The Fiesta ST is about the most fun you can have in a car the size of a washing machine box. What do you need to know before you buy a Fiesta ST? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything right here in the Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.
Your average car buyer expects a lot in 2015. They want good fuel economy, lots of safety features, spaciousness, good looks, and maybe a nice interior. We enthusiasts tend to look for acceleration, handling prowess, communicative steering, and a nice manual gearbox. But there are not that many cars that can fuse what enthusiasts want with what your average Joe on the street wants. Then there’s the Fiesta ST, which does it with ease.
The Fiesta looks good, it’s good on gas, it’s quick, it handles well, it has a great standard gearbox, it’s got plenty of space, it’s safe, and it’s small enough to park pretty much anywhere. It’s just so hard not to like Fiesta ST – partly because it looks like an angry Pokemon, but mostly because it’s just so skillful in so many different areas.
What It’s Like To Drive:
We’ve taken one to Monaco on an illicit adventure, we’ve tooled around Texas, and we even once let Parker Kligerman screw with one on the way to a GRC event in New York.
Our conclusion every time is the same: This car is the tits.
While you can debate whether or not you’d rather have a BRZ or a Miata or a Focus ST until your face turns blue, can you think of any other car that’s this size and this much fun? You can’t if you live in the United States.
To understand the absurdity that is the Fiesta ST you need to do a little math. A base Ford Fiesta – a fun car in its own right – has 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque. This has 197 horsepower and 202 lb-ft of torque. That’s an increase in power of... a lot. It’s a lot. Sure, it’s not enough power to propel it to 60 mph in three seconds, but if you’re racing this at stoplights you’re missing the point.
If it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow, this is the fastest slow car you can buy. The Fiesta ST is a car you can fling around corners with abandon and still stay within the limits of the car and the law.
The suspension is perfectly tuned for predictable grip and compliance when pushing the car hard with an edge that’s easy to find and exploit. If you’re in an open parking lot you can pretend like you’re Ken Block and if you’re on a narrow backroad you can pretend like you’re James Hunt.
The Fiesta ST should be the standard first car for everyone budding enthusiast.
What’s New About The 2016 Ford Fiesta ST:
The ST model Fiesta launched for the 2014 model year at the same time that the base model, which had been on sale for three years, was getting a refresh. The hot hatch didn’t see many changes for 2015, but 2016 yielded Ford’s new and improved SYNC 3 infotainment system. SYNC 3 and a few new color options round off changes for ‘16.
Oh, how times have changed. Just a few years ago a “Ford Performance Variant” meant there was a bigger engine shoved into the engine bay of the standard car. But we’re in the era where there is indeed a replacement for displacement: A turbocharger.
Yup, the Fiesta ST, or FiSt as the fanboys call it, has a tiny 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. That’s less than the Dr. Pepper you just downed during lunch. But it seems that squishing the air with a turbo and packing it into that combustion chamber makes quite a difference, as the Fiesta’s little mill produces an impressive 202 lb-ft of torque and 197 horsepower— great numbers considering the car’s 2,742 pound curb weight.
Those power numbers only apply to when the engine is in its “overboost” mode, which only happens about 15 seconds at a time. When the overboost runs out, power drops to about 180 HP. Still not bad.
Oh, and that power makes its way to the wheels by way of a flywheel and clutch. No automatics available on this car, just a 6-speed manual as the gods intended.
2016 Ford Fiesta ST Engine Options
Engine Max Horsepower (hp) Max Torque (lb-ft) 1.6L Turbo I4 197 @ 6350 202 @ 4200
Fuel Economy Breakdown
The Fiesta ST is tiny, lightweight, and comes with an efficient turbocharged engine, so it should be no surprise that the FiST came off the EPA emission rolls with a little swagger in its step. It scored 29 MPG combined, an excellent result for any car that’s this fun.
2015 Ford Fiesta ST Fuel Economy Ratings (City/Highway/Combined)
1.6-Liter Turbo I4 Fuel Economy- Manual 26/33/29
Standard and Optional Features
A stock $20,970 ST comes with more than enough stuff to keep you happy. As standard content, you get some nice 17-inch black aluminum wheels, unique ST sport-tuned suspension (MacPherson Strut up front and twist-beam in the rear), 10.95-inch vented disc brakes up front, 9.96-inch solid rotors in the back, summer performance tires, unique rear spoiler and grille, sport seats, torque-steer-reducing electronic Torque Vectoring Control, three mode electronic stability control, twin chrome exhaust tips, 8-speaker Sony audio system, fog lamps, SYNC 3 with HD radio and satellite radio, unique ST badging and trim inside and out, automatic temperature control, power windows and doors, seven standard airbags, aluminum pedals, and a bunch more.
Notable options include the ST Recaro Package for $1,995. This comes with grey or orange partial leather heated front seats and heated mirrors.
Also option are black 17-inch wheels, which can be yours for $375. A power moonroof tacks on $795, while racing stripes run you $495. If you don’t like using your phone to get you places, you can buy Ford’s navigation for $795. Do you want Molten Orange or White Platinum exterior paints? Well, they ain’t free, so prepare to plop down $595.
Which One We’d Buy
If it’s us, we’d buy the stripper model with maybe the racing stripes on the Molten Orange paint job. We’re passing on the Recaro Package, because we think the seats are only okay, but many folks like them, so give them a try and decide for yourselves. All in, we’d be paying the base $20,970 plus $595 for the orange paint, racing stripes for $495, and a $875 destination fee. That puts us at $22,935. [Build Your Own]
Important Facts At A Glance:
MSRP: $20,970 Top Speed: ~140MPH (estimated)
Acceleration: ~6.5s to 60 MPG: 26 city / 33 hwy / 29 combined
Engines: 1.6L Turbo I4 Max Horsepower/Torque: 197 hp/202 lb-ft
Curb Weight: ~2,742 pounds IIHS Safety Rating: Not a Top Safety Pick
Transmissions: 6-speed manual Drivetrain Layout: Front Engine, FWD
Photo credit: Ford
Last edited: Feb 29, 2016