2014 Ford Fiesta Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

The 2014 Ford Fiesta gets some pretty significant improvements in appearance, features, and even performance, but its packaging doesn't change. And while you can't expect the space efficiency of rival models like the Honda Fit, you do get a reasonably comfortable interior that should be just fine for the commute, or for taking the kids to after-school activities. A cleaned-up instrument panel, with soft-touch surfaces and a MyFord Touch interface also make it feel more upscale than before.

The base front seats in the Fiesta look nicely contoured, yet they're short and flat on real support--a bit like barstools--so give that some consideration if you're considering the Fiesta for a long highway commute. Headroom and legroom in back is tight for rear passengers, and adults over six feet tall will find the rear seats tight. Furthermore, the Fiesta's body is quite narrow, meaning that you won't be able to fit three adults in back and front driver and passenger will find elbows close.

New materials and trims make a better first impression, and the Recaros in the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST are super-supportive.

There's nothing all that remarkable about the Fiesta's 60-40 split rear seatback, which doesn't fold fully flat--so it's yes usable in a pinch for cargo than either the segment leading (for utility) Fit or the larger Ford Focus. Five-door models offer a capacity of up to 26 cubic feet, and the sedans have an especially roomy trunk--up to 12.8 cubic feet.

We appreciate Ford's effort to keep the Fiesta's interior from being at all drab; interior trims and materials have been a strong point, and they've been made better for 2014 with a new soft-touch dash top. It's all very well-coordinated, and we appreciate the well-placed cupholders, plenty of small storage bins, and an excellent driving position.

If we have one complaint about, it's ride quality. The Fiesta tends to 'hop' over more jarring pavement bumps and potholes. But Ford has done a reasonably good job with sound deadening here, including a laminated windshield and a sound blanket under the hood.

High-performance Fiesta ST models get superior (although somewhat tight) Recaro seats that hug the sides yet provide taller drivers with more thigh support, and more lateral support in general for fast driving and tight corners. These optional seats may restrict rear-seat legroom somewhat. One other pretty significant difference in ST models is that you'll hear the engine a little more--in a good way--thanks to a so-called Sound Symposer that amplifies natural intake sounds and pipes them into the cabin. It's a good go-fast soundtrack, but not too fast-and-furious.

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