1996-1997 Ford Aspire 3-Door Hatchback

This little egg-shaped subcompact, available either as a hatchback or a sedan, was a rebadged version of the Ford Festiva sold in North America from 1993 to 1997, in which it got wider and more aerodynamic than its predecessor. This was during a time when Kia had a relationship with Ford, in which the 2nd generation Festiva was jointly developed by the former, in which it was badged as the "Kia Avella" for South Korea. With this generation of the Festiva discontinued in 2000, and the Aspire dropped from the lineup three years earlier for the North American market on September 26 because of poor sales, Kia eventually developed its own subcompact with no relation to Ford, the Rio. The base trim, which lacked optional alloy wheels and a rear wiper, was truly a stripped-down car. 1.3 and 1.5-liter I4 engines developed by Mazda were equipped onto this car, and a SE sporting trim that was discontinued in 1995 was only available as a hatchback, but the car still suffered from poor acceleration, going to 60 in 16.2 seconds.

Image date: June 2007
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