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.