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Eff One

Ford Fiesta ST

I've been keeping an eye on used ST prices - both Focus and Fiesta - and when a late Fiesta ST3 appeared on the stocklist at my local dealer, I booked myself in.

It's white - not my thing - but the base Fiesta is still the best looking supermini IMO, and the ST addenda turn it into one of the most purposeful looking small cars I've ever seen.

The interior's a touch haphazard and plasticky in places, but it works better than the pre-facelift Focus ST and feels solidly screwed together. All of the essential touch surfaces - seats, wheel, gearknob - look and feel special enough. I've heard complaints about the interior, but it works fine for me. The salesman doesn't even bat an eyelid when I ask about baby seats.

Quick runthrough, belt in, and off we go. It takes less than a mile to discover that all those enthused reviewers weren't wrong. Of course it's brilliant. My expectations were so stratospheric that I feared being disappointed, but the ST delivers in every way that counts for me, while giving a strong impression that I'm only scratching the surface.

I had concerns about the ride, but Ford are masters of damping and the Fiesta manages to be super-stiff and compliant at the same time. Pillowy it is not, but it would make a fine long-distance companion - it's unexpectedly refined, in fact.

The handling, of course, is the star. You point, and it goes. I don't push it, but through a very tight series of twists peppered with humps and the odd drain the ST stays absolutely composed. Like the Focus, there's a steady stream of chatter through the controls which never turns to shouting. If I was to nitpick I'd prefer a little more through the steering, but the weighting is good and of course it's supremely accurate.

I loved the Focus ST's engine and the Fiesta is more of the same: superb throttle response for a turbo, great flexibility and serious shove all the way past 6,000rpm. Like the Focus, there's no deception - you can always tell how fast you're going. In fact, if anything the Fiesta's size makes it feel faster than it is - useful for hanging on to one's licence.

As a day-to-day proposition - well, it's a Fiesta. I'd prefer it as a 5 door given that we would at times need to slot a baby seat into the back. But it's far from a dealbreaker.

Are you getting the impression that I liked it ?  
Bob Sacamano

The Fiesta is a great car but I think lookswise the new Clio has it beat.

A guy at work has the ST and loves it.
Alf McQueef

You preferred it to the Focus then? Both are fine cars, for sure...
JohnC

There are some well priced used Focii such as this:

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/class...2Cnew&make=ford&logcode=p

I think if you want the 5 doors you should stick with that because young children and a 3 door car = putting your back out. My Mk 2 Golf GTi 16V became a Mercedes E300-24v after I had recovered enough to get back behind the wheel again.
Eff One

JohnC wrote:
I think if you want the 5 doors you should stick with that because young children and a 3 door car = putting your back out.


When I originally looked into a Fiesta ST back in 2013, accessing the rear with a (then theoretical) baby was the sticking point. It would have been our main car; Mrs Eff decreed that it wasn't a goer.

Since then a few things have changed. Theoretical Baby Eff has become a reality, all being well (due April 2016), and we have been through some very rough times, particularly in the last couple of months. That's brought about a change of perspective for both of us, with more emphasis on seizing the day, enjoying the time we have, etc.

Our fleet has also changed - now a leggy but serviceable 5 door Mk2 Focus and a very tatty 120k mile Mk6 Fiesta which is starting to wilt. The plan is to replace the Fiesta, with the Focus retaining the bulk of workhorse/baby transport duties.

As to which car I prefer... it's a dead heat. The Fiesta is a devastatingly effective point-to-point device, its smaller footprint and inertia elevating it above the (very good) Focus ST. It's also better in tight spaces, and cheaper to buy and run.

The Focus is a nicer place to sit (especially in facelifted form), more practical, and makes a better long-distance cruiser.

Both offer superb value for money. But we don't need two Focii and Mrs Eff has agreed in principle to an upgrade from our original planned Ecoboost Zetec.
JohnC

Something like this then:

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/class...e=up_to_15000_miles&logcode=p

Whatever you choose, enjoy the excitement in finding a new car.
Alf McQueef

Eff One wrote:


Since then a few things have changed. Theoretical Baby Eff has become a reality, all being well (due April 2016), and we have been through some very rough times, particularly in the last couple of months. That's brought about a change of perspective for both of us, with more emphasis on seizing the day, enjoying the time we have, etc.



I have been very jealous of the volume of karting, walking holidays and so on on FB - but I suppose I was just as guilty of having a thoroughly  good time pre-child (not that the times since are bad, very good, but very different and proper grown up stuff!)   . That paragraph of yours reminds me that when Mrs ALF got pregnant I was planning to keep an already very leggy Passat V6, and was in the market for both a 911SC as a toy and a VX220 or Caterham as a trackday car, I'd stopped racing by then. I came to my senses and bought the GTA early in the pregnancy as "one car fits all", which was a thoroughly practical yet highly enjoyable car! I'm glad I did, I had no idea then just how challenging time for trackdays would become!
Michael

I do like the Fiesta ST and I agree it's the best looking of the supermini out there. Whatever, enjoy what you choose as it does sound like you have your priorities in order.
Eff One

Alf McQueef wrote:
I have been very jealous of the volume of karting, walking holidays and so on on FB - but I suppose I was just as guilty of having a thoroughly good time pre-child


Hmm. Karting and walking holidays, great though they are, do not make a life. I can think of umpteen ways of describing the last three years, but a 'thoroughly good time' wouldn't make the top 100.
Chip Butty

If you are going to be enjoying the car mainly on A and B road thrashes, then I would say the Fiesta is the better choice.

I love my Focus, but I mainly use it on the motorway where it is relatively untroubled by torque steery, gutter sniffing antics. I get to enjoy the prodigious grunt it has in 3rd and 4th gear, along with the amusing warble it makes.

However - if most of my driving was on busy A and B roads, it would drive me nuts.

The Fiesta has garnered universal praise for the awesomeness of it's chassis balance, it's also usefully smaller (narrower) and with the mountune upgrade is not too far off Focus levels of performance.
Roadsterstu

Neighbours over the road took delivery, yesterday, of their Focus ST. Which sits alongside their Fiesta ST. Just get both!
Blarno

I really, really want a Fiesta ST. A bog basic ST1 with no superflous trimmings, in red, with Mountune kit and some 17" white Speedline Comp 2 wheels.
Eff One

Blarno wrote:
I really, really want a Fiesta ST. A bog basic ST1 with no superflous trimmings, in red, with Mountune kit and some 17" white Speedline Comp 2 wheels.


I'd have said the same. The one I drove was an ST3 and while I could take or leave the auto lights and shat nav, the leather on the Recaros is rather nice. I liked the dark grey alloys and red calipers, too (which you can have on any ST).

The dealer group has around 6 STs of various colours and specs in stock. I'm going in to look at an ST2 tomorrow.
Bob Sacamano

Blarno wrote:
I really, really want a Fiesta ST. A bog basic ST1 with no superflous trimmings, in red, with Mountune kit and some 17" white Speedline Comp 2 wheels.


There's loads hanging round in McDonalds car parks of an evening.
Andy C

It sounds like a great car and the mountune kit for the Fiesta is only £600

Get it bought !
cbeaks1

Don't forget to email me if you are buying.
Alf McQueef

I don't know what the insurance implications are, but the Moutune upgrades otherwise seem too good to be true - excellent gains at a good price, and warranty unaffected. I'd be in there like a shot if I had a fast Ford.
Eff One

Andy C wrote:
Get it bought !


Done.
Blarno

Basically, the Mountune kit gives you the same power output as the original RS Focus, in a smaller bodyshell. Awesome.
Andy C

Alf McQueef wrote:
I don't know what the insurance implications are, but the Moutune upgrades otherwise seem too good to be true - excellent gains at a good price, and warranty unaffected. I'd be in there like a shot if I had a fast Ford.


There aren't any

You insure it as a 'ST-2 260 upgrade' in my case .  It has its own ABi code and the premium was no different
Andy C




Alf McQueef

Andy C wrote:
Alf McQueef wrote:
I don't know what the insurance implications are, but the Moutune upgrades otherwise seem too good to be true - excellent gains at a good price, and warranty unaffected. I'd be in there like a shot if I had a fast Ford.


There aren't any

You insure it as a 'ST-2 260 upgrade' in my case .  It has its own ABi code and the premium was no different


So people like BB with Alpinas that are models in their own right can't get insurers to understand them for love nor money, but Moutune upgraded hot Fords do show up as models in their own right? That's awesome!
Big Blue

Alf McQueef wrote:
Andy C wrote:

There aren't any

You insure it as a 'ST-2 260 upgrade' in my case .  It has its own ABi code and the premium was no different


So people like BB with Alpinas that are models in their own right can't get insurers to understand them for love nor money, but Moutune upgraded hot Fords do show up as models in their own right? That's awesome!


Yes: curious but understandable. The problem for me was having the 3.3 six Touring as opposed to the V8 4.6 or the V8S 4.8, both of which are on the ABI database. Only 19 of mine made it to the UK over 5 years. I assume there are more than 19 Mountuned Fords out there.....
cbeaks1

Blarno wrote:
Basically, the Mountune kit gives you the same power output as the original RS Focus, in a smaller bodyshell. Awesome.


There is 230 kit now. Review on Evo's website.
Thomas Magman

Blarno wrote:
I really, really want a Fiesta ST. A bog basic ST1 with no superflous trimmings, in red, with Mountune kit and some 17" white Speedline Comp 2 wheels.


I like them too - shame they don't do the 5-door one over here.

I can see myself in one ( or a Corsa Nurburgring ) in th near future

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