Ford Aspire is First Produced
The Ford Aspire was the second-generation of the Ford Festiva subcompact car sold by Ford Motor Company in the US and Canada from 1994 to 1997.
The Aspire was available as a three- or five-door hatchback. The vehicles were manufactured by Kia Motors in South Korea with engine and components made by Mazda of Japan, and they were also marketed as the Kia Avella in Asia and the Ford Festiva in Japan and the Australasia region.
The Ford Aspire was the first car in its class (in North America) to have standard dual air bags and optional 4-wheel ABS. An SE model available from 1994-1995 included a blue-faced gauge package with a tachometer, a rear spoiler, alloy wheels, fog lights,upgraded interior, and "SE" badging.
In 1997, the Aspire received a new oval grille, rounded headlamps, and other minor changes. This was the last year for North American sales.
The Aspire was replaced in Kia's lineup by the Kia Rio, which was sold under its own name (until replaced by a Hyundai-based car of the same name) because the Ford-Kia-Mazda relationship had ended.
It is mentioned in Craig Cheetham's book "The World's Worst Cars". A tendency to rust, rear brake lamp assemblies prone to water leaks, and chassis problems were among its weak points. The Aspire will finally be replaced in Ford's North American lineup by the Ford Fiesta in 2010, as the spot it left vacant had not been filled since its cancellation.
Korean-built, Mazda-designed minicompact went on sale early in 1994, replacing the Festiva as Ford's entry-level automobile. Dual airbags were standard and antilock braking optional. The front-drive Aspire used a 63-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, with 5-speed manual shift or optional 3-speed automatic transmission. Automatic was optional only on base-model Aspires, and available power steering could be installed only on base-model 4-doors. Both 2- and 4-door hatchbacks were sold, the latter on a longer wheelbase. Both came in base-level trim, and the 2-door could be ordered in upscale SE guise, adding fog lamps, a rear spoiler, and different seats and interior trim.
Manufacturer Kia Motors
Parent company Ford Motor Company
Also called Kia Avella, Ford Festiva
Assembly Seoul, South Korea
Predecessor Ford Festiva
Body style(s) 3-door hatchback
Layout FF layout
Engine(s) 1.3L 63 hp I4
Transmission(s) 3-speed automatic
Wheelbase 90.7 in (2304 mm) (2-door)
93.9 in (2385 mm) (4-door)
Length 2-Door: 152.8 in (3881 mm)
4-Door: 155.9 in (3960 mm)
Width 1997: 65.7 in (1669 mm)
1994-96 2-Door: 65.5 in (1664 mm)
1994-96 4-Door: 65.4 in (1661 mm)
Height 55.6 in (1412 mm)
Curb weight 2,004 lb (909 kg) (2-door)
2,053 lb (931 kg) (4-door)