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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...
popping Day-Glo colors like Molten orange and Race red
A four-door sedan version of the Fiesta is being launched simultaneously, but its styling is nowhere near as successful as the hatchback's.
Inexpensive cars don't need to aesthetically uninspired; and Ford clearly sets out to prove that with the 2014 Fiesta. You need only look at some of the colors offered for its exterior--like Blue Candy and Green Envy--to understand that this isn't a car designed for budget-conscious wallflowers. The Fiesta has style and flair inside and out, and it's really as flamboyant as you want it to be.
Several years ago, the Fiesta heralded a new path for 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 the arched roofline, crisp profile, and wedge-like side view (and the way the rear pillar nips and tucks), there's a lot to like about the Fiesta's proportions. The headlights sweep well back into the fenders, and the new wide-mouthed Ford grille, with lower bodywork, helps give it a somewhat more macho look from the front this year. High-mounted taillights rise into the rear pillars, in a position that's both functional and stylish.
Fiesta ST hatchbacks really make the most of the look, adding a more aggressive air dam and black-honeycomb-mesh grille, along with a cross-patterned rear diffuser and twin chromed exhaust tips.
The Fiesta four-door sedan is, to our eyes, a work in progress. The new grille seems to give the 2014 sedan a little more gravitas, which is needed, but the proportions just don't come together in the same way, and the longer body combined with the rather short passenger greenhouse make the car look tall and narrow from the front or rear.
Inside, the Fiesta was already one of the sharper entries in this class, too. But improvements that Ford has made to the instrument panel not only simplify the look for 2014 but also make the budget-priced Fiesta feel significantly up-market of other sub-$20k subcompacts. Ford is adding a soft-touch upper dash to the lineup, along with improved dash and door trim, as well as improved upholsteries and a new steering wheel. But the most noteworthy thing is front and center in the dash, where Titanium models get the MyFord Touch interface (it's also optional on SE and ST models).
The MyFord Touch isn't universally appealing, but it declutters the look versus the much-maligned base setup, which we're surprised to see Ford carrying through to 2014, with its slanted buttons and pre-smart-phone aesthetic.
The 2014 Fiesta continues to have one of the most flamboyant small-car designs, especially as a hatchback, but a minor makeover and new snout perk up the look for 2014.