In essence, the ST is the fire breathing example of the range, with a 134 kW/240 Nm 1.6L EcoBoost petrol engine. Peak power is on tap at 5700 revs, but the talking point is the mesa flat delivery of torque, from 1600 to 5000 rpm. Mated to one of the best sorted six speed manuals going and a fluid, smooth clutch and spot on brakes, it’s a fantastic combination. Additional tech comes in the form of Hill Start Assist.
Body style is a three door hatch and the test car came clad in a sparkling, eye catching, Molten Orange metallic paint (optional extra, at $450 cost), 17 inch alloys with a five spoke, hammerhead, design with 205/40 rubber, slim line headlights with LED driving lights, sports body kit, dual exhaust tips and rear parking sensors. It’s compact at just over four metres in length and sits on a 2490 mm wheelbase. It’s a squat track too, with a 1465 and 1447 mm track, front and rear, accounting for the go-kart like handling.
Interior kit runs to push button start/stop, auto headlights and wipers, snug and form fitting Recaro sports seats, a Sony audio system (with the soon to be replaced overdose of buttons), the Microsoft powered Sync system for voice activation on certain services such as audio, a smartly laid out aircon control set, a non touchscreen display of 4.2 inches and a sports steering wheel with a “just right” feel to the hand.
The engine is, quite simply, a pearler; aside from a system that pipes noise into the cabin for more aural feedback, the torque and free revving, spritely nature of the powerplant brings a sense of life and pizzazz to the drive. There’s that immensely usable torque delivery, allowing flexibility around town and on the freeway. Backed by that instinctive, short throw gear change and thought direct steering, it’s a sports hatch for the exuberant driver.
The ST is also kitted with a Torque Vectoring system, which effectively delivers torque via a special differential to the wheel the system feels needs more. Economy? Brilliant; Ford quotes 6.2L per 100 kilometres of unleaded (it will run E10 to 98 RON) from a 48L tank. A Wheel Thing matched that figure.
Downside, for some, is the sports handling and ride; the steering is responsive but perhaps too responsive for some,with even a twitch seeing a change of direction. In order to have the ST sit as flat as it does, the sports oriented suspension picks up every lump, bump and five cent piece sized ripple on the road. Having said that, if this bothers a driver then perhaps they’ve not researched their choice of buying well enough.
There’s also the bland, hard plastics inside. It’s an outdated, uncomfortable look and feel, with little or no give and being all black lends a claustrophobic feel to the cabin. The only real spots of brightwork were the scuff plates,surrounds to the gear lever and gear knob itself and highlights on the tiller. The dash itself (along with the aircon_ is simple to read but dated with dash style LCD backlit displays.
Offsetting that is the approximately 280L of carry space behind the rear seats which increases to around 960L with seats folded.
There’s ‘bags aplenty, including thorax and driver’s knee, plus the usual suite of electronic safety items such as Electronic Brake Distribution.
It’s a performance bargain, the Ford Fiesta ST, with a starting price of just under $29800.00 (September 2015 pricing). It’s a ripper to look at, a hoot to drive, cheap to run and has enough onboard tech and space to prove useful to most. The expectations were of a fun car with an interior in need of an update. Expectations met.
For information, contact your local Ford dealer or click here: Ford Fiesta ST info