The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST should have been called the Ford Ferris, after the 1980’s film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Because like the adorable Ferris Bueller, the Ford Fiesta ST is brash, cheeky, fun, and it does things its peers could never do. Plus I think it would probably also be dating the hot chick if it were in school.
I bought mine after reading so many glowing reports from motoring journalists all over the world. I figured they must be onto something.
It’s a vehicle that even now, some 5 years on (while superseded in the UK by a new model), continues to put a smile on the dial of most who drive it.
Its 1.6-litre turbocharged engine is a little firecracker that develops 132kW and 240Nm of torque. However like the home shopping commercials on late night TV: Wait, there’s more.
For up to 20 seconds from 3rd to 6th gear, there in an overboost function which lifts power to 147kW and 290Nm of torque. It’s disabled in 1st and 2nd gear in order to avoid the dreaded torque steer. Twenty seconds of full throttle - particularly on a highway - is going to get you into the “Take my licence, Officer. I wont be needing it for a while” area code. So that’s plenty fast and plenty powerful, particularly for something weighing less than 1200kg.
Oh and just the word "overboost" brings images into my mind of Michael Knight in Knight Rider pressing the Turbo button in KITT and jumping over a semi trailer. Unfortunately the overboost in the ST wont launch the Fiesta over said semi, so please don’t try it.
Its fuel economy is also very good for what it is and what it's intended to do. This driver averaged 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres of mostly city driving. In 5 years of ownership, other than normal wear and tear, there have not been any mechanical issues, even now coming up to 100,000km’s.
My particular vehicle was also fitted with the Ford-approved (and more importantly warranty-approved) Mountune engine upgrade, which boosted power to 162kW and 320Nm of torque. You can really feel the difference from the standard car above 3000rpm when the extra torque really comes into play, and it is just what you need when overtaking.
The Fiesta ST will give you a driving experience that never stops you wondering how something so relatively cheap can give you so much joy and excitement. The combination of the turbocharged engine and a chassis designed by some of Ford Europe’s brightest minds delivers thrills-a-plenty for those that want to get the most out of the car. Its handling is right up there with the best of its competitors and it could even be argued that it delivers a better dynamic package than its more powerful big brother, the Ford Focus ST.
It would also give a hiding to many cars costing way more, particularly on a windy road or tight twisting circuit. The Bridgestone 17-inch Potenza’s are also an excellent fit for this vehicle. There is also switchable 3-way stability control for more customisation.
The steering is precise and communicative. Oversteer can be coaxed into corners, however most driver’s with a basic knowledge and skill of driving a car fast will feel this coming. It really does eat away at fast corners and begs the driver to give it a little more, in the confidence that it will do what’s asked of it.
Having said this though, there is the trade off for all this handling performance, and that is its firm ride, which can be a bit uncomfortable on long journeys for those not accustomed to the vehicle. I’m pleased to hear the recently updated model in the UK now comes with adjustable suspension which should alleviate this issue.
The look of the vehicle is still modern despite being 5 years old, and in the words of a pimply-faced 16-year-old, it looks tough. It still stands out in a crowd.
Inside the vehicle, you will find extremely supportive Recaro front pews which hug the driver during enthusiastic cornering, like a long lost aunt may hug the groom at a wedding. It’s also quite spacious and well equipped for something of its price range, though back seat passengers need only apply if they are young or were an extra in The Hobbit. The boot space is adequate and the split-folding rear seat also provides further practicality.
The Ford Sync system is easy to use and connects easily with most phones. Plus you will have endless laughs when you ask it to call some obscure name and listen to its computer-generated voice trying to pronounce them. A clever feature of the Sync system is the ability to call an ambulance itself using your mobile phone should you have a collision and be incapacitated yourself to make the call. And let’s face it, in today’s YouTube society, if you are involved in a major collision there is probably more chance of a witness filming you and uploading your unfortunate events onto YouTube before actually calling someone to help.
If you do have said accident, feel secure in the knowledge that it’s equipped with 7 airbags, including an airbag for the driver's knee, which is a very clever idea.
Overall it's an extremely competent vehicle that fights way above its price range and well and truly lives up to the hot hatch mantra.
NOTE: With no photo supplied, we have used a CarAdvice image for this story.