The Ford Fiesta Will Dominate The Small Car SegmentS

Everyone talks about how the Ford Fiesta will do against other compact cars. But now that it's been EPA-certified at 29MPG city, 40MPG highway, we're thinking it can take on bigger cars — and kick their asses.

We've run the numbers on the Ford's newest entry to the compact car segment — the Fiesta — and put together the following chart comparing it to the top four highest-selling small cars (one size larger than the compact segment) in the U.S. marketplace. We think it explains very well why we think the Fiesta's going to sell as well as we claim.

One note: Despite our undying love of manual transmissions, we have to face up to the market demand here, so for this comparison we've specified each car with its most miserly engine and automatic transmission, otherwise the cars are as basic as possible. Surprisingly, this favors the Fiesta as its new twin-clutch automatic transmission performs better in fuel economy tests than its manual counterpart.

There are certainly many factors not considered here including interior space, styling inside and out, buyer loyalty and all the vagaries which make the small car segment such vicious competition. Still, the Fiesta surprised us enough when we drove it to force us to wonder if due to the more lackadaisical efforts from GM, Honda and Toyota, they might be surprised to find the subcompact Fiesta eating their lunch.