2019 Ford Fiesta Review


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2019 Ford Fiesta Overview

Ford’s re-entry into the subcompact car market came in 2011, with the arrival of the European-designed Fiesta. Available in both sedan and hatchback body styles, the model received a refresh in 2014, and incremental updates after that. For 2019, its final year, there’s one major change.

The base engine for the Fiesta is a 1.6-liter inline-4-cylinder engine with 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque, although these ratings are with 93-octane fuel. That gets paired to a standard 5-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission (DCT). Meanwhile, there’s an optional 1.6-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine with 197 hp and 202 lb-ft for those who want more oomph. It comes exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission. While the base engine is tuned for fuel economy, the turbocharged one will hit 60 miles per hour in around 6 seconds. The Fiesta, like its cohorts, is exclusively front-wheel drive. It's rated for 27 miles per gallon city, 37 highway, and 31 combined with the base engine, or 25, 32, and 28 with the hotter turbocharged unit.

The Fiesta sedan is available in S and SE grades. The S trim comes standard with the non-turbocharged engine, 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, SYNC voice recognition, an AM/FM stereo with a CD player and 6 speakers, and a 60-40 split-folding rear seat. The SE trim adds cruise control, 15-inch aluminum wheels, a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and ambient lighting.

The hatchback body style starts at the same SE trim, but is also available as the performance-oriented ST. Not only does the ST get you the turbocharged engine, it comes with unique front and rear fascias including a blacked out grille, a performance suspension, lowered side skirts, 17-inch painted wheels, exclusive colors, bolstered seats, keyless access, and everything from the SE level. For 2019, there’s also the new ST Line trim, which comes with most of the appearance parts from the ST for less money. Heated rear seats, heated sideview mirrors, automatic temperature control, navigation, satellite radio, and a power sunroof are optional features across the entire Fiesta range.

There are no notable safety features on the Fiesta other than a standard reversing camera, stability control, torque vectoring, and the requisite set of airbags. In its most recent Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) crash test, it scored marginally for small frontal overlap, but well on everything else.

Even at the end of its life, the 2019 Ford Fiesta has some merits: the styling is still fresh and agreeable, and the ST model is one of the only true performance cars in this size class. For those lamenting the loss of Ford’s smallest car, there’s still a whole model year to go out and grab one.


Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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