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Old 07-19-2012, 06:03 PM   #1
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Fiat 500 vs Fiesta vs Focus vs Impreza

Hi all - first post here but I'm hoping for some feedback.

I'm looking to replace a Forester and would really like to downsize and save on gas. Current driving habits are usually just me or plus 1. On occasion 3 or 4 but we do have an F150 super cab for extra capacity when needed. When we all go in the Forester now it is because it is better on gas than the truck. That said, space for 5 is not a priority with the new car. Hauling around some "stuff" at times is - but not a lot. Forester rides empty a lot.

Matter of fact, I tend to like smaller cars. Before the Forester it was a MINI. Here's the problem, I like a lot about the Fiesta but not so much the control panel layout. I was hoping with the 2013 Titanium that would be more like the Focus but it doesn't seem to have changed.

So that lead to the Focus, again Titanium, simply because of the interior layout. We've heard good things about the Focus from our service rep (they bought one). I just feel like its getting in to "bigger" again. Since we bumped up to that size hubby added the new Impreza and they are very close in many regards except for AWD. Nice to have but the truck is 4WD and I'm not sure about the CVT transmission.

And because I'm lacking in the "fun factor" with the current ride I checked out the Fiat and liked some things and didn't like some things. Wish the Ford Ka was in the US - looks fun!

Anyone cross shop any of these models? Any input for the endless circle? I've driven all 4.


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Old 07-19-2012, 06:24 PM   #2
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the Fiat 500 is in a completely different class than the Focus. Not sure many cross-shopped that one...
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:30 PM   #3
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the Fiat 500 is in a completely different class than the Focus. Not sure many cross-shopped that one...
Agreed, more of the Fiesta I realize. Just tossed it in since we've gone from small to large.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:54 PM   #4
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A guy on here has a black 500 - MattZX3 I think. I know he loves it, and he usually travels alone.

My pick of the bunch is the Fiesta, and it also seems to fit your needs best. That said, I share the same annoyance with the center console you do. Still, fun to drive.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:31 PM   #5
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Go for the Fiesta.
But in my opinion you might wait for the Fiesta RS.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:47 PM   #6
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I vote for the Fiesta. The 500 sure looks cool and I love its style inside and out. But when you boil it down the Fiesta is just more car for the money. Something like 75% more cargo space, more powerful engine, about the same fuel economy. Plus the 500 still has that "wait and see" reliability factor yet. I believe the 500 could have been made a little bigger, closer to Fiesta size and still kept its good retro style. To bad they didn't do it that way. As one reviewer put it, "I like small cars, but this is just one size too small for me"
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:51 PM   #7
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You mentioned saving gas as one of your primary decision factors. You're not going to save much more gas going with anything smaller than the Focus, if at all. I was downsizing as well and considered the Fiesta but I realized in going smaller and smaller there's a point at which the benefits in going smaller, primarily fuel economy, pretty much max out and the Focus was that point. In other words, smaller than that and you're not getting any better fuel economy to speak of, and your ride will be significantly smaller, noisier, etc.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:20 PM   #8
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Thanks all. Good points!

Today I looked at Fiesta and Focus again and plan to drive them both pretty soon.

We also received good feedback from our service buddy regarding the Fiesta (he had already blessed the Focus).

Found out the Fiat can be serviced (non warranty work) by any Chrysler shop but the local shop here had only had one that they've worked on from Enterprise.

I noticed a Fiesta at the gas station next to me and asked the owner how he liked his car. He loved it! Has had no problems and was really enjoying it. He had traded his truck and bought his Fiesta after a weekend of having one as a rental.

Meanwhile the Forester was averaging 22 mpg yesterday.....and it was just me driving around all day. I messed that choice up!
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:19 PM   #9
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I own a 2012 Ti 5speed hatch and have a 2012 Impreza 2.0i Sport Premium on order. They are going to be very similar when all is said and done. Focus for me, Impreza for the wife. We traded off an F150 SuperCab and sold a Corvette Z06 in our quest for lower bills and greater fuel economy. We have an old Subaru 2.5RS that will become the winter beater/dog transporter when the new Impreza shows up.

The Focus is a very fun drive. We've put almost 5K miles on it since picking her up new w/5 miles on June 2. It's no Z06, but I get to use 100% of the Focus' potential vs having to baby the Vette to remain in the realm of legal speeds. Gas mileage is respectably in the low 30's avg(I have the 18" wheels), and I've seen the display tell me I'm getting 38mpg for 50 miles or so while on the highway at 70mph.

Overall, I'm happy with the Focus. It's the first under 200hp vehicle I've ever purchased new in my 24 years of driving, and it's also one of the nicest.
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:34 PM   #10
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Went to a Ford dealer today to look at Focus and Fiesta.
I still have issue with the Fiesta dash - shallow though it may be it bugs me!

So off to the Focus - couldn't not even get the hubs in to the car because he didn't like the placement of the "gawd awful emergency brake" - Really?!

Things went downhill from there. Wonder if the brake on the Impreza will pass inspection?

(The man drives a truck, never even uses the brake and will drive the car occasionally on weekends)
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