2013 Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback

fiesta2Reviewed by Susan Frissell

The five-passenger 2013 Ford Fiesta hatchback carries over from 2012 with only minor upgrades, and a new top-of-the-line model, the Titanium (standard leather seats). We prefer the hatchback to the Fiesta sedan, both in looks and sportiness. Extra room is a plus too. Offered in three trims: S, SE, Titanium, Fiesta competes with some powerful subcompacts, including Hyundai Accent, Toyota Yaris and Fiat 500. Pricing runs from $14,077-$16,049. Our test SE hatchback topped out at $18,925.

Power is provided by Ford’s 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, with 120 horsepower. The five-speed manual transmission shifts effortlessly and climbs to a decent on-ramp speed. Ford’s advanced six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission is optional. Much more fun in this little runner when you’ve got the manual speed, though.

Standard features remain the same on all models and include A/C, power body-colored mirrors, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, capless fuel filter system, auxiliary audio input jack and electronic power-assisted steering. The higher trim levels (SE, Titanium) throw in cruise, keyless entry, SYNC hands-free communication/entertainment system, power window/door locks and satellite radio. Drivers can opt for extras like heated seats, passive/entry/start system, power moonroof and leather seating. For those wanting maximum efficiency, Ford offers a Super Fuel Economy (SFE) package.

Safety features include AdvanceTrac electronic stability control, seven airbags (driver knee airbag), tire pressure monitoring system, engine immobilizer and four-wheel anti-lock braking system. Our test SE came equipped with two options: Equipment Group 201A (SE appearance package, SYNC w/MyFord Touch/Satellite radio, 16’ painted aluminum wheels ($995), and comfort package (heated seat first row cushion, dual power heated side mirrors, electronic auto temperature control, navigation ($795).

Fiesta is a quiet, smooth-riding subcompact hatchback. Whether you’re driving consists of mostly around town, or over the long haul, this is an easy little car to drive and maneuver. With Ford’s tilt/telescoping steering wheel and adjustable seating, drivers of most sizes will feel comfortable behind the wheel. Although a subcompact, Fiesta doesn’t feel small, or so insignificant that it can’t take on the likes of SUV’s and crowded streets. One doesn’t tire, either, of driving it around, parking it and getting in/out.

This writer can remember 30+ years ago talking with a female race car driver who had become a consultant for a tire manufacturer. When asked what her favorite car was, she answered her ‘beloved Fiesta,’ with 200,000+ miles on it.  At that time, probably a much more insignificant car than in 2013, her Fiesta possessed every attribute she expected a good car to have! No doubt for many original Fiesta owners, the same good memories are shared.fiesta

Probably the best value in its class, Fiesta offers a lot of connectivity and technical features not usually found in budge-priced small cars. Although at times confusing to use, Ford’s SYNC system appeals to younger buyers, as does the possibilities for customizing the car. Those into bacon can even order a stripes and wraps graphic through Ford’s Custom Graphics Dept!

Simplified and streamlined for 2013, Fiesta boasts the best fuel economy in its class, bringing in 40 mpg when driving on the highway. The trunk in the 5-passenger is generous and the back seats fold down, although there is a big sloop when the seats are dropped. The interior cabin is sporty and pleasant, and the rear seats offer enough legroom for most passengers, even though headroom suffers some.

Fiesta’s strengths include perky performance, segment leading fuel economy, its advanced PowerShift automatic transmission and stylish interior. This is the year for Ford with all their innovation and stylish offerings. Perhaps they will lure previous Ford owners back into the showroom.

SPECS

MSRP: $16,050; total vehicle price $18,925; destination $795

Engine: 1.6-liter TIVCT Duratech DOHC I4, 120 hp.

Transmission: 5-speed manual w/OD, FWD

Wheelbase: 98.0 in.

Length: 160.1 in.

Width: 67.8 in.

Height: 58.0 in.

Weight: 2,537 lbs.

Tires: 185/60R15

Wheels: 16-inch painted aluminum

EPA fuel economy: 29/39 mpg.

Warranty: 3 yrs./36,000 bumper/bumper; 5 yrs./60,000 powertrain; 5 yrs.,/60,000 roadside assistance

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