Motoring review: Ford Fiesta ST

Ford composes engine music for the masses

Price: From £16,995
Engine capacity: 1.6-litre Ecoboost turbo petrol
Power output (bhp @ rpm):
179 @ 5,700
Max torque (Nm @ rpm): 214lb ft @ 1,500-5,000
Top speed (mph): 139
0-62 mph (seconds): 6.9
Fuel economy (mpg): 47.9
CO2 emissions (g/km): 138

The small hot hatch market is dominated by three cars at the moment: the Renault Clio 200, Peugeot 208 GTI and this, the Ford Fiesta ST. It's less powerful than its French rivals but it is £2k cheaper, comes with a manual gearbox and is based on what is probably the best small car on the road today.

Since it was introduced in 1976, the Fiesta has found nearly four million British homes. One in four superminis is now a sensible Fiesta and it tops the best-seller car list every month. The new Fiesta ST, though, isn't your average Fiesta. It's a fast Ford, and that means it's far from sensible.

It gets a rear spoiler, all-round disc brakes, lowered suspension, twin exhausts, a bling ST badge and most importantly, a 179bhp turbo-charged engine, which is about as powerful as a late-1960s Porsche. That's really impressive when you consider that all that power has been packed into a three-door car that starts from £16,995. What's even more impressive is the torque figure; there are bags of it, meaning the Fiesta ST surges forward at an alarming rate.

Torque, I should explain, is the force of the engine at a given rpm, and its ability to move its weight forward from a standing start. Once you get the Fiesta ST above 2,500rpm, it fires off like a Typhoon jet. There's even a nice raspy engine note, which is only compromised by the fact that it's actually exaggerated by a sound tube – called a sound symposer – which amplifies engine noise and pipes it into the cabin. It's the throaty frequency petrol heads love but when it comes to performance I prefer the real thing over trickery.

Inside the cabin is standard Ford (good), aside from some vast Recaro racing seats, a shiny gear knob and the fastest bum-warmers known to man. It's on the road that you can really feel the difference from the standard car, and the Recaros – normally the preserve of high-end sports cars – are absolutely essential because once behind the wheel all you'll want to do is throw the ST around. Ford, it turns out, is very good at making fun cars to drive. This shouldn't come as a surprise, though – even the standard Fiesta, in its least powerful oil-burning guise, is a pleasurable car to get around in.

Hurling the ST around isn't as reckless as it might sound, though. Bear with me; if you boot the throttle on a 660bhp Ferrari FF out of a sharp bend, you are – unless you really know what you are doing – likely to end up dead. In the Fiesta ST it is possible to use the power, within the speed limit, on a public road. Yes, the temptation is to hoof it, but driving it at legal speeds down a bendy B-road is a really rewarding experience.

Of course, there are downsides; it's too loud on the motorway and bumpy at low speeds. And while the engine's nippy note is great around town and on a B-road dash, it switches from pleasing to intrusive on any long motorway run. In short, this car isn't a comfortable cruiser; it's a performance car for the masses. And that's why Ford already has 1,000 customers signed up for one.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.


ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Part Time

    £10500 - £14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Part Time Accounts Assistant ...

    Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant

    £18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company supply, install an...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Reception Teacher

    £120 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: An excellent three form entry scho...

    The Green Recruitment Company: Commercial Construction Manager

    £65000 Per Annum bonus & benefits package: The Green Recruitment Company: The ...

    Day In a Page

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Attwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

    What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

    Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

    The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
    Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

    Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

    The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
    Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

    Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

    Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

    Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

    The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
    10 best waterproof mascaras

    Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

    We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
    Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

    Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

    Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
    Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
    Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'