Ford Fiesta ST-3 : Which trim?

  • Buy your Fiesta ST from a broker and you could net a surprising deal - from £14,632
  • We examine specs and decide if basic ST, mid-range ST-2 or top ST-3 is best bet
  • Whatever you choose, Mountune tuning kit is a must have for enthusiastic drivers

Search hard enough and you can find yourself slipping behind the wheel of a brand new Ford Fiesta ST for just £14,632. Admittedly that’s from a broker (an ST would run you £17,486 at an official Ford dealer) but it’ll be brand new, with zero miles and never previously registered.

That is what you call outstanding value.

Our Fiesta ST-3 wormed its way into my affections with incredible pace; but much though I love this car’s performance, agility, looks and even its climate control, sat-nav and heated seats, I wouldn’t recommend you buy a new one. That may sound strange, but bear with me for a moment…

Fiesta ST Mountune

When EJ14 EDC rolled out of the factory it arrived on Ford’s inventory list with a £20,020 sticker price (including optional Metallic Spirit Blue metallic paint and the ST Style pack with grey wheels, illuminated scuff plates and red brake calipers).

By the time the press office added the Mountune pack that swelled to £20,619. Which isn’t an inconsiderable amount.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advising you forget the tuning kit. In fact I’d wholeheartedly recommend it, the extra urge available in the mid-range turning the ST from ferociously fast Ford to simply unstoppable ST. It’s probably the best £599 you can spend on a Fiesta – especially since it retains the full manufacturer warranty.

Fiesta ST cornering

But if you’re looking for the sweetspot in the Fiesta range, one that mixes performance with financial credibility, I’m not convinced the ST-3 is the car to start with.

As an entry-level car the standard ST is suitably well-equipped; every one comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, DAB radio with SYNC, leather steering wheel and gearknob and Quickclear heated windscreen. The seats are still generously bolstered, supportive and supremely comfortable Recaro chairs but they’re finished in an un-inspiring grey cloth. Move up a level and the ST-2’s half leather treatment makes a world of visual difference.

That ST-2 trim also means they’re heated too, while the headlights are halogen projector style bulbs with LED daytime running lamps, there’s a start button inside and the rear windows are tinted.

Fiesta ST cabin

You’ll pay another £1,000 to step up into ST-3 specification, like our example, and that brings with it sat-nav, keyless entry, cruise control, automatic headlights, wipers and dimming rear view mirror, electrically folding door mirrors with puddle lights and electronic climate control. Ford found many owners were adding these items individually anyway, so introduced the ST-3 spec to satisfy them.

But despite this value-added incentive – and to be fair, £1,000 for all of the above is really rather good – in my time with EDC I’ve found myself questioning their validity for daily use.

Fiesta ST sat-nav

Personally I rarely use cruise control, the climate control tends to be set in one position and though the sat-nav has never failed to get me to my destination, it’s a long way from being the best system I’ve tried. The controls are fiddly, and without a turn-by-turn display in the main instrument cluster my penchant for disabling the voice instructions means I’m always looking over at it for my next move.

Don’t get me wrong, you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, and the spec sheet of our ST-3 does make it feel grown-up. But it also makes it feel rather expensive, and were it me placing the order I’d stick with an ST-2 and spend some of the money saved on that Mountune kit and a £100 portable TomTom instead. 

Mileage: 9,544 miles (4,038 since delivery)                      Economy: 34.6mpg