2014 Ford Fiesta gets MyFord Touch and improved Sync voice recognition

2014 Ford Fiesta with MyFord Touch touch screenThe 2014 Ford Fiesta goes on sale next spring with a new front fascia, a longer list of options, and some extra tech. For the first time, Ford’s smallest car gets the MyFord Touch infotainment system, as well as an improved version of the Sync voice recognition control in current models.

MyFord Touch allows the driver to control functions like navigation, audio, climate control, and Bluetooth primarily through a touch screen. In the Fiesta, it’s a 6.5-inch unit mounted prominently in the center stack.

Ford seems determined to put MyFord Touch in all of its vehicles, although the first version of the system was panned for being slow and requiring too much of the driver’s attention. Ford updated the software earlier this year, but MyFord Touch 2.0 still has critics.

Hopefully the Fiesta will strike a better balance between technology and functionality. MyFord Touch-equipped models come with a redesigned center stack with fewer buttons, although some are retained as redundant controls. We’ll have to see if Ford has found the happy medium between too many buttons and too few.

The 2014 Fiesta also gets the newest version of Sync, which streamlines calling and texting with voice recognition. It uses more logical voice commands that, for example, allow drivers to ask for their favorite radio station by name instead of calling up the radio, FM, and the music genre.

Ford’s Sync AppLink, which allows drivers to use Ford-approved apps, returns, as does the Sync Services concierge, which offers things like turn-by-turn directions.

Making the most of Sync and MyFord Touch is an available eight-speaker Sony HD radio with satellite capability.

The 2014 Fiesta also features a new exterior design with a front end that apes the 2013 Fusion’s (definitely not a bad thing), and a new turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine with an estimated 40 mpg. Despite its microscopic size, Ford says the 1.0-liter delivers more horsepower per liter than a Lamborghini Aventador.

The 2014 Fiesta’s official U.S. debut will be at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this week.

Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for January 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

Tesla will discontinue entry-level Model S and Model X cars with 75-kWh battery

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the automaker will stop selling versions of its Model S and Model X electric cars with 75-kilowatt-hour battery packs. That just leaves the more-expensive 100-kWh models.

The 8-seat, 3-row 2020 Telluride SUV is the biggest Kia ever

It's fitting that the 2020 Kia Telluride debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, as it was built specifically to meet U.S. buyers' insatiable demand for SUVs. Kia packed the eight-seat cabin with family-friendly tech as well.

Cadillac is finally ready to take on Tesla with its own electric car

At the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, Cadillac announced plans for its first electric car. The unnamed model will be a crossover, based on a new platform to be shared with other General Motors brands.

Peloton’s tech lets truckers play follow the leader to boost fuel economy

Peloton Technology can help semi trucks save fuel by running close together on the highway. Using short-range wireless communications, the trucks get a kind of super cruise control.

Move mountains with the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty and its 1,000 pound-feet of torque

Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck boasts 1,000 pound-feet of torque -- outgunning rival trucks from Ford and Chevrolet. The new Ram goes on sale later this year.

With 341 horsepower, the WRX STI S209 is the most powerful Subaru ever

The Subaru WRX STI S209 is the latest in a series of special editions that have never been sold in the United States before. The 341-horsepower pocket rocket debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.