2014 Ford Fiesta

A subcompact worth celebrating

BYJim Prueter
Ford named its subcompact hatchback after a celebration for many reasons, and 38 years after it was first introduced, the sixth-generation model continues to keep the party going.
 
After a week behind the wheel of the 2014 Fiesta, I’ll take the leap and declare it the best subcompact car you can buy, period.
 
This refresh includes an attractive front fascia with a grille that incorporates the new Ford Aston Martin look seen on the Fusion, Focus ST, Taurus, and, to a lesser degree, C-Max.
 
Inside, Ford has upgraded the interior trim and added a 6.5-inch color touch screen. In the recent past, a lot of criticism has been directed at the MyFord Touch system, which controls most of the operating systems, such as audio and navigation.
 
However, the system works flawlessly, and the voice activation is the best I’ve used on any vehicle.
 
Life of the Party
This year marks the first update since 2010 for the Fiesta — one of the least expensive new vehicles on the market — and while it comes equipped with air conditioning, you’ll have to crank your own windows for the starting price.
 
Alternatively, the fully equipped Titanium and Fiesta ST performance models are also available, and all trim levels come with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. Our test Fiesta — the midgrade SE hatchback powered by a 120-horsepower engine with a five-speed manual shifter — lists at $18,635 and includes attractive alloy wheels; upgraded interior trim; single CD/MP3 with six speakers; power mirrors, door locks, and windows; cruise control; a tilt and telescoping steering column; and keyless entry.
 
Behind the wheel, the acceleration is strong, the ride is composed, the steering is nicely centered, and the brakes are responsive.
 
In crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Fiesta a Top Safety Pick.
 
Even in the face of much stiffer competition within this segment, the Fiesta holds its own — and then some.
 
JIM PRUETER, an automotive writer based in Phoenix, has provided reviews and advice about cars for more than 20 years.

2014 Ford Fiesta

Base Price: 
$14,000
Price as Tested: 
$18,635
Fuel Economy: 
29 MPG City
39 MPG Highway
Likes: 
  • Nicely restyled and upgraded
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Top safety rating
Dislikes: 
  • Lack of rear-seat room
  • Small touch screen
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