RE: Ford Fiesta ST: PH Fleet

RE: Ford Fiesta ST: PH Fleet

Friday 4th January

Ford Fiesta ST: PH Fleet

A trip to Leeds and head-to-head with a hot hatch legend provided our ST with its sternest tests yet



A trip to Leeds for an annual university reunion has unintentionally become a reoccurring test for all my recent long-termers. In all honesty, it's proved to be rather useful in gauging a car's full breadth of abilities, because brimming a car with four lads, their luggage and some (read: a lot of) beer and commencing a 200-mile sprint up the M1 before darting around the busy city streets can quickly reveal chinks in a car's armour. Or, sometimes, allow it to really shine.

We're never going to try and convince you that a three-door Fiesta ST is the most practical option in the class for such a task, because it's obviously not. If one were to regularly carry four this far, the five-door would no doubt make more sense. But with an identical wheelbase beneath us, once we were all in there was no real disadvantage to having a three-door. Plus, as my passengers confirmed, the ST is a comfortable place to sit, even in the back, its seats supportive and the ride being surprisingly refined at motorway pace.


Inevitably, the ST's zippy turn of speed was somewhat hampered by our Yorkshire-bound load, but let's be honest - nothing this side of a 500hp super-coupe could shrug off that much mass without noticing. Still, you might expect the need to drive it harder to compensate would have significantly increased the engine's demand for petrol, but it didn't, not by a noticeable amount. The Fiesta averaged 53mpg on the 200-mile motorway stretch, leaving the fuel bill at about Β£22. Take that National Rail.

As we headed into town in the dim light of sunset, our ST-3 looked great in shop window reflections with its bright LED headlights. But the ride did feel a little harsh over the inconsistent tarmac at low speed. No doubt the chassis is suppler than the old ST, particularly at the rear, but a Polo GTI with optional adaptive dampers does a better job in a city environment. Although that's not really surprising, what with the ST having passive dampers and bespoke bushes.


My latest reunion weekend also included a detour onto the Leeds' surrounding country routes, because rural Yorkshire is fantastic. Here, the ST's performance stood strong and, even on the freezing surface near Otley, the little Ford felt like it had reserves of untapped performance despite going as fast as the road (and my passengers) would allow. Unlike the spikier old ST, the new model is, to me, a little more accommodating.

Those of you who read our Christmas twin test where the ST was pitted against the Renault Clio RS 200 Cup would know the new car isn't quite the finest driver's car this segment has seen. But, as the Leeds getaway has reaffirmed, it is arguably the most rounded car in this price bracket. And my belief in this has heightened since the turn of the year because - rejoice, city dwellers - the Waze smartphone sat-nav app now works with the Fiesta's Sync3 infotainment. Anybody who's had their commute slashed by Waze will know this is a very big win.

It's not perfect, but honestly, the longer I live with this car, the fonder I grow of it.


FACT SHEET
Car:
Ford Fiesta ST-3
On fleet since: October 2018
Run by: Sam Sheehan
Mileage: 5,378
List price new: Β£21,494 (As tested: Β£24,515 comprising Β£745 for Performance Blue paint, Β£600 for full LED headlights, Β£475 for blind spot information system, Β£850 for ST Performance Pack and for Β£350 B&O premium audio system).
Last month at a glance: Fiesta proves A1 on the M1 as it ferries friends to Yorkshire

Previous reports:
Say ST-hi to our new fast Ford long-termer
Downsizing devotee after miracle MPG




Author
Discussion

ECG1000

Original Poster:

325 posts

87 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Would love to know the roads you picked around Otley? I'm yet to find one that really excites!

ToothbrushMan

1,627 posts

70 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
£745 extra for the blue paint but its free if you take say red or white?

Frimley111R

9,973 posts

179 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
impressive mpg

Krikkit

15,987 posts

126 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
ECG1000 said:
Would love to know the roads you picked around Otley? I'm yet to find one that really excites!
Head North towards Blubberhouses, then towards Pateley Bridge, some good roads up that way. Not absolute best-ever, but good enough on a quiet day.

ECG1000

Original Poster:

325 posts

87 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Krikkit said:
Head North towards Blubberhouses, then towards Pateley Bridge, some good roads up that way. Not absolute best-ever, but good enough on a quiet day.
Thanks. I've been up that way before. Maybe I need to give it a few more tries.

IanCress

4,409 posts

111 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Grew up in Otley so spent plenty of time throwing my first car around the roads between Otley, Harrogate, Pateley Bridge and Skipton, and still know every lump and bump in the roads now (Which must mean they haven't been resurfaced in 25 years!). Oh how I wish I had something sporty like the ST to throw around those roads now, rather than the family cars I now own frown

Emeye

7,975 posts

168 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
That is one ugly car.

Car-Matt

1,923 posts

83 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Emeye said:
That is one ugly car.
I think it looks fantastic and certainly is up there in terms of looks compared to its direct competitors.

Emeye

7,975 posts

168 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Car-Matt said:
Emeye said:
That is one ugly car.
I think it looks fantastic and certainly is up there in terms of looks compared to its direct competitors.
The world would be boring if we all liked the same thing, but IMO there are very few good looking affordable cars thanks to crash protection requirements etc - just different levels of ugly.

charltjr

3,606 posts

140 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Would be good to hear how the front seats were on a long journey, I’ve seen a few reviews which complain they pinch the thighs of even quite slim people resulting in numbness on long journeys.

Waze now working is nothing to do with Sync3 BTW, it’s because Apple CarPlay has finally been opened up to more third party apps and Waze have upgraded the app to use the new features. It’s the same for any car which uses CarPlay.


Car-Matt

1,923 posts

83 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Emeye said:
Car-Matt said:
Emeye said:
That is one ugly car.
I think it looks fantastic and certainly is up there in terms of looks compared to its direct competitors.
The world would be boring if we all liked the same thing, but IMO there are very few good looking affordable cars thanks to crash protection requirements etc - just different levels of ugly.
Agreed, which is why i caveated with 'compared to its direct competitors'



wab172uk

1,371 posts

172 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
More and more I like this car.

MikeGoodwin

1,498 posts

62 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Pick up my 140hp ST line tomorrow. Wondering if I should have got the ST... mind you it's ment to be a cheap daily and I've other cars for thrills but I'm dead excited, should be a fun little hatch.

Petrolsmasher

2,145 posts

61 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
charltjr said:
Would be good to hear how the front seats were on a long journey, I’ve seen a few reviews which complain they pinch the thighs of even quite slim people resulting in numbness on long journeys.

Waze now working is nothing to do with Sync3 BTW, it’s because Apple CarPlay has finally been opened up to more third party apps and Waze have upgraded the app to use the new features. It’s the same for any car which uses CarPlay.
I have the older mk7 st and this was a complaint to start with about the seats being too tight. But they generally loosen up over time and fit around you.

great_kahn

83 posts

31 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Seriously good all rounder, that MPG figure is insane, I would love to know what the average speed was and the cruising speed etc.

Active75

171 posts

109 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all




Picked up our new ST3 with performance pack and LED option last week which replaced our Mk7. It is a superb small car for twisty French C roads. Perfect for the 15k baguette dash early morning.

Dal3D

608 posts

96 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
ToothbrushMan said:
£745 extra for the blue paint but its free if you take say red or white?
Red is free, White is £250.

(Shadow black or Moondust Silver is £500, Magnetic Grey is £650 while Silver fox and the horrid flat signature colour Performance Blue is £750)

Having seen them all in the flesh, I'd take either white or Magnetic grey I think. Having driven a dealers demo last summer I thought it was an eager drive - the torque application in corners with the diff was especially grin inducing.

Ron99

1,065 posts

26 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
great_kahn said:
....that MPG figure is insane, I would love to know what the average speed was and the cruising speed etc.
The mpg figure is impossible. It's either a lie, or it was pootling along so gently in L1 that the trucks had to overtake it.

I would like to see a photo of the trip computer readout (average speed, number of miles, claimed mpg) plus a brim-to-brim calculation to see how much the trip computer lies.
Some trip computers lie by so much they're barely worth having.
On the other hand, my Swift Sport showed itself to be accurate to within 0.1mpg (confirmed by multiple brim-to-brim calculations).
My SSS just about manages 40mpg on the motorway at steady 70mph, maybe 50mpg if I pootled along with the HGVs in L1. I highly doubt a Fiesta is much different.

Dal3D

608 posts

96 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Ron99 said:
The mpg figure is impossible. It's either a lie, or it was pootling along so gently in L1 that the trucks had to overtake it.

I would like to see a photo of the trip computer readout (average speed, number of miles, claimed mpg) plus a brim-to-brim calculation to see how much the trip computer lies.
Some trip computers lie by so much they're barely worth having.
On the other hand, my Swift Sport showed itself to be accurate to within 0.1mpg (confirmed by multiple brim-to-brim calculations).
My SSS just about manages 40mpg on the motorway at steady 70mph, maybe 50mpg if I pootled along with the HGVs in L1. I highly doubt a Fiesta is much different.
So you say it's impossible in one sentence - then say how well your Swift one is so accurate. Make your mind up.

Maybe you didn't know that the 1.5T 3 cyl in the ST de-activates one of it's cylinders when not required / not under load to increase the MPG figure?

Mr-B

2,165 posts

139 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Starting to warm to this car, much preferred the previous exterior design and would probably still take that design over this one, but that MPG is seriously impressive considering this is supposed to be the hottest version. Petrol/turbo and 4 passengers on board and still 53mpg, bordering on witchcraft.