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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Ford Fiesta

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Expert's Rating

3.5Good

MPG 29 City / 39 Highway
Pros
  • Excellent fuel-economy
  • Affordable
  • Fun to drive
Cons
  • Smallish cabin
  • Modest acceleration
Small, fuel-efficient and affordable, the Fiesta is surprisingly fun to drive.

Introduction

The Ford Fiesta was relaunched in 2010 after a long hiatus, and like other vehicles has benefited from Ford's emphasis on global models. A subcompact, it handles substantially better than previous models did, and it also has a more upscale interior thanks to the needs of the European market. The Fiesta is available as both a sedan and a hatchback.

All trim lines come with a 120-horsepower inline-4 engine, and they get the same fuel economy, 29 MPG in the city and 39 MPG on the highway, which complements the low initial price. It won’t explode off the line, thanks to higher gearing so it sips fuel, but expect to get to 60 MPH in a little over nine seconds. What the Fiesta really benefits from is the torque band. It feels meatier during acceleration, and thanks to steering feel and a tuned suspension, it also handles well among members of its class. Further, while the automatic doesn’t require a clutch pedal and deft left foot, it can actually shift fairly quickly, among the best in its class. A Fiesta also has interior amenities worth pointing out, including a well-constructed cabin and few cheap plastics.

In addition, if the worst happens, the Fiesta is equipped with seven airbags, including front, side, side curtain and a driver’s knee airbag. Like comparable subcompacts, it’s equipped with antilock brakes and an electronic stability system.

Buyers may want to opt for the sedan if they can, as the hatchback can be a bit tight compared to other options in the subcompact space. While the Ford Fiesta might be a good fit for all ages, the sedan and the hatchback can look markedly different. The sedan’s lines help to moderate the aggressive grille, while the hatchback actually accentuates it. A close competitor is the Mazda2 which used to be built on the same platform. It may handle better, but the styling is aggressive and amenities aren’t as nice. The Hyundai Accent puts a bit more power down, but doesn’t have features like a telescopic steering wheel or even cruise control. The Chevrolet Sonic adds a rear side airbag and navigation, but is substantially heavier and thirsty for gas. The Kia Rio LX is lighter and quicker, but lacks an adjustable steering wheel and cruise control. The Ford Fiesta may not be the cheapest subcompact, but except for stripped down options, it offers good value for money. The package is handsome and the handling is unexpectedly strong.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Ford Fiesta
Starting price
$1,410

2013 Ford Fiesta S

Recommended for: New grads, and others who want quality

The Ford Fiesta S may be the base model, but it’s an example of how upscale even the smallest cars have gotten. Drivers can enjoy their own tunes thanks to auxiliary and USB connections. The four speakers will still pump even while the driver takes advantage of the steering wheel that can both telescope and tilt to fit drivers of all sizes. Other accessories like cell phone chargers can be plugged into the 12V charger. It can be optioned with the six-speed dual-clutch automatic, which as noted operates like a paddle-shift with quick gear changes. Also available is a regular five-speed manual transmission. In addition, it can be had in either a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback.

2013 Ford Fiesta
Starting price
$1,410

2013 Ford Fiesta SE

Recommended for: Buyers who live in colder climates

The Ford Fiesta SE adds a number of features inside the cabin, including temperature and service warning lights, as well as map lights in the back and a seat-back pocket. Front and rear windows can be operated with a switch, and the driver gets a one-touch up/down feature. Those who still enjoy their CD’s will be able to play them, and when they want to get out, can take advantage of power mirrors and power locks. MP3 playback can save space and minimize the number of disks, too. For those who live in cold weather climates, the heated mirrors will stay clear even on frosty days.

2013 Ford Fiesta
Starting price
$1,410

2013 Ford Fiesta Titanium

Recommended for: Buyers who don't need a big car, but want great features

The Ford Fiesta Titanium gets a number of options many larger cars don’t have. That includes the Sync multimedia system with voice actions and satellite radio. Drivers won’t get blinded at night thanks to the auto-dimming rearview mirror, and there are two 12V outlets. Heated front seats are standard and upholstered in leather. The Fiesta Titanium is Bluetooth compatible and features six speakers. Drivers will appreciate the keyless entry as they walk up, as well as the 16-inch aluminum alloys. A compass and cruise control are also standard in the Ford Fiesta Titanium.

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