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4.8 out of 5 4.8
Parkers overall rating: 4.8 out of 5 4.8

Our 2019 Car of the Year and still the best hot hatch on sale

Ford Fiesta ST Review Video
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At a glance

New price £21,380 - £26,430
Lease from new From £319 per month
Used price £11,745 - £20,495
Used monthly cost £293 - £512
Fuel Economy 32.1 - 46.3 mpg
Road tax cost £145
Insurance group 28 - 30 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Fabulous steering and dynamics
  • Rorty performance, great soundtrack
  • More power than similarly priced rivals
  • Still as usable as a regular Fiesta

CONS

  • Firm ride quality
  • Performance Pack is an optional extra
  • Lacks deep-seated interior quality
  • That’s about it…

Ford Fiesta ST rivals

Written by James Dennison on

Quick, usable and affordable, the Ford Fiesta ST is the perfect example of a fast Ford. We like it so much that we gave it our 2019 Thrillseeker and Car of the Year awards – and having run one as a long-termer, we’ve seen nothing to change our minds.

Admittedly, the Fiesta ST has been given a helping hand thanks to the current dearth of direct rivals. Peuegot’s 208 GTI is now out of production, as is the Renault Clio RS, while the MINI Cooper S is far less focused – and much more expensive. Indeed, the only real rivalry comes from the Volkswagen Polo GTI and Suzuki Swift Sport – although the latter in particular has never come close to the Fiesta ST’s all-round ability. 

After all, it is still a Fiesta underneath – Britain’s best-selling car no less – so the usability and practicality is constant even if the edges have been sharpened. Indeed, the ST version gets a stiffer body, upgraded suspension and a faster steering rack, not to mention a more powerful version of the 1.5-litre three-cylinder Ecoboost engine.

Differences over a regular Fiesta

Every Fiesta ST (it’s available in ST-2, ST-3 Performance Edition specs) comes with 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels, tweaked exterior styling, featuring a unique ST upper grille, front bumper, rear bumper, diffuser and unique paint colours. Meanwhile, the interior benefits from an ST-Line flat-bottomed steering wheel, sports pedals and Recaro sports seats.  Three drive modes – Normal, Sport and Track – also comes as standard. 

Smaller engine, but more power

Performance car fans may scoff at the Fiesta ST’s tiddly triple-cylinder engine, but it still produces the same amount of power (200hp) as its four-cylinder ST200 predecessor. That means a 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 144mph. Not bad for a £20k supermini. 

Ford Fiesta ST main interior

The standard-fit six-speed manual gearbox is also a treat to use, delivering a slick, mechanical feel from its pleasingly stubby gearlever. You can even perform flat shifts (where you change gear with your foot still pressed down on the accelerator), although we’d avoid doing this too often if you want to look after your clutch.

Performance Pack is a must

If you want to unleash the full potential of your Fiesta ST, it’s worth adding the optional Performance Pack. This includes a Quaife limited slip differential, launch control (assists in launching the car off the line quickly) and performance shift indicators (a visual signal indicating ideal gearshift times). The latter two may well end up being of limited interest to many buyers, however the Quaife limited slip differential is quite the opposite.

What it does, is improve grip and traction from the front wheels, thus allowing the car to accelerate harder through and out of corners. This is because it stops power from being wasted on the inside driven wheel that naturally delivers less grip than the outside wheel when driving quickly through corners.

ST Ford Performance Edition

For those that want even more from their Fiesta ST, a top-of-the range Performance Edition is also available. The engine and gearbox are untouched, yet the Performance Pack is fitted as standard, as are 18-inch Magnetite Finish alloy wheels, lowered coilover suspension and a striking Deep Orange paint job.

Ford Fiesta ST Performance Edition

Read on for the full Ford Fiesta ST review to see why it’s the small hot hatch to have

Ford Fiesta ST rivals

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