By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.3
The Ford Fiesta may be the only American sub-compact that can truly stand up to the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris. Slick Eurostyle looks, impressive 29/39-mpg fuel economy and true fun-to-drive chassis tuning do the trick. But, in addition, the Fiesta loads on features unexpected in this class, including wild interior and exterior colors, a version of Ford's SYNC audio and communications system, electronic stability control, remote engine start and a dual-clutch automatic transmission. For 2013, the Ford Fiesta is available as a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback, in S, SE and Titanium trim packages. Prices range from $13,995 for a base S Sedan to over $23,000 for a loaded Titanium Hatch. It's lots of car for the money.
If you're looking for a fuel-efficient small car, but you don't want to sacrifice the interior quality or modern features usually found only on larger, more expensive models, the 2013 Ford Fiesta sub-compact is an easy choice.
More than the vehicle itself, the Ford Fiesta's order sheet has been revised for 2013 creating a new, more rational alignment of equipment and feature packages. There are now three distinct trim levels – S, SE and Titanium – each of which is available on both Sedan and Hatch body styles.
Driving Impressions When the Fiesta was first introduced to the U.S., we expected Ford to water down the European version's excellent chassis. But, to our delight, the great road manners remained intact....On the highway, the Fiesta delivers a ride that is both comfortable and controlled. Push the car through a curving on-ramp or twisting back road and you'll enjoy its balance, response and communication. We're not big fans of electric power steering, which generally compromises driving feel, but the Fiesta's system is quite good. On the downside, the Fiesta's 120-hp 4-cylinder engine can feel a little weak. With the 5-speed manual transmission, you can keep the revs up and wring out fair acceleration, but the automatic – though a sophisticated dual-clutch design – lacks a manual-control option so you're at the mercy of the transmission computer for your fun and forward progress.
Ford's voice-controlled SYNC infotainment system continues to grow ever more robust and desirable.
INTEGRATED BLIND-SPOT MIRRORS
Standard on the side mirrors of every 2013 Ford Fiesta are small, convex secondary mirrors that find cars hiding in those nebulous areas between peripheral vision and mirror coverage.
To find a reason to pick the Fiesta over its Asian competitors, look inside. Ford has done a masterful job with the Fiesta's interior styling and execution, offering a number of distinctive interior choices, such as white/black leather seating, contrasting piping and plum leather seating surfaces. Soft-touch materials are where you want them (armrest, console lid, steering wheel) and high-end options include heated front seats, push-button start and multi-color selectable ambient lighting. Navigation is not available, something most of its competitors offer, but between affordable accessory units and smart phones with GPS functions, this omission does not feel serious.Exterior
The 2013 Ford Fiesta subcompact comes in 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback versions. Both are functional and blessed with strong character lines, befitting the savvy young buyers Ford is after. The Hatch has been equipped and positioned as the primary model, which makes sense in this class. Thankfully, cheap-looking unpainted parts and ugly wheel covers are nowhere in sight; even the least-expensive Fiesta looks upscale. You can add sporty 17-inch aluminum wheels, keyless-entry keypads and a host of bright paint colors.
A 2013 Ford Fiesta S sedan includes air conditioning, 4-speaker AM/FM sound system with auxiliary audio input jack, tilt/telescope steering wheel, a 5-speed manual transmission and the same fun suspension and powertrain found in every Fiesta. It also gets all the safety goodies, like electronic stability control and seven airbags – including the category's first driver's-side knee airbag. Base-model limitations include 15-inch covered steel wheels, roll-'em-up manual crank windows and not even the option of SYNC or SIRIUS Satellite radio.
A fully-loaded 2013 Ford Fiesta Titanium includes a 6-speed automatic transmission, leather seats, moonroof, keyless entry and start, voice-controlled SYNC smart phone integration, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, heated seats, satellite radio and a trip computer. Step back five or 10 years, read that list again, and try to imagine the price – and badge – on such a car.
The 2013 Ford Fiesta's 4-cylinder engine is capable enough, but it's more notable for its fuel efficiency than its power. Transmission choices are a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic, Ford's first dual-clutch transmission. Compared to a traditional automatic, the "PowerShift" unit delivers more direct engagement, faster shifts and greater fuel economy. To attain the much-hyped 40-mpg highway fuel-economy rating, you have to order the Super Fuel Economy (SFE) Package, which makes the car a bit more aerodynamic, a tad lighter and slightly less glued to the road thanks to harder mileage-maxing tires.
120 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm
112 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/39 mpg, 29/40 mpg (automatic w/SFE package)
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRPs) of the 2013 Ford Fiesta lineup have an easy-to-remember progression: Base S Sedan, $13,995; S Hatch, $14,995; SE Sedan, $15,995, SE Hatch, $16,995; Titanium Sedan, $17,995; Titanium Hatch (wait for it!), $18,995. Loading on most every option in the book can have a Titanium Hatch topping $23,000. The 2013 Honda Fit, the Fiesta's most direct competitor, runs $16,000-$20,000, and generally does not include many desirable features available on the Fiesta (other than navigation, which the Fiesta does not offer). We expect kbb.com's Fair Purchase Price to reflect real-world transaction prices right around sticker price while the Fiesta remains a hot kid on the block. As for resale, we expect the Fiesta to maintain reasonable residual values, though not quite as strong as those of the proven Honda Fit.
By Mel on Thursday, March 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage"
Cons: "Problematic, left me stuck unable to put in gear"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Never again will I buy a Ford. The car won't go into drive or reverse unless it warms up for at least 15 minutes. Very jerky ride. Had to pay $1400 to fix it after 3 years. Too many problems. I wanted a car that was good with gas and reliable for my 16 year old son and ended up with a lemon."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Joy on Sunday, February 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great traction, good drving, great gas mileage."
Cons: "Low to the ground, but that was to be expected."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This was the best choice for my money. I was looking for gas mileage above all. I travel a lot, which is why in 15 months I put over 52,000 miles on it. I get average of 38-42 per gal. It is all highway driving. This is not the most comfortable vehicle I have owned, but not bad either. It was a good choice for me at the time. Now I need a bit bigger car for work."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By tensortrans on Sunday, February 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handling and interior."
Cons: "Non unrelated to the size of the car."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Fully intending to buy a conventional sedan, this Fiesta caught my eye in the showroom and for once in my life I bought a car on impulse. It turned out to be a good choice. The car is comfortable, fun to drive and reliable through its first 30K miles. The clutch and gearbox are both solid and predictable. I'm averaging 40 mpg with the standard transmission doing about 50% highway miles."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By DJ Wonderbread on Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fuel economy, cheap to maintain, reliable."
Cons: "All in all? None."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought new, drive the horse puckey out of it. It'll be two years old in May, and by then I should have about 46,000 miles on it. It has been absolutely reliable; I switched to a K&N drop in filter at 20k, my lifetime average fuel economy to date is 40.7. I still have 6/32nds tread left, too. The only problem I've had is the right rear shock gave out and leaked its fluid in my driveway at 39k. Bought Monroe's and swapped both out in an hour. (If you do this, it's a 15mm at the bottom, and two 10mm at the top, inside the fender well. All easy access with the wheels removed; no trim to undo inside. Swap out the bump stops to the new shocks, and you're done.) She's fun to drive, and quiet inside at 65mph. No regrets at all."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By dave on Wednesday, January 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "fuel econ, fun to drive"
Cons: "no center council. l installed my own"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Off the lot with 24 miles, I was concerned the new tech would cause problems. The sync, 6 spd trans and boasted fuel econ were big in 2011, would they hold up? The car is still everything it was when it was new. Coming to this car from a SUV was amazing. 38-42 mpg, same range as the SUV, but half the fuel. ride is also very nice, non fatiguing seats and a pleasure for long hauls!"
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By lcgal on Thursday, January 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I'm a college student who just bought this as my first new car a few months ago. So far I absolutely love this car! I get about 36 mpg highway and around 33 in town. The only problem that I've had with this car is one of the drivers side speakers doesn't always work. I grew up driving trucks and never thought I would get used to driving a small four cylinder car but it really has plenty of power and was a very easy adjustment."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful