Having owned a 2013 Ford Fiesta with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, I’m quite familiar with the vehicle inside and out. My biggest complaint about that car was its automatic transmission, which was one of the most horrible transmissions I’ve experienced in a modern car. Ford tried to fix it, but it was still bad and I got rid of the car after a few months of ownership.
A few months back, we got to spend a week with the 2014 Fiesta ST which was an absolute blast to drive but this past week, we tried something completely different. Our team got to spend a week in the 2014 Ford Fiesta featuring the award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine.
The 2014 Ford Fiesta SFE may be missing a cylinder and a bit of displacement but it certainly doesn’t show when you drive the vehicle. Believe it or not, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost is actually more powerful than the Ford Fiesta 1.6-liter which I had previously owned for eight months. The three-cylinder 1.0-liter EcoBoost pumps out an impressive 123 horsepower and 148 lb ft of peak torque. The drive is exceptionally smooth and surprisingly quiet. We didn’t even notice the fact that this vehicle only runs on three-cylinders.
Simply put, this is the most fuel-efficient vehicle that Ford has ever created in its 109-year history. The 1.0-liter EcoBoost is Ford’s first three-cylinder engine and it features a slew of technologies never seen before in a Ford. Things such as an offset crankshaft, variable oil pump, split cooling system, external-balancing, small & responsive turbocharger, and even a timing belt that is immersed in engine oil. The result of these changes means that the 1.0-liter has 25 percent fewer moving parts when compared to the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. Less moving parts will also lead to lower maintenance costs and fewer chances of mechanical mishaps.
First of all, the 2014 Ford Fiesta SFE 1.0-liter EcoBoost is only available with a five-speed manual gearbox. This little Ford Fiesta has absolutely no issues getting up to speed thanks to its modest curb weight and early-onset peak torque. I even had a little fun getting the tires to chirp once in a while. The way it pulls, you might even think you’re driving a “diesel-like” vehicle. The five-speed isn’t the best to work with, with its long throws and a relatively vague clutch but with that being said, it’s geared perfectly for the 1.0-liter engine. In an ideal situation, a six-speed manual transmission would be better for highway driving.
At idle, the engine does sound a bit “clattery” and the sound created when accelerating hard is not the greatest but remember it’s a tiny engine with only three cylinders. But when at cruising speeds, the engine is very quiet even when reaching the higher rpm range. I can easily live with these minor complaints. The Fiesta did have body roll around the corners but I would recommend the Fiesta ST if you want a stiff ride.
Ford rates the Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost at 32mpg (7.35L/100km) city and 45 mpg (5.23L/100km) on the highway. During our test drive, the city rating from Ford was bang on but our highway numbers were actually a bit better. Believe it or not, I managed to get 47mpg (5.0L/100km) on the highway.
In my opinion, the Ford Fiesta is the best looking vehicle in its class. The Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Chevy Sonic, and Mazda2 just don’t pop out at me. Our test vehicle featured 15-inch wheels, chrome grille, a roof spoiler, and came in this bright Green Envy Metallic paint which certainly turned heads. The kids in parking lots especially loved it. Not sure if that’s a good thing or or not.
The interior on the 2014 Fiesta SFE is well laid out and functional. Although not as nice as the top of the line versions such as the Titanium or ST, it still does the job well enough. I do wish it had a bit more storage space for the driver and front passenger for odds and ends. The dashboard is a mixture of soft-touch plastic and hard plastics. Our test vehicle featured heated front seats, charcoal black cloth seats, electronic auto temperature control, and ambient lighting.
Overall, I really enjoyed driving the 2014 Ford Fiesta SFE 1.0 EcoBoost. For only having three-cylinders and 1.0-liter engine, I was thoroughly impressed with the drive, power delivery, and smoothness of the vehicle. In my opinion, the five-speed manual is much better than the six-speed automatic found on the 2013 Fiesta. Our test vehicle with its limited options is priced at $18,970 plus $1,565 Destination & Delivery charges.