The all-new 2014 Ford Fiesta continues in the hot-selling subcompact segment with new aggressive styling featuring the signature Ford wide-mouth chrome grille, a choice of fuel-efficient powertrains, special interior features that make the all-new Fiesta more fun-to-drive. The new Fiesta is also very economical with a starting price of just $15,050.00 for the SE model that I tested. The new Fiesta is best as a first car purchase for young singles, couples or you families as it is a subcompact which means that interior space is at a minimum.
I’m 6 feet 3 inches and the car was a little tough getting into and out of but once inside the tilt/telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel and manual bottom/seatback controls and a pump to raise or lower the seat bottom gave me a good position to return a fun-to-drive feel as I used the standard, smooth-shifting 5-speed manual. The manual transmission is mated to a 1.6 liter, Ti-VCT, DOHC, all-aluminum inline 4-cylinder engine that generates 120hp at 6,350rpm and 112lb.ft. of torque at 5,000rpm. With a curb weight of just 2,578 pounds, take off in first and second gears was pretty good as I never lagged behind more powerful vehicles when signals turned green. My combined mpg after driving more than 400 miles in city and highway traffic came to 31.8 mpg which is excellent.
The fun-to-drive sensation was also driven by the front independent suspension utilizing a MacPherson strut setup with stabilizer bar to help keep the front end flat on curving roads. The rear twist beam setup also has coil springs to give a smooth, controlled ride when traveling over poorly paved roads. The rack & pinion steering system uses electric power assist and it gave back a solid feel from the road with very good on-center feel. I really liked the beefy leather-wrapped wheel.
Braking from speed is up to snuff with 10.2 inch vented steel disc brakes up front clamped with single-piston calipers and 7.9 inch drums in the rear. Standard ABS and AdvanceTrac with electric stability control helped to keep me in control when braking hard on slick and wet pavement. I would have liked to see steel discs at each wheel standard but I had no problems braking from highway speeds. The all-new Fiesta SE rides on 16.5 inch sparkle nickel painted aluminum wheels wrapped with 195/50HR16 inch Hankook Optima tires for a quiet and smooth ride.
Even though I felt a little cramped at times the powertrain, steering, suspension and brakes gave me a fun-to-drive experience with excellent mpg specs.
A large reason for the fun-to-drive feeling is the interior with easy-to-use controls. The cell-phone inspired dashboard was covered in soft-to-the-touch materials with chrome, aluminum trim and black piano veneer on the center stack and center console to give it a high-class look. The rallye cluster is easy to see and understand with LED readouts for the trip computer and warning icons. The seats are very comfortable and supportive thick cloth covering. All of the buttons switches and dials are easy to reach and fully illuminated for safe nighttime driving.
The all-new long and sleek styling is another reason to check out the Fiesta. The front fascia is low, round and smooth with a new wide-mouth five-slot chrome grille, a lower air-intake with foglamps wrapped in chrome and cat’s-eye headlamp clusters that gives the front fascia a more luxurious look. The front splitter down below has a spoiler and flat bottom to better channel the air to the rear. The silhouette is also low and sleek with steeply raked windshield A-pillars, flared fenders, aero-styled power-remote spotter sideview mirrors, big pull-out door handles, nicely sculpted doors with a rising character line and four-windows that give it a longer look. The rear features a spoiler up top of the liftgate, wrap-around lamps, a large rear bumper and a black contrasting diffuser. It is a taut, sleek look that is one of the best in the segment.
Standard SE interior features inside include ambient lighting, power-windows/door locks, 60/40 rear split fold seats, dual vanity mirrors, A/C, AM-FM single CD/MP3 six speaker stereo system, dome lamp and dual map lamps, message center with a trip computer, 2-12-volt outlets, rear window defroster, cruise control, variable speed wipers/washers, rear wiper/washer, remote keyless entry, dual cup holders, Blue Tooth Hand’s Free Phone, a center console with a storage bin and padded armrest, single rear cupholder, front/rear floor mats and a cargo cover in the rear storage area. I would have liked to have seen four grab handles to make entry and exit easier.
Standard safety features include adjustable safety belts, driver knee airbag, dual stage front airbags, front seat-mounted airbags, MYKEY, alarm system, five-three-point safety belts, LATCH system for child seats, child-proof rear door locks, tire pressure monitor, side curtain airbags, security anti-theft engine immobilizer, front/rear crumple zones with steel beams in each door. My test Fiesta SE came with these options-16 inch painted aluminum wheels, SE appearance package, Ford SYNC with MYFORD touch/Satellite radio for $995.00 and the Ford Navigation System for $795.00.
The all-new Ford Fiesta heats up the already hot selling and very competitive subcompact segment of the automotive marketplace with excellent styling, a fun-to-drive, fuel efficient driving experience, a comfortable cabin with the latest in personal and infotainment options and the latest safety systems.
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ