By Kelly Green
How would you #GoFurtherORL? That was the question posed to Central Florida Top 5 before being given the keys for a week-long test drive.
Deciding how much further depended on a number of factors. As a budget-conscious family, we wondered about fuel economy. As weekend wanderers we wanted to know how comfortable our ride would be if we ventured far. And as parents of a child who has his own travel bed, toys, books, etc., we really wanted to know: Can an economy car possibly hold all the stuff we take on our Florida adventures?
Our first query was easily answered. A quick look-see online revealed the great 28/36 mpg. Manual transmissions are notoriously good achievers in the fuel economy world and did not disappoint. Our first tank-full netted a 395 mile trip!
Then to the comfy question. Is it nice to drive in/ride in?
Confession—My first thought on hearing of this project: It’s been years since I’ve driven a manual. Will I remember how to do it?
Reminding my foot how to operate the clutch did take a try or two, but once the memory kicked in, it was a fun, interactive ride.
As for passenger comfort, in the front there was plenty of leg room, though the seat-back adjustment was a little tricky to operate. Overall, though, it didn’t feel like a small car. Rear seat adult passengers reported nice back support and enough leg room to ride comfortably (read about our ride to Taste of the Nation here). Seven-year-old test rider Daniel had no trouble operating the rear seat belt around his booster and liked that there were accessible USB ports, a good sound system, and a “very effective” a/c. (Anyone else laughing that a 7-year-old is clued into the technology of the vehicle?!)
Our last hurdle centered around the inordinate amount of stuff we take on trips. How would the Fiesta handle it all?
As part of our test drive, we took the Ford Fiesta on a mini-vacation to Bonita Springs (read about the trip here), a 3-hour drive from Orlando. As residents of Central Florida, we have the luxury of being close to all the beautiful beaches, incredible activities, and amazing destinations our state has to offer. No time for a traditional vacation? No problem. Hop in the car and in just a few hours you’re in yet another fabulous corner of the Sunshine State.
On a jaunt like this we carry a travel bed for our son. (He once rolled up and over the pool noodles we put under hotel bed fitted sheets as bumpers and smashed his mouth on the only sharp thing in the room—the corner of the nightstand. Since then: travel bed that’s low to the ground!) It’s kind of bulky, and I wondered if the Fiesta could accommodate IT and the suitcases, toys, cameras…
Color me surprised, but despite its compact size, the Ford Fiesta was up to the task.
One travel bed, two suitcases, a LEGO travel box and a bag of stuffed animals, two parents and one kid all fit! It helped that we had a child seat that was designed for space and comfort. We found it on elitecarseats.com and it really made a difference on our long road trips.
Whether we went out of town, or were tooling about Central Florida, the Ford Fiesta took us where we wanted to go with fun, fuel economy, and sporting a ‘tude. The Ford Fiesta may be small, but it’s full of features and FUNctionality.
I know I’d like to #GoFurther again.