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Base price range $15,180-$22,320 While the Honda Fit is all about volumetric efficiency, the strength of Ford’s budget-priced subcompact four-door sedans and four-door hatchbacks is a range of driving experience unique in the competitive set. Americans get essentially the same Fiesta available globally, the upshot being road manners worthy of the world’s most demanding drivers. The downside of the European-sourced design is very tight rear seat room. The hard truth is shop elsewhere if you’ll be hauling folks larger elementary-school kids back there. If you’re interested in just hauling, look to the ST model, a turbocharged $22,230 overachiever with 197 randy horses, tight suspension, and tastefully modified styling. Whippet quick and eye-widening fun, it’s among the planet’s best bangs for your performance buck, though you’ll need to embrace the fact it comes only with a six-speed-manual transmission. The other end of the Fiesta spectrum is the SE model with the $995 SE EcoBoost Fuel Economy Package. It has a turbocharged three-cylinder engine with the power of a much larger four-cylinder but fuel-economy ratings you’ll pretty much need to spend thousands more on a hybrid to beat. To enjoy the three-banger’s combination of ready acceleration and 36-mpg city/highway combined, however, you’ll accept that it comes only with a five-speed manual transmission. Settled between the hot-road ST and the tiny-engine SE is the balance of the Fiesta line. A serviceable 120-horsepower four-cylinder is beneath their hood, and it’s available with manual transmission or a dual-clutch gearbox that plays the role of an automatic, though not very satisfyingly. At least the same overachieving combo of ride and handling applies. Unfortunately, so do the limitations of the tight rear seat.