Used 2014 Ford Fiesta ST Review
The 2014 Ford Fiesta is a fun-to-drive small car, with a nicely trimmed cabin, excellent build quality and plenty of connectivity features. If you're looking for an economy sedan or hatchback that feels like a more expensive car than it really is, the Fiesta deserves serious consideration.
Since Ford reintroduced the Fiesta subcompact to the U.S. market in 2011, we have been big fans. Tiny but feisty, the Fiesta has an overall goodness that's disproportionate to its size, with a vast talent set that includes slick styling (freshened for 2014), snappy handling and a high level of refinement inside.
Both sedan and hatchback models receive mild face-lifts for 2014, and even base models boast an impressive number of standard features, including Bluetooth, an iPod interface and seven airbags. Bigger spenders can order Fiestas equipped with heated front seats, leather upholstery, a keyless ignition and the MyFord Touch touchscreen control interface (with or without a navigation system).
Responsive steering and sharp handling make the standard 2014 Ford Fiesta fun to drive. With the base engine, the Fiesta likely won't set anyone's heart ablaze when accelerating from a stoplight, especially with the sometimes-hesitant automatic transmission. Those looking for maximum fuel mileage should know about the newly available EcoBoost turbocharged three-cylinder engine that earns an impressive EPA estimated 36 mpg for combined city and highway driving. A Fiesta equipped with the EcoBoost engine was recently given an 2014 Chevrolet Sonic, 2014 Hyundai Accent and 2014 Kia Rio.
trim levels & features
The 2014 Ford Fiesta is a subcompact car available in two body styles: a four-door sedan and a four-door hatchback. Both are available in S, SE and Titanium trim levels, while the high-performance ST model is available only as a hatchback.
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, various Ford Sync functions (iPod/USB audio interface, Bluetooth phone connectivity, voice controls, some app-based services and certain safety communications functions), an auxiliary audio jack and, for hatchback models, a rear wiper.
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 (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. The SE is eligible 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 effectively comes with the contents of the SE Appearance and Comfort packages as standard, but wears a different set of 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 door sill plates.
A sunroof and a navigation system are stand-alone options on SE, Titanium and ST models. Additional extras on the ST model include a unique Molten Orange paint color, cloth/leather-trimmed Recaro seats and gray-painted 17-inch wheels with red brake calipers.
performance & mpg
The base engine for the 2014 Ford Fiesta is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that produces 120 hp and 112 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but a six-speed automated manual known as "PowerShift" is optional. This type of "automatic" transmission still shifts for you, but it does a better job of maximizing engine power and efficiency than a traditional automatic.
In Edmunds performance testing, a manual-equipped Fiesta with the 1.6-liter engine went from zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds, which is an average time for the class. The PowerShift-equipped model did the same sprint in 10.6 seconds, which is average among entries equipped with automatic transmissions.
EPA-estimated fuel economy is 31 mpg combined (27 mpg city/37 mpg highway) with the six-speed automated manual transmission. When you opt for the SFE package, the numbers edge up to 32 mpg combined (28 city/38 highway). The regular five-speed manual is the least efficient of the bunch with 31 mpg combined (28 mpg city/36 mpg highway).
Newly available for the 2014 Fiesta SE is a turbocharged (EcoBoost) 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, which is good for 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. Mated only to a five-speed manual transmission initially, this engine puts up strong fuel economy numbers to the tune of 36 mpg combined (31 mpg city/43 mpg highway) along with fairly peppy performance. In Edmunds performance testing, a Fiesta equipped with the 1.0-liter turbocharged engine and the SFE package went from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, a quick time for the class.
The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST's turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder pumps out 197 hp and an impressive 214 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is the only transmission offered. At Edmunds' test track the Fiesta ST sprinted to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, making it easily one of the quickest cars in its class. EPA estimates for the ST stand at 29 mpg combined (26 mpg city/35 mpg highway).
Every 2014 Ford Fiesta comes standard with 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. The Titanium model features a rearview camera and rear parking sensors.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Fiesta SE with 15-inch wheels came to a stop from 60 mph in 136 feet, which is one of the longest distances in the segment. On the other hand, a Fiesta SES with 16-inch wheels stopped in 119 feet while the Fiesta ST stopped in just 112 feet. Those are two of the shortest distances we've seen for this segment.
In government crash testing, the Fiesta received four out of five stars for combined overall protection, with four stars for frontal protection. However, the 2014 Fiesta received only two out of five stars for side-crash protection -- with four stars for front passengers and two stars for the rear seat due to excessive intrusion into the rear cabin. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Fiesta the highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. In that agency's small-overlap frontal offset test (conducted on Fiestas built after August 2013), the Fiesta scored a second-lowest "Marginal" rating. The Fiesta's seat/head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
The 2014 Ford Fiesta is one of the most rewarding cars to drive in its class. In the real world of stop-and-go traffic and freeway merging, the Fiesta's base 1.6-liter engine delivers ample punch down low and remains buttery-smooth even when taken to redline. The optional 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder is also a great choice, as it's even stronger and more fuel-efficient. The ST's turbocharged engine takes those traits to a higher level, as it always feels ready to charge thanks to its impressively broad, muscular powerband.
If you like manual transmissions, the standard five-speed is an excellent example of the breed. There are wide intervals between shifts and we wish there was an available six-speed manual, but the five-speed boasts a linear clutch take-up and light throws. To get any useful power with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, you'll have to rev the car pretty high, but in most daily driving situations it works just fine. The available six-speed automated manual transmission takes the place of a conventional automatic in the Fiesta. It definitely 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. Ford has been refining the transmission's behavior since the Fiesta's introduction, though, and most people get used to it.
There's nothing odd with the way the Fiesta drives down the road, however. Thanks to responsive steering and sophisticated suspension tuning, the Fiesta feels at once substantial and lithe. The car handles with rewarding precision, but ride quality is a bit firmer in the Fiesta than it is in some rivals. The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST is even more impressive. It's as lively and precise as the larger Focus ST when driving around corners, and ride quality, although firm, is not punishing.
With its edgy style, soft-touch dash top, metallic accents and tight build quality, the Fiesta's cabin has a premium vibe that's unexpected in an economy car. Ford has upgraded some of the materials for 2014, and models with the MyFord Touch interface and new 6.5-inch touchscreen surrounded by piano-black trim look particularly upscale, although said black trim is overly smudge-prone. Ambient lighting in SE, Titanium and ST models gives the place a classy look at night, too.
The standard Sync system allows voice control over the audio system and your cell phone, and it also provides such features as voice-prompted turn-by-turn navigation (it works respectably well) and emergency assist. Another high-end feature not often seen in this segment is the available keyless entry/ignition system.
In the ST, the optional Recaro sport seats with their large side bolsters wrap around and hug both front occupants. As such, they hold you securely in place while you're hustling the ST along a curvy road. But those aggressive bolsters make getting in and out of the car a little harder, and larger folks may find the seats uncomfortable on long trips.
At 12.8 cubic feet, the sedan's trunk capacity is class-competitive. The Fiesta hatchback offers a bit less than that with its rear seat up. Unfortunately, the seats don't fold completely flat, and the Fiesta's 26 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity is small even for this class of car.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.