Ford Fiesta ST review – one hell of a hot hatch

Recaro seats, go-kart like handling, and stunning looks all powered by a turbocharged 1.6 litre engine – this is one hot hatch.  EFTM took the Ford Fiesta ST for a spin – and we loved every minute of it.

Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST

Make no mistake about it, the term hot-hatch gets thrown around a fair bit these days – any hatchback with a sporty look and an optioned up powerhouse seems to grab the title, in reality there is a small few vehicles that are truly hot hatches.  The Ford Fiesta ST is one.

The 10 Minute Test Drive

Recaro seats are made to keep you stuck in your place and they do that well – very well.  You need that, it’s what gives you that first real feeling that this is going to be fun.  The not-uncommon push-button start breathes life into the apparently simple yet extraordinarily powerful  little 1.6 litre engine.  It sounds great, bubbles well under your foot and gives you what you want when you want it.

Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST

A dealer test drive will involve a few suburban streets, you’ll feel the burst of power at some stops and starts, and you’ll seek out a round-a-bout or two to get a genuine sense of handling, if you’re lucky that’s the result you’ll get.  Otherwise you’ll just have to take my word for it.

This vehicle is the fun you want on a weekend drive, it’s also that smile you need on a boring daily commute.  That commute is likely to be where you spend most of your time so a dealer test-drive on average suburban streets might just be all the proof you’ll need.

Ins and Outs

The very fact that it’s possible to make a four-cylinder car feel so great to drive is testament to the engineering that has gone into cars and in particular this hatch.  The turbo-charged beast lurking under the hood of this pocket-rocket does nothing but please.

Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST

You control it all through the 6-speed manual transmission, churning 132kW of power with 240Nm of torque.  While you are squirting around town you shouldn’t need to pump more than 6.2L per 100km.

It sits simply gloriously on 17 inch alloy wheels and inside the full Ford SYNC Sony infotainment system treats you well, but in reality the screen-size and user interface is the main thing that dates this Ford interior.  It needs to improve if Ford wants to really battle with its competitors.

All that, and the peace of mind that comes with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating

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Hip Pocket

Punch your postcode into the Ford website and you’ll come up with a drive-away price under $30,000. Having handed back the keys already and having the vehicle as an almost distant memory that price staggers me.

Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST

Sure you can get something that looks a whole bunch more sports-car like with a vehicle like the Toyota 86, but as far as day-to-day drives go, the Fiesta ST offers power, handling and comfort for those regular drives.  Yep it’s a little stiff on the bumps, you’d expect nothing less – but it is most certainly something you will learn to live with.  Good luck wiping the smile off your face

Bragging Rights

Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST

This is car-porn on a smaller scale than something like the Nissan GT-R.   It looks great rolling out of your driveway, and likewise when you pull up at your destination.  It has a sound you’ll enjoy through tunnels and when a mate jumps into the passenger seat you’ll get a little joy from the smile you’re able to deliver.

The Lasting Impression

Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST

Hot.  It’s as simple as that, this is a great car, it feels like a car should yet offers the creature comforts you’ll be sold up on when you shop around almost all the vehicles at this price range and a bit more.

The EFTM Rubber Stamp

Ford Fiesta ST gets the EFTM Distinction Stamp

Ford Fiesta ST gets the EFTM Distinction Stamp

This was an easy decision.  Ford Fiesta ST grabs the EFTM Distinction Stamp for its pure unadulterated thrill ride – the power, handling and performance make it a genuine “does what it says on the box” kinda purchase.  If you want a hot-hatch – You won’t regret owning a Ford Fiesta ST.


Ford Fiesta ST
Date Published: 02/16/2014
One hell of a hot-hatch with the looks the feel and the power of a sports car
5 / 5 stars


  1. Craig

    April 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    The quoted KW figure seems a long way short of the likes of the Golf GTI – any thoughts on how they compare?

    • MattyHoofaT

      May 1, 2014 at 11:39 am

      This isn’t a competitor of the Golf GTI, more the Polo GTI. The Focus ST is the competition for the Golf.

      Having said that, I have read and watched a lot of reviews of this car and the Focus and the Fiesta appears to be the car of choice instead of the Focus and it also compares favourably to the Clio RS and 208 GTi.

      This will more than likely be the car that ends up in my driveway for no other reason than it’s handling. It should also allow me enough wiggle room in the budget for a few upgrades and a much bigger and faster motorbike to get my speed thrills from.

  2. GazMan

    May 3, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    I don’t think this car is pitched against the GTI, which is a bigger car. This would be better compared to the VW Polo GTI to be fair. The Polo is 134kw and 250Nm so is slightly more powerful than the Fiesta. However the Fiesta is quicker to 100kph (6.7secs vs 6.9secs). 2 great cars in this segment and worthy of hot hatch labels.

  3. Paladinrja

    May 4, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Most pornstars are tiny, this the automotive verson.

  4. J

    May 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Fiesta ST has overboost function, bringing power & torque up to 147kW & 290Nm. Does all this on standard ULP too! Plenty of Youtube clips showing 14.9s 1/4 mi, so no slouch, and compares admirably to other hot hatches.

  5. Thomas

    May 8, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Go and see Jacob over at Titan Ford at Brookvale, he got me one for under 30,000 with 3 years free servicing. Bloody stoked with this little gem.

  6. Nicole

    May 29, 2014 at 11:49 am

    I thought the Kia pro_ceed GT would give this vehicle a run for its money…. What does anyone think about this as a comparison vehicle? As I was leaning towards the ST but not so sure as would love other peoples opinion.

  7. HW

    June 14, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    @Nicole – How many World Rally Championships has Kia won? There (I suggest) is the answer to your leaning problem.


  8. taz

    June 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Pity it is so ugly inside and out.

    • Abby

      October 10, 2014 at 6:01 am

      Yes I agree – it would be nice if they made a small luxury car with a sunroof – after all we do live in a hot climate.

  9. Peter

    July 5, 2014 at 4:20 am

    HW, how many rallies have Ferrari, Lambos, Maseratis, McClarens and Bugattis won? None. My point is, winning rallies isnt a valid consideration when comparing cars as not all cars are entered in rallies.

  10. Carl

    July 11, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Do not touch small fords or holdens. They are rubbish, good for only 5 years then the problems start. Dont even mention VW. Stick with Japanese or Hyundai, you wont go wrong.

    • tink

      July 18, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Large Fords and Holdens are that rubbish that they can’t sell any and have gone out of business. Euro sourced Fords and Holdens are light years ahead.

    • John Hogan

      September 12, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      They’re not all like that but my 08 Fiesta didn’t wait 5 years. It’s still the best driving car I’ve owned but it’s has had serious problems with cooling, clutch, electrical (as in, engine stops), wheel and general quality. It even pings on 98. The dealer was awesome but the company bad. It’s now got a blown clutch (both master and slave cylinder) and ongoing cooling system problems. The aircon lost charge twice in the first 3 years (dealer fixed) and it now needs a full rebuild. Mine was made in Germany but the new ones are made in Thailand. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re better lol. Stick with the Japanese or Hyundai/Kia. For the same money, I should have bought a 2nd hand MX5. It was my plan b.

  11. Dave Stephen

    July 25, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    There are some people who need a brain transplant here. My VE Berlina with 340kw has been going strong for 7 years, no problems, same tyres and battery. If this is rubbish then you better think again.

  12. Captain Peter R. Miller

    July 27, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Same tyres for 7 years, Dave? Are you always parked?

  13. Ollygt

    August 21, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    I’m more interested to know what it’s like after 5 years. Everyone says it’s a bundle of fun and I agree but I want to know about durabilty and quality conformance over the long term. (I know it hasn’t been out for long but still) All reviews put it ahead of the 208Gti and the hot Clio.

    • John Hogan

      September 12, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      Good question – see my reply above. Like the guy above, I say stick with the Japanese and Koreans. You can buy a Toyota 86 for the same money and they’re a better, higher quality car in every respect.

  14. Hyundai & Kia are like Great Wall cars they don't last!!

    September 4, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Some of the comments are really stupid, the large fords & holdens are still lasting long after the earlier little hatches have died, that being said if you know how to really look after a car properly yourself it will last past 5 years except for crappy Hyundai how many 5 + year old hyundai cars are dead! Lots, yes large fords & holdens cost more over time but they do last, just look at used car adds the proof is there.

    • John Hogan

      September 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      That’s not right. I find Hyundais booring but their quality levels are actually high. Any cheap car aimed at younger drivers will attract people who don’t look after cars. Despite that, Hyundai and Kia (which they own) rate well in the big, world-wide surveys of owners. Holden was easily the best division of GM (which is why heaps of their people got promoted to the US) but it was still GM.

  15. Irvine Bromley

    September 7, 2014 at 7:10 am

    I have a front wheel drive “hot hatch” turbocharged intercooled 2 litre,,0-100 kmh in 6.0 ,, 155 mph top speed 220 bhp 305 nm torque.Blitzes most standard v8s and its sixteen years old,, guess what it is,, no faith in the old concept of big holes more power theory. And it also does 40 mpg. beat that v8s.

  16. Dinki Di

    December 31, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Lol. Fords rubbish? Well let me tell you the big Australian made cars are to be proud of. They last for decades and go strong long after imported cars have kicked the bucket. Those who rubbish them are traitors to their countrymens efforts and are complete scum. Just the other day there was a hyundai dead at the lights a new one infact with drls on. Lol. Lots of impatiant drivers diverting around it. My daughter has a toyota and man does that have heaps of trouble. Vw transmisssions like the crap dsg are appauling units made in superior germany. Love those hitler volks crap. Australian made Fords and Holdens are not rubbish but those traitors in Australia are. They are on the verge of treason and should be treated as such.

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