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If you’re in need of a vehicle that can zip around the city yet still hold its own on the highway or a car that can hold a decent amount of cargo without sacrificing critical fuel efficiency, then you’re probably looking for a subcompact car. This ever-present class of car is perfect for the local commuter or for a small family, able to do everything you would expect from a vehicle this size with ease. The Ford Fiesta is one of the most recognizable subcompact cars available on the market, as it has been available in its current form and generation since 2011. Don’t mistake its longevity for stagnation, though - the Fiesta has constantly seen upgrades in safety, technology, and efficiency that you are unlikely to find in some other vehicles in this class.
Though Ford has announced it is planning to focus on its larger offerings in the near future, the 2019 Ford Fiesta still offers plenty of important features in this smaller vehicle that you may be looking for. Its low price, paired with fantastic handling and interior comfort, give this a top spot in the class. There are even some of Ford’s well-known interior technology features - like its speedy infotainment system - that enhance the Fiesta quite a bit. This subcompact is available in two main body styles: the well-known sedan and the more sporty four-door hatchback.
There are multiple trims available for both of the body styles of the 2019 Ford Fiesta that may be confusing at first glance, including the sporty Ford Fiesta ST Line and the Ford Fiesta SE. Each of the trim levels offers plenty of unique upgradeable options and standard features, but knowing exactly which features come with which trim level can be somewhat puzzling. This article will guide you through each of the available trims, comparing them to each other. This comparison will help to inform your choices, ultimately helping you decide on the best Fiesta for your needs.
Compare the 2019 Ford Fiesta S vs SE - What is the difference?
The base Fiesta trim available in 2019 is the Ford Fiesta S. This trim is intentionally minimal, allowing the price to stay extremely low for the subcompact class. At its base, the S comes with a four-cylinder engine that has a capacity of 1.6 liters. While this may seem somewhat small, the 120 horsepower, 112 lb-ft torque engine can provide quite a punch for a vehicle of this weight and size. Paired with a 5-speed manual transmission, this engine can actually take you up to speed on the highway without feeling strained whatsoever. If you’re not comfortable with a manual transmission, you can also upgrade the S to include a six-speed automatic transmission that pairs nicely with the 1.6-liter engine. This engine and transmission give you a fantastic 27 miles per gallon in the city and up to 37 miles per gallon on the highway, meaning that you won’t be spending much on gas - even on long drives. You’ll also get 15-inch wheels that feel quite natural on the road. One of the nicest yet most overlooked features included in the base Fiesta model is the power mirrors, which include smaller blind-spot mirrors that perfectly cover the tiny blind spot you may not even notice. This enhances safety significantly.
On the inside, the S doesn’t offer too much, with a particularly noticeable lack of luxury features. However, it still manages to provide the essentials. Some of these essentials include a 4.2-inch center display for the infotainment system that can connect to your phone via Bluetooth. The infotainment system also works with some standard voice controls, though these controls can be somewhat hard to remember and unnatural to use as compared to your smartphone assistant. The sound system is pleasant enough, offering surround sound with a six-speaker system that can get input via radio, CD, or USB.
The first trim upgrade from the base Fiesta S is the Fiesta SE. The difference between the two trims is noticeable, as the SE adds quite a few features that you would expect a subcompact car to have in 2019. The wheel size stays the same but they are made with tougher alloy than the steel used in the S. Headlights switch from manual to automatic, and windows are now powered. One major enhancement that the SE has is built-in cruise control, a feature not present in the base Fiesta S. Also included in the S is the option to include a rear spoiler if you choose the hatchback model over the sedan.
Inside the SE, you’ll find some major comfort upgrades. For example, a center console is now present that is the perfect height for resting your arm while driving. The seats are far more comfortable, as Ford has upgraded the cloth to a more breathable fabric in this trim. You can also upgrade the appearance and luxury of the SE even more with the optional Appearance package. This upgrades the wheel size by an inch to 16 inches, allows the sedan to have a spoiler, and significantly upgrades the infotainment system. With the Appearance package, the SE’s infotainment system is now able to connect to your smartphone using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The somewhat clunky voice controls present in the S are far better in this package upgrade, allowing you to customize some voice controls via the Sync AppLink integration system.
If you’re trying to decide between the Fiesta S and the Fiesta SE, then the SE is likely the better choice. The price increase from the S to the SE is not that large, and when compared against the number of useful upgrades is nearly insubstantial. Cruise control and power windows are important features for any subcompact and are particularly useful if you live in a part of the world that experiences varied climate or if you plan on taking long drives on the highway.
Compare the 2019 Fiesta SE vs ST Line Trims. What is the difference?
The Fiesta ST Line is one of the newer trim choices available for the Fiesta line from Ford. This trim is meant to introduce some sport-like features to the Fiesta without completely turning the car into a road-racing vehicle. Included in the Fiesta ST Line are all of the fancy features packed into the SE’s Appearance package. On top of that, you get a re-themed exterior - the optional spoiler is now painted black, the exhaust tips are capped with a chrome finish, and the liens on the exterior are accentuated for both aesthetic purposes and aerodynamic purposes. The seating also gets an upgrade, moving from the generic cloth used in the S and SE to a much higher quality sport cloth. The sport cloth makes the vehicle more comfortable for both the driver and the passengers.
One package that both the SE and the ST Line share is the Cold Weather package, which can be quite useful if you know you’ll be driving this vehicle in snowy or icy conditions often. This package includes heating systems for the front seats, automatic climate control, and heated exterior mirrors. The heated mirrors mean that you’ll be able to use them without having to sit and defrost them for long periods of time, and the heated seats let you sit in a cold car without feeling totally miserable.
If you’re a fan of the features included in the Ford Fiesta SE Appearance package but still want some more sporty features, then the ST Line might be a good choice. Though the price increase is somewhat steeper than the difference between the S and the SE, it can easily be justified if you’re a fan of the revamped exterior.
Compare the Fiesta ST Line vs ST - What is the difference?
The top-of-the-line trim available for the 2019 Ford Fiesta is the ST. This completely decks out the Fiesta with sport touches, upgrading everything from the engine to the exterior. The most dramatic upgrade for the ST as compared to all other trim levels is the engine. Its 1.6-liter engine is now turbocharged, offering a ridiculous 197 horsepower and 202 lb-ft of torque. There’s no automatic transmission available for this subcompact, but that powerful engine is paired with a six-speed manual for maximum power output.
To pair with the powerful engine, the ST gets a special suspension system specifically tuned for sporty handling. It also gets 17-inch wheels that can optionally be switched out with specialty summer performance tires. There’s also a noticeable upgrade in handling speed, allowing you to turn faster and with more precision. Alongside this handling upgrade is a brake sensitivity upgrade, giving you disc brakes for super-responsive braking.
On the inside of the Fiesta ST, you’ll get some unique features. The car, of course, gets a special interior trim, which pairs nicely with the 8-speaker sound system that provides high-quality sound throughout the cabin. The seats are upgraded to leather, and most of the features in the Appearance and Cold Weather packages (such as heated mirrors) are present here.
If you’re a big fan of sport features, then it’s a no-brainer to upgrade to the Fiesta ST. However, if you’re only looking for a utilitarian car for daily commutes, then this may not be the best choice.
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Which One Should You Choose?
While all of the trim levels and optional packages for the 2019 Ford Fiesta are fantastic, there are some features that make the 2019 Ford Fiesta SE the clear choice for those considering this subcompact car. While the S provides many base features in a reliable body, the SE gives you necessary functions like cruise control and powered windows for a barely noticeable increase in price.
If you’re looking for a version of the Fiesta that can maneuver more impressively on the road and has some sports car features, then you won’t go wrong with the Fiesta ST Line either.
• Compare the 2018 Ford Fiesta Trim Levels