After big changes the last two years, 2014 is a relative year of calm for Ford, with the Blue Oval looking forward to a slew of redesigns scheduled to hit in 2015.
That doesn’t mean that 2014 is without its charms though, as it marks the introduction of the Fiesta ST and a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine that will make its North American debut later in the year.
The diminutive Fiesta subcompact welcomes the Fiesta ST to the stable this year, which offers plenty of driving fun in a small, five-door package. The ST (Ford’s performance trim) features a 197-hp, 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine and a six-speed manual. It’s our favorite performance bargain as well, starting at just $21,400.
Ford’s three other passenger vehicles (the compact Focus, midsize Fusion, and full-size Taurus), return for 2014 with minimal changes.
The Focus is one of the more flexible vehicles in Ford’s lineup, coming in both sedan and hatchback varieties, as well as a Focus ST version of its own that serves as an older brother to the peppy Fiesta ST. Eco versions of the Focus return up to 40 mpg on the highway, and the compact offers an emphasis on technology with a self-parking system and MyFord Touch among other tech options.
Redesigned in 2013, the Fusion also has an exciting new addition in 2014 with Ford’s new 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine joining the Fusion’s engine options. It is one of the most attractive cars in its class, with swept back styling that brings to mind Aston Martin (especially from the front). The Fusion is also sold as a Fusion Hybrid which offers 47 combined mpg.
Ford’s most iconic car is the Mustang, a nostalgia inducing muscle car that keeps its live rear axle and tire shredding horsepower for the new model year. This is the last year of the truly retro Mustangs, it is headed for a 2015 redesign that will include an independent rear suspension among other changes.
An emphasis on increased fuel economy spawned the development of the C-Max Hybrid, which offers comfortable seating for five, lots of cargo room, and excellent fuel economy of its own (47 combined mpg).
The uniquely styled Flex returns for 2014 sans major updates, as does the Escape which was redesigned in 2013. The Escape’s redesign introduced a brand new visual look for the compact SUV, to go along with improved fuel economy and a powered rear liftgate that can be opened by waving your foot beneath the rear bumper. The five-seat Edge is also unchanged.
Ford also offers several options for those looking to haul more than five passengers in the Explorer, Expedition, and the even larger Expedition XL.
Looking ahead, the Ford F-Series of pickup trucks, including the best-selling F150, are set for major changes in 2015. But for 2014, they are the first vehicles in the Ford lineup to get its update MyFord Touch infotainment system. Ford’s engineers have heeded customer complaints and have added more physical controls to the system to make it easier to use, a welcome addition. The F250 and F350 are still around for jobs which require a heavy duty solution.