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2014 Ford Fiesta Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 Ford Fiesta was new.


Performance: 8.7

The automotive press agrees that the 2014 Ford Fiesta is one of the most enjoyable cars to drive in its class. One critic also praises the new Fiesta ST, saying that its driving dynamics closely match what you’ll find from cars like the Mini John Cooper Works Cooper.

  • "The 2014 Ford Fiesta is one of the most rewarding cars to drive in its class." -- Edmunds
  • "The new-for-2014 1.0-liter 3-cylinder and 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engines combine spirited thrust with high-tech efficiency. But as is usual with turbochargers, lead-footed real-world driving can run up fuel consumption." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "It's a pure joy - far closer to something like a Mini John Cooper Works than any of America's larger hot hatch rivals." -- Autoblog (Fiesta ST)
  • "Fiesta is among the sportier subcompact cars. It gives the Honda Fit Sport a run for its money while delivering vastly superior ride quality." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Ford Fiesta is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 120 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automated manual transmission is optional. The EPA reports that the base Fiesta gets 27/38 mpg city/highway, while an optional SFE package boosts fuel economy to 30/41 mpg. A turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine is newly optional for 2014, which produces 123 horsepower.

Also new for 2014 is the high-performance Ford Fiesta ST, which features a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 197 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 202 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 rpm. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the 2014 Fiesta ST.

Reviewers generally say that the Fiesta offers adequate acceleration with the base engine, though one test driver considers it a little underpowered. Others write that the base engine has enough low-end power for stop and go traffic, and that the engine is smooth and refined. The Fiesta ST is more powerful than most cars in the class, and one auto writer says that its engine is extremely responsive.

  • "Though its acceleration is just average, 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." -- Edmunds 
  • "The Fiesta's standard 120-hp 4-cylinder engine can feel a little weak, but for 2014 there are two new EcoBoost alternatives. The unique 3-cylinder 1.0-liter places an emphasis on fuel efficiency but also offers good, flexible thrust. The 1.6 4-cylinder in the high-spirited ST model delivers a sparkling 197 horsepower, a number nothing else in this class approaches." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "What's interesting about this powertrain in the Fiesta - in both a good and bad way - is just how much power is available at nearly every point in the rev range. Mash the throttle in fourth gear at 1,500 rpm and there's plenty of force to rocket you into the heart of the powerband." -- Autoblog (Fiesta ST)
  • "Not that the Fiesta is gutless, but only that the little 4-cylinder boils busily in its work. Accelerating with fast traffic means the engine revs, and large hills call for a downshift to maintain speed." -- MSN (2012)  

Handling and Braking

Test drivers say that exceptional handling makes the 2014 Ford Fiesta one of the most fun-to-drive cars in the class. They write that the Fiesta rides firmly, but that it also does a good job of absorbing bumps and road imperfections. The Fiesta ST also earns praise for its quick steering, which reminds one auto writer of the driving dynamics found on Mini’s John Cooper Works models.

  • "Thanks to responsive steering and sophisticated suspension tuning, the Fiesta feels at once substantial and lithe. The car handles with rewarding precision, yet the ride quality remains supple, and bumps and ruts are swallowed without drama." -- Edmunds 
  • "On the highway, the Fiesta delivers a ride that is both comfortable and controlled. Push the car through a curving on-ramp or twisting back road and you'll enjoy its balance, response and communication." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "In the larger Focus ST, the steering feel is impressive, with great on-center feel and almost Mini-like reflexes at initial turn-in, and I'm happy to report that this same experience is found in the Fiesta ST." -- Autoblog (Fiesta ST)
  • "The Fiesta also handles like a big car, in that the suspension strikes a smart balance between firm, reassuring road holding (enthusiasts will find the willing chassis limited mainly by nonsporting tires) and a soft ride over the daily bumps." -- MSN (2012)

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