In terms of volume and sales, the Ford Fiesta is arguably the most iconic car ever to go on sale in the UK –it has defined generations and topped the sales charts for what seems like forever.
Well, as with the previous two generations before it, the latest version of the Fiesta is now getting its ST upgrade – and here it is.
Widely considered one of the best hot hatchbacks to hit British roads, its predecessor was leading the market and keeping all of its rivals at bay.
But can this new ST carry the mantle as well as the forerunner and offer the same excitement and fun as before? We take a look…
Replacing the four-cylinder 1.6-litre unit found in the previous generation is a smaller but no-less-potent 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine – with Ford aiming to offer a bit more economy without hindering performance.
From this engine, the ST has 197bhp and 290Nm of torque at its disposal and that means it can sprint to 60mph in just 6.2 seconds and go on to a top speed of 144mph. The power is directed to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox – with no automatic option available.
Even when lacking a cylinder compared to the old version, the Fiesta ST’s engine is exciting in terms of performance and how it sounds – with Ford engineering pops and crackles into the exhaust note.Enquire Now on a new Ford Fiesta ST
Ride & Handling
If the old Fiesta ST was known for being exciting to drive in most circumstances, then Ford has repeated that formula here. As it’s based on what is widely considered to be one of the best urban-focused cars on sales, the ST takes day-to-day style driving in its stride, but when pushed comes alive.
Fitted with a drive mode selector, you can choose between normal, sport and track – with the car firming up depending on how sporty you want it. The steering also gets weightier depending on what mode you’re in, and that matches the characteristics of the car excellently.
As it is fitted with larger alloy wheels compared to the standard Fiesta, the ride can be slightly harsher, but you won’t mind when you have its excitement and performance at your fingertips.
Interior & Equipment
Obviously with the same dimensions as the standard Fiesta, the ST remains just as practical, and the interior finish and layout is mostly the same. But as with previous STs, you get sporty touches for that dynamic feel, such as the Recaro sports seats and the flat-bottomed multifunctional leather steering wheel. The finish is good too, with soft-touch plastics to be found throughout, while the layout is very simple to navigate.
Equipment-wise, the Fiesta ST comes with three trim options – ST1, ST2 and ST3 – with the latter two offering the most equipment, but more importantly the option to fit the Ford Performance pack that adds a limited slip differential for a sharper turn-in.
You still get all the bells and whistles you would expect with a modern hatchback too, such as a dash-mounted touchscreen infotainment system, air conditioning and electric windows. If you’re after extra practicality, the ST is available as a five-door as well as the standard three-door.
The starting price for the Fiesta ST is £18,995 – rather reasonable when you consider the performance and excitement you will get from it. Although trim levels and equipment will increase that, you don’t need to do much to it to get the expected excitement.
Running costs are also reasonable for a performance model, as you can return a quoted 55mpg and emit just 114g/km – showing that the smaller engine does pay dividends in the long run.
Ford has managed to hit a home run with the Fiesta ST yet again and that’s even with a whole bunch of new ingredients stirred into the mix. The smaller engine doesn’t detract from the performance and Ford has cleverly engineered it so the excitement from the previous ST isn’t lost either. When you consider that its normal rivals are always trying to match it, they will have to do a lot of work to get anywhere near this ST – the new generation is an absolute triumph.