$9,869 - $15,786

2017 Ford Fiesta Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Ford Fiesta was new.


Performance: 8.1

The 2017 Ford Fiesta has a comfortable ride and agile handling. Its steering is precise and responsive with good feedback. The ST's sport-tuned suspension rides over bumps and dips with little disturbance. The base engine has average power for day-to-day driving. The 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine gets excellent fuel economy, and the turbocharged engine has the most power. The Fiesta offers three transmissions, but the consensus is that the base version's five-speed manual is the best of the bunch with easy shifting. Reviewers note that the six-speed manual doesn't shift smoothly and the six-speed dual-clutch automatic isn't as refined as competitors.

  • "The Fiesta, which comes in sedan and four-door hatchback versions, offers lively handling and performance that make even everyday errands seem fun. The performance-oriented Fiesta ST model is even more entertaining thanks to its sport-tuned suspension and 197-horsepower four-cylinder engine. But even if it's frugality you're after, Ford still has you covered with the Fiesta's 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine that delivers surprisingly zippy performance and outstanding fuel economy." -- Edmunds
  • "Automakers often soften their European-based cars for the U.S. market, but thankfully that isn't the case for the Fiesta. The result is a car that, despite its small size, is comfortable and controlled. The bonus is, when you push the Fiesta on that curved onramp or sweeping road, it responds with surprising balance, communication and grip. And if you like that sort of thing, you'll respond with a smile." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "Who says you need hp to have fun behind the wheel? The Fiesta might not offer gut-punching acceleration in most forms, but it'll have you smiling ear to ear as you push it through twisting back roads and around hairpin curves." -- Autotrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2017 Ford Fiesta comes standard with a 120-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. A turbocharged, 123-horsepower 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, a turbocharged, 197-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (standard in the ST model), a six-speed manual transmission, and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission are also available.

The fuel economy for the base and turbocharged 1.6-liter engines are both slightly below average, but the optional 1.0-liter EcoBoost mated to a five-speed manual transmission gets 31 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, which are excellent numbers for the class.

The Fiesta's base engine provides decent power around town. However, it’s the ST's turbocharged engine that shines. It has the most power among the three engines, producing strong and exciting acceleration. Unfortunately, both the standard six-speed manual transmission and the six-speed dual-clutch automatic can feel rough. The base five-speed manual, however, has little friction and shifts with ease.

  • "The standard 1.6-liter four-cylinder is smooth but not particularly powerful. The turbocharged three-cylinder is a good bit better in this regard, delivering strong performance as well as enviable fuel economy. The ST's 197-hp motor puts both to shame, of course." -- Edmunds
  • "The 5-speed manual transmission is also a delight, with effortless gear changes. Most people will probably choose the 6-speed dual-clutch automatic (4-cylinder only), which allows manual changes but isn't as refined as the real shifter." -- Autotrader (2016)
  • "Of the three powerplants offered, the standard 120-horsepower 4-cylinder is adequate. The newer turbocharged 3-cylinder is an efficiency champ that also grants surprisingly smooth power delivery. Then there's the performance-oriented Fiesta ST. With 197 horsepower and sport-tuned suspension and steering, it's the clear athlete of the group." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)

Handling and Braking

The Fiesta's handling is a real standout that makes up for its lack of muscle, compared with others in the class. The steering is responsive with good feedback. Its handling is agile and sharp, and its suspension soaks up bumps and dips in the road, providing a comfortable ride. You'll feel stable and in control as you take turns with confidence. The sport-tuned ST trim has communicative steering and delivers a sportier drive.

  • "Hit the road in the 2017 Ford [Fiesta] and you'll find the standard suspension tuning and precise steering feel make for very satisfying driving dynamics without sacrificing ride comfort." -- Edmunds
  • "The suspension is taut yet absorbs enough road imperfections to make the ride comfortable. When a car has as much poise and agility as this, engine power is beside the point." -- Autotrader (2016)
  • "… the little car handles better than most in its class, with accurate steering and quick responses to control inputs." -- Left Lane News (2016)

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