2018 Ford Fiesta

2018 Ford Fiesta Review

The Fiesta is the subcompact to get if you like to drive.
8.2 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Available as a sedan or a hatchback, the 2018 Ford Fiesta is a subcompact car worth checking out. It handles well around corners, offers lots of available features and, for driving enthusiasts, comes in a high-performance ST version that's a blast to drive.

Ford has been selling this generation of the Fiesta since 2011. That's a long time in the automotive world to go without a full redesign, but the Fiesta's inherent goodness has kept it in good standing. About the only significant criticism we can level at it is its lack of space. The back seat is tight and the cargo space is simply subpar, even for a subcompact. We're also a little disappointed that Ford has discontinued the Fiesta's optional 1.0-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. Previously, this engine offered a significant boost in fuel economy (up 5 mpg combined from the standard engine).

Overall, though, we think the 2018 Fiesta is a smart choice for a fun and inexpensive car.



What's new for 2018

A rearview camera is now standard on all 2018 Ford Fiestas, and the standard 3.5-inch central display screen has been replaced with a 4.2-inch screen. The previously optional 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine has been eliminated from the lineup.

We recommend

Check out the midlevel SE with the SE Appearance package. The SE comes with desirable upgrades over the base S, including power windows, cruise control and MyKey parental controls. We also recommend getting the optional Appearance package because it adds the Sync 3 infotainment interface with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, enhanced voice controls, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Ford Fiesta is a subcompact car offered 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 affordable base S is modestly equipped, while the SE and Titanium trim levels offer more tech features, such as the Sync 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The high-performance ST comes with a six-speed manual, a sport-tuned suspension and a strong, turbocharged engine.

The S starts off with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (120 horsepower, 112 pound-feet of torque), a five-speed manual transmission (a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic is available as an option), 15-inch steel wheels, power mirrors, a rear spoiler (hatchback only), remote keyless entry, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power locks, manual windows, Bluetooth, Sync voice controls, a 4.2-inch center display, a rearview camera, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and a USB port.

The Fiesta SE builds on the above with 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, upgraded cloth upholstery, a front center console with armrest, power windows, cruise control, chrome interior door handles, metallic-painted interior trim, multicolor ambient lighting, and MyKey parental controls for teen drivers.

The optional SE Appearance package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler (sedan), cloth sport upholstery, adjustable lumbar support for the driver, a leather-wrapped shift knob (automatic only), the Sync 3 infotainment interface with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, enhanced voice controls (including Sync AppLink mobile app integration), satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and dual USB ports. The Cold Weather package bundles heated outside mirrors, heated front seats and automatic climate control.

The Titanium trim level incorporates the contents of the SE Appearance and Comfort packages but wears a different set of 16-inch alloy wheels, further adds chrome exterior trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a trip computer, a black grille and rear parking sensors. It also has keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an eight-speaker Sony sound system with HD radio.

The Fiesta ST hatchback also starts with the SE's amenities plus the SE Appearance package, and then adds a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (197 hp, 202 lb-ft), a six-speed manual transmission, 17-inch wheels with summer performance tires, a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, quicker steering, unique bodywork and dual-exhaust tips. You also get keyless entry and ignition, ST-specific cloth sport seats (with driver height adjustment), distinctive interior trim, and the Sony sound system with HD radio. The ST Recaro package adds heated Recaro front sport seats (including height adjustments), 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.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2014 Ford Fiesta Sedan SE (1.6L inline-4 | 6-speed dual-clutch automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Ford Fiesta has received some revisions, including some changes to standard and optional equipment, but overall our findings from the 2014 model remain broadly applicable to this year's Ford Fiesta.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall8.2 / 10

Driving

8.5 / 10

Acceleration9.0 / 10
Braking8.0 / 10
Steering9.0 / 10
Handling8.5 / 10
Drivability7.0 / 10

Comfort

8.0 / 10

Seat comfort6.5 / 10
Ride comfort7.5 / 10
Noise & vibration9.0 / 10

Interior

8.0 / 10

Ease of use6.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out8.0 / 10
Roominess7.5 / 10
Visibility9.0 / 10
Quality8.5 / 10

Driving8.5

Like other subcompacts, the Fiesta isn't blessed with extra power, and it's not helped by the twin-clutch PowerShift automatic-like transmission in normal driving. Still, enthusiasts will enjoy the sportily tuned chassis.

Acceleration9.0

The 1.6-liter four-cylinder never feels strong. The Fiesta makes it from zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds, average for the segment.

Braking8.0

The brake pedal has an intuitive feel out on the road. Emergency stopping distances are average for the class.

Steering9.0

Nice and quick steering with good feedback. Makes you relish any corner or freeway on-ramp. The Fiesta's sportiness is aided by a grippy, thick-rimmed steering wheel.

Handling8.5

Around turns is where the Fiesta separates itself. A well-tuned suspension makes it fun to drive.

Comfort8.0

As subcompacts go, the Fiesta lags behind a few competitors in comfort, mostly in terms of ride quality and the seats. But it's one of the quietest cars in the class.

Seat comfort6.5

There's not a lot of padding, and the cloth material feels scratchy when you're wearing shorts. There's also minimal adjustability; plus the seatback lever is a poor design, hidden by the seat belt.

Ride comfort7.5

Not overly surprising since Ford leaned toward sportiness with the Fiesta, the ride quality can be a bit choppy, compounded by the short wheelbase. Better seat padding would help, too.

Noise & vibration9.0

The Fiesta is one of the quietest cars in the class at 70 mph cruising speed. It's good for this class, but not compared to a bigger car. The tires are quiet, but you can always hear the little four-cylinder engine working.

Interior8.0

The Fiesta has a few touches here and there that let you know Ford is trying to make you feel special. It's assembled well and, other than some minor MyFord Touch annoyances, the interior is functional and easy to use.

Utility7.0

While the Fiesta isn't abysmal when it comes to cargo space, it isn't great either. Most of its chief rivals have it beat on cargo space, with the seats up or folded. Small-item storage, however, is laudable up front.

Small-item storage

Excellent small-item storage up front with four cupholders and plenty of bins. No door pockets in the rear, though.

Cargo space

The sedan's trunk is small for the class. The rear seats fold, but not quite flat. The hatchback's cargo hold is larger, but overall the Fiesta comes up short in this category compared to rivals such as the Honda Fit.

Technology

We're generally fond of the Fiesta's in-car tech from the standard Sync system's voice recognition to the turn-by-turn driving directions and emergency assistance. The available Sync 3 system improves on that idea with sharp graphics, intuitive controls and a 6.5-inch touchscreen.

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.