Looking for a subcompact hatchback with nimble handling and a nicely trimmed cabin? You'll enjoy the 2017 Ford Fiesta as a very pleasant everyday companion. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
MARK TAKAHASHI: I'm Edmund's editor Mark Takahashi, and here's an expert rundown of the 2017 Ford Fiesta. When it comes to economy cars, the 2017 Ford Fiesta remains one of the best deals around. Put simply, it delivers more than you'd expect with strong performance, fuel efficient engines, and a nice interior full of features. The Fiesta is offered as a sedan or, as seen here, a four-door hatchback. The slow response on the automatic transmission can be a downer, but the stick shift only EcoBoost engine and sporty ST model are great reasons to learn how to operate a manual. Both the sedan and hatchback models hold a decent amount of cargo, but they're still out-classed by some competitors. The same holds true for the rear seats and their lack of head and leg room. The front seats have plenty of room, though, and the interior is nicer than the affordable price suggests. On top of that, the SYNC 3 infotainment system is easy to use and adds a fair amount of tech features too. The bottom line for the 2017 Ford Fiesta is it's bolstered by its fun to drive nature and numerous trim levels to fit your needs and budget. It doesn't have as much cargo or rear passenger space as rivals. So if that's a deal breaker, you may want to check out the competition. These include the Honda Fit, Chevrolet Sonic, and Hyundai Accent. If you'd like to see more Edmund's expert rundowns, hit subscribe.
Character: It's a trait not often valued in cars, which are seen by many as rolling appliances. But the 2017 Ford Fiesta has ample character — and that's what we love about it. Available as either a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback, with engines ranging from super-frugal to super-sporty, the sharp-handling Fiesta turns even a quick run to the grocery store into an enjoyable trip.
Though the Fiesta is an inexpensive car, you wouldn't know it from the well-finished interior, which is roomy (up front at least) and comfortable. Not to mention that it also offers optional amenities like heated leather seats, multicolor ambient lighting and a fantastic infotainment system. Backseat space is tight, however. And while the sedan's trunk is spacious compared to the competition, the hatchback offers less cargo room than some of its competitors.
The standard engine for the Fiesta is a 120-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder. It develops 112 pound-feet of torque and can be had with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The latter turned a zero-to-60-mph time of 9.5 seconds in Edmunds testing, which is acceptable for this class of car. The EPA estimates the automatic Fiesta's fuel economy at 31 mpg combined (27 city/37 highway); manuals are slightly less efficient. If you're looking for the best possible fuel economy, the Fiesta offers a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine that delivers 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. It comes exclusively with a manual transmission, and the EPA rates it at 35 mpg combined (31 city/41 highway), making it one of the most frugal cars in the segment.
If you prefer speed to economy, consider the high-performance Fiesta ST, which gets a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that turns out 197 hp and 202 lb-ft of muscle, enough to make the zero-to-60-mph sprint in a quick 7.1 seconds. The ST sharpens the Fiesta's fun-to-drive factor with a sport-tuned suspension and steering. It's seriously quick on a curvy road and yet comfortable enough for the daily commute; though its optional Recaro sport seats, which have deep bolsters designed to hold occupants in place during fast cornering, may feel restricting to some. Note that as quick as the ST is, its EPA-estimated fuel economy (29 mpg combined, 26 city, 32 highway), isn't much lower than that of the regular 1.6-liter Fiesta.
Ford offers the Fiesta in S, SE, Titanium and ST trims; all are available as a sedan or a hatchback except for the hatch-only ST. The S is one of the least expensive cars on the market and is well equipped considering its budget price. But we imagine most buyers will want the amenities found in the mid-level Fiesta SE. The Titanium is a treat, offering high-end features that just a few years back could never be found on small economy cars. And you know how we feel about the Fiesta ST: It's one of the best hot hatchbacks on the market. But which trim-level is best for you? Let Edmunds help find your perfect 2017 Ford Fiesta.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.