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2014 Ford Fiesta Titanium: drive with comfort & great mileage in a sub-compact

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The Fiesta was introduced by Ford a few years ago and drew a lot of attention. Customers, however, wanted a little bit more of this and that in their vehicle. Ford engineers have responded, and this little car really does have a ‘Wow’ factor for 2014.

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If you don’t read any further, learn the bottom line about the 2014 Ford Fiesta Titanium. That is, this is an extremely fuel-efficient car that uses regular gas. It is not a hybrid or a plug-in electric. It offers very good quality, upscale technology, modernized features, and a fun-to-drive feeling.

The 2014 Ford Fiesta is listed as a sub-compact, five-seat vehicle. It is the smallest vehicle offered with the Ford nameplate in the United States. The Fiesta is offered as a four-door sedan model or the more popular and attractive five-door hatchback model.

Ford graciously furnished a new Fiesta Titanium for a test-drive over a two-week Christmas season time period. My wife and I were thrilled with the looks, handling, and interior conveniences. Most importantly, however, was that we ended up with a two-week average of 38 mpg. That included quite a bit of Interstate highway driving, but also the anticipated stop and go traffic jams around shopping malls.

The test model was a Ruby Red Tinted Clearcoat on the exterior and a Medium Light Stone Leather color scheme on the interior. It was a five passenger, four-door sedan, powered by 1.6 liter Durotech four-cylinder. The naturally aspirated engine spits out 120 horsepower, which is more than adequate for most people. It should be noted, however, that Ford intends to introduce a three-cylinder, turbocharged gas engine for the Fiesta that will provide 123 horsepower. That turbo-charged powerplant should please those buyers who want to push the pedal a little further down to the floorboard. There is also a high-performance ST model due to be introduced.

The sedan was quite handy for the two of us, was comfortable, and had a sizeable trunk space. For families picking up large packages for their children’s Christmas, the hatchback would have probably been more versatile.

The little Fiesta test-drive model was loaded with standard features, such as 16-inch premium painted wheels, easy-fuel capless filler, fog lamps with chrome bezel, a 5-bar chrome grille, integrated spotter rear-view mirrors, interval wipers, and power-heated-foldable outside mirrors. That was just on the outside. Inside, there was a nice blue ambient lighting, dual bucket heated seats with leather trim, dual vanity mirrors, leather wrapped steering wheel that tilts & telescopes, reverse sensing & rear-view camera, two 12V power outlets, media hub with two USB ports, push button start, and electronic automatic temperature control.

Handling was easy, although it was a small car and occasionally had a ‘leaning’ feel. Although the cabin was fairly quite, there was some minimal air and road noise. The sedan had a solid feel to it although you could sense the larger bumps and dips in the roadway. Most of these driving sensations are reflective of almost all small cars.

The test-drive model had a PowerShift 6-speed transmission, although at an extra cost. It was noticeable that this PowerShift transmission has been upgraded and improved. The PowerShift works differently than the traditional automatic transmission and more resembles the function of a manual shift. In broad terms, Ford has made the PowerShift to look like an automatic and act like an automatic for most drivers. It is, however, a dual-clutch manual transmission that makes it own gear shift changes without forcing the driver to use a clutch pedal or put a hand on a shift lever. This all provides better fuel economy and faster shifting. The improvements for this year include a hill-start assist and the switching of gears at the lower speeds.

Another noticeable improvement is the MyTouch system that uses a touchscreen with four color-coded corners. These colors correspond to the infotainment functions such as Radio, Navigation, and Settings. It is much easier to decipher than previously and most importantly, Ford’s engineers have put real knobs and buttons back on the center stack for much-used items such as volume, temperature controls, and such.

Base price for the test-drive Titanium sedan model was $18,200 MSRP with $395 for the Ruby Red Clearcoat, $1095 for the PowerShift transmission, $795 for the navigation system, and $795 destination & delivery charges. Bottom sticker price showed $21,280. The very bottom base entry-level Fiesta has an MSRP of $15,395. The ‘S’ model hatchback with automatic is $16,490. These prices are comparative to other small hatchbacks in the same sub-compact category.

The test-drive Fiesta Titanium sedan was EPA rated at 29 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, and 32 mpg average. For the two-week test period, I had an overall average of 38 mpg, surpassing the EPA figure quite easily. The sedan was a very comfortable size for driving as well as parking. It was easily maneuverable in traffic and on mall parking lots. Inside, it did not feel small or cramped, although the back seat might have been a challenge for three grown adults. Two adults could ride for short trips, but legroom would eventually become a challenge on a long trip.

The 2014 Ford Fiesta Titanium deserves not only a look-over, but also a real, honest-to-gosh test-drive. It may be a sub-compact, but it doesn’t feel like it. It gets terrific mileage and feels good with all the great features. Check it out yourself at a Ford dealership.

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