Ford Fiesta long-term test review: report 5

It's the most entertaining hot hatch available for less than £25,000, but is the Ford Fiesta ST also a great everyday car? We're living with one to find out...

Ford Fiesta ST infotainment screen long-term

The car Ford Fiesta ST-3 (5-Door) 1.5T Ecoboost Start/Stop 6-Speed Manual Run by Louis Shaw, social media manager

Why it’s here To find out if the latest Ford Fiesta ST can be the ultimate everyday driver’s car

Needs to be Fun to drive and yet usable for normal life, plus economical both on long journeys and around town

Mileage 1148 List price £25,300 Target Price £23,494 Price as tested £27,200 Options fitted Silver Fox metallic paint (£750) Full LED headlamps (£600) Driver Assistance Pack (£550) Official economy 40.1mpg (WLTP) Test economy 38.9mpg

03 December 2020 –  A not-so techie takeover

If the engine is the heart of a car, then the infotainment system is the head and given that splashing out on a car is the second most expensive purchase you'll ever make, that bright glowing screen in the dash needs to be the complete package. So what of the system in my Fiesta ST, then? Well, it’s a fairly rudimentary affair, but that’s a very good thing indeed.

Fiesta ST long-term interior front on

Like a lot of my peers, I spent most of my youth obsessing over mobile phones – entirely consumed with the latest gimmick, trick and super-sized touchscreen. Flash forward a couple of decades and I’m wishing for the old, analogue and simple. Why? Because the basics always work – you’re driving, remember, not playing Candy Crush Saga.

I never grow tired of celebrating a good button and Ford’s system is surrounded by them. Chunky dials to adjust the air conditioning, similar sized knobs for the volume and scroller, and shortcut buttons for the audio system. I can’t remember an instance where I needed to take my eyes off the road to change the music or adjust the temperature and that's something of a rarity in many of today’s cars.

fiesta St long-term buttons

That said, I have found one small gripe. I’ve become frustrated with the slight lagginess of the touchscreen. There’s a minor delay when you prod an icon and that same hesitation is carried over in the navigation when you’re moving around the map. Sure, the large, clear icons make finding what you’re looking for easy and the aforementioned scroller knob helps to mitigate the delay of many of the actions, but it would be nice if the screen had a similar level of responsiveness.

I should point out that the system ranked seventh out of 20 in What Car?’s inaugural infotainment mega test and, by way of comparison at a similar price, I found the system in my former Nissan Juke (14th) was far less responsive and significantly less intuitive. What I’m trying to say , I suppose, is don’t expect the fluidity of the iDrive infotainment system which we praise in BMW’s fleet of cars.

So, having a simple, un-distracting system in the Fiesta ST is, if nothing else, a fitting companion alongside a car designed with a clear focus on driving. Another win for the pocket rocket.

fiesta St long-term sat nav

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