Ford’s smallest car is fun to drive.
The Fiesta is a subcompact car that’s actually worth driving. Subcompacts have always been great for budget buyers, but in this class, you don’t often find the dynamic prowess exhibited by cars in the next segment (or two) up the ladder. The Fiesta exhibits body control and handling that is more typical of small European cars, which is not unexpected, since its suspension calibration is pretty much the same as that of its European counterpart. The Fiesta’s personality also comes through in its styling. It is available as a sedan or a hatchback, both powered by an aluminum 1.6-liter four-cylinder that makes 120 hp and is connected to a five-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Fuel economy is 29 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. The optional SFE (Super Fuel Economy) Package (revised engine tuning, transmission calibration, and low-rolling-resistance tires) gets you to 40 mpg on the highway. The Fiesta is offered with several features that aren’t generally found on subcompacts, including a hands-free multimedia system; push-button start; and heated, leather-trimmed seats. The driver can choose from seven colors for the interior ambient lighting. The Fiesta can’t match the Honda Fit or the Nissan Versa in terms of space for people and cargo; instead, the Fiesta sells on its driving dynamics and styling.
new for 2013
Now in its third year, the Fiesta pretty much stays pat for 2013. The only change of note is that the top trim level for both the sedan and hatchback is now called the Titanium (replacing the SEL sedan and SES hatch).
Front, side, side curtain, and driver’s knee air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; tire-pressure monitors; the SOS Post-Crash Alert System; and blind-spot mirrors are standard.
Sporty driving dynamics
Excellent fuel economy
Limited cargo space
Only one engine
Expensive for its class
Base Price Range: $13,995–$18,995
TRIM LEVELS: S, SE, Titanium
BODY STYLES: Sedan, hatchback, 5-passenger
ENGINE: 1.6L I-4 120 hp, 112 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 5-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: 85.1 cu ft
CARGO SPACE: (sedan) 12.8 cu ft, (hatchback, rear seats up/down) 15.4/26.0 cu ft