The 2014 Ford Fiesta may be the only American sub-compact that can truly stand up to the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris. Slick Eurostyle looks, outstanding fuel economy and true fun-to-drive chassis tuning do the trick. The Fiesta also loads on features unexpected in this class, including wild interior and exterior colors, a version of Ford's SYNC infotainment system and a dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Ford Fiesta is available as a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback, in S, SE and Titanium trim levels. A new high-performance hatch-only ST model joins the line this year, with a turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine. Also new is an available 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine that Ford says is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid on the market.
You'll Like This Car If...
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 2014 Ford Fiesta sub-compact is a good choice.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're all about interior space and high resale value, the Honda Fit trumps the Fiesta. And newer models such as the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio offer many of the same qualities at a lower price.
Model year 2014 brings a minor restyle and a major performance boost to the Ford Fiesta line. The ST model, with its 197-horsepower EcoBoost 1.6 engine, becomes the presumptive King Hot Hatch in the sub-compact category. A unique 3-cylinder EcoBoost 1.0 is optional in the other models.
Driving the Fiesta
Ford maintained the excellent European chassis feel when it brought the Fiesta to the U.S. 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. The Fiesta's standard 120-hp 4-cylinder engine can feel a little weak, but for 2014 there are two new EcoBoost alternatives. The unique 3-cylinder 1.0-liter places an emphasis on fuel efficiency but also offers good, flexible thrust. The 1.6 4-cylinder in the high-spirited ST model delivers a sparkling 197 horsepower, a number nothing else in this class approaches. (Stiffer suspension and quicker steering further enliven the ST driving experience.) The standard 5-speed manual transmission (6-speed in the ST) helps wring out good acceleration. The 6-speed automatic, available with the standard engine, is a sophisticated dual-clutch design, but it lacks a manual-control option.
SYNC Ford's voice-controlled SYNC audio and communications system continues to grow ever more robust and desirable.
ECOBOOST ENGINES The new-for-2014 1.0-liter 3-cylinder and 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engines combine spirited thrust with high-tech efficiency. But as is usual with turbochargers, lead-footed real-world driving can run up fuel consumption.
2014 Ford Fiesta Details
One reason to pick the Fiesta over its Asian competitors is 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 now available on higher-trim models.
The 2014 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. Front and rear aspects are face-lifted for this year, and the new ST model gets its own more aggressive treatments for the grille, lower spoiler and rocker panels. The Hatch has been equipped and positioned as the primary model. Thankfully, cheap-looking unpainted parts and ugly wheel covers are nowhere in sight. You can add sporty 17-inch aluminum wheels, keyless-entry keypads and a host of bright paint colors.
A 2014 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 and roll-`em-up manual crank windows, but SYNC is now included.
A fully-loaded 2014 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. That's a generous list for an economical subcompact. The new high-performance ST model offers a Recaro seating package that includes leather trim, seat heaters and heated outside mirrors.
Under the Hood
A lot is happening in the Fiesta's engine compartment for 2014. The standard 1.6-liter 4-cylinder is joined by a pair of turbocharged EcoBoost engines. The unique 999-cc 3-cylinder EcoBoost 1.0 puts out just three more horsepower than the standard engine, but more torque – good for acceleration – at much lower revs. Official EPA estimates are still to come, but Ford is confident this will be the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car on the market. Turbocharging the standard engine creates the EcoBoost 1.6, with its eye-opening 197 horsepower in the ST model. For now, the EcoBoost engines come only with manual gearboxes, a 5-speed with the 1.0 and a 6-speed with the 1.6. The base engine offers a choice of the 5-speed manual or Ford's twin-clutch 6-speed automatic.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRPs) of the 2014 Ford Fiesta lineup roll out thus: base S Sedan, $14,795; S Hatch, $15,395; SE Sedan, $16,245, SE Hatch, $16,845; Titanium Sedan, $18,995; Titanium Hatch, $19,595; and the new top-performing ST (Hatch only), $22,195. Loading on most every available option can lift an S Sedan to about $16,300 and a Titanium Hatch to $23,000. The ST can reach $26,300, thanks to the optional Recaro leather seat package ($1,995). The 2014 Honda Fit, the Fiesta's most direct competitor, runs $16,000-$20,000, and generally is not as well equipped as the Fiesta. No one in the class (including Mazda2, Toyota Yaris, Chevrolet Sonic) offers anything like the 197-horsepower Fiesta ST. We anticipate KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price will reflect transaction prices right around sticker. As for resale, we expect the Fiesta to maintain reasonable residual values, just behind the proven Honda Fit.
"I have a 2011 SES hatchback with a 5speed manual transmission so I haven't had any issues with the transmission. The car is used as a second car in the summer and a daily driver in the winter. It is a great handling car and I average 31-32 combined city/hwy driving. I don't drive slow 75-85mph on my commute so the mileage is excellent. Excellent in the winter with studded snow tires."
"This vehicle has a newly designed automatic clutch assembly and they are known to slip and shudder severely in lower gears. Ford replaced the trasmission clutch under warranty and they had it in the shop 5 consecutive weeks. Vehicle only has 80,000 miles and it already needs another transmission clutch. SYNC system had to be replaced and the bluetooth micophonne has been replaced 4X. Power window issues, cruise control issues, and numerous recalls.
I've hired an attorney to sue Ford Motor Company !"