It’s one of the baby hot-hatches on the market, and combines a hard-working three-cylinder engine in the body of Ford’s iconic Fiesta, very potentially producing a car that offers the best of both worlds.
The Fiesta ST goes up against the likes of the Volkswagen Polo GTI, Mini Cooper S, Toyota Yaris GR and the Suzuki Swift in the world of compact hot-hatches, which in recent years, has become more competitive than ever before. As a result, the Fiesta ST is faced with the massive task of not only keeping up with its main competitors, but showing them how it's done when it comes to smile-inducing performance while remaining approachable and user-friendly on a daily drive. To make things worse, the moment a humble hatchback is fitted with performance elements, it usually becomes significantly worse to live with on a daily basis, making the balance even more difficult for Ford to navigate.
With all this in mind, just how well has the Ford Fiesta ST hit its design brief of sporty performance in a user-friendly package? Let’s find out.
Starting Price: $32,290
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Ford Fiesta (ST) Specifications
|Fuel type||PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL|
|Transmission||6 SP MANUAL|
|Engine configuration||DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||6000 / 4500|
|Fuel tank size||45.0|
|Fuel usage specs||6.3 / 0.0|
|ANCAP security rating||UNRATED|
For more details and other variants, check Ford Fiesta car page.
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How Much Does It Cost?
Currently, Ford only has one Fiesta model available for sale here in Australia, however this could change in the near future. Until then, however, you’re left with the Ford Fiesta ST, which is priced from $32,290, which comes fitted with a manual transmission. These prices are subject to change and do not include on-road costs.
Ford is offering just two options on the Fiesta ST, which is a sign of just how feature-packed the Fiesta really comes. A premium paint finish can be optioned for $650, while a panoramic sunroof can also be added for a cost of $2,500.
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What Features Does the Ford Fiesta ST Have?
The Ford Fiesta ST comes riding on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, and is packaged with a mix of sporty and premium features. The list includes a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, 8.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+ digital radio, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Matrix LED headlights, tail lights and daytime running lamps, cruise control, smart keyless entry, climate control, ambient lighting package, a set of heated Recaro sport seats up front with leather and suede upholstery, alloy pedals, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic wipers, reversing camera with rear-mounted parking sensors and a mechanical limited-slip differential and launch control system.
Mechanical limited-slip differential
Matrix LED head & tail lights with LED daytime running lamps
12.3-inch digital driver’s display
8.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+, Sat-nav, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
Heated Recaro sports seats
Leather-wrapped steering wheel
Ambient lighting package
Leather/suede interior upholstery
Keyless entry & start
Reversing camera with parking sensors
10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system
Ford Fiesta Colours
|Agate Black Metallic||Ford Performance Blue|
|Race Red||Moondust Silver|
Is the Fiesta ST Fun to Drive?
As a relatively small car with a heap of power, the Fiesta ST is a pleasure to drive and is a great entry-point into the world of user-friendly performance vehicles. Typically, the higher the performance on offer, the less friendly the car can become. The Fiesta ST, on the other hand, gives the driver more than enough power at their disposal, but has a chassis that allows the driver to have fun at relatively low speeds, rather than the high-speed performance on offer in other sports cars. In this light, the Fiesta ST is a wonderful little hot-hatch that shows you don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands to have a great time. The turbocharged three-cylinder engine might sound small on paper, but the power output of 147kW and the 320Nm torque figure, combined with the limited-slip differential means you can have a heap of fun and push the Fiesta past the point of grip, where the differential will kick in and throw power to the outside wheel, helping you maintain control. Power is thrown to the front-wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, which is a nod to the Fiesta ST’s performance-focussed design brief, as well as the weighted steering rack which gives the driver a tonne of feedback when pushing at speed.
While the Fiesta ST has been designed primarily with fun and performance in mind, that doesn’t mean it can’t handle your daily commute or a weekend away. At its heart, it’s built on the Fiesta platform, which is known to be a high quality small car, and this becomes clear when you pilot the ST on your daily drive. It’s small, which makes it perfect for the urban environment, and makes the process of three-point turns and squeezing into tight parking spaces a piece of cake.
There’s also the steering, which has been designed by Ford to give a sharp turn-in, and adds to the Fiesta ST’s overall appeal as a zippy city runaround, helping you to weave between lanes with a minimal amount of steering input.
The one major downside of the Fiesta ST as a daily driver is the suspension that is biased towards performance driving, rather than being a comfortable hatchback on the road. Around the city, you’re unlikely to notice this, and you’ll be impressed with just how flat the body stays through corners. On country B-roads, however, this becomes painfully clear at times, and is a constant reminder that the Fiesta ST is primarily a driver’s car rather than a commuter, when driving on rough surfaces.
Overall, though, the Fiesta ST does a remarkable job in providing real-world performance with the added benefits of a compact, maneuverable and lightweight commuter that can make even the most mundane of drives an exciting one. Keep in mind that this performance has come at the expense of the everyday driving comfort, but depending on where you live, this might not prove a huge issue.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
As the smallest car in Ford’s lineup, interior space and practicality might not be the strongest of the range, but the little Fiesta ST does its best. Typically in sports cars, practicality and comfort are the first sacrifices in the name of speed. The Fiesta ST, though, as a moderately hot small car, remains user-friendly in its design and interior packaging. The driver and front passenger are treated to a set of heated Recaro sport seats which not only hold you in place through corners, they’re also surprisingly comfortable for sport seats, and there’s a decent amount of forward visibility out of the windscreen. The front of the cabin receives the usual set of centre console storage, side door bins and cupholders between the driver and passenger, as well as a wireless charging pad for smartphones. The major impression of the Fiesta’s cabin is the lack of width, which means stray elbows might struggle to find a comfortable spot to rest, but other than that, the cabin is typical of Ford’s attentive approach to packaging.
In the rear of the cabin, there’s a bench seat that, in theory, can accommodate up to three people, although the rear of the Fiesta ST’s cabin isn’t suitable for adults or tall teenagers. Unfortunately, the rear of the Fiesta’s cabin, depending on the size of the driver and front passenger, is limited to smaller adults and young children, with a serious lack of leg and headroom in the second row of the cabin. The lack of the Fiesta’s width becomes more apparent in the rear of the cabin, again, with significantly less shoulder-room than is necessary for three rear occupants.
In terms of the Fiesta ST’s storage practicality, there’s a 311L boot, which is made more impressive by the fact that there’s a full-sized spare tyre hiding away under the boot. Typically, a larger boot will come at the expense of a full-sized spare, which is a nice touch from Ford and will likely save you a huge headache in the event of a flat tyre. For those of you with children, Ford’s ISOFIX anchor and top tether points are easy to access, although larger seats might have to squeeze into the rear of the cabin if the driver or passenger are tall.
Is the Ford Fiesta ST Safe?
The Ford Fiesta ST is yet to receive an official ANCAP safety rating, although it does come packed with a number of active safety technologies. The Fiesta ST is packaged with autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, blind-spot warnings and rear cross-traffic alerts, which means that it receives the same set of active safety technologies that five-star ANCAP-rated vehicles are packaged with. While it is yet to receive an official score, it seems reasonable to speculate that the Fiesta ST would receive a high safety score, considering the amount of equipment included, and Ford’s reputation for well-built consumer vehicles.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
The Ford Fiesta ST is officially rated at 6.3L per 100km on a combined cycle, which is right on par for a vehicle of this size that offers a considerable amount of power. Hot hatches for a number of years now have sat around the 6L per 100km-mark, and the Fiesta continues this tradition. What’s more impressive about the turbocharged three-cylinder engine is that this figure, if you’re light with your right-foot, can be beaten during your commute without much of a problem. As a result, the Fiesta ST’s economy is impressive for the power on offer, and matches that of its most significant competitors.
Our Verdict: Is the Ford Fiesta ST Worth it?
The Ford Fiesta ST is an impressive little car that manages to tick all the important boxes for a hot-hatch, while still being comfortable enough for most Australian work commutes and weekend trips. It’s a wonderful little hatch to drive at speed, and represents one of the most user-friendly packages for spirited driving currently on the market. If you’re looking for a hot-hatch that won’t break the budget, it’s well-worth your time adding Ford’s little Fiesta ST to your shortlist.
We’d encourage you to take one for a test drive as close to your local roads as possible, to get a feel of how the sports-tuned suspension handles on the roads that you’ll be driving on a daily basis. On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925
Five Specs You Need to Know
Turbocharged three-cylinder engine produces 147kW/320Nm
Five-year, unlimited KM warranty
No official ANCAP safety rating
Mechanical limited-slip differential
Fuel economy of 6.3L per 100km on a combined cycle
Extremely fun and confidence-inspiring
Sporty suspension offers great handling
Comfortable Recaro sport seats
Firm suspension on rough surfaces
Tight rear seats and headroom
Lack of cabin width eats into occupant space
OnlineAuto Rating: 8.5/10
Ford Fiesta Competition