The interior layout, fit and finish
The Recaro sports seats in the Ford Fiesta ST are supportive (and very figure-hugging), with excellent adjustment, while the steering wheel moves up, down, forwards and back by a useful amount. The pedals are perfectly aligned with the seat and steering wheel so you'll feel instantly at home and in control.
As with the standard Ford Fiesta, the Fiesta ST's visibility suffers because of the chunky front pillars and relatively small rear side windows that obstruct your vision when looking over your shoulder. The back window is pretty small, too, although you do get rear parking sensors to help with reversing. You get a rear-view camera as standard in ST-3 trim and it can be added as an option to ST-2 trim with the reasonably priced Driver Assistance Pack. A VW Polo GTI is still easier to see out of.
Interior quality is better than you'll find in the Swift Sport, and the ST stands out from the rest of the Fiesta range because of its leather sports steering wheel, those unique Recaro seats, carbon fibre-effect trim inserts and the many ST badges. Certain parts, including the door trims, are a bit flimsy – the Polo GTI is the plushest in this class.
The Fiesta ST does fight back in the audio department, though. The ST-3 trim gets a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system (lesser trims have to make do with seven), which knocks the Polo GTI’s optional Beats system with its six speakers for, er, six when it comes to sound quality.