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 HRRich on Saturday, April 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "overall cost, fuel mileage, handling, trunk is ok"
Cons: "Small cabin- ok commuter, not a family car"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The Fiesta is good on gas and handles well for a car in this class. I have had no problems the present mileage of 64,000. I do have the 5 speed. I drive it 180 miles a day at 70-80 mph. Fuel mileage is best at 70-75 and below, where it can get 37-39 MPG."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Trev80 on Friday, March 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,251overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "SYNC is cool"
Cons: "everything else is sub par for the price paid"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"To everyone considering a Ford Fiesta, I don’t rant, I don’t complain and I certainly wouldn’t put down comments like this in places like this if it weren’t an actual concern of mine. I want to help you make this important decision. Please skip to the last 2 paragraphs if you don’t want the whole story, I can be a bit of a story teller. I was a huge Ford follower. My two previous cars were ford (escape and explorer) and I’ve enjoyed their quality vehicles and reputation for years up until a few month after purchasing my Fiesta SE. I was looking to buy a new car because my escape had +180k miles on it and was looking to be up for a major repair soon. Being that I just moved and started a new job, a major repair was the last thing I needed, so I decided to go car shopping. After searching for a decent fuel efficient vehicle for a few weeks (compact was fine, I travel a lot), I settled on a Fiesta SE. The first few months were great, nothing out of the ordinary, I drove a lot so by month 6, I had 11,000 miles on it. About that time I had to make a business trip to Las Vegas. The drive up there was flawless, I enjoyed the USB voice activated music system (Sync) the entire way. The trip back is when my nightmare began. On a routine hill, something any car should be able to handle, the car suddenly lost power. It was as if it didn’t want to shift and simply couldn’t pull the car up the hill. With so many large big rigs flying by at 75 mph, my speed dropping from 75mph to 45 mph within seconds became incredibly dangerous, I ended up having to drive in the breakdown lane till I somehow managed to make it to the top of the hill. Although I was in the middle of nowhere, 45 min out from hoover dam and an hour to Kingman, I spotted a rundown gas station in the distance. I don’t know how, but I managed to coast/accelerate the car just enough to pull it in there and call the Ford emergency repair. They were amazing, polite and did what they could to help me, although it’s promised to get a tow truck to you within an hour, I waited almost 3 hours before the tow truck arrived, reluctantly paying $4 for a coke and $3 for a snickers to help pass the time by. The tow back and the experience at the dealership when I pulled my car in was fine, they did what they should, were courteous and offered to take me to a hotel while they figure out what’s going on, telling me to keep my receipt in the event Ford will reimburse me for hotel costs. The next day I was picked up and returned to the dealership, where I was told the timing belt had snapped, wrapped around the cam shaft and pulled it out enough to where they will need to both replace the camshaft, but also re-time the engine. Estimated duration: 1 week. They put me in a rental car and sent me on my merry way. One week later, while dealing with a regional manager, I was finally contacted and told they found additional problems and will need another week to fix it. My car had 11,454 miles on it, I had just had a “The Works” package done on it two weeks prior to this, I had to pay $55 for the rental car tax, never was offered reimbursement for the hotel, told I wouldn’t get it and paid $40 for the gas of having to drive 4.5 hour back to the dealership to pick up my car. Although Ford honored their contractual obligation to fix the problem, I now drive a car that has less than 13k miles on it and has had major repairs done to the engine. Maybe it was fluke, maybe it was bad luck but the car runs worse than before. You know that moment when you’re making a left and you time it just right to make the turn, hit the gas and, nothing for 3 seconds, it’s quite the experience. Literally watching the cars rapidly approaching while my car decides to accelerate. If it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone. DON’T BUY THIS CAR. There are better options out there. I received a courtesy call to be sure the car was still running, but all communication with the manager, my local dealership and everyone else involved ceased immediately. For those interested, Arizona Lemon states that a car has to be out of commission for 30 days or 4 attempts have to be made to fix the same problem. Any mechanic can make a car work in that time frame, so the law is utter non sense."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Mely on Thursday, March 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "No pros honestly"
Cons: "Where should I start? Seriously walk way."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I liked the price, and that it was good on Gas, but other than that I have had nothing but trouble with it. The 2013 Fiestas aren't at all what they are making it seem. It makes horrible noises. I have taken it in about 12 times back to the dealer. Ford claims their is nothing wrong. Wait until you hit more than 15miles on it and its all down hill from there. Don't buy one and save yourself the trouble."
By ranbo on Monday, March 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "good on gas"
Cons: "loud trans shifts"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Trans noise after about 3000 miles. Ford would do nothing about it. The Ford service rep.never called back after we talked"
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By stever123 on Saturday, March 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great gas mileage, nice to handle, decent power"
Cons: "small car, rides low"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"If you are looking for a luxury automobile, this is not the car for you. But if you are looking for basic transportation that is fun to drive and get excellent gas mileage then this IS the car for you."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
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."
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful