Nuts and Bolts: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST

Bottom line: I like this one. I think you will, too. Compare with any subcompact car.

Ride, acceleration and handling: It gets good marks in ride and acceleration. Handling is excellent largely thanks to the Fiesta ST’s electronic power-assistance steering.

Head-turning quotient: It looks like the fast bug of a car that it is — attractive depending on mind-set.

Body style/layout: The Ford Fiesta ST is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive subcompact economy car available with four or two side doors and a rear hatch. There are three basic trim levels — S, SE, Titanium. The ST is the performance version.

Engine/transmission: The Fiesta ST comes with a turbocharged, direct-injection, 16-valve inline four-cylinder gasoline engine (197 horsepower, 214 pound-feet of torque) linked to a standard five-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission that also can be shifted manually is optional.

Capacities: Seating is for five people. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 10.1 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 12.4 gallons of gasoline. Ford’s engineers say that regular grade is okay. But they concede that premium fuel offers “best performance” in this one.

Mileage: I averaged 33 miles per gallon in mostly highway driving … and sitting in traffic, burning fuel and going nowhere.

Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front/solid rear); four-wheel antilock brake protection; electronic brake-force distribution; stability and traction control/post-collision safety system; side and head air bags.

Pricing: The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST starts at $21,400 with a $20,598 dealer’s invoice price on that model. Price as tested is $25,810, including $3,201 in options (onboard navigation, power-operated glass roof, Recaro seating package) and an $825 factory-to-dealer transportation charge.

— Warren Brown