Snappy handling, smart styling, 39 mpg fuel economy, and a starting price of $16,050. No wonder the Ford Fiesta is the best-selling car of its size on the planet, and a top choice for first-time buyers and for millennials here in the USA.
I just had the chance spend a day test driving the 2014 Ford Fiesta, arriving now in dealer showrooms, and was suitably impressed. It’s a lot of car in a little package.
Engine – First, let’s talk about the engine. The model I drove has Ford’s 1.6 liter 4 cylinder that packs a decent 120 hp. It provides solid and responsive handling on the country roads and stop-and-go traffic I was in, although it could use a bit more oomph on acceleration and hill climbs. The five-speed manual is standard, or upgrade to a six-speed automatic.
But you might want to wait a bit longer for Ford’s patented and award-winning 1.0-liter, 123 hp EcoBoost engine, a revolutionary 3 cylinder that’s been available in Europe for two years. Ford is finally bringing it to North America.
While the diminutive size of the 1.0-liter EcoBoost saves cash at the pump, it doesn’t hold anything back on the road. According to Ford, 1.0-liter EcoBoost delivers more power for its size than a Lamborghini Aventador. The new EcoBoost also will boost fuel efficiency to 40+ mpg. EcoBoost engines deliver fuel economy gains of up to 20 percent while reducing CO2 emissions of up to 15 percent, compared with larger, less-efficient engines. EcoBoost has resulted in more than 125 patents on the technology.
John Davis, chief engineer for Ford’s small car group in North America, describes it as a “phenomenal little engine”. Also in the works is a 197 hp ST version with 202 lb.-ft. of torque, which is more than the Chevy Sonic RS (138 hp, 148 lb.-ft.) or the Mini Cooper S (181 hp, 177 lb.-ft.)
Safety – Fiesta is a small car that is big on safety, some of which are hard to find in other models at this price. Class leading standard safety features include electronic stability control, driver knee airbag, child-safety rear locks, anti-theft engine immobilizer, a tire pressure monitoring system, and heated sideview mirrors that don’t fog up..
Connectivity – The 2014 Fiesta is a smart, connected car. In addition to the MyFord Touch navigation, communication and entertainmnent system, Ford’s MyKey system is newly available on the Fiesta. This feature lets owners – or parents – set maximum speed and audio volume controls. MyKey also mutes audio until seatbelts are fastened, and prevents safety systems and alerts from being de-activated. MyKey is a great feature for parents worried about the safety of new drivers and young drivers in the family.
Another feature I especially liked is a lift-up lid inside the trunk. With the lid down, there’s a flat, seamless floor from the rear bumper, so you can stand up straight to slide things in, instead of bending over to lower something heavy. Or, just hide valuables under the inside lid. This feature is available in the Titanium trim level only. Five-foot-one me hopes Ford will make it available in other models, too.
Colors – Fiesta looks cool and young in sherbert colors such as magenta or lime green, called Green Envy. But it looks elegant and grown-up in the new dark blue and silver colors just introduced.
Another one of the auto journalists on the test drive was Benjamin Preston of the New York Times. Here’s his review.