I was going to try out a nice small sports car for this week, but the dealership (who will not be named) was not very professional and I would not go back for anything, even if I wanted a car from that manufacturer. So instead, this week I bring you the 2014 Ford Fiesta Titanium, which was as good to drive as the Corolla. The base sedan model starts at $15K while the hatchbacks cost $600 more, and the most expensive model is the ST that comes only in hatchback form at a little over $22K. The sedan is a little bigger than the hatchback in length but you get more space in the back, especially when the back seats are down. If I had a list of the best affordable cars to get, this one will be in the top 10, if not top 5.
Normally, I wouldn’t consider American cars due to the interior design being a bit disorienting compared to the outside, which the Fiesta has inherited a little. Its interior dimensions are comparable to the Toyota Yaris 5-Door. Unfortunately I have not driven the new Yaris so I can’t say if it is better or worse, but at least you don’t have to say you are driving a Toyota when you have a Fiesta. Both these cars are versatile enough and cheap, but I have not seen them nearly as much as their bigger brothers, the Corolla and the Focus.
The Fiesta has an energetic 1.6L straight-4 pushing 120 hp into either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic into the front wheels, giving a surprising acceleration without having it stress out. The manual gearbox is very nice. A soft clutch lets you have fun without getting too tired, and the best part was being able to get through the entire parking lot without stalling. You might think that’s not hard at all, but I didn’t step on the accelerator once. I just let off on the clutch, and it moved quickly enough to get me out of the dealership. This is another great car to start off in for new drivers wanting to learn manual driving. Like all the other hatchbacks, if you get the 5-door variant, it is very fun to drive. The best thing about this car is the fuel economy, as it gives a combined 32 MPG, and with a 12 gallon fuel tank, you get over 350 miles per fill up (based on given data, results may vary).
Getting back to the interior, there are a lot of standard features with the Titanium models so here are the options: Navigation with SiriusXM Traffic and TravelLink, power moonroof, and automatic transmission. Of course, there are different non-standard packages but they are more for convenience and aesthetics, such as the smoker’s package or the lower door graphic package. With the building tool in the Ford website, the only practical feature I found was the $795 Navigation. The standard SYNC with MyFord Touch has turn-by-turn directions, which is good enough but lacks a map. It’s a far stretch to complain about, but I like having a map to look at. There really isn’t much to complain about overall, since you get push-button start with keyless entry, a rear view camera, and Sony sound system (I’m a big fan of Sony) with a nicely designed dashboard. Did I mention yet that these features are standard? The most I can complain is the plastic feel of the interior panels, but I wouldn’t care at such a low price. Every detail in the car is made to fit and keep you confortable while driving. Seats are comfortable and suspension is versatile so a long drive through the city or on the highway won’t be a pain. You get nice visibility all around to ensure a sense of security while driving a small car. The best part for me is the interior ambient lighting that just bathes you in smooth blue light.
When the new Fiesta came out, I was drawn to it since I do adore small cars, and upon sitting behind the wheel of one, I placed it in my list of top ten favorite cars to own. It’s great for a small commute and spacious enough to take you, a loved one and your luggage on a trip down the shore. One more thing that really makes the new Fiesta stand out is the Aston Martin grill look-a-like, making heads turn when you drive by.
The vehicle was provided by Malouf Ford in North Brunswick and I thank Marlo Hirshon for her help with information at the dealership.
by Xavier Poon