2014 Ford Fiesta is affordable, peppy, fuel sipper

Dec 24, 2013, 3:06 PM

(AP) – Ford’s smallest car in the United States, the Fiesta, doesn’t have a hybrid powerplant and it doesn’t plug into an electric outlet. The 2014 Fiesta doesn’t even come with a fuel-conscious continuously variable transmission.

Yet, the affordable, sprightly, five-seat Fiesta ranks as a top nameplate in the United States in fuel economy among 2014 cars with conventional gasoline engines.

The Fiesta’s best fuel mileage rating from the federal government is 32 miles per gallon in city driving and 45 mpg on the highway. This combined 37-mpg mileage is for a Fiesta that’s fitted with a new-for-2014, 1-liter, three-cylinder, turbocharged, gasoline engine that generates 123 horsepower.

But even 2014 Fiestas with Ford’s 1.6-liter, naturally aspirated four cylinder that develops 120 horsepower can be rated as high as 30/41 mpg by the federal government.

For 2014, there’s other news for the Fiesta, which is sold as a sedan and five-door hatchback. The front styling on all Fiestas gets a bit of an Aston Martin treatment with new headlight shapes and prominent grille. There’s new equipment, including Ford’s MyKey that provides personalized controls over maximum driving speed and audio volume.

Best of all, the Fiesta can be tailored with many convenience, connectivity and luxury features _ even heated leather-covered seats.

Arguably, the most stylish and versatile of Fiestas is the hatchback, which was the test model.

Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $15,395 for a base, front-wheel drive, 2014 Fiesta S Hatchback with 120-horsepower, four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual. The lowest retail price for a 2014 Fiesta hatchback with automatic is $16,490, and this includes the same 120-horse four cylinder.

These base prices are in line with competing small hatchbacks. The 2014 Nissan Versa Note, for example, has a $14,800 starting MSRP, including destination charge. But the Versa Note’s four cylinder generates less power _ 109 horsepower. And the 2014 Hyundai Accent hatchback, with its four-cylinder, 138-horsepower engine, has a starting retail price of $15,705.

The test 2014 Fiesta five door was a comfortable size for driving in the city.

At 13.3 feet long from bumper to bumper, the Fiesta hatchback is subcompact in the government’s classification list and slips easily into many tight urban parking spaces.

Yet, the Fiesta hatch is not tiny, the way a Scion iQ three-door car is.

The Fiesta is long enough to allow a competitive 14.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which is more than the 12.8 cubic feet in the Fiesta sedan trunk.

This is not to say that back-seat legroom of 31.2 inches is spacious. Tall riders will want front-seat passengers to adjust their seats to better accommodate them.

Fuel consumption is not an issue. The test car with five-speed manual averaged nearly 32 mpg in city and highway travel, which is above the government’s 31-mpg rating for a Fiesta hatch with 1.6-liter, double overhead cam, inline four cylinder.

Power wasn’t punchy, the way it can be with a turbo engine. And when pressed hard, the engine became noisy. But the Fiesta moved well in city traffic.

Note that torque of 112 foot-pounds comes at 5,000 rpm. This compares with 123 foot-pounds at 4,850 rpm in the Accent.

The test Fiesta’s travel range of nearly 400 miles on a single tank of regular unleaded gasoline is noteworthy for a 12.4-gallon gas tank. The fillup cost for that amount of travel at today’s average price: $40.

Road noise came into the Fiesta’s passenger compartment, particularly on rough-surfaced pavement. But the car did not feel cheap or tinny, even though the Fiesta hatch weighed just over 2,500 pounds. The ride wasn’t punishing but passengers could feel many road bumps and vibrations.

The Fiesta’s tidy turning circle of 34.4 feet made U-turns easy. The electric power-assisted steering had a mainstream feel and brakes in the test car were adequate.

Every Fiesta has a steering wheel that tilts and telescopes so drivers of different statures can find a comfortable driving position.

The Versa Note doesn’t offer leather-covered seats, but leather and heated seats came on the test Fiesta Titanium hatch that priced out at less than $20,000.

The test Fiesta hatch also had MyKey, rear spoiler, fog lamps, driver seat adjustable lumbar, Ford’s Sync connectivity system with voice recognition, a new Sony audio system, two auxiliary powerpoints, push-button start, automatic-dimming rearview mirror and Ice Blue lighting in the instrument cluster.

In addition, all Fiestas come with seven air bags, including one for the driver’s knee to help keep the driver properly positioned in a frontal collision. The federal government hasn’t reported full crash test results for the 2014 Fiesta. But in frontal crash testing, the 2014 Fiesta sedan and five-door hatchback earned four out of five stars for occupant protection.

A new Fiesta _ the ST _ is due this model year as a 197-horsepower, performance hatchback.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Associated Press

US revises up last quarter’s economic growth to 2.9% rate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite high interest rates and chronic inflation, the U.S. economy grew at a 2.9% annual rate from July through September, the government said Wednesday in a healthy upgrade from its initial estimate. Last quarter’s rise in the U.S. gross domestic product — the economy’s total output of goods and services — followed […]
8 hours ago
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition...
Associated Press

Hogan to gather with supporters amid White House speculation

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Term-limited Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was holding fundraisers for future political activity Wednesday at events where the Republican is expected to talk about his eight years as governor, as well as plans for the future. Hogan, who leaves office in January, has positioned himself to run as a legitimate alternative to […]
8 hours ago
Lightning brightens the evening sky in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Area residents were ...
Associated Press

Tornado threat continues as southern towns assess damage

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Tornadoes damaged numerous homes, destroyed a fire station, briefly trapped people in a grocery store and ripped the roof off an apartment complex in Mississippi and Alabama. Two deaths were reported as the storm front continued to threaten parts of the Deep South on Wednesday. The National Weather Service had warned […]
8 hours ago
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2019, file photo, Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg talks to th...
Associated Press

Gaetz friend says lighter sentence deserved for cooperation

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida tax collector whose arrest led to a federal investigation of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz learns this week how much prison time he gets on charges of sex trafficking a minor and identity theft, but not before trying to persuade a judge that his cooperation in several probes should […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Four of the cooling towers of the Dukovany nuclear power plant rise high above the natural s...
Associated Press

3 energy companies vying to build new Czech nuke reactor

PRAGUE (AP) — Three energy companies including U.S. Westinghouse, France’s EdF and Korea’s KHNP will by vying to build the Czech Republic’s newest reactor at the Dukovany nuclear power station, authorities said Wednesday, as the country strives to become more energy independent and wean itself of fossil fuels. State-controlled power company CEZ says final bids […]
8 hours ago
La Jolla Country Day high school basketball player Jada Williams poses for a portrait Monday, Sept....
Associated Press

Changes let high school athletes bank big endorsement bucks

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jada Williams was a social media star and a talented point guard when she moved with her mother from a Kansas City suburb to San Diego, looking to play basketball for a high school powerhouse and parlay her online prowess into endorsement deals. She found it all in California, which has […]
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
2014 Ford Fiesta is affordable, peppy, fuel sipper