Ford Fiesta ST Review
The 2013 Ford Fiesta ST has been on sale for a few months and in May we finally got one out on the roads of Barcelona. The facts and figures about the new Fiesta ST all look good: 0-100 km/h in 6.9s, 220km/h top speed, a 1.6l EcoBoost engine, 179 bhp.
Numbers aren’t even half the story. The real proof is in the pudding, and we got to really give it a good going over. We are a big fan of the Focus ST, and we think the Fiesta ST might just be setting a new and exceptionally high benchmark for Ford…
The first thing we noticed about the Fiesta ST was the sleekness of the shape. Whilst built using the latest Fiesta base, there are fewer lines across the body, giving it a more aerodynamic and sporting look. This is most present in the signature, large honeycomb grille, which does away with the horizontal lines from the regular Fiesta. The car was first announced back at the tail end of 2011 and it quite clearly shows the follow through of design from the Evos concept with the proud nose and teardrop windows.
Being slightly lower to the ground with the Fiesta ST body kit and additional rear diffuser, the large 17” alloys and that ST logo make it all look very distinctive. So, it looks good from the outside, what was it like when we got in?
The Fiesta ST interior is very driver-centric as you would expect. First things first, you slip into the bucketed Recaro seats – which wrap around you with a sense of comfort and foreboding. In front of you is the two-way adjustable steering wheel and below are the alloy-metal pedals and the gear shifter, all contrasting the main colour scheme. The interior is mostly black, as this apparently makes it look even more sporty? It looks good, but unfortunately it must be said that it doesn’t feel good – the dash felt a little tacky, not as classy as I was expecting.
As a hot hatch, hopping in to the back was never going to be easy, but the Recaro seating narrows the gap even more. When there, the legroom is limited. Then there is the boot, this provides limited space and is smaller than the other 2013 hot hatches. But, as I said, the interior is driver-centric, so all of this is to be expected.
On the road
Once you’ve started the 2013 Ford Fiesta ST, you’ll know about it! As you would expect, the engine is deep and loud. It sounds like it’ll be able to deliver on its promise of power, and once you pull off it certainly doesn’t let you down. The acceleration was very good, our testing was not ideal, but it seemed to be reaching 60 in around 7 seconds (Ford figures state 0-60mph in 6.9 seconds). The car’s ability to consistently produce acceleration when it counted was also noteworthy – even when looking for an overtake on the motorway in 6th, the power always felt like it was there.
For us, the greatest thing about the car was its ability to perform superbly well in, through and out of corners. The roads around Barcelona are far from straight, and there were a lot of windy turns with high gradients heading into the mountains which allowed for a good test of the Fiesta ST’s cornering credentials. Being 15mm lower to the ground, with a tighter suspension and greater torque, hitting corners is what this car was made for. Going in to the corner, the car brakes phenomenally well, something that does take a bit of getting used to. The car really hugs the cornering line and feels under complete control as your push through, and then pulls out well. Clearly this car is built for the rally!
When we were on the longer stretches of the Barcelona streets, it became apparent that the Fiesta ST isn’t quite designed for them. Any imperfections in the road felt more significant, not entirely uncomfortable, but also not what you’d want on long journeys (particularly here with our awful UK roads). This didn’t feel like a car to pack the kids in for the drive to school. This is the car you’d want in your late teens and throughout your twenties when you’re falling in love with driving and want the best experience possible.
2013 Ford Fiesta ST Verdict
Driving the car is fantastic, and ultimately it looks great, but perhaps the cheap feel of the interior lets it down. Would we want one? We’d certainly love one for rally driving, and for menacing the roads of England, but if we have a family – this would have to be our little secret toy. If that isn’t a concern, there is an awful lot more to consider when weighing it all up.
The 2013 Ford Fiesta ST hot hatch is up against tough competition this year, with both Peugeot and VW bringing theirs out. Respectively, their cars are marginally quicker off the mark and produce higher BHP than the Fiesta. Ford typically come up trumps in value, and the 2013 Fiesta ST once again delivers in spades. The Fiesta ST comes in at a basic model price of £16,995 – already well over £1000 cheaper than its competition.