RE: Farewell Ford Fiesta ST!

RE: Farewell Ford Fiesta ST!

Saturday 24th June 2017

Farewell Ford Fiesta ST!

The current ST isn't long for this world - here's why the replacement has a very tough job to do



"The Fiesta isn't the most practical small car around, but it crams a decent amount of space into a compact package... Access is fine - although... even the five-door isn't as easy to get in and out of as rivals, such as the Honda Jazz and Nissan Note". There you go. That's the What Car? view on five-door versus three-door Fiestas. Why use that verdict? Because, in all honesty, nobody got in the back during our time with the five-door ST. The doors were opened to wind (remember doing that?) down the windows, but otherwise it was just driven. And driven hard.

Stopped only to prove it does have five doors
Stopped only to prove it does have five doors
How could you not? Since its launch four years ago the ST has garnered a (popular) reputation for being a right little rascal of a hot hatch, fizzing with energy and bristling with cheeky attitude. It's worth noting actually what an achievement this car is, what with Ford's fairly average track record with fast Fiestas: the last ST wasn't anything special against contemporary hot Clios, the fastest model of the Mk4/5 had 105hp (though was rather good) and before that you're back into cars like the XR2i. Yuck.

So while Ford has been producing some great handling cars for more than 20 years now, to have a genuinely great fast Fiesta came as something of a surprise in 2013. With the replacement imminent now seemed the right time to be reminded of how good this little car is, as well as what the new version needs to improve on.

Also available in red...
Also available in red...
Class act
Well it's still brilliant, put it that way. It's also still impossible to drive slowly. Partly this is to escape the ride - which is really quite tough at urban speeds - but also just because the ST is constantly goading you into thrashing the wheel nuts of it. The steering is super sharp, the car darting without delay to the next corner. That stiff suspension also means real agility at speed too, this Fiesta just incessantly eager to get down a road. Combine that with a gutsy little engine, powerful brakes and a slick gearbox and you're not far off hot hatch nirvana.

The ST's silly side extends as far as you want it to as well, the chassis mobile and adjustable to your heart's content. It's responsive to a lift of the throttle, a dab of brakes, a slightly too big a dab of brakes... it's the traditional hot hatch sense of humour, modernised and re-energised with a safety net if you need it too. 

It's not perfect though, and rivals introduced since 2013 have highlighted a few ST issues. Though more expensive, the 208 GTI by Peugeot Sport feels the more finely honed and faster hot hatch; its limited-slip diff and suspension tuning give it an additional layer of composure compared to the Ford. And while people will continue to belittle it, the Clio 220 Trophy has a fine chassis and a far nicer interior than the Fiesta.

Yep, it really has been this long
Yep, it really has been this long
For sheer entertainment though, and for the value for money it represents, the ST remains a very difficult package to argue against. All of it just feels so in balance; it doesn't need any more power, any more grip or any more braking performance. Everything is just right to have a huge amount of fun at sensible speed for not a lot of money - and isn't that what hot hatches are all about?

Room for improvement
Now the new Fiesta ST, a three-cylinder Fiesta ST don't forget, isn't that far off. We know what it looks like and we also know that it has what seems to be a much more appealing interior. What else does it need to improve? A touch more compliance around town would be handy - though it shouldn't be at the expense of that feisty attitude - and it would be nice if the new 1.5-litre engine was a bit revvier than the current 1.6. While the latter engine sounds good and pulls hard, it doesn't have the energy at high revs that something like the Peugeot does.

Now let's see what's coming next!
Now let's see what's coming next!
They're small problems though; Ford could just as easily give the current car an interior refresh and it would still be extremely competitive. Regardless of what that new car is like though, its arrival does guarantee one thing - cheap old ones! Just in case they weren't already tempting enough...

The earliest cars are now less than £9,000, with this 17-plate ST3 at £16,390 with just 100 miles on it. What more do you need?! Due for replacement or not, three-door or five-door, the Fiesta ST is absolutely still one of the best. We await its successor very eagerly indeed.


FORD FIESTA ST-2 FIVE-DOOR
Engine:
1.6-litre 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 182@5,700rpm (200hp w/overboost)
Torque (lb ft): 177@1,500-5000rpm (214lb ft w/overboost)
0-62mph: 6.9 sec
Top speed: 137mph
Weight: 1,163kg
MPG: 47.9 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 138g/km
Price: £19,800 (As tested £20,425, comprised of £250 for Frozen White paint, £200 for rear parking sensors and £175 for 5-door ST Style Pack that includes wheels painted grey and brake calipers in red)

 

Author
Discussion

Murphy16

Original Poster:

211 posts

13 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
Surely a future hot hatch classic!

Alucidnation

8,517 posts

101 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
Errrr no.

Murphy16

Original Poster:

211 posts

13 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
When the new one has a slightly smaller engine and driver modes, i think the 'just get in and drive' factor if the older one will be more appealing

Otispunkmeyer

9,140 posts

86 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
Murphy16 said:
When the new one has a slightly smaller engine and driver modes, i think the 'just get in and drive' factor if the older one will be more appealing
If the new one is 3 cylinders I can see the engine feeling a little more lethargic as they might fit it with a heavier flywheel to smooth out the pulses from fewer bangs per revolution. Surely not what you want in a hot hatch. Then again, this is Ford. They know what they're doing.

DBRacingGod

476 posts

123 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
"...it's limited-slip diff..."
A sub-editor says: "No."
Advertisement

TameRacingDriver

11,863 posts

203 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
The rear end of that new one looks just like whatever the current Ford people carrier is (can't remember the name as I'm not really interested) yuck

Porsche911R

14,683 posts

196 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
great little car the ST with a remap ;-) ran one for 2 years as a stter, loved it.

culpz

3,893 posts

43 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
One of the best modern hot hatches out there, that still has plenty of nostalgic, old-school fizz to it, despite it still being such a new car. Ford really smashed it with this model. Used models are an absolute bargain and are a perfect, usable, small car for both fun and the daily commute.

I'm honestly worried about the upcoming replacement though. It's styling is questionable (subjective, i know), the engine power output remains unchanged, the engine itself is questionable (subjective, again) and now complicates itself with those silly and useless (to me) driving modes.

I hope i'm wrong and i understand that Ford know what they're doing with this kind of stuff, or at least i hope they do. The current recipe on offer isn't particularly impressing me right now. Also, the new Polo GTI looks to be a cracker in my eyes, albeit offering a different driving experience.

LuS1fer

34,043 posts

176 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
I think the older ST will keep its price, simply because the new one is incredibly bland and looks Korean and the 4 cylinder turbo four is still a goody.

It took me a bashed panel to part with my 07 Fiesta ST150 which I really liked and while I do like my more accomplished 13 ST180, it took me a while to appreciate the looks and 18 months later, I quite like the car but maybe a Focus ST is more me.

I won't be buying this new model, it looks anonymous.

lee_erm

679 posts

124 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
The upcoming 1.5 3 pot engine has the potential to be brilliant. Let's hope it is!

It would have been equally brilliant to see control blade suspension on the back if the new fiesta. I can completely understand why this didn't happen though. I for one would have happily paid the extra few hundred quid (maybe less?) on the list price to have it.

Murphy16

Original Poster:

211 posts

13 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
culpz said:
One of the best modern hot hatches out there, that still has plenty of nostalgic, old-school fizz to it, despite it still being such a new car. Ford really smashed it with this model. Used models are an absolute bargain and are a perfect, usable, small car for both fun and the daily commute.

I'm honestly worried about the upcoming replacement though. It's styling is questionable (subjective, i know), the engine power output remains unchanged, the engine itself is questionable (subjective, again) and now complicates itself with those silly and useless (to me) driving modes.

I hope i'm wrong and i understand that Ford know what they're doing with this kind of stuff, or at least i hope they do. The current recipe on offer isn't particularly impressing me right now. Also, the new Polo GTI looks to be a cracker in my eyes, albeit offering a different driving experience.
My thoughts exactly. The new Polo gti also has a 2.0 turbo, up against the new Fiesta ST thats half a litre difference which will hopefully mean the Polo will drive better.

LuS1fer

34,043 posts

176 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
Murphy16 said:
My thoughts exactly. The new Polo gti also has a 2.0 turbo, up against the new Fiesta ST thats half a litre difference which will hopefully mean the Polo will drive better.
1.8 - 202 cc smaller but if you check You Tube, the Fiesta is still quicker round a track.

charltjr

3,270 posts

126 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
Alucidnation said:
Errrr no.
Errr yes.

Kawasicki

5,193 posts

166 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
Be careful what you ask for.

The agility and sharp steering of the current car are intrinsically bound to the less than plush ride.

If everyone moans about the ride, management will listen, and push the suspension tune in the comfy cruiser direction. Then everyone will drive the car and say it rides better, but it lost that feisty edge. Boring.

Maybe.

diddles

419 posts

130 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
LuS1fer said:
Murphy16 said:
My thoughts exactly. The new Polo gti also has a 2.0 turbo, up against the new Fiesta ST thats half a litre difference which will hopefully mean the Polo will drive better.
1.8 - 202 cc smaller but if you check You Tube, the Fiesta is still quicker round a track.
The new 2017 Polo gti model will come with a 2.0 turbo. Straight out of the old Golf gti I believe.

J4CKO

24,526 posts

131 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
Alucidnation said:
Errrr no.
And why not, they are brilliant.

People eulogise the old stuff but I would take an ST over any one of the original hot hatches and most of the modern ones.

TameRacingDriver

11,863 posts

203 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
So if they are that good, I'm curious, how does it compare to the much lauded Clio RS (NOT the crappy auto version)?

Ahbefive

10,923 posts

103 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
charltjr said:
Alucidnation said:
Errrr no.
Errr yes.
Err yes indeed. It will be a classic.

Thorburn

2,249 posts

124 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
Good riddance. We bought one of these last year for my wife, and I don't rate it at all. Much prefer my older Mk7 Fiesta Zetec-S, even if it only has half the power.

The ride of the ST is atrocious, and compounded by severe torque steer on less than perfect surfaces. Living in the countryside it always feels like you're fighting the road surface and there isn't really any useful feedback through the wheel - the Zetec-S by contrast feels much more communicative and whilst relatively stiff doesn't pummel you to the same extent. Overall it feels very hard to gauge corner entry, sometimes the nose feels artificially darty, other times it'll smack a bump and skitter off line, and you have to drive it in a high gear the whole time to reduce the torque at the wheels.

I absolutely hate the seats too, the seat back almost cripples me over any kind of distance. Did a 5 hour drive in it recently and after an hour I was seriously considering turning back and starting over in another car - by the time I'd got to my destination I was straight up plotting just torching the thing and getting the train home. Ended up sitting in the back whilst my wife drove it instead.

If you want the last of the 'old school' hatchbacks look at something from the early to mid 2000's (or maybe the Swift Sport, this was what I wanted to buy, but was deemed too small). Given that it was supposed to be one of the best small hot hatches of its generation I just found it a sad what the push to meet emission based tax bandings and ever increasing power levels has done to 'fun' hatchbacks.

Thorburn

2,249 posts

124 months

Thursday 22nd June 2017
quotequote all
LuS1fer said:
the Fiesta is still quicker round a track.
Which as an actual measure of the amount of fun you can have in a car means pretty much cock-all.