As I posted this past week, I picked up a 2014 Fiesta SFE. Now that I’ve been driving it around for the better part of the week, I have come to the conclusion that Ford made (sadly, they don’t make the SFE package any more, shame) a fantastic little car that I am proud to call my own for the foreseeable future.
The particulars on this one are; it’s a 2014 red candy sedan with now 44k on the odometer. In fact, it’s still running on the factory tires (which are getting replaced next week). This is by a great margin the newest car I’ve ever owned. It is even still has the damn power train warranty. All this for the princely sum of $6000 and taxes. Stealing would be putting it lightly (relative to the few other SFE models for sale).
But I’ll be honest, I have never been drawn the the fiesta at all. I’ve read of the reviews and it is definitely the car to get in its segment. But I’ve never given the subcompact genre much look. I’ve always felt that it was worth it to step up to the size above because you get such better value for money. Bigger size, higher quality trim, nicer engines. I’ve always felt that you only chose a subcompact because you are on a tight budget and needed something with a warranty. So why all of a sudden did I find myself driving 3 hours each way on a moments notice? This is why
That there lady’s and gentlemen, its a 1 liter (or litre for those across the pond), 3 cylinder turbo engine. So small in fact, the block can fit on a sheet of A4 legal paper.It develops in this application, 125 hp and 145 lbs-ft of torque
Its a petty damn innovative engine. It runs a oil bathed timing belt, so its good for 150,000 miles. It has a ICE equivalent of a regen braking system that only charges the battery when you are decelerating. It has the exhaust manifold integrated into the head to both improve warm up time and efficiency when running. It also has a specially developed turbo that spins to nearly 250,000 rpm from continental. Then instead of using a balance shaft to counter the imbalance of the 3 cyclinder design that adds weight a robs power, it used a bias weighted flywheel.
As a result this thing got 44 mpg on the cruise back from San Diego. After a week of in town drive, that number dipped to a paltry 39 mpg.
But this is not some once trick pony. The driving experience is downright ridiculous for such a minuscule engine. Once that little baby gets about 2,000 rpm, it pulls, and pulls and pulls. I suppose you can thank that itsy bitsy turbo that comes paired with your 3 cylinders.
Getting up to 30 takes no time at all thanks to that abundance of torque. 0-60 is quoted in about 8 or 9 seconds, but it feels a lot faster than that. Probably because your having to much fun while thrashing it. Once that engine gets above 4krpm it starts to sing, and boy does she like to rev. Not quite a triumph 3 cylinder wail, but of the same lineage. Best of all, you can keep it up in the rev range for however long you want, since it only comes paired with a 5 speed. No awful Ford DCT nightmares in sight.
Handling and steering a fantastic as well. The steering is electric, but very communicative, not quite Porsche good, but getting there. The suspension is also great for such an economy car. you can probably thank the 15 inch wheels for that. And thanks to its 2600 lbs weight, it can carry you a fun speed through corners no problem at all.
Brakes are decent. Typical of this segment, you get disc’s up front and drums in the rear. Not real a problem though since they don’t have much weight to haul to a stop. Might grab a set up off an ST at some point to upgrade the appearance along with some nice wheels. But for now, I am content with their honest nature.
Interior is a step up from the basic fiesta but it’s not quite the solid interior of my old A4. You do get leather (or faux leather, not sure) steering wheel and shift knob for rowing your 5 speeds. Its got all the basic toys you’d expect from a 2014 model. Bluetooth, cruise, power windows and mirrors, auto headlights, heated seats (which will take your ass from rare to well done in about 30 seconds), hill start assist, keyless entry, auto climate control and so forth.
The interior is still showing its roots though, the doors are light, plastic is meh (although better than other cars at this price point) and the fabric (no leather) seats aren’t supremely comfortable, but again not bad. I am coming from an Audi, so my views might be slightly bias.
Other jeers? Not much honestly. I would have preferred a hatch over a sedan. I think they look better and have more usable space. And am I not sure on the candy red color. On my bike it looks great, but here I am not so sure. But I don’t hate it either. I guess for what I paid, I have no grounds to complain at all.
All in all, I am enamored with this little ‘red rocket’. I hesitate to use the name my fiancee gave it (I don’t know what bothers me about car names), but little Rossie here gets thumbs up from me all day long. Supremely economical, great fun to drive and modern looks and features my broke ass could once only dream of.
TLDR: Fun lightweight economical car with an great little engine.
PS. Struggling with picture uploading. Will continue to fight kinja with edits.