Suggestion No. 2 – 2014 Ford Fiesta S Sedan
Stepping up one rung on the size ladder, Ford’s B-Segment Fiesta is considerably larger as well as more powerful and spacious than the Chevy. Where the Spark is reminiscent of a clown car, the Fiesta actually feels like a real vehicle.
This Blue Oval subcompact is offered in two flavors: sedan and hatchback. Now as much as we love the versatility of the hatch body style, we’re going to suggest Carlos opt for the four-door model instead. *Gasp* What is the meaning of this automotive heresy?! How dare we?! Well, there’s a damn-good reason for making this recommendation: the sedan model is 500 bucks cheaper.
Value is king this week and the fun little Fiesta four-door starts at a totally affordable $14,925, including $825 for shipping and handling. This is the most basic version of the car, though you can step up to SE and Titanium models; beyond these offerings the hatch is available as a sporty ST version as well.
With the entry-level car you get some fairly basic equipment including 15-inch steel wheels, six-way adjustable driver’s seat, a CD/MP3 audio system and Ford’s SYNC technology. Intermittent windshield wipers as well as a tilt-and-telescoping tiller are also included at no extra cost.
Beyond all of these features three exterior paint colors are available: black, white and, splitting the difference, silver. If you want blue, chartreuse or hot pink you’re going to have to get some Krylon because Ford’s unwilling to help.
Regrettably a power moonroof is not offered on the base S version of the Fiesta; it’s the only feature Carlos mentioned that he’d really want. To get one he’d have to step up to the SE model and then pony up an extra $795 to get a hole cut the car’s lid; the Chevrolet Sonic does not offer one at all, which is why we didn’t bring it up earlier. All told the cheapest Fiesta with a moonroof would cost about $16,504 out the door, roughly $1,600 more than the absolute bargain-basement version. He can decide for himself if it’s worth the extra outlay.
Under its hood the S-level Fiesta we’re recommending is motivated by a smooth-running 1.6-liter four-cylinder that just purrs like a kitten. It puts out 120 hp and 112 lb-ft of torque and is matched to a five-speed manual transmission. A 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine is available in SE models, but it’s an extra $995 above and beyond the pricier trim level.
SEE ALSO: 2014 Ford Fiesta Five Door SE Review
That 1.6-liter-five-speed combo should deliver 27 miles to a gallon of gasoline in urban conditions and up to 38 on the interstate. Combined this Fiesta should return 31 mpg. If you’re curious, the three-banger averages a claimed 37 mpg.
As for safety the Fiesta is “Good” across the board with one exception, that damnable small-overlap test. In that category it’s only rated “Marginal.”