more important than the make and model of car. I’d recommend a three to four-year-old used car for new and inexperienced drivers, especially young kids. Cheaper to buy, register and insure.

Twotone

Agree, it sounds like a good car, would be good in winter with winter tires, but you may want a 2-year old or so car for new drivers to ‘learn’ on, a.k.a. bumps, dents, and scrapes.

As good as any front wheel drive small car.
Front wheel drive is usually better than rear in winter weather.

BUT…

1 - YOU must learn how to drive in said inclement conditions. Not only how to work the machine but under what conditions NOT to drive.
2 - TIRES can make or break a vehicles driveability. This fact is part of ‘learning to drive’ in those conditions.
3 - The Fiesta is as low to the ground as any Focus or G6. You will literally be “snow plowing” if it’s too deep. ( I have a dealer sales person’s pre-issue brochure )

Parts of a new driver’s learning MUST be ; different vehicle types require different driving technique. Each of these need to be practiced to be learned.

Thanks a lot. If I go for the used cars, which would you recommend? Some people say Honda Civic. Not sure.

If you want a small car,I would say a Honda Fit, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and a Toyota Yaris are all good choices. Also Scion Xa.

You should also go get the Consumer Reports car issue, it’s out now. Lots of info on used cars. Safety is also a top concern, you’ll want to make sure it has side airbags.

I’ve been hearing some really good things about the new Fiesta, but for a new driver in snowy winters, I’d want something a little heavier and with a somewhat lower center of gravity. I’d try to find a used mid-sized sedan along the lines of an Accord, Camry, Taurus, Malibu, any Buick, etc.

That’s the biggest issue I have with my Civic. If we get enough snow, then the city side streets that don’t get plowed by the city get plowed by my Civic as it’s leveling off the snow as I’m driving.
As to the tires, it’ll most likely come equipped with the Goodyear Eagle RS-A tire. I don’t see any winter tires for it listed on tirerack.com yet, so something like the Michelin Pilot Exalto a/s or Continental ExtremeContact DWS all season tires should be bought for best 4 season conditions.

Small tires, low ground clearance, light traction weight are always at a disadvantage in snow. But if the roads are plowed regularly and you use good snows, I feel it’s no worse than a Yaris, Fit or the Aveo my neighbor takes places you wouldn’t believe.

It seems that winter cars with larger distance from the ground are bigger and more expensive ones. I am not only a new driver, but I am physically small. I don’t want to handle big cars, I don’t want to use my car as a plow in the winter either. At a loss, HELP! Thanks.

We don’t know where you live, so there’s no way to know what cars will work well in your winter conditions. We had 4 feet of snow in one week this last winter, but it probably won’t happen again for 50 years. Unless you live in a very snowy area, odds are that you won’t need to go out if the snow is deep enough to scrape the bottom of any sedan.

The 13k-15k you’ll spend on a Fiesta can buy a very decent used car. A very decent used car with AWD and/or better ground clearance.

While the Fiesta drove great, its interior is noticeably smaller than the Honda Fit. As much as I like that particular Honda, I would drive the Fiesta, Fit, and Mazda2 before I spend my money on anything.

I am not only a new driver, but I am physically small. I don’t want to handle big cars I understand how you may feel, but my 5’2" wife has no problems handling our 4Runner. As long as the seats and controls are satisfactory to you, only your perceived and not actual size limitation should get in the way of owning ANY vehicle. Your ability to handle any car should not be a factor. Getting a car with decent clearance, tires and traction control will handle 99% of any daily driving experiences you’ll likely encounter on paved roads. In my experience driving in snow 6 months out of the year, traction control, which is now standard on many newer cars, goes a long way in making a 2wd vehicle nearly as functional as awd in many on road driving conditions. It’s a worthwhile feature that adds little to price of a vehicle and what you should look for regardless of the size of the car…

And my 5-fott-nuthin sister in law did fine in their Chrysler Town and Country. antfu59, a lot of cars and trucks today have adjustable pedals and multiway power seats that allow both short and tall drivers to use the same car. My brother in law is 6’4" and he drove the same T&C hsi wife did, and neither did it unsafely or uncomfortably.

The Fiesta looks like a great car to avoid Baddies in a Mall or storm the Beach with the Royal Marines!