2019 Ford Fiesta Hatchback

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2019 Ford Fiesta Hatchback Review: Fun-sized Adventure

The humble purr you hear from the 2019 Ford Fiesta Hatchback is not only the sound of its engine but also the final gurgles of its death song as it, along with the rest of Ford's small car compendium, enter their final production year. While the rest of the world saw the new generation model of the Fiesta last year, the USA received only a continuation of the older model. Now, for 2019, Ford abjectly compensates by stoking the flames of the semi-hot-hatch lineup with the addition of a new Ford Fiesta ST-Line trim. Both trims in the now two-model lineup, are equipped with the tried-and-tested 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine carried over from the preceding year, with peak outputs of 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque. Directing outputs to the front-wheels by means of a default five-speed manual gearbox, a six-speed dual-clutch automatic can also be equipped. However, most core competitors have all seen recent model overhauls, including the Kia Rio5 and the Toyota Yaris, so offering a somewhat dated package, the Ford Fiesta Hatchback clutches to its novel appeal as a vivacious driver's hatch in a blue-collar suit.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 6 /10
  • Performance 6 /10
  • Fuel Economy 9 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 6 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 7 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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What’s New For The 2019 Ford Fiesta?

For 2019, the previous year's base S and top-ranking Titanium trims have been dropped from the lineup and replaced with a new, sportier ST-Line option. Some features have been added, while others have been deleted from the optional SE Appearance Package. And finally, the engine block heater that was previously a standard-fit feature for models sold in cold-weather states has been made an optional extra. The SE trim, as the only carry-over model, remains otherwise unchanged for 2019.

Pros and Cons

  • Athletic ride and handling dynamics
  • Contemporary cabin design and features
  • User-friendly and intuitive infotainment system
  • Decent overall build quality
  • Relatively affordable
  • Limited trunk and cargo capacity
  • Cramped rear passenger room
  • Firmer ride than most rivals

What's the 2019 Ford Fiesta Hatchbacks Price?

With the entry-level vehicle, the Fiesta S trim from the 2019 lineup, being discontinued, what was the mid-tier SE trim is now the most affordable Fiesta trim option. For 2019, the Ford Fiesta SE is priced at $15,790, while the new Fiesta ST-Line can be bought for an MSRP of $17,625. Prices are excluding tax, registration, and licensing fees, as well as Ford's processing, handling, and destination charge of $975.

Best Deals on 2019 Ford Fiesta Hatchback

2019 Ford Fiesta Hatchback Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SE Hatchback
1.6L Inline-4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
ST Line Hatchback
1.6L Inline-4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2019 Ford Fiesta Hatchback Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

A long-standing plus-point for the Ford Fiesta Hatchback is its exalted go-kart-like ride qualities and lively handling dynamics which contribute to just how much fun it is to drive. It doesn't quite beg to be pushed to its limits or flung around enthusiastically, as its sporty hot-hatch image suggests, but it is quite capable. Its playful nature simply serves as a reminder that routine driving can still be made enjoyable.

As for handling, the hatch remains fairly composed and firmly planted when pushed to its cap around bends, with body roll kept suitably tight and under control. The Fiesta's steering is well-weighted and offers precise responses to driver input; tire position and road feel are effectively communicated through the front axle. The brake pedals give more of the same: consistent response to input. Stopping power from the standard calipers are fine for the low-powered commuter.

However, with its firmly sprung suspension and taught underpinnings that imbue the hatch with its dynamic drivability, it does translate to a rougher, less comfortable drive. While small road imperfections are adequately absorbed, any undulations or incrementally larger imperfections are tangibly and audibly experienced throughout the cabin. Which, along with its thinly-padded seats and low-grade upholstery, make for a rather uncomfortable ride quality overall.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Ford Fiesta Hatchback A Good car?

The Ford Fiesta Hatchback has always been a popular pick for drivers who want to spice up their routine daily commutes, which the 2019 year model still does well. And with its affordable pricing as an entry-level vehicle, this hot-hatch is a unique offering within the market as one that offers a little more than just fuel efficiency and reliable driving. However, the Fiesta is a bit dated and its behind-the-times infotainment and lack of driver aids stunt its appeal in comparison to more contemporary subcompacts out there. Though its body design is still stylish and its tech functionality is sufficient, its cabin feels cheap, while some of the physical tech elements are tacky.

Comfort has been slotted low in priority for the Fiesta too, with thin and scratchy seats and unyielding ride quality. In a time where constant innovation, significant improvement, and as cut-rate as possible premium quality offerings are paramount to the value proposition of modern vehicles, the Fiesta has fallen notably behind. Nevertheless, the Fiesta Hatchback is a stylish, practical, economical, and fun-to-drive commuter that, all things considered, won't leave you with a lasting level of buyer's remorse.

What 2019 Ford Fiesta Hatchback Model Should I Buy?

Considering that the new ST-Line trim is only around $2,000 more than the carry-over SE trim and the fact that it boasts many more premium features and tech functionality, the sportier ST styling is not the only benefit of opting for this trim. The cheekier design elements of the ST-Line complement its quirky character, and the leather-wrapped steering and shifter - together with upgraded sport-cloth interior materials - considerably improve on the tackier, less contemporary cabin of the base SE. Though available as an added extra for the SE, the ST-Line comes standard with the superior SYNC 3 system, which enables further tech functionality such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay that are nowadays seen as necessities. While the more premium interior and added functionality of the ST-Line delivers greater value, it's really the ST-Line's styling that offers an element of uniqueness. We also suggest keeping the five-speed manual transmission for its advantageous driver engagement.

Check out other Ford Fiesta Styles

2019 Ford Fiesta Hatchback Comparisons

Kia Rio5 Kia
Toyota Yaris Sedan Toyota

2019 Ford Fiesta Hatchback vs Kia Rio5

The 2019 Kia Rio 5-Door is around $1,000 cheaper than the Fiesta ST-Line to which it compares most accurately. It offers a similar proposition to potential buyers in terms of hot-hatch functionality, but with some extra appeal. With a similar engine, the Rio offers greater acceleration with the 130 hp and 119 lb-ft at hand. Like the Fiesta ST-Line, it also drives with an energetic demeanor and sporty handling dynamics but delivers a more sophisticated ride in terms of comfort. It comes standard with an automatic transmission which performs marginally more efficiently than the Fiesta does. Although not yet rated by the NHTSA, the IIHS categorized the Rio as a Top Safety Pick for 2019. The Rio offers a whole lot more practicality with a class-leading 17.4 cubic feet of trunk space, and, with its recent redesign, the Rio is more than a step up in modernity. It is outfitted as standard with more contemporary and state-of-the-art features from the inside-out, as opposed to the Fiesta. The 2019 Kia Rio5 beats the Fiesta not only as a fun-to-drive hot-hatch in general but significantly so in terms of value for money as well.

See Kia Rio5 Review

2019 Ford Fiesta Hatchback vs Toyota Yaris Sedan

With the recategorization of the Toyota Yaris iA to the Yaris, the 2019 version of the Toyota's subcompact is now only available as a sedan. Similarly priced to the Ford Fiesta Hatchback, the Yaris takes the podium as the closest thing to a premium vehicle money can buy under $20,000. With a smaller 1.5-liter inline-four engine and optional six-speed manual gearbox, the Yaris performs significantly more economically than the most efficient Fiesta trim, with EPA estimates of 32/40/35 mpg. The Yaris, based on the Mazda CX-3's architecture, offers impressive drive and handling dynamics and an interior not only more premium in feel but also more striking and futuristic in design. With leatherette interior trim and automatic climate control offered standard on the higher trims, the Fiesta has little chance of matching up. The Yaris also receives better crash-test ratings from both the NHTSA and IIHS, and is equipped with a few more safety-related features than the Fiesta is, as standard. At its price point, it's difficult for any other manufacturer to reach what the Yaris offers in terms of premium quality and refinement, which is only made more obvious when compared to the somewhat outdated Fiesta.

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