If you're one of thousands offended by this, there’s now some cause for excitement. After enjoying popularity in Europe, the sassy Ford Fiesta is officially coming to Canada. It's not joining the party until next summer, but Ford recently procured a few units from Holland to give Canadian auto journalists a sneak preview of the new model.
|The course led the cars around a slalom segment, then into a series of very tight bends.|
Why all the fuss about cars from Europe?
Though most of their exports are sold to us Canadians with pricey, premium nameplates, Europeans love small cars. In fact, they build entry-level machines that are upscale and fun-to-drive beyond the often generic and utilitarian machinery that passes for basic transport here.
Parked in a crowd, the Fiesta testers looked like a handful of Jolly-Ranchers. With various candy-like shades including raspberry, blueberry and lime, the car’s fun-focused intentions were apparent from first glance.
Less exciting looking machines could scarcely pull off colors like these, but Ford’s new compact and energy-dense 'kinetic' design language lays the appropriate foundation. Parked in close proximity, the Fiesta makes some of its competitors look like they’re sleeping.
In a back-to-back handling test, Fiesta made competitors feel sleepy, too. A course was set up in a large parking lot to put the Fiesta and three of its key competitors to the test in a head-to-head evaluation.
The course led the cars around a slalom segment, then into a series of very tight bends. A further stretch simulated a portion of winding road, and the whole thing terminated in a sweeping left-hand corner that led into a stopping zone.
Your correspondent started with the Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris. The Versa required relatively big steering inputs to make it turn, so my hands were kept busy rapidly steering for the tight corners. The Yaris seems to have a quicker steering system, but the mushy suspension brings plenty of body roll and fuss when thrown around.
|Parked in a crowd, the Fiesta testers looked like a handful of Jolly-Ranchers.|