DEARBORN -- With customers spending more time now then ever in their vehicles, interior quietness is necessity of quality, and the 2011 Ford Fiesta looks to shatter misconceptions when it comes to quietness inside the cabin.
"The Fiesta will change the way people view Ford and the b-car segment," said Sam De La Garza, Fiesta brand manager. “It is poised to deliver a quiet ride beating the largest competitors in its small car class and even some c-segment cars in interior quietness.”
Arriving in showrooms this summer, the Fiesta has interior noise levels lower than the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris in 80 mph wind tunnel testing.
This didn't happen by accident. With interior quietness equated to luxury by customers, Ford engineers designed the sporty, fuel-efficient subcompact to meet the same noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) standards as larger Ford vehicles.
“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.”
In order to reduce wind noise, enhancements were made to improve interior noise control for North American drivers including an acoustic-laminated windshield, wind tunnel-optimized side-view mirrors, wind noise-optimized grille and revised door seals.
"This demonstrates how far Ford is taking quality," added De La Garza. "Interior quietness is not something customers ask for when shopping for a vehicle, but its something they immediately recognize when they go on that first test drive."
Ford engineers measure noise in sones – a unit of perceived loudness inside the vehicle. The inside of a Fiesta records 25.4 sones in 80 mph wind tunnel testing on the highway, compared to 27.6 sones for the Honda Fit and 26.2 for the Toyota Yaris. The Fiesta is also quieter than the larger Toyota Corolla, which measures 30.3 sones.
“A smaller car can pose challenges for noise and vibration control,” 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.”