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Foor Doors and a Trunk to Boot

2014 Ford Fiesta

Sometimes it’s for purely personal reasons that I select a certain car for a test drive. Like this week’s 2014 Ford Fiesta Titanium sedan, which Sales Rep Doug Carter at Howell Motors in Lockport took time to show me one day last week. For a while now I’ve had access to a pretty basic older Fiesta hatchback, and was curious what the new changes brought last year, plus what the differences might be between the hatch and the sedan (which has a traditional trunk), and also between the base model and the top of the line Titanium.

Well, that’s not completely the case. True enthusiasts will jump up and say that the ST hot-hatch is actually the top of the line, and yes, I’d love to have driven one, but a) they’re as scarce as hen’s teeth, and b) the ST is really a totally different category of car.

The dash of the new Fiesta has been freshened-up a bit, with some really nice piano black trim surrounding the audio and HVAC controls. The audio system in the Titanium model is a Sony eight-speaker setup with HD Radio and SiriusXM satellite service. The 6.5-inch color touch screen displays both the audio info and backup camera, as well as the available nav system.

The front seat of the Fiesta is roomy and easily accessed. Between the seat adjustment and steering wheel adjustment, most people should have no problem finding a comfortable driving position. The rear seat however, is another story. With the front set for my six-foot frame I wasn’t able to sit in the back behind the driver’s seat without scrunching up my legs and ducking down so my head wasn’t against the headliner. The kids should be fine back there though. And that back seat is a 60/40 folding affair which leads into an impressively-sized trunk, which also has a generous opening. It’s not the cavernous rear cargo area of the hatchback, but it is an impressive space for a sub-compact.

All Fiestas (except the ST) are equipped with a 1.6L inline four, rated at 120 hp which, depending on the model is equipped with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission (and for 2015 there is an optional 1.0L EcoBoost inline three cylinder engine which has 123 hp and is EPA-rated at 31/43 mpg city/highway). The ST has the EcoBoost 1.6L which puts out 197 hp. The test car’s 1.6L was rated 27/37.

Driving the Fiesta, at least the non-ST version, is nothing to write home about, but it’s also nothing much to complain about. Steering and brakes are responsive, pickup can best be described as adequate, and the redesigned automatic certainly performs much better than the 2012 model to which I’ve become accustomed to driving with a feathered foot so as not to “offend” the transmission.

The front end of the Fiesta was redesigned last year, bringing it more in line with the Fusion and Focus, and it’s definitely a better look. I also think that the hatchback is a much better proportioned design than the sedan, which, by the way, is available only in North America, as the rest of the world realizes the advantages of the hatchback. There is also a two-door hatch version sold across the pond, as well as a two-door called the Fiesta Van with the rear side windows blanked-out and the rear seat removed.

Pricing for the 2015 U.S. Fiesta starts at $13,865 for the S sedan and $14,365 for the S hatchback. My 2014 Titanium sedan had a list price, with options (Ruby Red clearcoat paint, automatic, power moonroof, and navigation) of $22,075 with destination. The Titanium also includes: heated front seats and outside mirrors, leather seating surfaces, rear view camera, automatic temperature control, SiriusXM radio, fog lamps, 16-inch painted aluminum wheels... and more.

Considering the whole package it’s easy to see why this little Ford is a best-seller all over the world.

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Read more of Jim Corbran's You Auto Know every other week in Artvoice, and more frequently on Artvoice Daily.

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