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 |  Mar 21 2014, 3:44 PM

Suggestion No. 2 – 2014 Ford Fiesta S Sedan

Information Card -- Ford FiestaStepping 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.”

  • Rickers

    You guys should really get an AutoGuide Crown Vic!

  • J Mac

    There is only one right answer: the Honda Fit

  • Shifty

    If he’s looking for cheap… how about the Mitsubishi Mirage?

  • ErnieD

    Rented a 2013 Spark last summer, and did some research on them enough to invest in a ’14 at the end of the year. That was before all of the great safety ratings started coming in. Put 4,500M on it and am averaging 35MPG overall. No issues of any kind so far, and the only difference I notice is the CVT transmission is smoother, gets better mileage and is a little less noisy than the previous model’s 4 Speed AT. The CVT’s only true drawback is when you first take it out on the road to start the day, it takes a while to set itself, and then zips along just fine. As far as highway trips go, I felt more intimidated riding in the Ford Escorts we previously owned. It feels similar to one of the early model Toyota Yaris I rented in FLA. Only 6 inches shorter!