2016 Ford Fiesta Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Sporty handling
  • well-appointed interior with advanced technology options
  • peppy and fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine
  • ST model's zesty performance.
  • Limited cargo and rear seat space
  • automatic transmission's quirky behavior
  • EcoBoost engine and ST are manual transmission only.
Other years
List Price Range
$6,475 - $18,990

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2016 Ford Fiesta's nimble handling and nicely trimmed cabin make it a very pleasant everyday companion, though its modest interior space and somewhat unrefined automatic transmission are also factors to consider.

Vehicle overview

The 2016 Ford Fiesta is a reminder of how far Ford has come over the past decade. It wasn't too long ago that the company reserved its best small cars for European and other overseas buyers, leaving Americans to pick through the leftovers. In fact, the subcompact Fiesta wasn't even sold on our shores until 2011, when we finally got to experience the refined, fun-to-drive economy car that the rest of the world was talking about. Today, that same Fiesta remains a perennial favorite, joining forces with the similarly sophisticated Focus to strengthen Ford's appeal among small-car shoppers.

The 2016 Ford Fiesta is available in sedan and four-door hatchback body styles.

Although the Fiesta has been around for awhile now, Ford keeps introducing nifty features that keep it fresh. The latest example is the new-for-2016 Sync 3 infotainment system, which replaces the relatively complex MyFord Touch system. Optional on the Fiesta SE and standard on higher trims, Sync 3 employs a simplified touchscreen with clearly laid-out categories, and it responds to pinch and swipe commands just like a smartphone. The Fiesta also offers other items that you might not expect to find in an ultra-affordable subcompact, including standard USB connectivity and Sync voice controls.

One Fiesta feature that's always been a standout is its handling on the road. Blessed with tight, responsive steering and a nimble feel, this little Ford is a hoot to drive, even if you're just zipping to the supermarket and back. Of course, the performance-oriented ST model is even more fun, but it's also relatively pricey; moreover, both the ST and the surprisingly entertaining three-cylinder EcoBoost model come solely with a manual transmission. If you opt for the base engine's automatic transmission, incidentally, you might notice that it doesn't shift as smoothly or precisely as expected.

Chief among the Fiesta's rivals is the much more spacious and versatile Honda Fit, though the Honda's driving character is less engaging. The Chevrolet Sonic boasts confident road manners and an available high-resolution touchscreen of its own, but it lacks the Ford's premium vibe. The stylish Kia Rio and sensible Hyundai Accent are also worth considering, particularly given their generous powertrain warranties. But the 2016 Ford Fiesta is undoubtedly a very good choice in this segment, conceding little to Father Time as its impressive run continues.

2016 Ford Fiesta models

The 2016 Ford Fiesta is a subcompact car available in two body styles: a sedan and a four-door hatchback. Both are available in S, SE and Titanium trim levels. The high-performance ST model is available only as a hatchback.

The base S comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, a rear spoiler (hatchback only), power locks and mirrors, manual windows, remote keyless entry, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth, Sync voice controls and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.

The Fiesta SE includes all of the above, plus 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, power windows, cruise control, upgraded cloth upholstery, a trip computer, chrome interior door handles, metallic-painted interior trim, a front center console with armrest, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, multicolor ambient lighting and MyKey parental controls.

The SE Appearance package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler (sedan), sport cloth upholstery, adjustable lumbar support for the driver, a leather-wrapped shift knob, satellite radio, dual USB ports (replacing the auxiliary audio jack) and the Sync 3 infotainment interface with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and enhanced voice controls (including AppLink mobile app integration). The Comfort package throws in heated front seats, heated mirrors and automatic climate control.

The SE is also eligible for the EcoBoost Fuel Economy package, which includes the turbocharged three-cylinder engine, a manual transmission, various aerodynamic improvements and special wheels and tires to help the Fiesta achieve slightly better fuel economy. Additionally, the SE hatchback can be equipped with the Black package (16-inch black alloy wheels, black exterior trim, foglights) and a stand-alone sport body kit.

The black trim and foglights mean that the pictured car is equipped with the sinister Black package.

At the top of the Fiesta food chain is the Titanium trim, which essentially incorporates the contents of the SE Appearance and Comfort packages, 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 entry and ignition, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an eight-speaker Sony sound system and HD radio.

The Fiesta ST hatchback also starts with the Fiesta SE's amenities plus the SE Appearance and Comfort packages (excluding the heated mirrors and seats), adding the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, unique bodywork, a larger rear spoiler, dual exhaust tips, a six-speed manual transmission, a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch wheels with summer performance tires, quicker steering, upgraded brakes, keyless entry and ignition, the Sony sound system (with HD radio), ST-specific cloth sport seats (with driver height adjustment) and various sport-themed accents. The ST Recaro package adds heated Recaro front sport seats (including height adjustments for both), leather and cloth upholstery and heated mirrors. Also available are black 17-inch wheels with red brake calipers.

A sunroof and a navigation system are stand-alone options on the SE, Titanium and ST trims. A Kicker subwoofer can be added to any Fiesta sedan, while remote start can be added to any Fiesta equipped with an automatic transmission.

2016 Highlights

The 2016 Fiesta gets a new optional infotainment system called Sync 3 with a simplified touchscreen interface. It replaces the previous MyFord Touch system. In other news, the SE trim level is eligible for both a Black package and a sport body kit, while the base S now comes standard with remote keyless entry and an anti-theft alarm. Additionally, the Fiesta ST's passenger seat loses its standard height adjustment.

Performance & mpg

The base engine for the 2016 Ford Fiesta is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that produces 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed "Powershift" automatic transmission is optional. Powershift is technically an automated manual transmission that Ford uses for increased efficiency, but it operates just like a conventional automatic.

In Edmunds performance testing, both the manual and automatic-equipped Fiestas went from zero to 60 mph in about 9.5 seconds, which equates to adequate performance for this class.

The EPA estimates fuel economy to be 31 mpg combined (27 city/37 highway) with the automatic transmission. We achieved 33.4 mpg on our official Edmunds mixed-driving evaluation route. The manual transmission is effectively the same, checking in at 31 mpg combined (28/36). When you opt for the Fuel Economy package (automatic transmission required), the numbers edge up to 32 mpg combined (28/38).

The optional "EcoBoost" 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder produces 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. The five-speed manual is the only transmission available. In Edmunds performance testing, this little engine brought the Fiesta from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, which is a bit quicker than average for the class. At the same time, it returns 36 mpg combined (31/43), matching the thriftiest cars in the class. We observed 37 mpg on the Edmunds evaluation route.

The 2016 Ford Fiesta ST's turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder pumps out 197 hp and an impressive 202 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is the only transmission offered. In Edmunds performance testing, the Fiesta ST sprinted to 60 mph in a sprightly 7.1 seconds. EPA estimates for the ST stand at 29 mpg combined (26 city/35 highway), an excellent result for such an energetic engine.

Safety

Every 2016 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, an integrated blind-spot mirror, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. Standard Sync features include a 911 Assist function, which uses your paired cell phone to connect automatically to a 911 operator. The SE adds the MyKey system for setting electronic parameters for other drivers (teens, valets, etc.), while the Titanium model features a rearview camera and rear parking sensors.

In Edmunds brake testing, multiple Fiestas stopped from 60 mph in 117-122 feet, which is better than average. The Fiesta ST stopped in 112 feet, which is satisfactory for an affordable performance car with summer tires.

In government crash testing, the Fiesta received four out of five stars for combined overall protection, with four stars for frontal protection and two stars for side crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Fiesta the top rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. In that agency's small-overlap frontal-offset test, the Fiesta received the second-lowest "Marginal" rating. The Fiesta's seat/head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Driving

If you're looking for an entertaining driving experience, the 2016 Fiesta will happy oblige. Although the base four-cylinder engine delivers only modest acceleration, we like its refinement at high rpm, and the Fiesta's quick steering and well-controlled body motions keep the fun factor high. Meanwhile, the EcoBoost three-cylinder engine provides a palpable turbocharged punch while also topping the fuel economy charts. As for the ST, its turbocharged four-cylinder is strong enough to put a smile on anyone's face, and its sport-tuned suspension is a blast on the right kind of road.

In everyday driving, the Fiesta's relatively quiet cabin and supple suspension make for an unusually pleasant ride. The potential weak link is the Powershift automatic transmission, which is essentially a manual gearbox with a computer-operated clutch. Ford uses it to maximize fuel economy, and based on the EPA ratings, it's hard to argue. Nonetheless, you may find its behavior odd; for example, it's sometimes slow to respond in stop-and-go traffic, and its shifts can feel rather imprecise.

Interior

Although the Fiesta is Ford's cheapest car, it doesn't feel like a penalty box inside. On the contrary, its materials are quite nice for the price, and everything seems to be tightly screwed together. Metallic accents add a touch of class, while available niceties like ambient lighting, heated leather seating and premium Sony audio give the Fiesta the character of a more expensive product.

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 and emergency assist. Pairing the Sync system to your phone and getting it set up can be finicky, but it's a useful workaround for the standard, form-over-function radio interface with its lookalike buttons. The touchscreen included with the optional Sync 3 system improves things considerably, providing crisp graphics with an intuitive, dashboard-style category menu at the bottom.

Interior space is generous up front, with a driver seat that easily adjusts for a wide range of physiques. The backseat is definitely on the tight side, however, even for this pint-sized segment. The Fiesta sedan has a decent trunk capacity of 12.8 cubic feet, but the hatchback's space behind the rear seats is only a tad bigger at 14.9 cubic feet, with just 26 cubic feet available with the rear seatbacks folded down. That's pretty skimpy.

The Sync 3 infotainment system is vastly easier to use than the MyFord Touch interface it replaces.

The ST trim's interior has a bit more style, especially with the available two-tone accent treatment. The optional Recaro sport seats feature large side bolsters that 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. On the other hand, 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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Ford Fiesta.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

If the following are true, you probably want one:
Cam of the Westside,10/09/2016
ST 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
1) You don't need a ton of space for passengers or cargo. It's perfectly reasonable for everyday use, but 4 adults won't be comfortable for more than an hour, and it doesn't have the kind of cargo space to pack more than for like a couple's long weekend. 2) You can put up with a stiff ride and some wind noise. The suspension is very firm; the ride isn't crashy, but it is firm. If you open the windows above about 60mph, there is buffeting. That's it. This thing is a riot, start to finish: energetic, fun, easy to drive, agile beyond its competition, and surprisingly connected and cohesive. It performs with a lovely balance and sort of cleanliness to its handling. The shifter isn't good, but it works well and a shift kit is easy to install. The steering is actually communicative, and is well-weighted with a nice ratio. The engine is charming: revs hard to 5500 and always wants more, with an adorable medium-pitched bellow under throttle. There's a bit of lag and torque steer, but nothing that detracts from the experience. The handling is as good as the magazines say it is: great turn-in, and puts the power down well coming out of a turn. Brakes are strong and easy to modulate. You'll get mileage in the high 20s even if you drive like a maniac. Base seats, by the way, are fine, or at least not bad. I didn't feel bad about saving the $2k by skipping the Recaros. Update: After 6 months and 9000 miles, it is a reasonable commuter (30 miles one way); no issues other than the brake discs will corrode on their surfaces and make some noise. It's a little creepy, but performance does not degrade, and my pads and rotors still have plenty left in them. I had snow tires on it for the winter, and the car was surprisingly eager to rotate on them, especially in the wet. It's very friendly / communicative / controllable about oversteering, but an inexperienced driver should be warned. Otherwise, I stand by all my previous comments. It still makes me laugh every time I drive it. Update: after 12 months and 15000 miles, you can cane these little cars and they hold up well. The only problem I have had is the stock wheels lose their little balancing weights intermittently. The wheels are too heavy anyway, and the stock tires leave a little to be desired. I'm replacing both next spring. I like the shifter better than I did when I first got it, and it puts the power down better and cleaner than I'd thought. Also the racing school that comes with the car is a total delight and highly recommended, especially for beginners. Otherwise, I stand by all my previous comments. It still makes me laugh every time I drive it. Update: after 18 months and 24,500 miles, it is still a treat to drive, and I have a mid-engine, RWD sports car as a toy. Its excellent chassis and harmonious drivetrain shines through every trip I take. After a couple mall parking lot practice sessions, you can almost write in the snow with it. It's an outstanding and safe bad weather car, as long as you know what oversteer is. I would let a teenager drive one once I showed the kid how it acts when losing traction. Now that the snow is slowly leaving us, my snow tires on regular pavement is the most fun I've had with the car. Update: after 24 months / 33,000 miles, it's still a peach. It still feels tight and excitable to drive, and I still giggle every time I drive it. The HVAC makes a weird noise for 10 seconds when off, but that's its only foible so far. I've encountered a lot of people saying it rides horribly, and would just say to try before you buy. It doesn't bother me, but I'm used to tuner cars. Update: after 30+ months / 39,000 miles, I actually like it more than I used to. I started autocrossing it regularly, and it's a great platform for a rookie. It's really easy to learn how much grip you have at either end, and its response to inputs is predictable. I'm doing better every time I go out, and having a blast. I also had an opportunity to drive a new & fancy performance car recently, and the only thing it really did better was drivetrain noise / vision-blurring acceleration.
Most fun thing I have ever bought with money
MAG,09/25/2016
ST 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I am 57 years old, I have owned 57 cars in that time. I like cars and I like driving quickly. I have owned an older 5.0 mustang, a 2004 Subaru WRX (Cobb stage 2), I have driven a 2016 Miata, a 2016 Focus RS, a 2016 Ford Mustang GT, I rented and drove a 2016 Ford Focus ST for 2 days, I have driven my brothers 2015 Corvette, and his older Porsche 911. I have even driven my once dream car a Porsche 911 turbo. All great cars, but they simply are not as fun to drive on public roads as the Fiesta ST. Why? either you can't see out of them very well, or you can't use even a fraction of their power / handling abilities (legally on public roads), or their abilities aren't even close to the Fiesta. I have been asked a number of times why I like the Fiesta ST so much, and I can't really put it in words. The Fiesta ST has to be experienced over time to really understand what makes it a great car. When you read reviews for the Fiesta ST that are not favorable, understand it is not going to be seen as great by everyone. The head of Ford's performance division at the time (Mr. Hameedi) even said they designed this car to a narrow audience. He also said they designed this car to be very direct and visceral - meaning it is designed to appeal to the emotional side of driving. I had to test drive my 2016 Fiesta ST 3 times before I started to understand what kind of car it is. Over the next 3 years I have become even more impressed. The Fiesta ST is not like a Miata, or Golf GTI. Those cars have a more refined character. If you want a very quick, emotion evoking street legal go kart, then the Fiesta ST is your car. As I have gotten older the Recaro seats were starting to hurt my back, so I decided to move on to a 2019 Fiesta ST with the regular seats. (getting older stinks sometimes, I know I will miss the Recaros in the turns). I have been blessed as a car guy to actually own what I now know is my dream car - The Ford Fiesta ST.
Too Much Fun!
Mike I.,07/20/2016
ST 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
It's a subcompact and the ST model only comes with a manual transmission. Surprisingly lively and more fun to drive around town on a daily basis than my 2015 Corvette and a 2014 Mercedes AMG. Ride is choppy because of the short wheelbase. Instrumentation and entertainment controls took a while to get used to. Great mileage in traffic and on the open road. Purchased as a lease, but now I fully intend to buy it when the lease expires if it continues to perform as it has so far.
So much car, so little money
ksvtguy170,08/15/2017
ST 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
As a fan of hot hatchbacks and former owner of an SVT Focus, I'd had my eye on the Fiesta ST since it was first introduced. It received the most unanimously positive automotive press I can recall for an affordable car. Amazingly, the ST is as good as they say--a pure driver's car. Ford absolutely nailed the steering, braking, transmission, power, throttle response, and handling. The SVT Focus was a gem in almost all ways (power was fairly meh, though), but the Fiesta ST is considerably better, except for ride quality (its one impossible-to-deny fault). Even city driving is enjoyable because of the telepathic, precise controls, small size and nimbleness, and friendly clutch. But twisty roads or freeway on-ramps are the places you'll really appreciate how good this car is. It's hilarious fun to drive. Drawbacks: The aforementioned ride, which does smooth out on the highway, but can be very bouncy on broken pavement--and make sure you steer around potholes. And yes, it's small inside. If you routinely carry four adults and their luggage, get something else. Reliability has been great through 26,000 miles, and MPG is excellent--it's easy to get between 36-40 mpg in steady highway driving, and high 20s in the city. It's a used car bargain. Tip for buyers looking for a used ST: My one regret is not getting the Recaro seats in mine--the stock seats aren't awful, but they don't have enough lateral support and aren't brilliant on long trips--so seek out the Recaros when shopping.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2016 Ford Fiesta features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover14.3%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2016 Ford Fiesta

Used 2016 Ford Fiesta Overview

The Used 2016 Ford Fiesta is offered in the following submodels: Fiesta Hatchback, Fiesta Sedan, Fiesta ST. Available styles include SE 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M), SE 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M), S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M), ST 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Titanium 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M), Titanium 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M), and S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Ford Fiesta?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Ford Fiesta trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Ford Fiesta SE is priced between $8,000 and$12,667 with odometer readings between 9290 and68960 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Ford Fiesta S is priced between $6,475 and$15,000 with odometer readings between 25413 and73000 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Ford Fiesta ST is priced between $12,499 and$18,990 with odometer readings between 27254 and96451 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Ford Fiesta Titanium is priced between $11,600 and$11,881 with odometer readings between 11495 and62774 miles.

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Which used 2016 Ford Fiestas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 Ford Fiesta for sale near. There are currently 26 used and CPO 2016 Fiestas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,475 and mileage as low as 9290 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 Ford Fiesta.

Can't find a used 2016 Ford Fiestas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Fiesta for sale - 12 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $22,051.

Find a used Ford for sale - 11 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $8,703.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Fiesta for sale - 5 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $13,599.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 4 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $9,460.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 Ford Fiesta?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Ford Fiesta lease specials