Under the Hood of the 2018 Ford Fiesta

Known most recently for the 2018 Focus RS, Ford certainly offers a surprising array of sporty yet capable vehicles. From off-road vehicles like the Raptor and the F-series truck lineup to the law enforcement powerhouses of the Escape and Taurus, Ford keeps the American Dream alive.

The Ford Fiesta, though a long-time model for the well-known marque, is an affordably viable option, offering customers an attractive, practical package. As a subcompact model, it’s just one in a trio of Ford’s sedan offerings. It’s bigger brother, the Ford Fusion, certainly has made a name for itself as a capable family sedan. Check out both of these models, as well as the Ford Focus, the next time you’re at the dealership.

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Performance Specifications

2018 Fiesta models come equipped with either a 120-horsepower 1.6L inline-four engine capable of 112 lb-ft of torque, or a turbocharged EcoBoost version of the same engine, sporting 197 horsepower and 202 lb-ft torque. Engines are either mated to a five-speed manual, six-speed auto, or, in the case of the ST hatch version, a six-speed manual transmission. Ford has discontinued the 1.0L three-cylinder EcoBoost engine as of 2018.

Select 2018 Ford Fiesta models come with FordPass, an application for your phone that allows you to find parking, compare gas prices around town, and receive information reports about your vehicle.

Customers can purchase the 2018 Ford Fiesta in the following colors:

  • Lightning Blue
  • Bohai Bay Mint
  • Hot Pepper Red Metallic
  • Outrageous Green Metallic
  • Ingot Silver
  • Magnetic
  • Oxford White
  • Shadow Black
  • White Platinum Metallic

Fuel Efficiency

With one basic engine option at the heart of it, the Fiesta naturally-aspirated inline-four ranks in at 27 city and 35 highway EPA-estimated mpg. Turbocharged models (of the same engine) drop a bit with a 26 city and 33 highway mpg.

Kelley Blue Book rates the Fiesta six out of seven competitors for fuel economy, and without a hybrid option, it’s easy to see why. This is the biggest weakness of the Ford Fiesta, especially with the entire market moving towards electric and hybrid models.

Grzegorz Czapski / Shutterstock

Entertainment and Safety Features

Rated four out of five stars by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2018 Fiesta rated “Good” in all IIHS categories except for the “IIHS Small Overlap Front Test Results.” J.D. Power rated the Fiesta between two and 4.5 in each category, ranking it high in powertrain quality but lower in overall quality and initial quality.

Ford offers SYNC 3 and SYNC AppLink, voice-activated technology that replaced the MyFord Touch system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to keep you connected as well. The standard rearview camera keeps you safe backing out of your driveway, parking spot, or anywhere you take your Fiesta. The AdvanceTrac Electronic Stability Control (ESC) prevents the car from slipping and sliding in the event of snow, ice, rain, or any unstable road conditions. For those who live among steep hills, Ford has also equipped the Fiesta with hill start assist.

All 2018 Fiesta models, excluding the ST, are offered in a sedan and hatch version. The ST model is only offered as a hatch.

Fiesta S models are front-wheel drive and start at $14,205. With 15-inch wheels, halogen headlamps, a 4.2-inch LCD center screen, and cloth seats, the Fiesta S comes standard with a five-speed manual, but a six-speed automatic is optional.

Edmunds and Consumer Reports both recommend the SE version, which has an optional power moonroof, rear decklid spoiler, chrome handles, cruise control, and a navigation system. With power windows and 16-inch wheels, the SE sedan and hatch are both offered with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

Top-of-the-line Titanium models come standard with 16-inch wheels, a six-speed automatic, a leather steering wheel, push button start, leather seats, and an auto-dim rearview mirror.

Fiesta ST versions ride on 17-inch wheels driven by a six-speed manual. With Recaro partial leather seats, optional red brake calipers, and a twin chrome-tipped exhaust, this sporty hatch will be sure to have you drifting around corners in style. Not to mention those “Race-Inspired Aluminum Pedals.”

How the Ford Fiesta Compares to the Competition

“If you need lots of rear-seat space,” says Kelley Blue Book, “the latest in accident avoidance and driver-assist features or best-in-class resale figures, you might be happier in a Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent or Kia Rio.” Experts also cite the “cutting-edge features” of the Toyota Yaris, though the Fiesta performs ahead of the Chevrolet Sonic, Nissan Versa, and Hyundai Accent.

Consumer Reports notes the “interior fit and finish and equipment levels are among the best of the class.” As a competitor in the subcompact class, the Fiesta’s rivals include those listed above, as well as the Mitsubishi Mirage, Mini Cooper, Chevrolet Spark, Volkswagen Beetle, Toyota Prius C, and Fiat 500.

The current Fiesta model has not changed much since 2011, and it’s probably about time for it to get a refresh. Though it is one of Ford’s lesser models in terms of capabilities, features, and price, it does offer the average customer an affordable option. Honda offers a similar package with the Fit, but interior quality is not as spectacular as it could be. Between the Fiat and the Mini Cooper — and arguably the VW Beetle — you’ve certainly got a trio of compact cars that will get you, one other person, and perhaps two packed bags for a weekend trip to wherever you want to go but trying to pack a week’s worth of groceries in the back seat just isn’t going to work out well.

Each of the other models in this class, such as the Mirage, Rio, Spark, and Prius C, offer their own unique set of options. You’ll obviously get better fuel economy from the Prius, but the Spark is a peppy little car for its tiny packaging. Mitsubishi seems to be losing its edge in the U.S. Market, and while Kia has certainly come back to the market with more refined options, the Kia Rio is still no show-stopper.

In the end, it’s really about the best value, efficiency, and features. Whether you’re picking out your teenager’s first car or simply looking for a car on a budget, the 2018 Ford Fiesta is an option worth considering.

Pros

  • Sporty handling
  • Advanced technology for its price
  • Quiet ride
  • Affordability

Cons

  • Limited interior space
  • Poor ride quality in base models
  • Expensive top-of-the-line models
  • Lack of engine power
  • No hybrid option

The 2018 Ford Fiesta can be both efficient and sporty. Whether you prefer the sedan or a hot turbo hatch, the Fiesta has the model for you. The next time you’re at your local Ford dealership, take the 2018 Fiesta out for a spin!

Grzegorz Czapski / Shutterstock

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