This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Ford Fiesta ST review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

There’s just one engine available on the ST – a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol unit delivering 180bhp and maximum torque of 290Nm – providing an 6.9 second 0-62mph time and top speed of 137mph.

If you enjoy driving, then it’s fair to say the Ford Fiesta ST performance figures make for interesting reading.

On the road the ST is a serious amount of fun. The engine has a wide power band meaning you don’t have to change gears very often if you don’t want to. That versatility makes over-taking easy, while the grin-inducing exhaust note makes spirited journeys a joy. The power is all delivered so smoothly that the chassis never feels overwhelmed either.

For those that relish their time behind the wheel the Fiesta ST is perfectly measured, but its accessibility and ease of use means it’s not intimidating for those who don’t.

There’s only one gearbox available; the six-speed manual has a short throw and positive feel, further improving the overall driving experience.

The Fiesta ST weighs just 1,163kg, and you really notice it on the road. There’s a feeling of agility and it’s so incredibly well balanced through the corners that you get a real feeling of confidence in the car.

Get it wrong and there’s a host of clever electronics to bring everything back under control. Most note-worthy is the traction control system, which has three settings. During normal driving it works perfectly well, only intervening when it detects slip. It’s not intrusive, and if the yellow light on the dash wasn’t flashing you’d have quite a job knowing it’s doing anything at all.

Pressing the ‘ESP Off’ button on the dash once switches it to Sport mode, allowing the driver more room to explore the limits of the chassis with the safety net of the stability system should too much exuberance be dished out. Just as before you barely notice its intervention and Ford has obviously gone to great lengths to engineer this system in a way which makes it feel natural. In short it’s one of the best systems we’ve driven.

Holding the button down will actually switch the system off completely, at which point it’s all up to the driver. Enthusiasts will be pleased to note the ST doesn’t lose anything by doing this, the communication and balance from the chassis making it easily exploitable through the corners.

The steering, although direct, does lack that final fraction of feedback through the wheel but is well-weighted and accurate. The turning circle, as with most fast Ford cars, isn’t great. Still, it’ll ensure you get adequate practice of your three-point turns.