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Ford Fiesta ST review - the unbeatable junior hot hatch?
The Ford Fiesta ST isn’t only the best car in its class, it also ranks among the very best small hot hatches of all time. It combines a sparkling chassis with a lively, brawny turbocharged engine and a slick manual gearshift. The cabin might be a little too fussy in its details for some, but the aggressive exterior styling hits all the right notes for a small hot hatch.
Starting at £17,745 the Fiesta ST undercuts its rivals on price. You’ll have to fork out £19,745 for the range-topping ST-3 model to get climate control, cruise control and satellite navigation as standard, but in any guise the Fiesta ST represents good value for money.
The limited edition Fiesta ST200 is more powerful than the standard car and gets shorter gear ratios, too. Of the 1000 units that will be built 400 are due to come to the UK (Ford will build more if there’s the demand for it), with a price tag of £22,745. The Storm Grey paint is unique to the ST200 and there are some minor tweaks inside the cabin, too, including bespoke seat trim and grey stripes on the seat belts.
For those who want a little more straight line performance from their hot hatch, Ford tuner Mountune offers an engine upgrade that lifts peak power to 212bhp. Crucially, the upgrade is approved by Ford so it won’t affect the manufacturer warranty. It’s the perfect way to breathe new life onto your Fiesta ST and more cost-effective than the new ST200 – particularly if you've already bought an ST before the ST200 debuted.
‘The outstanding thing about the Ford Fiesta ST is that it’s as much fun to drive on a great stretch of road as many cars that are several times more expensive. It’s also comfortable and civilized in every day use, which makes it a very easy car to recommend.
'One thing that gave the engine more oomph was the Mountune upgrade (£659), which lifted power from 179 to 212bhp and was fitted at around the same time as the ST’s only service (£169). The results were subtle, but effective – I think it’s something to have done after you’ve run the car in standard trim for a while, just so you appreciate the improvement.' - Henry Catchpole, Features editor.
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> Performance and 0-60 time - The Fiesta ST clocks a 6.9 second 0-62mph time and tops out at 139mph. Not the quickest in its class but it has the pace to keep up with its rivals. Read all about the Fiesta ST's performance here
> Engine and gearbox - The engine is a real strong point for the ST. It has character, revving all the way to the redline with real strength. Read all about the Fiesta ST's engine and gearbox here
> Ride and Handling - This is where the Fiesta ST shines. Its chassis is well balanced and hugely engaging, making the car one of the most enjoyable on sale at this price. Read all about the Fiesta ST's ride and handling here
> MPG and running costs - Ford claims 47.9mpg, and even real-world figures are decent - evo's long-term ST has averaged over 38mpg. The ST's engine is however among the more fuel efficient in this category. Read all about the Fiesta ST's MPG and running costs here
> Prices, specs and rivals - Starting at £17,745, the Fiesta ST undercuts all of its rivals by a significant margin. The Renaultsport Clio 200 and the Peugeot 208 GTI both are more expensive. Read about the Fiesta ST's rivals here
> Interior and tech - The Mk7 Fiesta is now six years old and the cabin is beginning to show its age, with a fussy design and a poor navigation system. Basic tech needs are covered off nicely however. Read about the Fiesta ST's interior and tech here
> Design - Fiesta's styling subtly enlivened with ST-specific body kit and wheels. The 2011 facelift added a larger front grille and a slightly different set of headlights. Read about the Fiesta ST's design here