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In-depth reviews

Ford Fiesta ST review – performance and 0-60 time

Performance in the meat of the engine’s rev band is super-impressive, helped by the lithe kerb weight

Evo rating
Price
from £19,495
  • Exuberant and wildly entertaining chassis; powertrain; precision
  • Single high-spec model is pricey compared to when it all started

Despite having just three cylinders at its disposal, the new ST isn’t short of performance. Make use of the launch control function (engaged via the steering wheel buttons) and keep your right foot pinned as you shift through the gears (thanks to flat-shifting technology) and you should match Ford’s claim of a 6.5sec 0-62mph time and eventually a 144mph top speed.

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The three-cylinder engine definitely has a different aural character to the old ‘four’. It’s not an unpleasant one – it’s definitely amongst the angrier threes we’ve heard – and while Ford uses sound generation to enhance its note inside the cabin, it’s not too artificial, plus the active exhaust out back is making a ‘proper’ noise anyway.

> Best hot superminis

The only downside is that the valved exhaust can drone at certain revs, particularly if you pay heed to the car’s gear change indicator and its desire to have you shuffle along in low revs and high gears for economy. Ignoring it smooths things out and makes the cabin a little quieter.

Despite the big turbo, the ST has good throttle response from low rpm and all the way to the upper reaches of the rev counter. It doesn’t quite cover the last 1000rpm or so with the verve of the old car, though flick through the gears quickly enough and there’s sufficient torque to chirp the tyres even on the change to third.

The limited-slip diff can make the steering a little fighty from low speeds, and particularly on bumpy surfaces, but that’s all part of the thrill of a compact hot hatch like this. Thankfully, the brakes are up to the task of shedding all that speed, and while they can begin grumbling after a few hot laps around a race circuit, actual braking performance remains fairly consistent.

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