The Ford Aspire is another car in the North American market that has had many names given to it. Known mostly as the Festiva, the Aspire name wasn't introduced until the second generation was created in 1993. However, the Aspire name was short-lived because it was discontinued four years later in 1997. This small subcompact car was produced from 1986 to 1997 in North America and until 2002 in Japan where it remained under the Festiva title.
Due to its size, the Aspire was not a very powerful vehicle. It was equipped with two optional engines: 1.3 liter I4 and 1.5 liter I4. The smaller version produced 73 horsepower and 99 foot-pounds of torque, while the larger engine only produced 88 horsepower with identical torque. The body styles available were a 3-door hatchback, 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback. It had room for four people, although leg room in the back was very minimal.
Because the Aspire existed for only one generation, there is little to its history. When including the Aspire into the Festiva category, then the Aspire was manufactured for three generations. However, while the Festiva was the first title introduced, the Aspire was only available in North America during the second generation. In fact, a third name was given to the Aspire: In South Korea, the Ford Aspire was sold under the name Kia", "Avella".
The Aspire was first in its class to offer standard dual airbags as well as optional four-wheel anti-lock brakes. An SE version was produced for the 1994-1995 model years and came equipped with a rear spoiler, fog lights and alloy wheels. Features on the interior included a new gauge package with blue facing and a tachometer. Standard Aspire models featured 13-inch wheels, four-speaker stereo and driver's side airbag. Air-conditioning was optional on these vehicles, as well as power locks, heated rear glass and folding rear seats. Some of the SE package options could be ordered for standard models.
In 1997, Ford announced that it would drop the Aspire from its lineup. Neither the Festiva nor the Aspire were available in North America, but a third generation was produced from 1996 to 2002 in Japan. Even though the Aspire badge was only produced for four years, it had an immediate impact on cars in its class. IntelliChoice named the 4Dr Ford Aspire hatchback the Best Overall Value of the Year in 1995 and 1996.
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