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MSRP: $14,260 - 21,340

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 7.7
Safety: 8.4
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 Ford Fiesta Review

The 2019 Ford Fiesta places in the middle of our subcompact car rankings. It is a top choice in the class for driving enjoyment, with agile handling and user-friendly technology. However, practical matters like trunk and back-seat space are mediocre, and it earns a below-average predicted reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Nimble, lively performance
  • Infotainment system is responsive and straightforward
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Smaller cargo space
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating

Is the Ford Fiesta a Good Car?

The Fiesta is a good car, especially when it comes to having fun behind the wheel. It's one of the liveliest subcompact cars, with nimble handling and solid engines that give it dynamic performance. This is particularly true in the turbocharged ST trim. The Fiesta doesn't have strong predicted reliability or safety ratings, however. It earns mixed crash-test scores and has virtually no advanced safety features beyond the standard rearview camera. Interior space is also middling. The front seats are fine, but the back seat and trunk are smaller than what many competitors offer.

Should I Buy the Ford Fiesta?

Shoppers looking for an affordable hot hatch will enjoy the Fiesta, especially the turbocharged ST trim. The Fiesta is also available as a reasonably priced no-frills sedan. It isn't a great choice if you have an active lifestyle, though. Its practicality is limited by a cramped back seat and so-so trunk space. Although no class competitor can match the Fiesta's performance at this price, there are a few other new cars worth considering. The Honda Fit is a more pragmatic choice. Its interior space is outstanding, and though its powertrain is sluggish, it's a very fuel-efficient hatchback. The Kia Rio is another high-ranking small car. It's lively and nimble, and it earns superb predicted reliability ratings.

Compare the Fiesta, Fit and Rio »

Should I Buy a New or Used Ford Fiesta?

With Ford making only minor trim changes for 2019, there are no compelling reasons to buy a new Fiesta. Shopping for a used model will likely save you money while still getting a similar car. Editions stretch back to 2010 – when the Fiesta was introduced in the U.S. – though anyone who cares about user-friendly technology will want to stick with a 2016 or newer model year. These come with the newer SYNC infotainment systems, which replaced the heavily criticized MyFord Touch interface.

We Did the Research for You: 64 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the Fiesta in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with more than 64 professional Ford Fiesta reviews.

Why You Can Trust Us

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep our reviews objective, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Does the Ford Fiesta Cost?

The 2019 Fiesta is one of the least expensive new vehicles you can buy. Its price starts at around $14,300, which undercuts the average base price in our subcompact car rankings by about $2,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Ford dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Ford deals page.

Ford Fiesta Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Ford Fiesta or Honda Fit?

Shoppers that prioritize practical matters over driving dynamics would do well to consider the Honda Fit. It consistently ranks near the top of its class, thanks in part to its upscale cabin, oversized back seat, and appealing list of available tech and safety features. If you're looking for more than just a vanilla commuter car, the fun-to-drive Fiesta is an excellent choice.

Which Is Better: Ford Fiesta or Ford Focus?

The Fiesta's larger sibling, the Ford Focus, is a better car in many ways. It earns better crash test ratings, and Ford offers a number of advanced safety features in the Focus that are not available in the Fiesta. You also get a little more room in the back seat and trunk. These perks, paired with attributes like agile handling and a selection of engaging engines, make the Focus the superior choice.

Compare the Fiesta, Fit, and Focus »

Fiesta Interior

How Many People Does the Fiesta Seat?

Comfort is mixed inside the five-seat Fiesta. The front seats have plenty of legroom, but the zone isn't very wide. The rear seats have very little legroom and are more cramped than most small cars’. Seating materials are mediocre, with thin cushions and somewhat scratchy cloth upholstery.

Fiesta and Car Seats

Expect a bit of a struggle to install a car seat into the Fiesta's lower anchors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the LATCH system its lowest rating of Poor for ease-of-use. The hardware is buried in the seat cushions, is difficult to move your hand around, and requires a lot of effort to clip in a seat. A set is mounted on each outboard seat, and the middle seat can borrow unused anchors from the adjacent seats. Luckily, clipping a car seat into the tether anchors is much easier. All three tether anchor are clearly labeled and in plain sight.

Fiesta Interior Quality

The 2019 Fiesta’s interior is solidly built but pretty basic. Its seats have only a handful of manual adjustments, for instance, and you won't find niceties such as full leather upholstery or power-adjustable seats on the options list. Still, the materials are mostly decent for this price point, and the cabin is quieter than many class rivals’.

Fiesta Cargo Space

You'll have to exercise some restraint if you take a Fiesta sedan on a road trip. Its 12.8-cubic-foot trunk doesn't offer a lot of room for luggage and is undersized for a subcompact car. The hatchback is a much better choice for cross-country tours because you can squeeze about a half dozen carry-on suitcases in its 14.9-cubic-foot cargo area. Dropping the second-row seats will get you 25.4 cubic feet. Note, however, that the rear seats do not fold flat.

Fiesta Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

If you don't feel like you need a weeklong course to understand your new car's infotainment system, the Fiesta is an excellent choice. Its standard SYNC and optional SYNC3 interfaces are uncomplicated and user-friendly. Voice activation, Bluetooth, and a 4.2-inch display come with the base version. We recommend upgrading to the SYNC3 interface (available on the SE, and standard on the ST-Line and ST). It includes a 6.5-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a second USB port.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Fiesta Performance

Fiesta Engine: 2 Good Choices  

The bulk of the Fiesta’s fleet is powered by a four-cylinder engine. Its 120-horsepower rating is average for the class, and although this isn't a necessarily brisk engine, its smooth power delivery makes it enjoyable to drive. A pleasant five-speed manual transmission comes standard, and a slightly less refined six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is available.

Driving enthusiasts that can afford to spend more should upgrade to the Fiesta ST. Its powertrain – a 197-horsepower turbocharged EcoBoost engine and a six-speed manual transmission – delivers enthusiastic acceleration.

Fiesta Gas Mileage: About Average

The base Fiesta engine earns an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. That is average for a nonhybrid subcompact car. Gas mileage in the ST is estimated at 25 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.

Fiesta Ride and Handling: Athletic and Composed

As one of the most fun-to-drive cars in this segment, the Fiesta shines with its handling. The precise steering and sporty suspension system of this front-wheel-drive car spice up even mundane onramps.

Fiesta Dimensions and Weight

The Fiesta sedan is a 14.5-foot-long car with a 2,571-pound curb weight. Hatchback body types shave off more than a foot (at 13.3 feet in length) and weigh between 2,536 and 2,720 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Fiesta Reliability

Is the Ford Fiesta Reliable?

The 2019 Ford Fiesta earns a predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power. A score of three is considered average for new cars across the industry.

Ford Fiesta Warranty

Ford covers the 2019 Fiesta with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Fiesta Safety

Fiesta Crash Test Results

The 2019 Fiesta has a four-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and it earned four out of five stars in the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover evaluations. The NHTSA notes a safety concern for the Fiesta in relation to its performance in the side barrier test. It is unusual for a vehicle to have a safety concern included in its NHTSA safety evaluation. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2019 Fiesta the highest rating of Good in four crash test, but the car earned the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the driver-side small overlap front test. 

Fiesta Safety Features

A rearview camera is standard in the Fiesta, and every trim level except for the base model comes with Ford MyKey. Geared toward young and inexperienced drivers, this safety system has speed and volume limits, extra seat belt reminders, and an earlier-than-normal "low fuel" warning. This sparse list of safety options is missing technologies that many rivals offer, such as forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring.

Read more about safety »

Which Ford Fiesta Model Is Right for Me?

Think of the Fiesta's two body types as separate personalities – one is a sensible sedan and the other is a playful hatch. The four-door sedan comes in two trim levels: S and SE. Both versions are powered by a 120-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission; a six-speed automatic is available. The five-door hatchback model is offered in three trims: SE, ST-Line, and ST. The two entry-level hatchback trims mirror the sedan's powertrain setup. The sporty ST comes with a more powerful engine, along with performance-tuned brake and suspension systems.

Spirited drivers wanting to connect with their inner Ken Block should undoubtedly select the Fiesta ST. If your eye is set on something more affordable, the SE is probably more your speed. It comes with essentials that are absent in the base model, such as cruise control and power windows. For only $350, you can add the Cold Weather package, which includes heated front seats and automatic climate control. Available as either a sedan or hatchback, the SE offers the best value of the bunch.

Ford Fiesta S

The base model in this lineup is the Fiesta S sedan. With prices starting at $14,260, this four-door includes manual windows, keyless entry, and a rearview camera. It features the SYNC infotainment system with a 4.2-inch display, voice activation, a USB port, and Bluetooth.

Ford Fiesta SE

The Fiesta SE trim level doubles as the top sedan trim ($15,490) and the entry-level hatchback model ($15,790). Key features of this trim are power windows, cruise control, and Ford MyKey. This system has extra seat belt reminders, an earlier-than-normal "low-fuel level" warning, and it lets you set limits on the vehicle's speed and audio volume.

Ford Fiesta ST-Line

The all-new Fiesta ST-Line starts at $17,625 and pairs the base engine with a sportier appearance through Shadow Black exterior accents, cloth sport seats, race-inspired aluminum pedals, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red accent stitching. Standard features include a keyless entry keypad, ambient lighting, and the upgraded SYNC3 infotainment system with an added USB port, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio.

Ford Fiesta ST

The Fiesta ST is the performance-oriented edition and has a starting price of $21,340. It boasts a 197-horsepower EcoBoost engine, a six-speed manual transmission, a sport-tuned suspension system, and high-performance brakes. Other noteworthy features include automatic climate control, a proximity key, push-button start, and added manual adjustments for the driver and front passenger seats.

See 2019 Ford Fiesta specs and trims »

The Final Call

Offered as a budget-friendly sedan and a playful hatchback, the Ford Fiesta adds flavor into your daily routine. It's light and lively, with the range-topping Fiesta ST trim earning the lion's share of praise for its performance. The Fiesta stumbles in more practical categories, however, as several rivals offer higher safety and predicted reliability ratings, as well as a larger trunk. Shoppers will need to carefully consider if these drawbacks can be overlooked for the Fiesta's dynamic handling.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Ford has said it will stop producing sedans and most of its hatchbacks over the next few years, given the buying public's proclivity for crossovers. That's unfortunate because the 2019 Ford Fiesta is one of the best subcompact cars on the market. … Work your way up from the thrifty base trim, however, and you'll find a small car that offers thrills and a sense of style that few in this segment can match. … Some other subcompacts offer more room and a bigger cargo area – notably, the Honda Fit – but the 2019 Ford Fiesta's personality might win you over." -- Edmunds
  • … for those who do prefer a small, fuel-efficient commuter car that is also smartly styled and loads of fun to drive, Ford builds the 2018 Fiesta subcompact. Offered in four trims and two body styles (sedan and hatchback), the Fiesta has a leg up on most of it[s] competitors, although its aging design means you won't find cutting-edge features like the Toyota Yaris' forward-collision warning or the Honda Fit's adaptive cruise control. Then again, none of the Fiesta's rivals have anything to match the taut suspension and 197-horsepower accompanying the sporty Fiesta ST." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • The 2017 Ford Fiesta subcompact moves into the new model year as an older contender, but it still has one of the best front-wheel-drive chassis setups in the business. The range spans from basic and frugal to luxurious and sporty." -- Autotrader (2017)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: April 26, 2019

Strong Sales: The Fiesta ranks second in the subcompact car class in sales, only behind the Nissan Versa. The Versa, driven largely by rental fleet sales, is outselling the Fiesta by almost 57 percent. However, sales  have increased by 29.6 percent in 2019 when compared to the same period last year.

Research more buying advice »
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