Ford's smallest car in the United States, the Fiesta, doesn't have a hybrid powerplant and it doesn't plug into an electric outlet. The 2014 Fiesta doesn't even come with a fuel-conscious continuously variable transmission.
Yet, the affordable, sprightly, five-seat Fiesta ranks as a top nameplate in the United States in fuel economy among 2014 cars with conventional gasoline engines.
The Fiesta's best fuel mileage rating from the federal government is 32 miles per gallon in city driving and 45 mpg on the highway. This combined 37-mpg mileage is for a Fiesta that's fitted with a new-for-2014, 1-liter, three-cylinder, turbocharged, gasoline engine that generates 123 horsepower.
But even 2014 Fiestas with Ford's 1.6-liter, naturally aspirated four cylinder that develops 120 horsepower can be rated as high as 30/41 mpg by the federal government.
For 2014, there's other news for the Fiesta, which is sold as a sedan and five-door hatchback. The front styling on all Fiestas gets a bit of an Aston Martin treatment with new headlight shapes and prominent grille. There's new equipment, including Ford's MyKey that provides personalized controls over maximum driving speed and audio volume.
Best of all, the Fiesta can be tailored with many convenience, connectivity and luxury features — even heated leather-covered seats.
Arguably, the most stylish and versatile of Fiestas is the hatchback, which was the test model.
Starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $15,395 for a base, front-wheel drive, 2014 Fiesta S Hatchback with 120-horsepower, four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual. The lowest retail price for a 2014 Fiesta hatchback with automatic is $16,490, and this includes the same 120-horse four cylinder.
These base prices are in line with competing small hatchbacks. The 2014 Nissan Versa Note, for example, has a $14,800 starting MSRP, including destination charge. But the Versa Note's four cylinder generates less power — 109 horsepower. And the 2014 Hyundai Accent hatchback, with its four-cylinder, 138-horsepower engine, has a starting retail price of $15,705.
The test 2014 Fiesta five door was a comfortable size for driving in the city.
At 13.3 feet long from bumper to bumper, the Fiesta hatchback is subcompact in the government's classification list and slips easily into many tight urban parking spaces.
Yet, the Fiesta hatch is not tiny, the way a Scion iQ three-door car is.
The Fiesta is long enough to allow a competitive 14.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which is more than the 12.8 cubic feet in the Fiesta sedan trunk.