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2015 Ford Fiesta a satisfying car to drive

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2015 Ford Fiesta

Rating:
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Fiesta is a subcompact car available in two body styles, four-door sedan and a four-door hatchback. For 2015, both sedan and hatchback models get mild face-lifts that includes sleek styling, improved handling and a high level of interior refinement.
Even base models offer an impressive array of standard features, including Bluetooth, an iPod interface and seven airbags. You can move your Fiesta upscale by ordering heated front seats, leather upholstery, a keyless ignition and the MyFord Touch touchscreen control interface.

The base S comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, power locks and mirrors, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and various Ford Sync functions.
The Fiesta SE includes all of the above, plus keyless entry, power windows, exterior mirrors with side marker lamps, cruise control, upgraded cloth upholstery, a trip computer, 15-inch painted aluminum wheels, metallic interior trim, a front center console with armrest, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and ambient lighting.

The SE Appearance package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, a rear spoiler on the sedan, upgraded cloth seats, a leather-wrapped shift knob, the MyFord Touch interface with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and Sync Services (traffic updates and turn-by-turn directions), and satellite radio. SE buyers can opt for the Super Fuel Economy (SFE) package, which includes special tires, wheels and aerodynamic pieces to help the Fiesta achieve slightly better fuel economy. Fiesta SE buyers can also opt for a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine and a Comfort package, which includes heated front seats, heated side mirrors and automatic climate control.
The Fiesta Titanium includes the contents of the SE Appearance and Comfort packages as standard, but has different 16-inch wheels, plus chrome exterior trim and a black grille. It also has a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, upgraded Sony speakers, HD radio and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Fiesta ST hatchback has all of the Fiesta SE amenities, and features unique bodywork, foglamps, dual exhaust tips, a six-speed manual transmission, a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch wheels with summer performance tires, quicker steering and upgraded brakes. Inside you'll find automatic climate control, keyless ignition and entry, a leather-wrapped shift knob, the MyFord Touch interface, Sony speakers and HD radio, along with ST-specific cloth sport seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum-trimmed pedals, floor mats and doorsill plates.

When you opt for the SFE package, you get a turbocharged (EcoBoost) 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, which is good for 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. Equipped only with a five-speed manual transmission, this engine gets 31/43/36 mpg combined with reasonably good performance. Our Fiesta SFE-equipped test car with the 1.0-liter turbocharged engine and the SFE package went from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, a pretty quick time for its size.

Fiesta has standard antilock brakes; front disc, rear drum for non-ST models; four-wheel discs for the ST, traction and stability control, hill launch assist, an integrated blind-spot mirror, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. The newly standard Sync features include a 911 Assist function, which uses your paired cell phone to connect automatically to a 911 operator.
Ford has combined upgraded materials with trendy styling to create a cabin that looks upscale. With its soft-touch dash top, metallic accents and tight build quality, the Fiesta's cabin has a premium feel you don’t get in an economy car. At 12.8 cubic feet, the sedan's trunk capacity is about the same as that of its competitors. The Fiesta hatchback offers a bit less than that with its rear seat up.

The 2015 Ford Fiesta is a satisfying car to drive, perhaps because everything works as it should. Important engine controls feel linear in operation, while clutch engagement is smooth and well co-ordinated with the accelerator.The standard five-speed manual transmission makes the best of the 1.0-liter engine, but its wide intervals between shifts made us wish there were a six-speed manual. In its favor, the five-speed has a linear clutch take-up and light throws. To make the best of the EcoBoost engine’s limited power you'll have to rev it pretty high.

The available six-speed automated manual transmission takes the place of a conventional automatic. It feels different at first, as it occasionally allows the car to roll back on hills and can make the Fiesta reluctant to creep forward when parking. There's nothing odd with the way the Fiesta drives down the road. Thanks to responsive steering and sophisticated suspension tuning, the Fiesta feels substantial and lithe. Ride quality is a bit firmer than in some rivals but Fiesta handles with rewarding precision.
Fiesta prices start at $14,355. SFE package adds $995.

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