2018 Fiesta New Car Test Drive
The Ford Fiesta is a tiny car with a tiny engine, but nimble handling makes it fun to drive while its dimensions make it easy to park. Fiesta comes in sedan and hatchback versions. Three engines are available, ranging from frugal to fun.
We prefer the hatch.
The standard engine is a 1.6-liter four cylinder making 120 horsepower that isn't quick but feels peppy enough with the 5-speed manual transmission, if you work at keeping the revs up. The Fiesta only weighs 2600 pounds so that helps. It gets an EPA-rated 31 miles per gallon Combined city and highway with the five-speed. There's also an available 6-speed dual-clutch automatic manual.
The newest engine is Ford's tiny 1.0-liter three cylinder, turbocharged to make 123 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. You still have to keep the revs up, with the five-speed manual gearbox, but the little three-cylinder likes it. Before the engine was put in the Fiesta, it was successful in Europe, where fuel mileage matters a lot because of high taxes on gasoline. The EPA rates it 36 mpg Combined; we got 41.9 miles per gallon on a 350-mile road trip that was two-thirds highway and one-third city.
The turbocharged Fiesta ST is indeed a fiesta when underway, with a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine making 197 horsepower and 214 impressive pound-feet of torque, in overboost mode. It only comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, along with tighter steering, suspension and brakes, with summer tires. A Fiesta ST can easily take on the Mini Cooper S, Hyundai Veloster Turbo, and Volkswagen GTI, three hot hatches. The little hotrod ST gets 29 Combined mpg.
Crash test scores are good with NHTSA and IIHS.
2018 may be the last model year for Fiesta.
The 2018 Ford Fiesta comes in S, SE, Titanium, and ST models.
The S sedan and hatchback are basic, with rollup windows and 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, but they do have air conditioning, Bluetooth, a 6-speaker sound system, adjustable steering wheel, and a rearview camera. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard, and the three-cylinder engine is optional.
The Fiesta SE hatch gets better fabric upholstery, plus power windows, cruise control, keyless ignition, ambient lighting and theft alarm.
Titanium adds leather, heated seats, automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, a Sony audio system, and Sync 3 infotainment system. It uses Ford's PowerShift 6-speed twin-clutch automatic manual.
Fiesta ST features performance upgrades to the engine, suspension, steering and brakes, plus sport seats, black interior trim, aluminum pedals, black headlamp rims, tall spoiler, special bodywork, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Recaro seats are an option.