From £12,715
Does this version of Britain’s top-selling car have the substance to match its style?

Why we’re running it: To determine whether the country’s best-selling new car is as worthy of that title as its brilliant predecessor was

Month 5Month 4 - Month 3Month 2Month 1 - specs 

14 Ford fiesta st line long term review road front

Life with a Ford Fiesta ST-Line: Month 5

The nation’s biggest-selling car leaves the Autocar fleet with its head held high – and ours downcast at its departure - 14th November 2018

When we first said hello to our shiny new Ford Fiesta ST-Line in May, we did so with trepidation.

This was a stylish, sporty hatchback with a respectable 138bhp, but it cost £19,495 when our car’s options were accounted for, making it £200 pricier than an entry-level Fiesta ST. Before even getting out of the starting blocks, it faced a bit of a struggle to justify treading on the toes of its more focused cousin. Not to mention elbowing its way into the premium end of the hatchback realm. Was our car an example of a Fiesta that’s too expensive for its own good?

Things got off to a good start. Now as much as then, the latest-generation Fiesta’s smart cabin design and premium-feeling interior surfaces really reward forking out on higher-spec trim. In particular, the ST-Line’s soft perforated leather steering wheel and well-bolstered seats feel like they’ve come from a car in the class above and the optional (£350) 8.0in touchscreen, complete with Apple CarPlay, is as intuitive and reactive as any in this class.

8 Ford fiesta st line long term review cabin

The latest Fiesta platform is also more practical than before. Okay, so there are a few minor issues – such as the high lip on the boot floor that prevents flat loading and those snug seats being potentially too close for comfort for larger drivers – but the Fiesta is unquestionably easy to live with. Key pros in our experience include the decent leg room in the back, even with the three-door access of our car, and the excellent B&O premium sound system (part of that £350 infotainment package), which, to these ears, is the best in this class.

Even if you’re not impressed by the car’s more premium cabin (although we’re yet to find someone who dislikes it), catch a glimpse of the Fiesta’s reflection in a shop window and you’re more likely to be convinced. Dressed in sporty ST-Line bodywork with a set of optional (£600) 18in wheels, our car has not stopped looking the business. So much so that it has turned heads as effectively at the end of our tenure as it did at the start, even though in that period the new Fiesta has gone from rarity to commonplace on UK roads. For an ST-Line owner, it provides a welcome, albeit illegitimate, ST experience. Not sure ST drivers would feel so positive, mind.

Back to top

With so much to love, the Fiesta had us smitten in the first few hundred miles. That was until we gauged how much fuel it was using. The 1.0-litre Ecoboost unit, even in punchiest 138bhp form, is claimed to enable 57.6mpg combined and 47.1mpg in town. But the urban figure was closer to 30mpg to begin with, meaning this little triple had a drinking habit comparable with a luxury saloon’s. Economy thankfully improved, with the daily commute more consistently returning 40mpg, but it plateaued there and average motorway economy never rose beyond the mid-40s.


This, we concluded, was because the 1.0-litre runs on the boil at about 70mph, with the six-speed gearbox’s final ratio leaving it spinning at 2750rpm, right in the meat of its peak torque range. The motor feels more eager than a triple should at these speeds, but the downside is it’s also thirstier, plus there’s no standard cruise control in the ST-Line to help out. For a motorway cruiser, the 1.5 TDCi diesel remains the option of choice – but you knew that already.

What does come as a surprise – a pleasant one– is the 1.0’s enthusiasm to rev. With peak torque arriving from 1500rpm, you might expect it to run out of puff pretty quickly. But maximum power is at 6000rpm, so you’re rewarded with pleasing thrust when you let the rev counter needle rotate towards the redline.

It’s even easier to enjoy that powertrain because the latest Fiesta has a fine chassis that’s able to entertain as well as it can deal with city bumps. But the ST-Line gets slightly firmer damping rates, which you can feel from the get-go and provide the car with enhanced agility, although there’s an equal reduction in ride comfort as the pay-off. We never tired of the ride, although it’s true that for most, a standard-spec Fiesta chassis would be more than up to the job. Only when you really get on it does the ST-Line’s set-up bring worthwhile improvements, such as quicker steering response and better body control.

Back to top

Which brings us to the earlier question. Does the ST-Line justify the cost? Yes and no. The base Fiesta is such a good platform that dishing out for the extras would only make sense if you really care about the sporty bits they bring. We’d hedge that for most, a mid-spec Ecoboost with 99bhp and standard suspension would more than suffice. Little wonder ST-Line accounts for just 20% of sales. At the top end of Fiestadom, a Titanium is the better all-rounder. Plus, with ST prices so close, if you’re lucky enough to have cheap insurance, the hottest model will surely be too tempting.

However, for those with higher premiums seeking to stand out from the (very large) Fiesta crowd and be presented with occasional, genuine driver kicks, the ST-Line does make sense. Like the whole Fiesta range, it’s lovable, usable and very easy to live with – and a marked improvement over the previous generation model. Mark my words: ours will be sorely missed.

Second Opinion

Every time I had the chance to drive the Fiesta, I’d take the long route home. It manages to be engaging and dynamic without any detrimental impact to the ride and is proof that a downsized turbo triple is all you need to have fun at road-legal speeds. If I had to pay the insurance premiums, I’d even give the ST-Line serious thought over a full-fat ST: to me, there’s no greater example of how a supermini fulfils its brief.

Tom Morgan

Ford fiesta stline salisbury plain rear

Back to top

Back to the top

Love it:

DESIGN New Fiesta drew a mixed reaction when it arrived, but the ST-Line’s additions help it grow into its skin.

ENTERTAINMENT This is quite possibly the most fun 1.0-litre car on sale because the engine is as eager as the chassis.

INTERIOR It’d be hard to call it plush, but functional, pleasing to the eye and comfortable? Yes.

Loathe it:

FUEL ECONOMY No matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t consistently escape mpg in the mid-40s, even on a run.

PRICE High baseline of the standard Fiesta means only those desperate for grunt should get the priciest ST-Line.

Final mileage: 10,492

Back to the top

Life with a Ford Fiesta ST-Line: Month 4

Owner of a 2012 Fiesta sizes up the new one with the help of her son, the hotelier - 17th October 2018

Living close to Heathrow means my spare room is occasionally used by friends and families as an airport hotel, albeit a distinctly low-budget one that wouldn’t score well on Trip Advisor.

Recently, my mum booked in for a stay at my not-so-Premier Inn ahead of an early flight – and then discovered a hitch in her plans for getting from Somerset to Richmond upon Thames.

So my airport hotel expanded into a chauffeur service to collect her and her luggage from Clevedon. I just needed the car for the job.

Our Mercedes S-Class might be the obvious choice for a taxi service, but I had a better idea: our Fiesta. Professor Attwood drives a 2012 Fiesta, bought nearly new from her local Ford garage. And she really likes it: it’s reliable, easy to drive, comfortable on her motorway commute, and economical to run and service.

Thing is, my mum’s head has been turned by the newer cars I’ve turned up in on trips home – or, specifically, their driver assistance and infotainment features: shiny touchscreens, reversing cameras, that sort of thing.

Back to top

So she’s been hankering after a new car, and chances are it’s going to be another Ford. That’s not entirely brand loyalty: for the 25 years or so before her Fiesta, she owned a string of Peugeots 205 and 206, and still loves them. But the last one proved unreliable, and the nearest Peugeot garage is a 15-minute trip down the M5. Ford dealer Clevedon Garages is right at the bottom of the hill she lives on, and Fiestas were cheaper and as comfortable as (and, in Autocar’s view, better than) the 207 in 2012.

But as a long-time small-car driver, she’s slightly concerned about the extra size of the new Fiesta. So, since I was already serving as hotelier and chauffeur, I added in a new car preview service.

Img 2795

Plus, I hadn’t driven the Fiesta yet, so arranged a swap with custodian Matt Burt, handing him the keys to my long-term Suzuki Swift Sport for the weekend. My first impression, having become accustomed to the Suzuki’s 1.4-litre turbo, was: ‘Where’s my torque?’ But within five minutes, that was replaced by admiration for the quiet cruising class of the Fiesta’s 1.0-litre three-pot. It made a two-hour-plus Friday night motorway slog a pleasurable experience.

Professor Attwood wasn’t convinced by the bodywork styling of our Fiesta’s ST-Line trim, or the fact it had only three doors. But, once inside, she was quite taken with the well-designed, comfy cabin – and that it didn’t feel too big. She quite liked the Fiesta’s touchscreen too.

Back to top

The disappointment came when I put the Fiesta into reverse, and Mum noticed the lack of a reversing camera – a glaring omission given that shiny screen. Still, once assured that it was available as a £250 option, she stayed content all the way up to Richmond.

So content that, on arriving at my house, she wanted to switch seats: not to have a drive, but just to get a feel for it. Her concern: she is only five-foot tall and, sure enough, found the new Fiesta’s high dashboard quite hard to peer over. But, with a bit of seat and steering wheel fiddling, those doubts were allayed too.

Driving dynamics? I’m not fully sure that matters so much. When testing cars, it’s easy to become fixated on how it handles and the like, but for many buyers – such as my mum – the key factors are things like infotainment, features, comfort, cost, and dealer standards and location.

Will that result in her buying a new Fiesta? Not sure: as befits a university professor, she tends to ponder such things for a long time. But from her thinking the new Fiesta was too big, I’d say it’s now definitely on her consideration list.

I’d probably put it on mine too. It’s comfortable and relaxing, while still engaging and fun to drive on a country lane – which still matters to me. When I quit writing about cars and set up a full-time hotel/chauffeur service, I reckon I could do worse…

Img 2788

Back to top

Love it:

TWO-TONE EXTERIOR I’m not usually a fan of two-tone colour schemes, but the black roof offsets our Fiesta’s red paint nicely.

Loathe it:

BOOT DESIGN The boot is a decent size, but its design makes it awkward to get a big suitcase in efficiently.

James Attwood

Mileage: 9329

Back to the top

An Apple a day - 26th September 2018

Consider me converted to Apple CarPlay, the smartphone-mirroring software that I’ve hitherto largely ignored because I’ve been spoiled by test cars equipped with decent infotainment systems. There’s nothing wrong with the Fiesta’s, but CarPlay’s slickness, familiarity and ease of use trumps most of the OEM systems. It’s part of the standard kit on our ST-Line variant.

Mileage: 7901

Fiesta carplay

Back to the top

Can it eclipse a more powerful, but similarly priced, hot hatch? - 12th September 2018

Back to top

As you can read elsewhere on Autocar, our long-term fleet's Suzuki Swift Sport is very bright. What’s more, its arrival on our fleet risked stealing the Fiesta’s thunder.

Until the little Japanese hot hatch arrived at Autocar Towers, it was the ST-Line’s sporting bodywork and red paint that topped the affordable hatchback beauty contest. Now I’m undecided as to which would win the car park pageant. I have such a soft spot for the Swift’s taut, squat stance. Then again, the Ford Fiesta is a handsome thing.

These two cars might not technically be rivals – the yellow one’s a hot hatch aimed at the Fiesta ST rather than warm versions of the regular Fiesta like ours – but their starting prices are just £54 apart (the Suzuki costs from £17,999). They both offer very similar running costs as well.

You can probably see where this is going. With the Swift Sport’s owner, James Attwood, away, I nabbed the key one sunny evening and went for a long drive on country lanes. The first thing that struck me was how much harder its 1.4-litre engine pulled compared with the Fiesta’s. You can feel every bit of the 53lb ft advantage it has.

However, the Suzuki’s engine isn’t as eager to rev as the Ford’s, so although progress in the Swift Sport is significantly quicker, it doesn’t encourage such a broad grin to spread across your chops as the rev needle rotates clockwise towards the redline.

That said, even the Fiesta and its satisfyingly smooth steering can’t match the Swift Sport’s brilliantly weighted helm. The Sport’s steering is less assisted, so it feels more natural and makes the car feel quicker to react, probably thanks to its variable-ratio rack.

The Fiesta wins a point back for its accurate, rubbery gearlever action, however, as the Swift Sport has a slightly notchy shift.

Lt fiesta 12 sept 001

Back to top

Suzuki has done a fine job of keeping the Swift’s kerb weight down to 975kg, meaning it’s 169kg lighter than my red Ford. As such, it glides over bumps effortlessly and never feels like it’s causing the suspension much hassle. The Fiesta can, occasionally, press into its bump stops when you’re really pressing on, but in truth its damping actually feels of a higher quality – it’s just that it’s worked that bit harder by the added mass.

Technical differences aside, the cars actually both ride over broken roads in a remarkably similar way: with confidence and composure, and without being crashy. But the Fiesta’s longer wheelbase (2493mm versus its Japanese rival’s 2450mm) gives it a smoother ride over speed bumps and through dips. It also means the Ford has a much roomier interior, despite two fewer doors, and 27 litres more luggage space, at 292 litres.

Which would I go for? The Fiesta is the better all-rounder, with a higher-quality finish inside and slightly more comfortable ride (both of which it needs to justify the price), but the Suzuki is faster and likely to appeal more to those who prioritise driving dynamics over all else.

These two cars will appeal to different people, of course, but it’s impressive to note that a Fiesta ST-Line can be compared to more focused machines.

Love it:

THREE-POT THRUM The ST-Line’s ‘performance’ upgrades are cosmetic ones, but the willing engine ensures this Fiesta sounds suitably peppy.

Loathe it:

SEAT COMFORT Some of my, er, thicker-set colleagues find the seats a little narrow and uncomfortable in the upper back area on long journeys.

Mileage: 6983

Back to the top

Life with a Ford Fiesta ST-Line: Month 3

Making sound decisions - 29th August 2018

Our Fiesta is equipped with the 10-speaker B&O Play premium sound system, which is a £350 option. Apparently, B&O’s engineers spent a year developing the system to suit the Fiesta, listening to 5000 songs in the process. The sound quality is far superior to the tinny tones you’d expect from a small car’s sound system. Money well spent.

Back to top

Ford fiesta 2018

Mileage: 6231

Back to the top

Our car meets a forebear, but are the family ties easy to spot? - 4th July 2018

I recently caught sight of a lovely old Ford Fiesta XR2 that is part of Ford UK’s Heritage fleet and resembles our Fiesta ST-Line longtermer. It’s red, sits on silver wheels, features beefed-up styling and looks decidedly purposeful for its size.

That got me thinking: is a 1980s hot hatch comparable to a modern warm hatch on the road too? Has Ford, perhaps by accident as much as design, created a modern incarnation of the XR2 with this most peppy version of its standard Ford Fiesta? The numbers suggest so.

Our car, with the most powerful variant of Ford’s 998cc triple, troubles its front wheels with 138bhp – 42bhp more than the 1.6-litre Escort XR3-sourced four-pot under the XR2’s angular snout. But Ford Heritage’s 29-year-old machine weighs just 839kg, which means it’s 305kg lighter than the newcomer. Power-to-weight is, therefore, fairly close, with the XR2 offering 114bhp per tonne to the ST-Line’s 121bhp. That light weight should leave the XR2 feeling sprightlier on the road.

To test this theory, I headed to Ford’s Dagenham site, where the XR2 and other classics are let out from under their dust covers only on very rare occasions.

Back to top

Ford fiesta st line longterm review heritage

Hopping into the boxy XR2 was like stepping back in time. Whereas our new car’s cabin feels tough and protective, the old one’s is airy and offers even better visibility thanks to those frighteningly slim pillars. The XR2 vibrates when the engine fires into life and there’s a strong smell of unburned petrol during cold running. Ah, nostalgia.

On the road, the XR2 is hard work. There’s no power-assisted steering so low-speed manoeuvrability requires muscle, although once you’re moving, the large-diameter wheel offers plenty of feedback. The throttle-cable-connected engine also feels deliciously responsive, albeit not particularly potent, but it’s the brakes that really grab your attention because they require a heavy press of the middle pedal to have any impact.

Our Fiesta, by contrast, has highly assisted brakes typical of modern cars (bitey at the top of the pedal), an engine with lowdown lag and very light steering that only provides information as to how the tyres up front are getting on when you really load them up through a bend. But the new car, somehow, doesn’t feel any less fun for it.

When you wind the Ecoboost motor up, the ST-Line exudes energy. It does so in a very different way to the old Fiesta, and it doesn’t lean and buzz like that car as you drive enthusiastically, but it’s quick to respond to steering inputs – far more so than the XR2 – and pulls hard when you work it through the meat of its torque band (which peaks at 1500rpm).

Back to top

Given that the thrummy engine is also hungry for revs – its bhp peaks at 6000rpm – and the ST-Line chassis, which is firmer than the standard set-up, feels well matched with a good balance of agility and comfort, I think my assumptions were correct: this Fiesta has much in common with one of Ford’s most-loved hot hatches. Averaging a decent 44mpg on the traffic-ridden drive home illustrated just how far cars have come.

Love it:

EAGER ENGINE The Ecoboost three-cylinder sounds enthusiastic — like half a six, perhaps.

Loathe it:

NO CRUISE CONTROL The lack of cruise control feels at odds with an otherwise well-equipped car.

Mileage: 2756

Back to the top

Life with a Ford Fiesta ST-Line: Month 2

Uprated stereo system makes all the difference - 27th June 2018

Having recently returned from a holiday in Ibiza, I was excited to step back into the Fiesta and enjoy its £350 optional B&O Play sound system. Like the nightclubs of the White Isle, it provides surround sound to offer an audio experience detailed enough to satisfy fans of all music genres. To these ears, it’s the best system in this class.

Ford fiesta st line longterm review speaker settings

Back to top

Mileage: 2304

Back to the top

You don’t need to head to a B-road to appreciate its classy chassis and willing engine - 13th June 2018

There’s a strangely satisfying feeling of driving a car with taut but well-controlled damping over broken street surfaces. Call it the silver lining of Britain’s poor roads.

In such a car, you remain fully aware of exactly what’s going on beneath you, and every crease and crack in the tarmac is communicated to you, but it’s done so delicately that at no point do you wince as bumpstops are hammered into or tense as suspension struts clang in pain.

I experience this sensation regularly on my commute to work in our Ford Fiesta. The car rides with a composure to rival that of premium saloons, rumbling over London’s pothole-ridden streets with the nonchalant demeanour of a model on a catwalk.

But as my work-bound route leaves the city streets and moves onto a twisting dual carriageway slip road, the Fiesta still feels eager to keep up momentum around the bend and have its nose angled steeply towards the inside.

I believe this enthusiasm helps to improve fuel efficiency: I can merge onto the dual carriageway without needing to power up to speed, unlike cars that have to coast around the slip road bend.

Ford fiesta st line longterm review 1

Back to top

Now that it has settled in, the Fiesta averages a respectable 40mpg during rush hour, which is at least 10mpg better than I had achieved during its first few hundred miles. They say highly strung engines take more time to loosen up, and that’s true of the 1.0-litre Ecoboost, which produces a reasonable 138bhp.

Admittedly, some of the fuel economy improvement will have come from me learning how best to use the engine and its stop/start system. It’s impossible to drive like you’re wearing helium shoes in London: there are too many honking minicabs and weaving mopeds to contend with to safely allow such a technique. But you can significantly boost fuel economy by pre-empting changes ahead, such as coasting up to lights you know will have turned red by the time you get there.

The Fiesta’s motor switches itself off before you come to a complete halt so on busier stretches of road adds a good 10% (by my guess) to the time the engine is off. It restarts before you’ve depressed a centimetre of the clutch pedal, too, and feels as seamless as any other system I’ve used.

On the motorway, our 1400-mile-old car offers around 47mpg, which is well short of the claimed 62.8mpg according to the (optimistic) NEDC test. The engine never feels strained and offers good mid-range performance but, even with six speeds at its disposal, revs at around 2750rpm so can’t be as frugal with its sips of RON 95 as you might expect.

I suspect the extra torque of the Fiesta’s 1.5 TDCi diesel engine would be better suited to motorway work. That being said, our car is still fairly new, and there’s time for the motorway economy to creep up by a few miles to the gallon.

Plus the reward for having this petrol engine comes during almost all other scenarios of driving, such as when urban landscape is traded for B-road. At those times, its motivation to rev matches the keenness of the chassis. It’s a fine city warrior but is at its most enjoyable outside it.

Love it:

THE SWEET SEATS The firm, supportive seats match the car’s good ride and, with flashes of red, they look the part as well.

Back to top

Loathe it:

NOT THE KEY’S KNEES Occasionally, the ‘no key detected’ message shows and won’t let me start the car until I switch the ignition off and on again.

Ford fiesta st line longterm review 3

Mileage: 1465

Back to the top

Life with a Ford Fiesta ST-Line: Month 1

A run-in engine means Fuel economy improvements - 30th May 2018

The Fiesta has gone through quite a transformation in its first 1100 miles. To begin with, the 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine felt rather tight, while also returning measly economy that barely surpassed 30mpg during my urban commute. But, gradually, that figure has crept up by 10mpg and the 138bhp triple up front has started to feel more eager to rev.

Mileage: 1108

Back to the top

Welcoming the Fiesta ST-Line to the fleet - 16 May 2018

‘Something-Line’ models. You know the breed; they’re the sheep in wolf’s clothing, the converse of a Q-car. They wear the muscle of their most athletic cousins, but behind the spoiler and big wheels are the heart and lungs of the family accountant.

Back to top

They’re everywhere; diesel Golfs dressed like Golf Rs, Corsas impersonating the VXR and C-Classes with dreams of being Mercedes-AMG C 63s. Now, there’s another and it has just joined the Autocar fleet.

Say hello to our new Ford Fiesta ST-Line, which flexes biceps with metallic alloy wheels (ours are the optional 18in ones), beefier bumpers and an ST front grille, but beneath its bonnet lives a little 1.0-litre Ecoboost triple. Surely, the buying public will turn their back on such a poorly endowed fraudster?

Well, actually, no, they won’t. Turns out ST-Line is fast becoming the new Zetec. It is already the most popular trim for the Ford Focus and now it’s climbing up the Fiesta’s popularity ladder.

ST-Line arrived in November, several months after Zetec and Titanium variants, yet it accounted for 23% of sales in 2017. Titanium was just 2% better than that. Although Zetec, the long-standing trim champion, represented 45% of demand, Ford thinks there’s a strong chance that’ll change this year.

Given that the Fiesta is the nation’s best-selling new model by quite some margin, and this is the first time we’ll get an extended test in this latest version, it’s fair to assume that we’ll be seeing a lot of Fiesta ST-Lines on roads.

So I should make the most of these early weeks, during which our red car is garnering appreciation from pedestrians as they wonder whether they’re seeing the new Fiesta ST months before it’s due to appear. Hopefully, these bystanders won’t feel like their glance is wasted on an ST-Line, because our car does at least come with the most potent version of the 1.0-litre Ecoboost on offer.

11 Ford fiesta st line long term review engine

Back to top

We could have opted for the 99bhp entry model or the 123bhp midfielder, but we’ve gone for the 138bhp version because it straddles a middle ground between the standard line-up of Fiesta derivatives and the full-blown ST. In 138bhp form, the Fiesta ST-Line’s starting price is £17,945 — just £1050 less than the opening figure for its upcoming hot hatch sibling.

Once you’ve added a few options — and our car is adorned with £1550 worth of extra kit — you’ve exceeded the price of a full-bore ST. Tempting, but purchase price is only one part of the equation. If you take running costs into account, Ford’s turbocharged three-pot 1.0 engine should be much easier on my pocket.

Even in this peppiest form, the 1.0 triple is claimed to offer 62.8mpg (combined) and puff out 102g/km of CO2. So trips to the fuel station should be far less frequent than they would be in the ST, which also uses a three-cylinder but of 1.5-litre capacity and a 197bhp output. Our car should be notably cheaper to insure, too.



Ford has upgraded the ST-Line’s chassis so it more deservedly sits between the standard line-up and the top variant than most ‘something-Line’ models. The underlying structure is 14% stiffer than the old car’s, thanks to the use of more bracing in key areas, but the ST-Line adds to this with suspension tuned to offer sportier handling than the standard car, achieved primarily through higher damper rates.

This sounds promising for a B-road jaunt, but there’s a chance that it could make the car tiresome on my urban commute across London. There’s no system to adjust the damping rates, either. In fact, there’s nothing to adjust the way the car is set up at all, unless you count the Eco button that, as far as I can tell, seems only to slacken the throttle’s responses.

Back to top

But I like that there’s only the one character for this car. That trait suggests it could be like an old-school warm hatch. Not that it’s old-school inside.


The new Fiesta is a much nicer place in which to sit compared with its predecessor. The previous car’s cluttered dashboard is a distant memory and the new version’s clean, simple dashboard is, to my eyes at least, a better example of design than the Volkswagen Group’s more functional layout.

Our Fiesta ST-Line has the optional B&O Play sound system, which includes 10 speakers and adds an 8.0in touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. That kit costs £350.

The buttons and knobs on the dashboard feel of good quality, while the soft, squidgy plastic on the dashtop feels so nice that I’ve already developed an annoying habit of prodding it while stopped in traffic. If you rejoice at the sight of unpopped bubble wrap, you’ll understand the satisfaction.

Aside from the hard, scratchy plastic for the interior door pull handles, every surface you lay your hands, feet or bottom on feels premium. Take the steering wheel, which comes with soft perforated leather, or the gearknob, which is spherical with a chrome-finished top. The cloth-covered sports seats are very comfortable and supportive, too.

Back to top

All in all, this is a car with plenty of potential. Our first drives in the Fiesta ST-Line suggest this could be quite the entry-level driver’s car so, rest assured, I’ll be venturing out of the Big Smoke and heading to the country to see how hard it is to cock an inside wheel in a car with a few miles on the clock. You can take a three-pot on a track day, too, right?

16 Ford fiesta st line long term review bridge

Second Opinion

I loved the ST-Line version of the previous Fiesta. While the engine is much the same, the handling is somehow even sweeter and more accurate now, and the difference between the cars’ interiors is like that between a Travelodge and a Hilton.

Kris Culmer

Back to the top


Prices: List price new £17,945 List price now £17,965 Price as tested £19,495 Dealer value now £12,990 Private value now £11,900 Trade value now £11,980 (part exchange)

Options:ST-Line 18in alloy wheels £600, rear privacy glass £250, rear parking sensors £200, B&O Play premium 10-speaker audio system £350, Shadow Black contrast roof and mirrors £150

Back to top

Fuel consumption and range: Claimed economy 62.8mpg Fuel tank 42 litres Test average 40.3mpg Test best 44.5mpg Test worst 32.9mpg Real-world range 372 miles

Tech highlights: 0-62mph 9.0sec Top speed 125mph Engine 3-cylinder, 998cc, turbocharged petrol Max power 138bhp at 6000rpm Max torque 133 lb ft at 1500rpm Transmission 6-speed manual Boot capacity 292 litres Wheels 18in, alloy Tyres 205/40 R18 Kerb weight 1144kg

Service and running costs: Contract hire rate £182.63 CO2 112g/km Service costs None Other costs None Fuel costs £1269.50 Running costs inc fuel £1269.50 Cost per mile 12 pence Depreciation £5965 Cost per mile inc dep’n 70 pence Faults none

12 Ford fiesta st line long term review sam driving

Back to the top

Join the debate

Add a comment…
kimberlyy 29 October 2018


it will be much good to go vacation with new car

Peter Cavellini 24 October 2018

Old and new....

  Look at the image of the XR2 mk1, then look at the new ST, which would you prefer?, the ST looks middle class, all premium feel but not quite the real deal, the Mk1 sitting there looks like it’s desperate to get moving, looks like it would be more fun, very few of today’s pocket Rockets are a bit of a damp Firework.

stavers 16 October 2018

Class action lawsuit

Apolgies - didn't post the links before.  But have a look at the 3 below for people's unhappiness with the EcoBoost engines.

Cobnapint 16 October 2018


stavers wrote:

Apolgies - didn't post the links before.  But have a look at the 3 below for people's unhappiness with the EcoBoost engines.

No need to apologise to us, you're the one making yourself look a prat. The coolant pipe issue with Ecoboost engines was resolved years ago and the compensation relates to a particular period if engines made - years ago. The one in the ST-line and all other present day Ecoboost engines are not affected.