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Buyers looking for a star performer in the subcompact segment should put the 2016 Ford Fiesta on their list. The current, sixth generation model impresses with its euro-style looks, impressive interior, great handling and mileage, and plentiful features. Shoppers will find they have many options with the Fiesta, with models ranging from the basic and frugal to sporty and luxurious.
For 2016, Ford offers the Fiesta in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles. There are three trim levels: the entry-level S, the well-equipped SE and the premium Titanium. A performance-oriented ST variant is also available. It's only offered as a hot hatch.
The Fiesta gets several upgrades for the model year. New exterior colors Electric Spice, Molten Orange and Blue Candy join the already extensive color pallet. The base S gets remote keyless entry and an anti-theft alarm as standard while the SE is eligible for both a Black package and a sport body kit. Finally, the previous MyFord Touch infotainment system has been replaced by a new one called SYNC 3.
A 1.6-liter four-cylinder is the standard engine for all Fiestas except the ST. It's surprisingly potent, putting out a peak 120 horsepower and 112 lb.-ft. of torque. Default transmission is a five-speed manual; a six-speed automatic is available.
A 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo also offered. It's from the automaker's EcoBoost line of powerful and fuel-efficient engines. It's only available with a manual transmission.
The sporty ST blasts past the competition with its turbo-charged 1.6-liter four. Like the one-cylinder, it's paired to a manual transmission.
"If you're looking for an entertaining driving experience, the 2016 Fiesta will happy oblige," writes Edmunds. "Although the base four-cylinder engine delivers only modest acceleration, we like its refinement at high rpm, and the Fiesta's quick steering and well-controlled body motions keep the fun factor high. Meanwhile, the EcoBoost three-cylinder engine provides a palpable turbocharged punch while also topping the fuel economy charts. As for the ST, its turbocharged four-cylinder is strong enough to put a smile on anyone's face, and its sport-tuned suspension is a blast on the right kind of road."
The 1.0-liter turbo gets the best fuel economy with an EPA-estimated 31 miles per gallon city and 43 mpg highway.* Depending on the transmission, the standard 1.6-liter gets between 27-28 mpg city and 36-38 mpg highway. Finally, the ST's engine continues to impress with 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.
*All vehicle mileage based on 2016 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.