Added high-rev fireworks make fast Ford Fiesta even more compelling. Awesome-value option on awesome-value car

What is it?

The Ford Fiesta ST: one of the best new hot hatchbacks we’ve tested lately and – manna from heaven for a road tester – a car whose greatness depends not a jot on optional equipment.

There is one alloy wheel and tyre combination (you can have the former painted if you like), one body style, one suspension set-up and one transmission. It’s just impossible to buy a badly specced car.

The options list is beautifully brief, too, the most expensive item on it being Molten Orange paint at £725. There is, however, one new option for the Fiesta ST, which threatens to add a hint of complication to a blissfully simple buying process: an engine upgrade offered by Essex tuner Mountune Performance.

What's it like?

The waters haven't been muddied too much, because you should just have it. ‘It’ will cost you £599 at any Mountune-accredited Ford dealer. ‘It’ doesn’t affect your Ford warranty. ‘It’ consists of a new airbox, filter, hose and an ECU remap.

And ‘it’ takes the Fiesta’s 1.6-litre engine to 212bhp and 236lb ft and shaves three-tenths of a second off its 0-62mph sprint. To 60mph, the difference is big enough to make a Mountune Ford Fiesta ST a sub-6.5sec car.

In everyday driving, you notice several improvements. The extra torque means you can often sweep into motorway gaps without changing down. The extra power, meanwhile, chimes in with a hard-edged flare of combustion noise at 4500rpm, and allows you to get much closer to the red line before the engine runs short of breath in classic turbo fashion. That in itself makes flat-chat acceleration more exciting.

The rest of the ST experience is unaltered, and brilliant. You’ll love the way the car grips at the front wheels and pivots under your backside. You’ll love how directly it steers and refuses to roll. 

Fast Ford devotees will probably even love the slightly yobby, track-car-hard ride. Passengers may not agree, of course. But you’ll be having so much fun that you honestly won’t care.

Should I buy one?

Absolutely. In a hot supermini class filling up with monotone and mediocrity, this engine kit makes one more distinguishing feature on a quite outstanding driver’s car. One that effortlessly transcends its nearest rivals, like the Peugeot 208 GTI, and demands consideration in an altogether broader sense.

Truth is, you could spend £30k on a hot hatchback this year and end up not having as much fun as you would in an £18k Ford Fiesta ST. This is something of a masterstroke.

Ford Fiesta ST Mountune

Price £17,594; 0-60mph 6.4sec; Top speed TBC; Economy TBC; CO2 TBC; Kerbweight 1163kg; Engine 4cyls, 1596cc, turbocharged, petrol; Power 212bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 236lb ft at 2750-3500rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.

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Citytiger 8 August 2013

Sounds like a bit of badge

Sounds like a bit of badge snobbery going on, the current Fiesta is far better since its facelift, the interior design may not be to everyones taste, but its well put together and doesnt feel as cheap as it did, it actually feels decent quality, try it before you dismiss it. 

The power of a Golf GTI for the price of the entry level Golf S. 

superstevie 7 August 2013

I think it looks good, and

I think it looks good, and different enough from the rest of the range. Perhaps the fact it needs so little extra work is because the vase car is a good looking car to begone with. 

cvet21 7 August 2013

This Fiesta St dosn/t present

This Fiesta St dosn/t present in my country! but I want it!!! I dont liki focus st, But fiesta!!mmmm