Smart handling

2014 ford fiesta st

Steering is also quick, agile and playful, making the most of the car's tiny turning circle. You could describe at as being like a go-cart, I suppose, but that doesn't do it justice.

For one thing, you're higher off the ground so it does wobble a little through the turns but it's not as bad as you may think. It's part of the car's character, part of the fun.

The brakes also get in on the game by clamping down, in quick little bites, on the inside wheels during hard, tight turns. That helps pull the nose of the car inward, tightening the turn and fighting the tendency of front-wheel-drive cars to pull to the outside. That might not sound like a big deal, but it is. It's the difference between a simple change in direction and a grin that makes your cheeks ache as the Fiesta whips like a rollercoaster car through curves.

First published October 25, 2013: 10:30 AM ET