2014 Ford FiestaEnlarge Photo
Ford's Fiesta is proof that moving down to a smaller car doesn't involve sacrificing all the features you'd normally get in a larger car.
It's fun to drive, refined, has good gas mileage and feels more substantial than it looks--and it's getting a facelift for the 2014 model year, unveiled at this month's Paris Auto Show.
The new look brings the car in line with the upcoming Ford Fiesta and Focus ST, with a much larger, Aston Martin-like front grille, and new headlights with LED daytime running lights.
Around the side and at the back the car looks much the same as before, but new alloy wheel designs, colors and trim levels ensure the styling is suitably freshened to carry it through the next few years.
The interior sees only detail and trim changes too, but also gains equipment such as Ford's SYNC connectivity system, and in Europe, debuts Ford MyKey, letting parents set speed limits and audio volume limits for their kids--as well as preventing safety systems like traction control from being disengaged.
Most exciting is the debut of Ford's 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder EcoBoost gasoline engine.
The tiny turbocharged unit has already seen service under the hood of the larger Focus in Europe, and we've even seen it tackling race tracks in the back of a single-seat race car--but the Fiesta will be first to bring the engine to the U.S.
The engine is available in 98 and 123-horsepower formats, delivering up to 49 mpg combined on the European cycle in the Focus. EPA figures would be lower, but in the lighter Fiesta body it's likely to deliver marginally better figures.
More details on the updated Fiesta will be revealed at the Paris show, from September 29 to October 14.
Click on the link for more new cars from the 2012 Paris Auto Show.