The Ford Festiva was a subcompact car introduced by Ford Motor Company in 1986 in Japan. Ford introduced the Festiva to the North American market in 1988. It was manufactured from 1986 through 1993. The car was sold by Ford however most don’t realize that it was manufactured in South Korea by Kia Motors. At the time Ford owned a portion of Kia and the Festiva was actually modeled after one of Kia’s vehicles, the Kia Pride.
The Festiva did quite well when first introduced in the United States, however it did face some stiff competition to begin with. The Yugo had just been introduced as well and because of the very low price of the Yugo ($3,990), Festiva had a difficult time. However, reports of poor reliability for the Yugo started coming in and people turned back to Festiva as their choice of subcompact car.
The first generation of the car had just one engine offered, a 1.3 Liter I4 engine and three different transmission choices: a three speed automatic, a four speed manual transmission and a five speed manual transmission.
The Festiva received a slight redesign for the second generation which was released in 1994. It was also renamed the Ford Festiva/Aspire. For the redesign, the changes were mostly cosmetic, including a more rounded design and a new front bumper with an oval grille. While the car continued to produced for overseas markets, the Aspire was dropped from the Ford line up in the United States in 1997.
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