By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 9.0
The 2015 Ford Fiesta is part of the elite segment of the subcompact market that includes the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Chevrolet Sonic. Sailing into its last year before a full redesign, there aren't a lot of changes. That's OK, as we're smitten with its slick European looks, excellent fuel economy, and fun-to-drive nature. Extroverts can opt for wild exterior and interior colors and trims, while the more practical can opt for the security of a 4-door's trunk, or the versatility of a 5-door's hatchback body. The Fiesta's available in S, SE, and Titanium trim levels, or a hatchback-only high-performance ST. Then there's the available 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which Ford says gives the Fiesta the best non- hybrid fuel economy on the market.
The 2015 Ford Fiesta offers up great fuel economy, modern build quality and higher-end interior materials, and a slew of modern features, all wrapped up in some of the most stylish subcompact clothes we've ever seen. It does this while keeping a competitive price against its peers.
KBB Expert Ratings
With an all-new model on the horizon, the 2015 Ford Fiesta arrives with no changes for this year. The good news is that it's still fine, with a sporty ST model, a fuel-efficient 3-cylinder, and all the style and features you can pack into a subcompact.
Usually, manufacturers soften their European offerings for the U.S. market, but Ford left the Euro-tuned Fiesta just the way it was. The result is a small car that delivers a...
... comfortable and controlled ride. But, when you push it through a curved onramp or twisting mountain road, the little Fiesta responds with surprising balance and communication. Three engines are available. The standard 120-hp 4-cylinder isn't very powerful, but it gets the job done. A 3-cylinder introduced last year offers excellent fuel economy and surprisingly smooth power delivery. On the other end of the spectrum is the Fiesta ST – with 197 horsepower and sport-tuned suspension and steering, there's nothing quite like it. A 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is available on the standard engine, while the 3-cylinder and ST come only with manuals, 5- and 6- speeds, respectively.
As voice-recognition technology becomes more commonplace, Ford’s voice-controlled SYNC audio and communications system continues to grow ever more robust and desirable.
The Fiesta offers two different turbocharged engines: a 3-cylinder designed for maximum fuel economy, and a 4-cylinder designed for maximum fun. But as is usual with turbochargers, lead-footed real-world driving can run up fuel consumption.
While the Fiesta definitely has its substantive strengths, it leads with style. Ford's masterful interior styling and execution offer a number of interior choices. You can get white-on-black leather seats, contrasting seat piping, and even plum leather seating surfaces. You'll find soft-touch materials on the armrest, center-console lid and steering wheel, and you can order high-end options like heated front seats, push-button start and multi-color selectable ambient lighting. Navigation is now available on higher-trim models as part of Ford's MyFord Touch infotainment system.
You can choose between a 4-door sedan or a fun and practical 5-door hatchback when you're selecting your 2015 Fiesta subcompact. Either way, you get a car blessed with strong styling that's distinctive without being overwrought. The Fiesta ST gets more aggressive style befitting its performance nature. The hatchback is positioned as the primary model, yet across the board you'll be hard-pressed to find cheap-looking trim like unpainted exterior panels. In fact, 17-inch wheels are available, as is a palette of bright candy colors.
The basic 2015 Ford Fiesta S sedan includes air conditioning, a 4-speaker AM/FM sound setup with an auxiliary audio input jack and SYNC in-vehicle communications and entertainment system, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and a 5-speed manual transmission. It also gets the same fun-to-drive nature as the rest of the standard Fiesta lineup. All Fiestas also get electronic stability control and seven airbags, including a driver's-side knee airbag, a first for the category. This thoroughly modern base model does come with one anachronism however: manual roll-up windows. Remember those?
Small cars aren't always Spartan, as a fully-loaded 2015 Ford Fiesta Titanium shows. It comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission, leather seats, a moonroof, keyless entry and start, and MyFord Touch with voice-controlled SYNC smart phone integration. There are 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. The Fuel Economy Package on SE models adds the 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine for better fuel economy.
Ford seems to envision a 2015 Fiesta for every buyer. For mainstream audiences, there's the standard 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, with 120-horsepower and your choice of a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. For the fuel-sipping crowd, a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder with a 5-speed manual transmission joined the lineup last year, putting out more horsepower and torque than the standard engine, but with considerably better fuel economy. If saving gasoline is the least of your concerns, a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and 6-speed manual gearbox await you in the 197-horsepower Fiesta ST.
120 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm
112 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/36 mpg (manual), 27/37 mpg (automatic), 28/38 mpg (automatic with SFE fuel-saving package)
1.0-liter turbocharged inline-3
123 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
125 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 31/43 mpg
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
197 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
202 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg
The 2015 Ford Fiesta S sedan – the least expensive model available – will run you right about $15,000. Add about $500 to that for the hatchback. If you step up to the SE, you'll pay about $16,500 for the sedan and just under $17,000 for the hatch. Titanium models see a bigger jump in price: The Titanium sedan starts just over $19,000, while the hatchback is about $19,600. The 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine is a $995 option on SE models, while the high-performance Fiesta ST hatchback starts at a little over $22,000. Pricey? Maybe, but no competitor offers anything like the Fiesta ST. Even at lower levels, the Fiesta is generally better equipped than many of its competitors. Of course, check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price for to gauge the best deal, and rest assured that the Fiesta to have good residual values, although a bit behind the Honda Fit.