Ford Fiesta
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Overall

A fresh face for this subcompact while Ford updates and diversifies what you get under the hood; new eco-friendly and high-performance models set the bar high for competitors.

Drivetrain

Spunky 120-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder is joined by a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder “EcoBoost” for fuel-saving efficiency, and 1.6-liter EcoBoost with 173 horsepower in grin-inducing ST; the only way to get an automatic transmission is with the base engine, however.

Just a few years after its introduction in North America, the Mexican-built Fiesta is finally broadening its appeal. Aside from the new Aston-Martin lookalike grille copied from the Fusion sedan, the major news comes from what’s under the shapely new hood. The regular 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 120 horsepower is now complemented by two optional turbocharged powerplants. The first is Ford’s global 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder, which promises to not only be the first three-cylinder sold in North America in decades, but will also improve both power and fuel efficiency. With 123 horsepower, that doesn’t beat the base car by much, but it’s the 148 pound-feet of torque that make the difference. And while official fuel-consumption numbers are hard to come by, Ford claims it will have best-in-class figures. If Ford’s EcoBoost strategy remains constant, the 1.0 will cost an extra $1,000. Both engines share the same five-speed manual transmission, but there won’t be an automatic option for the EcoBoost. At the other end of the spectrum, the Fiesta ST promises to offer all the thrills and smiles generated by its larger Focus ST cousin. It uses the 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder found in the Escape tall wagon, only with more juice for a total of 197 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. ST will also be the only Fiesta to boast a six-speed manual transmission, which should mix nicely with the sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch wheels with performance tires, four-wheel disc brakes and all kinds of electronic assists. Expect the ST to sit at the top of the Fiesta hierarchy with unique seats, body kit and colors to differentiate its hatchback silhouette. The generous standard content continues with features such as air conditioning, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power locks and mirrors, four-speaker sound system, hands-free capless fuel filler plus a cabin filled with airbags. New features for 2014 include available leather interior and MyFord Touch, which uses a 6.5-inch touchscreen and secondary steering-wheel controls to more easily synchronize things like your Bluetooth-capable devices.

Base price (incl. destination): $14,800

Type: Four-door hatchback; four-door sedan

Base engine (hp): 1.6-liter DOHC I4 (120)

Optional engine (hp): 1.0-liter DOHC I3, turbocharged (123); 1.6-liter DOHC I4, turbocharged (197)

Layout: Front-engine, front-wheel-drive

Transmissions: Five-speed manual; six-speed direct-shift automated manual

MPG (city/hwy): 29/38 (AT)

Safety: Front airbags; side-impact airbags; side-curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; traction control; stability control

Weight (lb.): 2,540