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Ford's 2014 Fiesta SE is miserly and attractively priced

Fiesta looks is handsome from the front and back as well
Fiesta looks is handsome from the front and back as well
by Nick Hromiak

Judging from the large number of them seen on the roads over the past few months, it seems Ford’s 2014 Fiesta has to be the company’s top selling vehicle. And the reason for its popularity is that it offers loads of content, impressive fuel economy, nice interior (even on the base model), is handsome by taking on the look of the classy Ford Fusion, it’s reasonably priced and is fun to drive.

Fiesta strikes a handsome pose that resembles Ford's popular Fusion
by Nick Hromiak

This subcompact is offered in a four-door sedan and four-door hatchback that was tested for this review. Both can be had in S, SE and Titanium trim levels plus a high-performance ST version that is only available in hatchback form.

A highpoint of the Fiesta is that for its size and price, it’s loaded with the most desired convenience and safety features including keyless entry, tire pressure monitoring and heated outside mirrors with a wide angle driver’s side mirror embedded within it.

Fiestas’ cabin is nicely trimmed with high wearing fashionable cloth seats, heated front seats, a soft touch dash, a 5x3 inch LCD display atop the dash that could also be used for GPS nav and rearview camera (optional) - but neither were on the test car. Ford also added cool purple accent lighting above the glove box and surrounding the cup holders.

To it credit in this age of high-tech and complicated controls, Fiesta maintains simple and logically placed HVAC controls within a vertical stack that has flush mounted menu buttons in a “wing type” flair. The front seats are semi supportive while the backs can accommodate two adults with marginal leg and headroom.

Powertrain wise, a 1.6L, 120-hp four-cylinder that generates 112 lb/ft of torque is standard. If more zip is desired, the sporty, yet firmer riding ST turbocharged version will bump you up to 197-hp and a whopping 214 lb/ft of torque.

The base engine in the test car coupled to a 5-speed manual transmission (a 6-speed automatic PowerShift is optional) that shifted smoothly with a light pressure clutch and has been 0-60 tested at 9.5 seconds. The combination EPA tested at 27 city, 38-highway mpg. A real miserly combination. For around town driving, the duo provided peppy acceleration and passing power, but on hills and upgrades with two adults aboard, the little four was breathing and working hard.

A new EcoBoost 1.0L three-cylinder has recently become available and produces 123-hp and 125 lb/ft of torque with EPA numbers of 32/45 mpg.

The ride in the Fiesta is a bit bumpy but that’s to be expected from a subcompact. But it holds the road with tenacity even when hit with gusty crosswinds. Another plus is that it parks ever so easily.

As a subcompact, the Fiesta hatchback offers 12.8 cubic feet of cargo space, which doubles when flipping the 60/40 seatbacks. With the seats up the cargo area measures 23 inches deep, 38.5 wide and 32 high. Fold the seats and there’s 55 inches of depth.

Coming in at an especially reasonable base price of $16,050, only the Comfort Package ($290) that included heated seats, automatic temperature control and power heated side mirror plus delivery ($795), brought the bottom line to a very likeable $17,135.

To top it off, the Fiesta SE received a four star overall vehicle safety score, five for frontal driver side crash, four for passenger, four for front side crash, five for the rear seats and four for rollover. And the Institute for Highway Safety gave it their top “Good” rating in all categories.

To check out a Fiesta, stop by Haldeman Ford on Lehigh Street in Allentown or Gilboy Ford on MacArthur Road in Whitehall.