Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Ford Festiva Mazda 121 Kia Pride all the same car,with a surprisingly loyal fan base worldwide
I remember reading about the Festiva in Car and Driver magazine in 1987, Csaba Csere wrote a review that was very favorable. This little car, Ford imported from Korean automaker, was based on the Mazda 121. Marketed worldwide, by all three makers, Ford, Kia and Mazda was an affordable and decent little car. I bought my Festiva in September of 1987, my first new car ever. My parents and friends wanted me to buy the larger and more well known Ford Escort, but this car intrigued me. Mine was a Festiva LX and cost $6,800, and for that sum I got a top of the line Festiva with such plush amenities as "Velour" cloth interior, adjustable steering wheel, dual power side mirrors, an AM/FM stereo and nicer carpet. Air Conditioning wasn't an option that first year, and would have robbed too much of the 1.3 L 4 cylinders 68 hp.
But you know what? That car was great! Those little 12" tires could be made to burn and handling was prety decent. I had my issues with my Festiva from time to time, but overall I loved that car. I pulled out the factory radio and installed a Sony 4 channel tape deck and Sony 100 watt amp, feeding 6 speakers, including 2- 8" Kenwood woofers. Not much by today's standards, but enough to keep the little car rocking. I also put on Hella Fog lights and a Radio Shack alarm system. I got 40 mpg and the car cost nothing to insure.
Speed was achievable, but not brisk, although I did get stopped by a New York State Trooper doing 100 mph in my Festiva, and have witnesses to prove it.
Check out the link above and the photos below and you can see that this little car still has a loyal fan base.