Ford Fiesta ST-2
Week ending November 29
Miles this week 70
There has been much praise already for the Fiesta’s snug Recaro seats and I’m in agreement – to a point.
Firstly the side bolsters do provide excellent support, keeping you firmly in place when the road starts to weave left and right. The heating elements inside them are also some of the most fierce I think I’ve ever come across, heating up extremely quickly and maintaining serious warmth.
However, being over six feet tall, I start to find the seat bases uncomfortable on long journeys. The problem is simple: the front seat bases aren’t particularly long and there’s no adjustment to solve the problem.
By Rory White
Week ending November 22
Miles this week 235
It’s fair to say that winter has sprung. Night falls with a thud at around 4.30pm, traffic is appalling, and every morning is aglitter with frost.
All this chilly freshness has given me even more reason to love the Recaro seats in the Fiesta – because they’re heated.
Powerful heaters they contain, too. Not for me a gentle increase in temperature to a low simmer. Oh no, the Fiesta’s seats quickly achieve a real sizzle only a minute or so after the button is pressed, and even if I press it again to put the seat on half power I’d say it still has me in a rolling boil after a couple of minutes.
They’re great, because I’m perfectly toasty by the time the windscreen and rear screen has defrosted – and then they hold my not-inconsiderable frame securely during the schlep to work.
Week ending November 15
Miles this week 140
I’ve been away on holiday, so haven’t driven the Fiesta for a while. What a joy it was to get back into it the other night.
It is such an effervescent thing, you simply cannot fail to smile as it scurries its way down the road, eager to get to where you want to go and keen to get there as quickly as possible.
The gearshift is a source of delight too, because it’s so quick, accurate and light. However, all this up-and-down-the-gears malarkey has taken its toll on the clutch pedal, which has developed a click every time I press it. This isn’t an issue when I’m enjoying a B-road, but when I’m in yet another traffic jam it sounds like the car is counting down the minutes to I don’t know what.
I’ll turn up the (pretty powerful) audio system until I can get the car booked in for a fix.
By Euan Doig
Week ending November 8
Miles this week 250
He’s a lucky man, our Mr Doig. First of all he gets a Focus ST to play with, then its replacement turns out to be this altogether superior Fiesta ST.
Superior? There’s no doubt about it. The Focus is fast and fun, but its hopeless turning circle reveals it to be flawed. The Fiesta has a large-ish turning circle too, but its steering is so much better than any I’ve encountered in a car in this class, or possibly in any class at all, that to be honest the question of turning circles can take a hike.
Accurate, responsive, and with just the right amount of weight dialled in to let you know what’s going on, this electrically assisted steering is beautifully set up, and so is the balance. Its handling is foolproof and fun - it’s a car for lapping deserted roundabouts again and again and again. It’s just a pity that the youngsters who could hone their skills in this can’t afford to insure it.
Criticisms? Like the Focus, the centre console is pretty horrid. The steering wheel could do with more adjustment for reach - I had to adopt a more upright posture than I’d have liked, which in turn gave me backache. Also, the vertical bounce from the strikingly firm ride (which I am willing to accept, so good is everything else) causes too much movement in the headlight beams, making fast night-time driving less sure than it could be.
Lucky Mr. Doig, though.
By Mark Pearson
Week ending November 1
Driven this week 1183 miles
I’m a big fan of fast Ford Fiestas. I bought a new one in my early 20s and loved every minute I spent behind the wheel. Well, I say fast Fiesta, and it was the fastest version on sale at the time, but with just 99bhp, its performance was merely brisk.
Fast certainly describes our new 180bhp Fiesta ST, though, so I was particularly keen to try it. That’s exactly what I did this week, on a 220-mile trip from Middlesex to Dorset and back.
The Fiesta ST is absolutely brilliant at what a hot hatch is designed to be: fast and fun. It’s also a bargain. You can walk into a Ford showroom and drive out in one for just £16,000, according to our Target Price figures.
Even the comically firm low-speed ride didn’t bother me after too long. True, I wasn’t that impressed with being tossed about so much when I left home at 6:30am, but by the time I’d reached my destination in Dorset at 9:00, I’d forgotten all about the Fiesta’s comfort shortcomings because it’s such a blast to drive.
Sure, the Fiesta demands some compromise on your part, but it’s well worth it for the thrills you get in return.
If you’re in the market for a small hot hatch, head straight to your nearest Ford dealer. The Fiesta ST really is that good.