Ford Fiesta ST Review

A review on one of the best hot hatches on sale.

21w ago
1.5K

I'd just like to point out I didn't drive the car and this review was written almost six months ago. So, optional extras, specifications, and pricing might have changed slightly.

Overview

The previous Fiesta ST was the best hot hatch at the time. It got a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, packing out 180bhp. It wasn’t just a cracking car with a good amount of power. It looked smart, too. It got side skirts, a spoiler, bigger wheels, and a rear diffuser.

This new generation Fiesta packs more power out of a smaller engine. The all-new turbocharged engine kicks out an astonishing 197bhp with 214lb-ft, from a three-cylinder 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine. Flat out, it’ll do 144mph with all the power going to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. Sounds like if you’ve gone ahead and bought one, you’ve got yourself a fun bit of kit.

Yet, it’s still as economical as before. It has cylinder deactivation, so whenever you’ve stopped hooning about on the back roads, the car will shut down a cylinder to save fuel. It's supposed to get just under 50mpg. Not bad eh? Although I don’t think you’ll be too bothered about mpg if you own one.

The most popular ST-2 starts at £22,275. As for the ST-3, starting at £24,900, which gets a few more goodies from factory like the Performance Pack and the B&O sound system as standard. Little fact for you - when the ST first went into production, like the out-going model, there was an ST-1, but it had literally nothing going for it, and no one brought it. So, for that reason, it was discontinued. - By the time you’ve added everything available, a fully spec’d ST will set you back at £28,195. Which, when you come to think of it, isn’t that badly priced.

It comes with flat-shifting, which does feel wrong thinking about it (as I never tried it). But it helps the car get 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds. The Performance Pack gets a Quaife limited slip diff, launch control which blips at 3,500rpm and a shift light. All yours for £950. You can also go one step further, with some more goodies from mountune with their m235 upgrade, although this voids the car’s warranty.

In Sport Mode, you’ll expect to hear more ‘popcorn-in-the-microwave’ noises. It isn’t that bad really. In Track Mode, the ESP is slackened and the TCS is completely off. Both driving modes switch off auto start/stop and cylinder deactivation. But if you’re chucking it round the bend, will you honestly care about a few drops of fuel? Nah.

Interior

The interior is smart, with carbon fibre effect trims around the cabin, a few ST badges, and flat-bottom steering wheel. Standard on the ST-3 has a Sat Nav built into the 8-inch Ford Sync 3 touch screen, along with DAB, USB, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi hotspot. The only part of the interior I’m not particularly keen on, is the blue stitching running down the fabric Recaro bucket seats on the lower-spec ST-2 trim. But overall, compared to its rivals on its looks, inside and out, it’s the winner.

Ford has kept their secret weapon going in the ST, the fastest seat-warmers in the world. Like the standard Fiesta, you can also get a heated steering wheel to keep your paws warm, too.

The hot hatch is available as a three and five-door body style, so you could say it’s perfect for the youths of today, who are into weight reduction. Or, not a bad small family car either, if you like…

Want something a bit lairy? This is the Fiesta ST Performance Edition

Since the standard ST has come out, Ford have released a limited run of 600 Performance Edition Fiesta ST's. Nope, before you ask, there isn’t a 20bhp increase like the ST200 got from the ST180 before. There isn’t any power increase from the ‘Performance’ Edition Fiesta at all. Instead, Ford have taken fully spec’d ST-3’s off the line and painted them all in Deep Orange (Tief Orange). They also get a set of 18” 10-spoke flow-formed alloy wheels, finished in a triple coat of Magnetite paintwork, which take off an extra 7kg off each corner and are more durable, too, according to Ford.

The Performance Edition also gets a Ford Performance coilover suspension with stainless steel dampers, with powder-coated Ford Performance Blue coil springs. The new setup lowers the car by 15mm at the front and 10mm at the back and has been extensively tested at the Nurburgring Nordschleife. It also comes with a tool, enabling customers to adjust the suspension manually, with 12 bump settings and 16 rebound settings for a personalised setup. All for £26,495.

Verdict

I’ll tell you a little secret. I was looking at buying a Fiesta ST at one point. For the power, price and how fun it looks to drive, it just kept growing on me. As silly as it sounds, but what put me off was the rear-end, as I prefer the look of its predecessor. The back of this one, looks a bit...timid. Especially when it comes to the styling of the tail lights. I was hoping they would’ve grown on me, but they haven’t. Maybe that’s something that’ll change in the facelift, perhaps. I’ve never driven the Fiesta ST, but I can only imagine it’s the best hot hatch out there. I don’t think there’s one review I’ve read saying the car isn’t brilliant.

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