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STYLING | 8 out of 10
The front fascia is still an attractive amalgamation of creases, strakes and chrome, with headlamps that sweep back over blistered fenders...
There's enough sheet metal sculpting to give the Fiesta a sporty persona without it looking overwrought or discordant.
The stylish, soft-touch dash is a welcome upgrade from the cheap plastic typically found in compact cars...
Soft-touch materials where your hands fall, cost-cutting harsher stuff where they don't.
A four-door sedan version of the Fiesta is being launched simultaneously, but its styling is nowhere near as successful as the hatchback's.
The Fiesta helped Ford take a new path with small car design, and when the automaker brought this small-car family to the U.S. a couple of years ago it was truly more expressive and vibrant than most other models its size.
With its arched roofline and crisp profile, we like the Fiesta's wedge-like side view, along with how the hatchback's rear pillar nips and tucks. And in a trend that's all over the industry now (but the Fiesta was one of the first), the headlights sweep well back into the fenders. High-mounted taillights rise into the rear pillars, in a position that's both functional and stylish.
Overall, the four-door sedan doesn't raise our pulse to nearly the same degree--the proportions just don't come together in the same way, and the shorter passenger greenhouse tends to make it appear a little more tall and narrow, perhaps--but it's a neat, trim design nevertheless.
Inside, the 2013 Fiesta isn't any less exciting, but we have to say that this isn't a top pick for those who want simplicity and function over form. Ford based the instrument panel around mobile-phone keypads, and while the angled keys of the dash look good, they're not all that for functionality. Drivers can choose among seven "mood lighting" colors to illuminate areas like the cup holders and foot wells. Interior colors on higher trim levels aren't limited to standard black, but include hues like plum and cashmere.
In following, Ford has given the Fiesta an especially bright--some might say shocking, or garish--palette of colors, including ones like Lime Squeeze and Bright Magenta. But if you're less shout-out-loud, there are silver, black, and white shades, an Oxford White package with sharp contrasts, and a Race Red package with red-and-black leather seats and trim.
Inside and out, the spicy styling of the 2013 Ford Fiesta hides its affordable intentions.