Wednesday, 20 November 2013

SMMT Test Day 2013 - Ford Fiesta ST

Now if there was one car we just had to drive at the test day, then here it is. The new Ford Fiesta ST. Without a doubt the most anticipated hot hatch of 2013. Now there’s a saying in life that you shouldn’t meet your idols for fear of being disappointed. On paper the Fiesta ST sounds perfect, so there was always a danger that it would be its own downfall. So to find out how we got on, and for plenty more pictures, read on…

Take the styling of the ST. On the outside the face-lifted aggressive mouth is complimented by a full bodykit. The 17-inch wheels are a good size, and slightly graphite. There’s a twin exhaust at the back, and ST badges to hint at the punch this little Fiesta packs. On the inside the best feature by a mile are the chunky, body-hugging Recaro seats. They really look the part, and make the ST feel like it means business. The grippy steering wheel also sports an ST badge, and the dials are a bit sportier than the standard models.

Underneath the bonnet is the gem of an engine which makes the Fiesta ST so good. The 1.6-litre, turbocharged motor produces 180PS and 240Nm, which is plenty in a car this size. The ST gets from 0-62mph in a brisk 6.9 seconds, and will go on to a top speed of 136mph. Not bad at all!

Another fantastic feature is having the six-speed box. Frankly I think every car these days should probable have six gears as a minimum; I was surprised that the Fiesta Zetec S ECOboost only has 5.

And to round off the perfect package, the Fiesta ST handles like a dream. It’s comfortable on the motorway, but show this little car a twist road and it will show you what it means to grin from ear to ear. It really is that good. The turn-in is razor sharp, and nicely weighted. The suspension gives good feel on the bumpier roads but isn’t uncomfortable or overly stiff. And the brakes will give you plenty of confidence too.

So what’s the price for such a fantastic car then? Well not as much as you’d think. The ST starts just £16,995 which, frankly, makes it the best buy of 2013. Would I have one? Without a single hesitation. My partner drives a 1.6-litre petrol Zetec S fiesta, which is a rather nice car, and I now have an idea of what’s going to replace it in a couple of years…

I really can’t wait to get a Fiesta ST for a week to give it a full review. I’m working on it, and as soon as Bobby at Ford has one he’s promised me just that. So watch this space…

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