Ford Fiesta ST at the launch

Drive Launch Review of the Ford Fiesta ST

In Car Reviews by Jonathan HumphreyLeave a Comment

The new Ford Fiesta ST a hot car. Hotter than the Focus ST? Keep looking in the mirror…

For the fastest Fiesta ever. I have just returned from the launch of the sports version of the Ford Fiesta the UK’s best selling small car.


The Launch of the Ford Fiesta ST in the South of France


The Fiesta ST does so many things so right, setting a benchmark in this mature hot hatch sector.  With 185ps through its front wheels, a 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, the latest of Fords electronic systems and a sprinkling of fairy dust. The ST combo makes this car a safe highly enjoyable sports hatch. Hotter than most and one of the most enjoyable drives in a long time.


Watch the Drive 10  second car video of the New Fiesta ST

On the outside there isn’t a real brash overt display of meet me I’m the new bully on the block. The Fiesta has a subtle ST look with a nicely styled rear spoiler and diffuser, a neat black honeycomb grill, reminiscent of some more expensive brands, subtle ST badges, adequate and extremely smart 17inch alloys and not overtly low profile or fat expensive tyres. Through the windows spot the chunky and necessary Recaro seats. This is a car that is bound to please again and again. This car can deliver.

Ford Fiesta ST alloy wheelsAvailable in five new well selected  and striking colours. Of the three I saw Molten Orange, Spirit Blue and my favourite, a sexy bright Race Red. The excellent hip hugging recaros (heated in the ST2) and a chunky steering wheel and gear knob and alloy pedals, add the required amount of sports feel to the interior.

The way the car puts down its power is exceptional. Not an over revvy pint size hot hatch but a sports Fiesta ‘matured’  and more than you expect. The power delivery is brisk with no manic wheelspin but a smooth satisfying delivery taking you up the road in a brisk fashion.

Some may say the car doesn’t quite look sporty enough but the drive gives you the reward and tuck some miles under your belt and the sportiness is rewarding for all drivers. The excellent eTVC system applies braking forces to the inside front wheel when cornering. This for the driver is very flattering, improving road holding, reducing understeer and combined with the ESC system makes the car more fun overall. A whole lot safer and more controlled. There are three driver selectable settings on ESC system, but I didn’t change any  in the time I had the car.

Tyrone Johnson, Ford Team RS engineering manager. said, “This car can put a smile on your face corner-after-corner,”

Driving the Focus ST you are not constantly reminded of the fact this is a turbo car it gets so much from the the 1.6-litre turbo EcoBoost engine. Forget lag, it’s now a thing of the past in the ST. Credit must go to Juergen Gagstatter the Ford ST Chief programme engineer and his team. This is a exceptional piece of engineering and the engaging and entertainment comes with its high torque band from 2500 rpm right through to the redline ST 5750rpm. Combine this with a very acceptable C02 of just 138g/km and 47.9 mpg although somehow I think this figure may be hard to achieve. As with all hot hatches – spirited driving costs…


Watch the Drive 10  second car video of the New Fiesta ST interior and features

The Ford ‘Sound Symposer’ system enhances the experience with all the best sporty sounds being delivered into the cabin. The system adds satisfying roars from the engine when bring driven sportily but is never intrusive. The launch test route around the famous Gorges Du Verdon in the South of France proved to be an exceptionally well chosen place to turn up the symphony of this little car.

A lot of fun was had by all on the mountainous terrain with some of the best views and bends available this time of year. This latest Fiesta ST DNA comes from the new combination of Ford’s performance divisions, RS in Europe and SVT in North America. The result is now a strengthened Global Performance team. The car worldwide is strictly the same, but in the US it will be a five door body. Over 40 percent of the European built cars production will be sold in the UK and with CAP residual values set to return 50 percent to owners after three years the car is a real decision maker.

The Ford Fiesta ST2 Recaro SeatsThere are no real criticisms of this car. Ok, for me, no sunroof, and a lack of dials long remembered from by Abarth Autobianchi and boyracer days, but again this is where the Fiesta ST maturity comes in. A docile unassuming car around town and a barnstorming pocket rocket outside.

So Focus ST or Fiesta ST, just keep watching your mirror Focus owners and let me know…


There are two versions of the Fiesta ST £16,995 and the Fiesta ST2 at £17.995.


The Fiesta ST Standard Specs

17″ Alloy Wheels

Tinted Glass

Halogen Projector Headlights

ST Front Fog Lights

Recaro Cloth Seats

Thatcham Cat 1 Alarm System

Ford DAB Digital Radio

Sync Connectivity


Additions on the Fiesta ST2

LED Daytime Running Lights

Privacy Glass

Part Leather Recaro Seats

Sony DAB Digital Radio

Keyless start with Ford Power Button

The Competition: Peugeot 208 GTi,  Renault Clio Renaultsport, MINI Cooper S, SEAT Ibiza Cupra, Vauxhall Corsa VXR, Volkswagen Polo GTI

Sum up: All round sports hot hatch, easy to drive, Ford reliability, Mature hot hatch, grown up and worth every penny.

Ford Fiesta ST Launch South of France

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