San Jose, Calif. ? It was Christmas – time for our annual junket to see the grandkids and Barbara?s family in California.
We always try to get a press car on these trips that we might not have yet had a chance to drive in the Northwest press fleet. This time, there was a 2014 Ford Fiesta available, so we asked to borrow it to test while we were in the Monterey Bay area.
The 2014 Ford Focus is available as a five-door hatchback or four door sedan. Our test vehicle was the hatchback, which we prefer because of its sportier looks and the potential expanded cargo space created when the rear seatback is folded.
Of the two models, the sedan is actually about 14 inches longer than the 159.7-inch long hatchback, which is about the same size as a Honda Fit. The hatchback has 14.9 cubic feet of cargo area behind the rear seat back and 25.4 cubic feet when the rear seat back is folded down.
The cute Fiesta design has a strong family resemblance to the smaller vehicles in the Ford family, including the Focus, Fusion, c-Max and even the Escape. It?s a sophisticated look with an aggressive forward raked look plus it has that great looking grille that Ford is using one many of its cars ? you know, the one everyone says looks like the Aston Martin.
Inside the design is functional and well-organized, however we think it looks a little busy and overdone with exaggerated visors over instruments and organic shapes. Our personal taste is for a cleaner look or something more like the Ford Fusion interior. However, the Fiesta seats are attractive and comfortable and the rear seating space is better than expected for such a small vehicle. The interior is quiet for such a small inexpensive car.
The standard Fiesta engine is a 120-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder equipped with a five-speed manual transmission. The four-cylinder engine makes the 0 to 60 mph run in 9.3 seconds, and it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 27 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 31 combined. We averaged 32.2 mpg during our time under mixed driving conditions and often with four passengers in the car.
An interesting optional powerplant is a 123-hp 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost (turbocharged). This powerful little engine is expected to produce fuel economy of 32 mpg city and 45 mpg highway. It?s also one of the smallest engines available, in a car.
The 2014 Ford Fiesta might be the smallest of the Ford lineup, but it feels substantial and agile. It?s not going to win any stoplight races, but whizzing through a parking lot or running over up a curvy mountain road like the fun-to-drive Hecker Pass between Gilroy and Watsonville, the Fiesta feels right at home. The steering is precise, the handling is very good and it?s enjoyable to drive. Sure a little more power would be nice, but that?s what the new ST model is for.
Ford recently introduced a new Fiesta ST performance version, with an EcoBoost 1.6-liter engine. The turbocharging boosts engine horsepower to 197-hp and 202-lb.ft. of torque. Combined with a new six-speed manual transmission, the Fiesta ST sprints to the 60 mph mark in only 6.4 seconds and boasts a top speed of 137 mph; pretty impressive numbers for the little Fiesta.
The 2014 Ford Fiesta is a very good value, with prices ranging from $15,395, including the destination charge, for the base S model up to $18,800 for the upper level Titanium. We?re hoping to get to spend some time in the new ST soon, if it?s anything like the Focus ST we drove recently it should be a blast to The Fiesta Titanium model we drove is a good value and comes well equipped with a full complement of features including aluminum wheels, ambient lighting, heated exterior mirrors, leather trimmed seats, Sony audio, satellite radio, MyFord Sync communications, seven airbags, keyless entry and the MyKey system which can limit certain driver actions for enhanced safety. Our test car was also equipped with the optional navigation system which is only $795 extra.
If you are looking for a new economical small car, that is roomy, comfortable and fun-to-drive 2014 Ford Fiesta should be on your shopping list.