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5-Door HB TitaniumRegular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
Front Wheel Drive
|$ 18,100||$ 18,805|
4-Door Sedan TitaniumRegular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
Front Wheel Drive
|$ 17,619||$ 18,305|
5-Door HB SRegular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
Front Wheel Drive
|$ 14,299||$ 14,855|
4-Door Sedan SERegular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
Front Wheel Drive
|$ 15,001||$ 15,585|
Americans are gradually getting over the preconception that small cars are inferior to larger ones. In fact, subcompacts like the 2015 Ford Fiesta can be downright charming and sensible. The Fiesta has been at that leading edge of the change in heart, with its flamboyant, sporty look and zippy driving experience. It's shown that small, inexpensive models don't need to be so soulless and appliance-like.
Last year brought a host of changes to the Fiesta lineup. The looks got an upgrade, including an updated grille that brings it in line with the rest of Ford's car lineup. Interior design and materials were also improved for 2014, including the addition of the MyFord Touch infotainment setup. A more frugal model was added, equipped with a tiny turbocharged three-cylinder engine and a manual transmission. And then there was the addition of the Fiesta ST, which is the top performer in the lineup and also quite a looker.
The new grille did a lot to freshen the look of all Fiestas, especially the hatchback versions. Five-door hatchbacks are the sportier and better-looking of the two body styles, but there's a four-door sedan in the lineup for those who prefer a conventional trunk. The five-door looks stylish and even a bit racy, especially in ST form. Those who want the ST's performance will have to go five-door, as there's no ST sedan offered.
With impressive steering and handling and a nimble, maneuverable feel that's better than most softened, numbed appliances its size, the Fiesta is securely on the fun-to-drive side of the ledger in any form.
The 120-hp, 1.6-liter four continues as the base engine. At 2,600 pounds, the base car is quick enough, especially if you get the manual transmission and keep the revs up. We're not big fans of the PowerShift automatic transmission, which is a dual-clutch gearbox doing a bad impression of a laxy torque converter-equipped automatic. Shft tuning could and should be much more crisp with this transmission.
The high-performance Fiesta ST's 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder puts out 197 horsepower and 214 lb-ft in overboost mode. It's mated only to a six-speed manual gearbox and, with upgrades to braking, suspension, steering, and even tires (summer performance rubber is standard), it's a hoot to drive and hits all the hot-hatch buttons.
Late last year the existing Fiesta models were joined by an EcoBoost 1.0-liter three-cylinder model that's aimed at saving fuel while giving the base four-cylinder a run for its money in enjoyment. Keep the revs up and drive it aggressively, and you'll find this may be the most enjoyable Fiesta of all--and on a 350-mile road test, we got more than 40 mpg, higher than the car's EPA rating of 36 mpg.
With the latest interior upgrades, the Fiesta makes a great first impression. It has well-coordinated colors and textures, with a more-expensive-than-it-is look. Nothing's perfect, of course, and the base front seats tend to be a little flat and unsupportive, the back seats don't fold fully flat for hauling cargo, and the suspension can hop on rough surfaces. A coarse-sounding engine can detract from base models, yet the ST model's Sound Symposer (a tube that pipes intake noise into the cabin for a sportier tone) helps create the mood when you're really on it. The driving position is great no matter what the model, and with the available Recaros in the ST, there's enough support for demanding mountain roads or all-day cruising comfort.
The entry-level Fiesta S model is quite basic despite its spiced-up look; manual-winding windows and steel wheels with hubcaps betray some cost-cutting--although air conditioning is at least included. Fiesta SE models add a lot more popular equipment, like a perimeter alarm system, an upgraded cloth interior, and ambient lighting, while the Titanium model includes upgraded Sony audio and a rearview camera system. Standard on the Titanium and available on the Fiesta SE and ST is MyFord Touch, Ford's advanced system for controlling audio, connectivity, and navigation functions via a touch screen system, as well as voice commands. Although not everyone will love the system, it cleans up the look and raises the ambiance while adding the features most smartphone users expect.
Changes for 2015 are limited. There's a new eight-spoke wheel with all-season tires available for SE models. The seat fabric has been revised. And all Fiestas, including the ST model, get a new Magnetic Metallic paint option to replace Storm Gray Metallic.
- Crisp, nicely proportioned exterior
- Excellent steering
- Strong feature set
- ST model is big fun
- Interior design
Next: Interior / Exterior »
- Not the most spacious
- Balky PowerShift transmission
- Base audio controls