New For 2014
A major facelift gives the 2014 Ford Fiesta a wide, gaping chrome grille similar to the Fusion’s. All of the interior materials have been upgraded, and upscale features like MyFord Touch and automatic climate control are now available. A revision to the optional Super Fuel Economy package allows Fiestas to hit 41 mpg on the highway, and later this year an even more efficient 1.0-liter engine will debut. The PowerShift dual-clutch automatic transmission has been revised to operate more smoothly and now has a Sport mode and a toggle switch for manual shifting. Also new this year is the spicy Fiesta ST, which has a turbocharged engine, a stiffer suspension, stronger brakes, and a boy-racer body kit.
The Fiesta has been a mainstay at Ford dealers overseas for decades, but it only arrived on American shores for the 2011 model year. It brought high style and a fun driving experience to the subcompact segment along with lofty fuel economy numbers. This year, the Fiesta has been refreshed to keep its design in line with that of other Ford models, and its interior appointments are better than before. Although it’s a fine car with adequate interior room for the segment, the Ford Fiesta isn’t as popular as the larger and more expensive Focus, which sells three times as many units each year. However, we think the Fiesta is an excellent choice because it is practical, enjoyable to drive, and stylish.
Unlike many cars in its class and price range, the Ford Fiesta is satisfying to drive. A taut, European-inspired chassis drives as well as many pricier cars, while contemporary interior and exterior design betrays the Fiesta’s low price point. The standard engine is a 120-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder. Performance is about on par for the segment, and both the six-speed PowerShift dual-clutch automatic and five-speed manual are good for commuting and day-to-day use. Fuel economy reaches an impressive 39 mpg on the highway with the automatic and 38 mpg with the manual, but paying extra for the Super Fuel Economy package — which includes special aerodynamic parts and low-rolling-resistance tires — bumps mileage to 41 mpg.
ar’s facelift results in a gaping front grille, sharper creases in the sheetmetal, and considerably improved cabin materials. The dual-clutch automatic transmission has been improved to operate more smoothly in urban driving — the previous version was prone to rough shifts that caused lurching and hesitating in traffic. An unusual level of available equipment for the class includes automatic climate control, leather seats, push-button start, touchscreen navigation, and a backup camera. The Ford Fiesta is not the roomiest vehicle of its competitive set, with only 12.8 cubic feet of trunk space in the sedan and 14.9 cubic feet in the hatchback, but dropping the rear seats in the hatchback expands cargo space to 26.0 cubic feet. In the Fiesta, the MyFord Touch screen measures just 6.5 inches diagonally, down from 8.0 inches in other Fords. This makes it tricky to accurately press tiny on-screen prompts.
There are two new Fiesta models for 2014, starting with the 197-hp ST, which has an aggressive body kit, a lowered and stiffer suspension, a six-speed manual transmission, and stronger brakes. The Fiesta ST is even more fun and responsive than the larger, more powerful Focus ST. When we drove the Fiesta ST in southern France, it proved to be grippy and nimble on winding roads and had plenty of power. Buyers of the ST also get a free day of driving instruction at Miller Motorsports Park, courtesy of Ford. The other new engine this year is a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder expected to return more than 41 mpg. It will likely be more expensive than the standard 1.6-liter engine and comes only with a five-speed manual transmission. A brief drive revealed that the engine has enough power for real-world use, even if low-end power is lacking. Clever balancers and sound deadening materials prevent any untoward noise or vibrations from the three-cylinder arrangement.
- Great fuel economy
- Upscale options
- Fun ST model
You won’t like:
- Modest cargo space
- Not the cheapest in its segment
- Chevrolet Sonic
- Fiat 500
- Hyundai Accent
- Kia Rio