The verdict is in. At the recent Autocar Awards, we named the new Ford Fiesta ST as Britain’s Best Affordable Driver’s Car. It’s a car that we’ve loved since we first got our hands on it – giving it a 4.5-star review, and then spending four enjoyable months with it on our long-term test fleet.
The Fiesta ST earned its Autocar Award by beating some of the finest performance cars that cost under £30,000 in a multi-car shoot-out – proving itself to be just as much fun on the road as it is on the track, without ever losing the refinement and practicality that make it a hatchback you can use every day.
Here are Autocar’s deputy editor James Attwood and deputy digital editor Tom Morgan to tell you how the Fiesta ST outperformed its rivals.
To learn more about the Ford Fiesta ST, head to ford.co.uk/fiesta-st
Delivering where it counts
The new Ford Fiesta ST’s performance credentials start where it matters: under the skin. Every element has been designed to make driving more fun and engaging – flattering novices and rewarding expert drivers, without compromising the refinement and everyday versatility you expect from one of Britain’s most popular small cars.
The compact, lightweight three-cylinder aluminium 1.5-litre EcoBoost turbo petrol engine – which uses a six-speed manual gearbox – blends twin-independent variable cam timing with power fuel injection and direct fuel injection, while a new turbocharger design builds boost pressure faster to minimise lag and ensure that the new Fiesta ST’s smaller engine delivers high torque from the off.
An integrated exhaust manifold also helps deliver torque more rapidly by minimising the distance exhaust gases travel between the cylinders and the turbochargers. The result: 200PS and 290Nm of torque for a 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 144mph.
The Fiesta ST’s 1.5-litre engine isn’t just powerful, it’s also efficient. Ford’s industry-first cylinder deactivation for a three-cylinder engine improves fuel economy at low revs, re-engaging within 14 milliseconds – 20 times faster than the blink of an eye – to deliver full performance on demand.
And – as you’d expect from a Ford Performance hot hatch – when you do open the throttle, the Fiesta ST’s active exhaust technology delivers the full orchestra of throaty pops and bangs to bolster your driving soundtrack.
Clever suspension tech
The Fiesta ST also has the creds that count when it comes to cornering, with a chassis that has been designed to be stable, agile and responsive in equal measure – whether the road ahead offers a perfect sunny drive or winter rain.