Ford F-150 Lightning to Tesla Cybertruck: Electric truck roundup 2022 Honda Civic 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT 2022 Hyundai Tucson GMC Hummer EV 2021 Ford Bronco Best car insurance

2012 Ford Fiesta: Saved by Sync

Not much about the Ford Fiesta rises above the heavy competition in the under-$20,000 car market, except for its capability to connect with mobile devices.

2012 Ford Fiesta
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Given driving feel alone, the Fiesta would likely appeal to a subset of buyers, those who like an inexpensive and nimble car. These buyers would put up with tortured sounds from the engine bay and a sometimes harsh ride in exchange for enhanced response to wheel and gas pedal.

In America, emphasize the sub in that set, as the tradition here has been for wallowy cars with soft suspensions. Enter Sync, which gives the Fiesta a Chinese puzzle of options.

Sync not only gives the car excellent voice command and connectivity with mobile electronics, its AppLink feature opens up an ever-expanding world of new capabilities. Similar to how you can browse an app store and find new ways to use your smartphone, Ford's march of app integration should continue to give drivers new infotainment options in the car.

Now playing: Watch this: Ford Sync AppLink

Of course, you will want to use voice command as much as possible, as the Fiesta's dashboard buttons are so confusing that they seem like a plot to keep drivers' hands on the wheel rather than trying to figure out how to dig into a phone or music menu.

Check out CNET's review of the 2012 Ford Fiesta.