2013 Ford Fiesta Review and Prices
The 2013 Ford Fiesta is the best car for you if you want a uniquely styled small car with impressive fuel economy, affordable pricing, and fun driving manners.
The 2013 Ford Fiesta is likely to gain a higher-performance ST model packing one of Ford’s turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engines. The 2013 Fiesta ST would likely come as a two-door hatchback, adding a third body style to Fiesta’s carryover four-door sedan and four-door hatchback models. All 2013 Fiestas should continue to appeal to younger buyers with a winning combination of distinctive exterior styling, playful handling, and stellar fuel economy -- including a version rated 40 mph on the highway. The 2013 Fiesta also should be distinguished by a wide range of tech and dress-up features, too.
Should you wait for the 2013 Ford Fiesta or buy a 2012 Ford Fiesta? Wait for the 2013 Fiesta if you’re panting for the party promised by the 2013 Fiesta ST, a lightweight subcompact with some 160-180 turbocharged horsepower. Buy a 2012 Fiesta if your tastes run to one of the more sedate but still-entertaining mainstream models. They’re not likely to see substantive changes for model-year 2013, and you’ll avoid the typical new model-year price bump.
2013 Ford Fiesta Changes back to top
Styling: The 2013 Ford Fiesta should again come in distinctive-looking sedan and four-door hatchback body styles, with a two-door hatchback likely to be added in the form of the higher-performance ST version. The styling of the 2013 Fiesta sedan and four-door hatchback should remain unchanged from their model-year 2011 U.S. debut, save perhaps for a new wheel design and/or fresh paint colors.
The 2013 Fiesta will continue to share its basic structure – called a platform -- with the Mazda 2. Both cars were developed when Ford and Mazda had a closer working relationship, though the Mazda comes only as a four-door hatchback with its own styling, engine, and components. The Fiesta was sold overseas before coming to the U.S. in slightly Americanized form for the 2011 model year. It competes here with such subcompacts as the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Chevrolet Sonic, and Hyundai Accent.
The 2013 Fiesta will continue among the more distinctively styled cars in the class. It helped bring to the U.S. Ford’s “kinetic” design themes, which subsequently made their way into the Ford Focus compact, which followed the Fiesta for model-year 2012, and will be evident in the 2013 Ford Fusion midsize sedan. The look emphasizes a trendy big-mouth grille ensemble and bodies consisting of a series of flowing forms.
Though both the 2013 Fiesta sedan and hatchback will continue to ride the same 98-inch wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear axles) the sedan’s body will remain about a foot longer overall than the hatchback to accommodate a useable trunk. The sedan looks disproportionate from certain angles, and while the hatchback is arguably more attractive, its pinched back window tends to limit the driver’s rearward visibility.
The 2013 Ford Fiesta ST’s expected two-door hatchback style should give it a more tightly packed and rounded appearance. It’ll have an upswept tail is capped by an integrated rear lip spoiler and will likely be treated to an aggressive grille and aero body tweaks to set it apart from the rest of the 2013 Fiesta line.
Occupants of any 2013 Fiesta should again be treated to a nicely designed interior finished in materials richer in look and feel than the car’s pricing might suggest. Gauges should remain large and legible, with the dashboard’s center stack of controls styled to resemble a mobile phone -- one with buttons and a keypad instead, not a touchscreen-dominated smartphone. Overall, the effect is that buyers downsizing from larger models to save on fuel costs probably won’t feel as if they’ve settled for a flimsy econobox.
But this is still a subcompact car, so front-seaters will continue to enjoy ample room while rear seat legroom remain at a premium, particularly with the front seats set more than halfway back. At best, Fiesta’s back seat is suitable for kids and shorter adults. Front or rear, some occupants are likely to complain of insufficient seat comfort on longer trips – unless Ford revises the cushion shape and density for model-year 2013.
Cargo space should remain sufficiently large to accommodate purchases from most shopping trips, though the hatchback’s cargo versatility will likely again be shortchanged by rear seats that don’t fold sufficiently flat to create a large enough load floor.
The 2013 Ford Fiesta should again be offered in multiple trim levels. The sedan will likely continue with the value-leading S model, the better-equipped, volume-selling SE, and the top SEL. Expect the four-door hatchback to again be offered in SE and SES trim. The two-door ST hatchback will probably stand alone as a single model.
Mechanical: The 2013 Ford Fiesta will retain its front-wheel-drive layout. All but the ST model will again use an all-aluminum 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with variable camshaft timing but without the latest in advanced engine tech, direct fuel injection. This engine will likely retain ratings of 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque, which is about average among subcompact cars.
While this engine feels sufficiently peppy around town, it works hard to get the car up to highway speeds with authority. Though top rivals are now using six-speed manual gearboxes, the standard transmission for 1.6-liter 2013 Fiestas will likely continue to be a five-speed manual. And we’ll continue to recommend it as the choice for drivers who want to wring every last but of power out of this diminutive engine.
The extra-cost alternative is Ford’s PowerShift six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission. This is essentially an automated manual transmission and is fairly unique among cars in the subcompact class. It employs dual internal clutches instead of a conventional clutch pedal. This type of transmission has become popular among sporty cars, as it typically produces quick gear changes with an aggressive manual-transmission feel. As a bonus, it helps the Fiesta get slightly better fuel economy than with the standard manual transmission.
However, unless Ford engineers revise the PowerShift’s behavior for model-year 2013, expect it to continue to act annoyingly “busy” in city driving as it shifts up or down a gear in response to even the slightest changes in vehicle speed. Another oddity is that, unlike most cars with similar transmissions, the Fiesta’s PowerShift does not include a manual-shift mode and isn’t likely to gain one for model-year 2013.
A Super Fuel Economy (SFE) package should again be offered on the 2013 Ford Fiesta SE sedan and hatchback models equipped with the PowerShift transmission. It’ll include specific wheels, spoilers, and air deflectors designed to improve aerodynamics in pursuit of maximum gas mileage
The most likely engine for the 2013 Ford Fiesta ST is a 1.6-liter version of Ford’s turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder. It would likely employ direct fuel injection and reports suggest it’ll make as much as 180 horsepower, which would make this one quick little car. Transmission predictions are up in the air, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the 2013 Fiesta ST is offered only with a manual gearbox, possibly a six-speed.
Mainstream 2103 Ford Fiestas should again be graced with laudably sporty handling with good steering feedback. Ride quality should remain near the top of the class, though don’t expect this small, lightweight car to glide over badly broken pavement like a midsize sedan.
A sophisticated electric power steering system will continue to enhance both road manners and fuel economy. The system will help the 2013 Fiesta remain stable at highway speeds by automatically compensating for road crowning and crosswind conditions. It can even compensate for minor vibrations caused by improperly balanced wheels. It enhances fuel economy by putting less drag on the engine than a conventional belt-driven hydraulic power steering system.
Likely to continue as a cost-saving measure, 2013 Ford Fiesta S, SE, SEL, and SES models will have front-disc/rear drum brakes; few cars in this class utilize the superior but more expensive four-wheel disc brakes. They will come standard with an antilock function to help prevent a loss of control in emergency stopping situations.
Also continuing as standard on all 2013 Fiestas will be Ford’s StabiliTrak antiskid stability control system -- as per federal safety standards -- to reduce chances of sideways slides. Fifteen-inch wheels and tires should again come standard on S and SE models with the SES hatchback and SEL sedan equipped with 16-inchers.
Expect the 2013 Ford Fiesta ST to sharpen handling with a stiffer sport-tuned suspension and lower-profile tires on larger wheels. It would likely have specially calibrated steering as well as four-wheel disc brakes.
Features: The 2013 Ford Fiesta should again include all the expected features along with a few not typically found in the subcompact class. No less than seven airbags—including one at knee height on the driver’s side—should remain standard for safety’s sake.
Also likely to come standard are amenities like air conditioning, power locks and mirrors, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, height adjustable driver’s seat, an AM/FM radio with an auxiliary jack for connecting iPods and other devices, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat for cargo carrying flexibility. Also onboard will be Ford’s EasyFuel system that does away with the gas cap for added convenience.
Available features, depending on the trim level, should again include keyless entry/pushbutton-start, a keyfob remote starter, automatic climate control, power moonroof, heated front seats, leather upholstery, and a fanciful (yet otherwise unnecessary) color-selectable ambient “mood lighting” array. Fiesta buyers should again be able to customize their cars via assorted optional exterior graphic “tattoo” packages.
A Premium Sport Appearance package should again be offered on the SES hatchback that includes specific 16-inch polished alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, assorted exterior touches, and when teamed with manual transmission, an acceleration-enhancing final-drive ratio.
Ford’s Sync multimedia control system should again be offered on the 2013 Ford Fiesta SE, SEL, and SES versions, and likely in the new ST. This option allows assorted systems to be operated by voice commands in addition to manual control via dashboard buttons or steering wheel-mounted switches. It can control music playback from an iPod connected to the system via a USB interface, and it can conduct hands-free calling and stream music from a mobile phone via a Bluetooth adapter.
While the 2013 Fiesta probably won’t gain a dashboard-mounted GPS navigation system, the Sync system should again fill in with turn-by-turn navigation directions for selected routes displayed on the car’s dashboard-mounted LED screen. The system can also display current traffic and weather information and news headlines; a three-year service plan for these services will likely be included.
2013 Ford Fiesta Prices back to top
Prices for the 2013 Ford Fiesta were not announced in time for this review but they shouldn’t increase much over model-year 2012 levels. Expect a 2013 Fiesta base-price range of around $14,500-$19,000 for the four-door sedans and hatchbacks, with the 2013 ST likely to start above $20,000. (Estimated base prices in this review include the manufacturer’s destination charges; Ford’s fee for the 2012 Fiesta was $795.)
Estimated base price for the 2013 Ford Fiesta S sedan is around $14,500, which should keep it competitive with similarly equipped subcompacts.
Estimated base price is $15,750 for the 2013 Fiesta SE sedan and $17,895 for the 2013 SEL sedan. Figure the 2013 Fiesta SE hatchback to start around $16,750 and the 2013 SES hatchback at around $19,000.
Depending on how the new higher-performance ST two-door hatchback is equipped, it could be priced at or near the top of the 2013 Ford Fiesta range, perhaps even as high as $21,000 if it comes with all the available bells and whistles.
Specifying Ford’s PowerShift automatic transmission instead of the standard five-speed manual should again add around $1,100 to the price of the 2013 S, SE, SEL, and SES models. Expect a CD stereo and keyless entry to cost about $500 on the base S model, with the Sync multimedia control system priced around $600 elsewhere in the line.
The Super Fuel Economy package for PowerShift-equipped 2013 Ford Fiesta SE sedan and hatchback models will likely cost around $700.
A power moonroof should again be priced around $750, with leather seats on the SEL and SES costing nearly $795. An upgrade package for those models that includes heated front seats, pushbutton start, an alarm system, and chrome trim should again be priced at about $800.
2013 Ford Fiesta Fuel Economy back to top
EPA mileage estimates for the 2013 Ford Fiesta weren’t available in time for this review, but we don’t expect them to change much compared to model-year 2012 ratings. Ford could tweak the 2013 Fiesta to squeeze out another mile or two per gallon, but it’s already among the most fuel-efficient cars on the road.
Expect 2013 Ford Fiestas with the naturally aspirated 1.6-liter engine to be rated 28/37 mpg city/highway and 32 mpg combined city/highway with the five-speed manual transmission and 29/38/33 mpg with the PowerShift automatic.
Adding the Super Fuel Economy package to an SE model with the PowerShift transmission should again boost ratings to 29/40 city/highway, 33 mpg combined.
Fuel-economy ratings for the 2013 Fiesta ST are pure conjecture, but they shouldn’t be more than 1 or 2 mpg below those of mainstream Fiesta models.
2013 Ford Fiesta Release Date back to top
The 2013 Ford Fiesta should reach showrooms in September 2012.
What's next for the 2013 Ford Fiesta back to top
Don’t expect the Ford Fiesta to undergo any radical changes in the U.S. until its scheduled model-year 2016 redesign. However, in overseas markets -- where versions of this car have been offered since model-year 2008 – Fiesta may see substantive alterations before that.
In the meantime, the U.S.-market Fiesta could see the ST trim level extended to sedan and/or four-door hatchback versions. And it’s likely to gain additional connectivity features. These would include Ford’s AppLink system that integrates and gives users voice control of select apps stored on their smartphones. For example, users can connect to Pandora Radio and play custom music playlists streamed from the phone, as well as have their Twitter messages read aloud to them via the audio system.
A future Fiesta also may offer a version of the MyFord Touch operating system that utilizes an interactive and customizable touchscreen display to control most functions, though this would likely be limited to a top-of-the-line model.
2013 Ford Fiesta Competition back to top
Hyundai Accent: Continuing in sedan and four-door hatchback models after a major redesign for model year 2012, the Accent performs well and is aggressively priced. It’s fashionably cast to attract younger buyers, but doesn’t look garish in the process. A direct fuel-injected 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine produces a lively 138 horsepower, with a six-speed manual transmission standard and a six-speed automatic optional. Fuel economy should remain at or near 30/40/34 with either transmission. Expect base prices to remain affordable at around $13,500-$17,000. It remains mechanically related to the Kia Rio, though both cars carry specific styling cues.
Honda Fit: Long the leader in the subcompact segment for combining solid value with an entertaining driving experience, the Fit is scheduled to undergo a redesign for model-year 2013. Don’t expect the car to change dramatically, however. Styling changes will likely be more evolutionary than revolutionary, with the car retaining its basic four-door hatchback configuration, albeit with a less boxy profile. Power will still come from a small four-cylinder engine that will likely be engineered to help boost its fuel economy beyond its 2012 ratings of 28/35/31 to stay competitive in the subcompact segment. A plug-in gas-electric hybrid is said to be in the works for the next generation fit that could run for as much as 70 miles on electricity alone. Prices should start at under $17,000 and would likely top $20,000 for the plug-in hybrid.
Chevrolet Sonic: Replacing the former Aveo in Chevy’s lineup for model-year 2012, the subcompact Sonic should again be offered in sedan and four-door hatchback models, with what’s said to be motorcycle-inspired styling cues inside and out. A 135-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine will likely continue as the base engine, with a choice of a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. An optional 138-horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged version borrowed from the larger Chevy Cruze should again come with a six-speed manual. Top-shelf options will likely again include a remote starter and heated front seats. Expect fuel economy to top out at around 40 mpg on the highway. The car should be base priced around $14,000-$19,000.