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For years, car buyers have understood the rule of thumb in the auto industry - small cars deliver better fuel economy but are no match for larger, heavier vehicles when it comes to quietness inside the cabin.

But the 2011 Ford Fiesta is poised to shatter that age-old axiom by delivering a quiet ride that beats all other competitors in its small car class and even beats some larger cars in interior quietness.

This didn't happen by accident. With quietness becoming ever more important to customers, Ford engineers designed the sporty subcompact to meet the same noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) standards as larger Ford car lines.

The result: The Fiesta, which arrives in Ford showrooms this summer, has interior noise levels lower than the Honda Fit and the Toyota Yaris in 80 mph wind tunnel testing.

"A buyer of a larger car expects it to be quiet," said Steve Pintar, Fiesta chief nameplate engineer. "For a Fiesta driver, the quiet cabin will be a welcome surprise, allowing them to better enjoy a conversation with a friend or their favorite road tunes."

Ford engineers measure noise in sones - a unit of perceived loudness inside the vehicle. In 80 mph wind tunnel testing on the highway, the inside of a Fiesta records 25.4 sones compared to 27.6 sones for the Honda Fit and 26.2 for the Toyota Yaris. The Fiesta also is quieter than the larger Toyota Corolla, which measures 30.3 sones.

"A smaller car can pose challenges for noise and vibration control. You have smaller spaces to work with, and there are always cost and material concerns to keep the car affordable," Pintar said. "With Fiesta, we started with an unusually rigid structure that helps prevent rattles and then enhanced the global noise and vibration package to harmonize with a revised chassis, tire tuning and the revolutionary PowerShift automatic transmission - a key factor in allowing Fiesta to deliver up to a projected 40 highway miles per gallon. Small-car buyers don't need to compromise a quiet cabin to enjoy top fuel economy."

Built off Ford's global B-car platform with high-strength steel, the new Fiesta for North America also features a quiet PowerShift transmission, an acoustic-laminated windshield and revised chassis and tire tuning.

Sounds of silence
A multitude of enhancements were made to the Fiesta interior noise control package to meet the unique expectations of North American drivers, including:

  • Acoustic-laminated windshield, reducing wind noise
  • Wind tunnel-optimized side-view mirrors, reducing wind noise
  • Stiffened door modules, reducing the potential for rattles
  • Rear-mounted roof antenna for less wind noise and improved aerodynamics
  • Wind noise-optimized grille
  • Additional sound-absorbent material throughout the cabin for a quiet interior
  • Revised door seals for reduced wind noise

Fiesta's interior quietness performance excels in both 80 mph tests as well as 30 mph coarse road tests.

Transformational transmission
The PowerShift automatic is a North American-exclusive offering. This unique transmission, based on hyper-efficient manual transmission technology, not only provides the convenience of a traditional automatic, but also improves the interior quietness in Fiesta.

Fiesta's PowerShift engine and transmission mounts were specially tuned to eradicate driveline noise. In addition, this advanced transmission features Micro Slip, a technology that actually induces minimal clutch slip to enable smooth gear changes and isolate engine vibration.
The Fiesta also features all-season tires, specially tuned shock absorber valving, and revised front spring rates and damping - all of which add up to a remarkably quiet ride.
 

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It is very quiet. Lack of wind noise is impresive. Still it isn't as quiet as a Lincoln Town Car, and Ford could have made it that quiet, but the reason a TC costs what it does has a lot to do with the extra things to make it quiet. Ford did a great job on the car and still kept the price low.
 

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Mmm, I am happy with my new 2011 fiesta (SES), but.... it´s no so quiet, especially the rear section, (mi point of comparission is my old car, Hyundai Getz 2005), I know that the rear suspension in fiesta is more rigid (sportier), but in streets not totally plain (but not bad) there is so much noise (pump, toing, pack, etc). I discovered that 80 % of the noises come from the accesories in the rear cargo section (wheel and tire, tools and especially the foam thing that is on top of the wheel, I covered with soft plastic) the other 20% remains and comes from structure.

The noise that can I hear from the motor section is too higher than in getz.

The vehicle woks fine, I don´t know if I have the same noise level that other fiesta owners, I need other fiesta to try and see.
 

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Talk about really doing your research to create an environmentally friendly vehicle.

And they we come along and turn them into small speed machines ... with some tone. [:)]

-Ray-
 
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