£17,895 - £22,895 Price range
46 - 47 MPG
Hot hatchbacks are meant to be quick, fun to drive and practical – all boxes the Fiesta ST ticks with ease, making it a clear winner against rivals such as the Peugeot 208 GTi, Volkswagen Polo GTI, and the Vauxhall Corsa VXR. Prices start from £17,895 and if you buy the Fiesta ST using carwow you can save an average of £2,910.
The standard Fiesta is already more fun to drive than its rivals and the ST goes one step further. It has sports suspension (to reduce how much the car leans in corners), stronger brakes and, of course, a more powerful engine.
That engine is a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol with 178hp, but it feels even quicker than that power output suggests, mostly because it has an over-boost function that swells power to 197hp for brief bursts of acceleration. Buyers can also go for a (Ford-approved) Mountune tuning kit that hikes power to 212hp. Even without this extra power, the Fiesta ST is guaranteed to put a smile on your face thanks to its punchy performance and addictive engine sound.
In 2016, Ford announced the arrival of the new Fiesta ST200. This model gets an uprated turbocharged engine with 197hp allowing it to hit 62mph from rest in 6.7 seconds – 0.2 faster than the current Fiesta ST.
Fuel economy of close to 50mpg means the ST is cheap to drive for something so fast, and its interior is as practical as the regular car’s, although it’s only available with three doors.
Smart looks come courtesy of the Fiesta ST’s unique shades of paint, subtle body kit and racy ‘ST’ badging. Also on the standard-kit list is a DAB digital radio, air conditioning and sports seats from Recaro. Read our Fiesta ST trim guide for more information on what’s included, or find out exactly how much interior space the Fiesta ST offers with our dimensions guide.
A new model has been spotted testing in prototype form – take a first look at this new Ford Fiesta ST with our price, specs and release date article or check out the new Fiesta ST five-door model if you’re looking for a hot hatch with a little extra practicality.
Some reviewers criticise the Fiesta ST for its slightly plain interior and a pointlessly small optional sat-nav screen, but the basics are right – a pair of bolstered Recaro seats that keep you in place during fast corners and a great driving position.
Everything else is arranged just where you need it for sporting driving, the instruments are clear and most of the controls well-placed. As in the regular Fiesta , the dash still looks fussy – the tiny buttons on the Sony stereo are particularly awkward – but it’ll still do the practicality bit as well as its humbler brothers.
The Fiesta ST shares its interior dimensions with those of the standard car.
First, the sole not-so-good point: the ride comfort. Hot hatchbacks are naturally a little firmer than their less-hot counterparts, but the ST could feel a little too stiff for some. We tested the Fiesta ST in 2015 and found that around town you’re dealt some very firm blows as you go over bumps and speedhumps, but as you leave urban speed limits and pick up the pace the ride quality does get better. The sense of connection the Fiesta ST gives you with the road lends you the confidence to drive incredible quickly down twisty roads.
Speaking of which, the Fiesta ST is an absolute masterpiece when driven down challenging British country roads. The suspension – so firm around town – controls the car’s movements impeccably, and the steering gives you a fantastic sense of how much grip you have. The brakes are strong, and you can easily judge how much speed you’ll shed with a prod of the pedal.
The joy of the ST is that it comes alive at legal speeds (although it’ll encourage you to go much faster than you think sensible), meaning that you can feel like you’re getting the most out of your hot hatch without risking a slap on the wrists. The fact that countless motoring journalists rank it among sports cars costing more than £50,000 in terms of driving fun suggests Ford has really nailed it with the Fiesta ST.
Ford Fiesta ST200
The ST200 is effectively a swansong to Ford’s brilliant hot hatch, which goes out of production in 2017.
Costing £3,000 more than the ST-3 on which it is based, your money buys you a unique shade of paint (or is it primer?) called Storm Grey, ST200 badges and red highlights for the brake callipers.
Maximum power with the Fiesta’s 15-second over-boost function in full flow rises from the standard 197hp to 218hp – or exactly the same hike you can get by specifying the factory-approved £600 Montune tuning kit. Mechanically, all that separates the ST200 from it is a revised suspension setup that is 30 per cent stiffer and a lower ratios for the gearbox.
Whether the performance upgrades are worth the money is a mute point then. We’ve yet to sample the car for ourselves, but reviewers that have tell us that there’s little to separate the ST200 from the standard (admittedly utterly brilliant) model – it still corners like an X-Fighter and shoots through space like the Millennium Falcon.
Some say the extra power slightly diminishes the driving experience – leaving it vulnerable to understeer. That’s something even the standard Fiesta can suffer from lacking, as it does, a grip-inducing limited-slip differential.
Whether you think the ST200 is worth the extra outlay comes down to personal priorities – but the fact that just 3,000 (or thereabouts) will be built globally could well swing it for people looking for a collectable fast Ford.
If you’re not one of those folks, though, you’ll be perfectly happy saving your money and going for the already-excellent standard car – particularly when you learn that, owing to the limitations of the factory, all final run STs will get the ST200’s suspensions upgrades absolutely free.
With a quoted 182hp, the Fiesta ST’s engine output sounds a little less potent than its closest rivals. However, a lengthy 15-second overboost means it pumps out nearly 200hp at full throttle, and is therefore a very fast car.
Ford Fiesta ST Specs
Officially, 0-62mph takes 6.9 seconds and top speed is 137mph, but it’s the feeling of speed that really engages the critics. Some of that is down to a ‘sound synthesiser’ which pipes induction noise into the cabin. It’s not artificial noise like some cars, just a handy bit of tube that gets around the modern car’s acres of sound-deadening material to enhance the aural experience. It sounds great, and the engine has a smooth surge of power all the way to the 6,500rpm red line.
Drive gently, and it’ll even return fuel economy of 47.9mpg and the car costs a very reasonably £130 to tax each year.
The Fiesta’s body strength and technology combined to give it a top five-star Euro NCAP test result, and it’s littered with airbags to keep you safe. The expected driver and passenger airbags are present, along with side airbags, curtain airbags (running down the side of the car) and an airbag for the driver’s knees.
As well as the usual range of electronic safety systems like ABS and stability control, you can also use Ford’s MyKey system to let you limit the speed your kids can drive at, and the maximum volume of the sound system – that’s if you ever feel like throwing them the keys to your ST!
At around £2,000 less than most rivals, like the Peugeot 208 GTI or RenaultSport Clio, the Fiesta ST is an absolute steal.
There are three main options with the ST. One is the ST-2 package for an extra £1,000, with two-tone and heated front seats, a DAB radio, a starter button and tinted windows. Then there’s the higher ST-3 trim, which adds keyless entry, climate control, sat-nav and folding door mirrors, and will add £2,000 to the basic ST. For a full breakdown of these options, read our in-depth Fiesta ST trim guide.
The other is the Ford-approved Mountune upgrade, which costs a mere £599 and bumps output up to 212hp.
For help on choosing the right paint for your Fiesta ST we have prepared a colour guide exploring each shade individually.
The Ford Fiesta is nothing short of exceptional, and one of the best hot hatchbacks to come along in years. That its closest rivals, Renault’s Clio Renaultsport 200 and Peugeot’s 208 GTI have fallen a little short of the mark certainly helps its cause but, even without them, the ST remains fast, fun and excellent value.