Used Ford Fiesta ST 2018-present review

Category: Hot hatch

Few cars are as much fun to drive as the Fiesta ST, and not many are as good value either


Ford Fiesta ST front
  • Ford Fiesta ST front
  • Ford Fiesta ST rear
  • 2018 Ford Fiesta ST interior
  • Ford Fiesta ST
  • Ford Fiesta ST
  • Ford Fiesta ST
  • 2018 Ford Fiesta ST interior
  • Ford Fiesta ST
  • Ford Fiesta ST
  • Ford Fiesta ST front
  • Ford Fiesta ST rear
  • 2018 Ford Fiesta ST interior
  • Ford Fiesta ST
  • Ford Fiesta ST
  • Ford Fiesta ST
  • 2018 Ford Fiesta ST interior
  • Ford Fiesta ST
  • Ford Fiesta ST
Used Ford Fiesta ST 2018-present review
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Oliver Young
Updated31 March 2023

What's the used Ford Fiesta ST hatchback like?

When driving certain cars, you can tell straight away that the people behind their creation cherish the act of driving. The Ford Fiesta ST is one of those cars. It takes the standard Ford Fiesta – a small car that's inherently good to drive – and ups the ante with truly thrilling performance and handling.

We first saw the ST badge on a Fiesta in 2004, but the praise really started coming thick and fast when it appeared on the 2013-2017 Ford Fiesta ST. It struck a great balance between a sharp, serious hot hatch and a playful, entertaining one. This latest car, launched in 2018, evolved the formula.


Few cars are as much fun as the Fiesta ST, and not many are such good value either

  • Fun to drive
  • Great engine
  • Spot-on driving position
  • Lively ride
  • No automatic emergency braking option
  • Not huge in the rear

Explore under the bonnet and you'll get a taste of its newfound upgrades. Its predecessor received a 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine and a maximum power figure of 197bhp (when using its overboost function). This latest car matches it for power, but no longer restricts it to bursts of overboost, making it comprehensively punchier. Its engine is also slightly more compact, now taking the form of a 1.5-litre three-cylinder that has the ability to run on just two cylinders for better fuel efficiency.

Ford also decided to quicken the steering and give customers the limited-slip differential (LSD) for even greater grip through twisty turns.

The ST trim options consist of three different flavours: ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3. Standard equipment isn’t stingy, with 17in alloy wheels, air-con, electrically operated and heated door mirrors, keyless start and cruise control all included with the entry-level trim.

With ST-2, you get an upgraded sound system, plus climate control and rear privacy glass. ST-3 adds 18in alloy wheels (these were optional on ST-2 cars from new), automatic headlights and wipers, power-folding door mirrors, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and keyless entry.

Cars granted the optional Performance Pack from the factory get the traction-enhancing LSD, plus a launch control function and shift lights that tell you when you're about to hit the engine's rev limit.

On the road, the three-cylinder unit proves small yet mighty. A jab of the accelerator and it wakes up enthusiastically. Before you know it, you'll be at the rev limiter. Acceleration times from a standstill are pretty impressive, with the 0-62mph dash completed in just 6.5 seconds. The artificially enhanced engine noise is sporty and muscular, while the exhaust can pop and crackle to contribute some extra, rally-car-like drama.

The standard six-speed manual gearbox has a short, snappy change. There are three driving modes available: Normal, Sport and Track. Moving from Normal to Sport makes the accelerator more responsive, adds weight to the steering and increases the volume of the exhaust. Moving to Track slackens the car's traction control and relaxes its stability control for maximum driver control and, of course, enjoyment.

The steering is super quick and direct, though the weighting feels rather spongy and artificial, lessening your connection to the front wheels. Grip is plentiful and the LSD helps scoot the car out of corners with great ferocity. It rotates keenly and is very adjustable via throttle and steering inputs, making the ST fantastically fun and engaging.

The payback for all the fun is a ride that's firm and occasionally bouncy. On broken B-roads, it can feel busy and on longer journeys it can be quite tiring – but that's the price you pay for its immense cornering abilities. Go for either of the ST's limited edition offerings, the Performance Edition or (simply dubbed) Edition, and they get even firmer suspension, but in turn they're even more exciting in the bends.

Inside, the driver has a figure-hugging and very supportive Recaro sports seat. There’s plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel and the seat itself, so people of varying heights and shapes should be able to find the right driving position. Visibility is good, as is the perceived interior quality.

Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system is fitted as standard and comes with an 8.0in touchscreen. It offers sharp graphics, lots of features (including Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring, a DAB radio and Bluetooth) and relatively simple menus. One gripe is that there are no physical shortcut buttons to make it easier to hop between functions.

There’s plenty of space for the driver and passenger up front, but rear-seat passengers will find it more of a squeeze, especially if they're sitting behind someone tall. The boot trumps some of its rivals for outright volume, although dropping the 60/40-split rear seats does leave a slightly stepped floor. This ST is available as a three-door or five-door car.

However, 2023 examples are an exception. The Fiesta ST was facelifted for 2022 and, shortly after, the three-door version was dropped from the range. Updates also include a beefier front grille, while the Recaro seats were swapped for some (similar in effectiveness) Ford Performance ones. An Eco mode makes an appearance and so does a digital instrument cluster as well.

Tweaks under the skin are near-insignificant, but it's worth mentioning the facelift gets a small torque boost (this doesn't lessen the car's 0-62mph time, though).

If you're interested in finding a used Fiesta ST, head over to the Used Car Buying pages to find lots of cars listed for sale at a great price.

Ford Fiesta ST rear

Ownership cost

What used Ford Fiesta ST hatchback will I get for my budget?

On the used market, we recommend you have at least £14,000 when shopping for this Ford Fiesta ST. That should buy you a 2018 car with around 40,000 miles on the clock and a full history from a franchised dealer. You'll find plenty of examples in ST-2 form at around that price. To net an ST-3, expect to pay circa £15,000.

The Performance Edition is rare, but it's not a car you'll only see once in a blue moon. Examples begin at around £19,500 and they'll be 2019 cars. The ST Edition is even rarer and a couple of years newer, coming in at around £24,000.

If you fancy a facelift – the updated Fiesta ST, we mean – then you'll find them for upwards of £22,000 in ST-2 form. The revised ST-3 rises to around £24,000.

Check the value of a used Ford Fiesta ST with What Car? Valuations

Find a used Ford Fiesta ST for sale here

How much does it cost to run a Ford Fiesta ST hatchback?


The Fiesta ST’s new engine is responsible for an improvement in official fuel economy over the previous model. On paper, the car is good for 40.4mpg according to the latest WLTP ratings, with a CO2 emissions output figure of 136g/km.

Road tax

All third-generation STs were registered after April 2017 and will therefore attract annual VED tax, currently £165 per year.


Insurance shouldn’t be too expensive despite the performance on offer, as the ST sits in group 28.

Servicing and insurance

Servicing costs should be moderate. Ford offers a number of servicing plans for cars up to three years old, allowing servicing costs to be planned for and paid by direct debit if needed. Insurance groups range from 25 to 30.

2018 Ford Fiesta ST interior

Our recommendations

Which used Ford Fiesta ST hatchback should I buy?


There’s only the one engine option, and the Fiesta ST is great in any trim, but we’d seek out a favourably priced ST-3 for goodies such as sat-nav and heated seats. We’d edge towards a five-door version for its added practicality, although we’d quite understand if the sportier dynamic of a three-door car took your fancy.

While the ST Performance Edition and ST Edition are too pricy and rare to cite as go-to choices, they'll likely hold their value better than standard cars, so they're worth a look.

Our favourite Ford Fiesta ST: 1.5 ST-3

Ford Fiesta ST


What alternatives should I consider to a used Ford Fiesta ST hatchback?

The 2017-present Suzuki Swift Sport is a cheap and cheerful driver's car. The latest version isn’t quite as successful as earlier ones, but it’s still a good time, and there are plenty of older cars available. You’ll also get plenty of standard equipment and it's relatively cheap to run.

While it won't be as sharp, poised or engaging to drive as a Ford Fiesta ST, the 2014-present Mini Hatch (in either Cooper S or John Cooper Works form) is still quick, plus it gets a more upmarket interior and the option of an automatic gearbox.

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If you're interested in finding a used Fiesta ST, head over to the Used Car Buying pages to find lots of cars listed for sale at a great price.

Ford Fiesta ST