2014 Ford Fiesta Titanium
The Weekend Mystery Car
By Ron Amadon
DAMASCUS, MD. – The Ruby Red Ford had barely been introduced to the road test driveway when the forecasters were proven correct. They said Maryland would get its worst snowstorm in four years, ninth biggest in history, and it did.
Just over 20 inches of the white stuff hit the fan, cancelling Fiestas everywhere along with just about everything else.
Yet prior to the road test hometown getting more and better snow than they had in Sochi, the Fiesta proved to be a fun set of wheels.
Ford’s subcompact is available as a four door sedan or the tested four door hatchback; in S, SE, and the tested top of the line Titanium trim levels. Step up to the Titanium and you get an improved audio system, backup camera with rear parking sensors, keyless ignition, and leather seats.
Under the hood was a 1.6 liter four rated at 120 hp @ 6,350 rpm and 112 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm. The once buried test car had the six speed automatic, but owners can opt for a five speed manual box. With the automatic, a sprint from stop to 60 took about 10.5 seconds but I can truly say it felt quicker from the driver’s seat.
In a week of errand and interstate running I got a respectable 33 mpg. The EPA rating is 29-39 mpg.
Those seeking greater power can check the turbocharged ST model that ups the horsepower total to 197 with a much improved 214 lb-ft of torque. This is tied only to a six speed manual in a car that has won praise all the way from California to London.
Those seeking additional mpg, can choose the new 1.0-liter three-cylinder that gets an EPA of 32-45 mpg. That little one boasts 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. Yes, a single liter three – that is not a typo.
Upgraded materials clearly show up in the interior with excellent fit and finish throughout. I thought the 6.5 inch touchscreen was on the small side when it came to quick glances when the navi system was in use. And with a six foot tall driver and passenger up front, the rear seats are best reserved for small children. Storage space is skimpier than one would find in some of the Fiesta’s competition at 26 cubic feet max compared to, say, the Honda Fit at a more robust 57 cubic feet.
The bucket seats in the test car were simply excellent with just the right amount of bolstering to keep one in place during spirited back road driving and just the right amount of padding to reduce fidgeting on a day long trip.
While the My Ford Touch and Sync system should have been send to the trash dump years ago, the Sony audio system in the tester produced some excellent sounds.
Now here is where the Fiesta lives up to its name, and it is the area that counts most for those who love to drive. This little car is just crazy fun to drive.
Responsive steering, admirable suspension tuning, easy to read instruments, a driver centric interior design, and nimble feel make this one of the more fun rides one can experience in this price range. Ford hit it right on the button when it came to the tough task of balancing ride and handling – Not too hot, not too cool – just right.
With navigation, the “Power Shift” six speed automatic, Ruby Red paint, the test car listed for a more than equitable $21,880.
Britain’s Car magazine called it a great supermini, and I would agree.