Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fiesta Passed the Trek Test

I won't deny that as the Rebel Trout Trek gear amassed on the dining room table I wondered a bit about the decision I'd made to travel in our smallest family car, a 2012 Ford Fiesta hatchback. Beyond what we would pack the night before leaving on our 3 /12-week trip, we would be picking up rods and reels, float tubes and their accessories, and a tent and sleeping bags from Cabela's along the way. The only other option had been my Expedition, though, and based on my estimates, the cost difference in gas would be about $600. Good enough for me.

Having now returned from 8,008 miles of travel, I can say that the Fiesta, which I jokingly call my go-cart from time to time, worked wonderfully. Despite its small overall size, the design is very space efficient, and with the seats down, it actually holds quite a bit of junk. And the front seats are big enough for comfortable travel, especially with a 10-year-old passenger. We had to maintain at least somewhat of a system for placing stuff, but that's not a bad thing when you're toting that much gear, even if you have a bunch of extra space.

The Cabela's folks had put the float tubes and all their accessories in one big soft duffel and the camping gear in another, and we kept them that way, storing them atop or beneath our personal duffels, and that system worked really well. We generally sought to keep waders and stuff like vests and tackle boxes right in the back so they were easy to access from the hatch, and we only kept the two rods and reels that we were using out of the rod tubes most of the time.

I reset the car's MPG calculator before we left, and we got 41 miles per gallon for the total trip. The Fiesta also did fine on some steep, rough dirt roads and had no problem climbing to some pretty high passes. There are quite a few things I would plan differently if I was starting over, but the car I would drive is not one of those things.

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