KBB Logo Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.

Editor's Overview

The Ford Fiesta may be the only American sub-compact that can truly stand up to the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris. Slick Eurostyle looks, impressive 29/39-mpg fuel economy and true fun-to-drive chassis tuning do the trick. But the Fiesta also loads on features unexpected in this class, making it both high-value and highly pleasing.

You'll Like The 2013 Ford Fiesta If...

If you’re looking for a fuel-efficient small car, but you don’t want to sacrifice the interior quality or modern features usually found only on larger, more expensive models, the 2013 Ford Fiesta sub-compact is an easy choice.

You May Not Like The 2013 Ford Fiesta If...

If you’re all about room and high resale value, the Honda Fit trumps the Fiesta in both categories. And newer models such as the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio offer many of the same qualities at a lower price.

What's New

More than the vehicle itself, the Ford Fiesta’s order sheet has been revised for 2013 creating a new, more rational alignment of equipment and feature packages. There are now three distinct trim levels – S, SE and Titanium – each of which is available on both Sedan and Hatch body styles.

Interior Features

To find a reason to pick the Fiesta over its Asian competitors, look inside. Ford has done a masterful job with the Fiesta’s interior styling and execution, offering a number of distinctive interior choices, such as white/black leather seating, contrasting piping and plum leather seating surfaces. Soft-touch materials are where you want them (armrest, console lid, steering wheel) and high-end options include heated front seats, push-button start and multi-color selectable ambient lighting. Navigation is not available, something most of its competitors offer, but between affordable accessory units and smart phones with GPS functions, this omission does not feel serious.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Ford Fiesta subcompact comes in 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback versions. Both are functional and blessed with strong character lines, befitting the savvy young buyers Ford is after. The Hatch has been equipped and positioned as the primary model, which makes sense in this class. Thankfully, cheap-looking unpainted parts and ugly wheel covers are nowhere in sight; even the least-expensive Fiesta looks upscale. You can add sporty 17-inch aluminum wheels, keyless-entry keypads and a host of bright paint colors.

Driving Impressions

When the Fiesta was first introduced to the U.S., we expected Ford to water down the European version’s excellent chassis. But, to our delight, the great road manners remained intact. On the highway, the Fiesta delivers a ride that is both comfortable and controlled. Push the car through a curving on-ramp or twisting back road and you’ll enjoy its balance, response and communication. We’re not big fans of electric power steering, which generally compromises driving feel, but the Fiesta’s system is quite good. On the downside, the Fiesta’s 120-hp 4-cylinder engine can feel a little weak. With the 5-speed manual transmission, you can keep the revs up and wring out fair acceleration, but the automatic – though a sophisticated dual-clutch design – lacks a manual-control option so you’re at the mercy of the transmission computer for your fun and forward progress.

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRPs) of the 2013 Ford Fiesta lineup have an easy-to-remember progression: Base S Sedan, $13,995; S Hatch, $14,995; SE Sedan, $15,995, SE Hatch, $16,995; Titanium Sedan, $17,995; Titanium Hatch (wait for it!), $18,995. Loading on most every option in the book can have a Titanium Hatch topping $23,000. The 2013 Honda Fit, the Fiesta’s most direct competitor, runs $16,000-$20,000, and generally does not include many desirable features available on the Fiesta (other than navigation, which the Fiesta does not offer). We expect kbb.com’s Fair Purchase Price to reflect real-world transaction prices right around sticker price while the Fiesta remains a hot kid on the block. As for resale, we expect the Fiesta to maintain reasonable residual values, though not quite as strong as those of the proven Honda Fit.

Notable Equipment

A 2013 Ford Fiesta S sedan includes air conditioning, 4-speaker AM/FM sound system with auxiliary audio input jack, tilt/telescope steering wheel, a 5-speed manual transmission and the same fun suspension and powertrain found in every Fiesta. It also gets all the safety goodies, like electronic stability control and seven airbags – including the category’s first driver’s-side knee airbag. Base-model limitations include 15-inch covered steel wheels, roll-’em-up manual crank windows and not even the option of SYNC or SIRIUS Satellite radio.

Notable Options

A fully-loaded 2013 Ford Fiesta Titanium includes a 6-speed automatic transmission, leather seats, moonroof, keyless entry and start, voice-controlled SYNC smart phone integration, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, heated seats, satellite radio and a trip computer. Step back five or 10 years, read that list again, and try to imagine the price – and badge – on such a car.

Favorite Features

SYNCFord’s voice-controlled SYNC infotainment system continues to grow ever more robust and desirable.INTEGRATED BLIND-SPOT MIRRORSStandard on the side mirrors of every 2013 Ford Fiesta are small, convex secondary mirrors that find cars hiding in those nebulous areas between peripheral vision and mirror coverage.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Ford Fiesta’s 4-cylinder engine is capable enough, but it’s more notable for its fuel efficiency than its power. Transmission choices are a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic, Ford’s first dual-clutch transmission. Compared to a traditional automatic, the "PowerShift" unit delivers more direct engagement, faster shifts and greater fuel economy. To attain the much-hyped 40-mpg highway fuel-economy rating, you have to order the Super Fuel Economy (SFE) Package, which makes the car a bit more aerodynamic, a tad lighter and slightly less glued to the road thanks to harder mileage-maxing tires.1.6-liter inline-4120 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm112 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/39 mpg, 29/40 mpg (automatic w/SFE package)

Editors' Notes

The Ford Fiesta may be the only American sub-compact that can truly stand up to the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris. Slick Eurostyle looks, impressive 29/39-mpg fuel economy and true fun-to-drive chassis tuning do the trick. But, in addition, the Fiesta loads on features unexpected in this class, including wild interior and exterior colors, a version of Ford’s SYNC audio and communications system, electronic stability control, remote engine start and a dual-clutch automatic transmission. For 2013, the Ford Fiesta is available as a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback, in S, SE and Titanium trim packages. Prices range from $13,995 for a base S Sedan to over $23,000 for a loaded Titanium Hatch. It’s lots of car for the money.

Road Test Video Reviews

2013 Ford Fiesta Owner Reviews

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Ford Fiesta: Fun Car with a Difficult Transmission

2013 Ford Fiesta SE

Overall I like my Fiesta. The only problem it has is the type of transmission. If I had known that the PowerShift transmission Ford put in these cars was difficult, I would have purchased a different car. After driving for an extended period of time, the car shudders as it changes gears during acceleration. In stop-and-go traffic, it can be a nightmare. More than once has the shuddering or lack of acceleration nearly gotten me into an accident. However, when the transmission is working okay, like after I first turn it on, it's a fun car to drive and has a nice bit of get-up-and-go for such a small car. I like the SYNC system, which controls the Bluetooth and auxiliary functions. The car is very sleek inside, even if there is not a lot of room. I am 5'11' and I fit fine with the driver's seat all the way back, and there's enough room in the back on the passenger side for my child's car seat (even though her feet rest up on the back of the seat already). My husband is 6'9' and while he can fit in the seat in an emergency it is not comfortable at all for him. Like I said, I like the car other than its transmission issues and I would suggest this car only for someone who does not do a lot of daily driving in any kind of rush-hour traffic.

- Shelley W

Buyer beware, it is a gamble.

2013 Ford Fiesta SE

I would like to start off by saying I originally made my purchase due to high miles per gallon, and cheapest to insure and I cannot deny that this car has easily met and exceeded my every expectation. Unfortunately, that is where all the benefits end. I needed to get a new transmission or transmission chip, even though I bought the car used, thank god it was still under factory warranty because that would have cost me around $1,500. And then I had to get my heat fixed because all the seals broke, which is not covered under any warranty and that did cost me around $1,300. The electronics then shorted, and thank god again that it was still under manufacturer warranty they had to replace everything, which would have cost me another 1500. I want to love this car so badly but it is not making it easy. I have the upgraded seats which I love because they add a third height option, which I didn't even know that was, allowing for perfect customisation and comfort. I also had some seal in the engine block break which cost me 300. This is all within a 2-year time frame in which I made the original purchase.

- Jason L

This car is low quality and cheaply made and it shows

2013 Ford Fiesta S

This car has been falling apart shortly after I had purchased it. I bought the car when it was only one year old with a clean title. Within the next 2 years, BOTH door handles on the inside just broke off of the door panel. When I took my car in to get repaired, they wanted to charge me hundreds of dollars to fix it because it was cosmetic. Since then, I have just had to keep gluing them back on. The engine rattles loudly at all times, and even after taking it into the dealership to be checked out several times, there has been no change. In addition, a couple years ago, the screw just fell out of the sun visor on the driver's side without even being touched. Shortly after that, the same happened on the passenger side. The car is small on the inside and doesn't really fit more than two people in the back comfortably. It does not have very much power behind it and does not provide a smooth ride. The only thing I like about this car is the gas mileage I get. I can make a 5.5 hour drive on less than a full tank. Also, with it being so compact, I can pretty much park anywhere.

- Cheyenne F

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