Ford Fiesta ST 1.6T ST EcoBoost 182PS
What is it?
The sporty new Ford Fiesta ST is part of a long tradition of affordable, small, fast Fords that dates all the way back to the original 1980s XR2.
But today’s performance Fords are a lot more sophisticated than those comparatively crude old XR cars, with some of the best chassis behaviour in the business.
And given that there’s been a five-year gap since a Fiesta ST last featured in Ford’s UK price lists, it’s easy to see why expectations of the new model are extremely high.
Fortunately, those expectations are met in full, and from now on, the Fiesta ST looks set to be the small hatch to beat.
- Excellent performance from a 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine turning out 182PS – and there’s more when you need it thanks to an “overboost” feature that delivers 200PS for short periods.
- Very good official fuel consumption and emissions figures for such a fast car
- Top-class handling – the addition of Torque Vectoring Control, more direct steering and other chassis tweaks allow the ST to improve quite a bit upon the already capable standard Fiesta. The new ST is also the first Fiesta to get rear disc brakes
- Decent ride comfort considering the ST’s cornering abilities and sporty purpose
- Great engine soundtrack thanks to a “sound symposer” that channels the best of the noise from under the bonnet into the cabin
- Value for money – the Fiesta ST offers a lot of performance for the price and it’s cheaper than rivals such as the SEAT Ibiza Cupra (although that has the benefit of a DSG gearbox) and the forthcoming Peugeot 208 GTI
- Two trim levels – the basic ST at £16,995 and the ST 2 at £17,995.
- The base car gets 17-inch alloys, an ST body kit, and high-value items such as an alarm, a DAB radio, and Ford’s MyKey technology and SYNC connectivity package, which makes it easier to use your phone and music player in the car.
- The ST 2 gets additional features such as halogen projector headlamps and daylight running lights, Recaro sports seats, an upgraded Sony radio and a starter button.
- There’s not much to criticise here but the Fiesta ST’s dash could do with a few extra gauges or more special trim to match its sporty Recaro seats (on the ST 2) and purposeful but tasteful external mods
- The Fiesta ST’s sat nav (optional) and SYNC connectivity technology are good systems but the dash-top screen through which they are accessed is too small
Business Car Manager road test verdict
The new Fiesta ST is a triumph.
Ford describes its small hot hatch as accessible – that’s all about its keen pricing and comparatively modest costs of ownership but might also refer to its performance as well; this is a car that flatters and encourages, rather than making demands upon, the average driver. It’s a lot of fun.
The ST won’t have it all its own way of course. Peugeot, for example, is about to launch the 208 GTI which has the great pedigree of the famous 205 GTI to fall back on, although the French will have to improve quite a bit on their recent form if their new contender is going to be worth its expected price premium over the Fiesta.
Ford should have no difficulty at all shifting the 5000 Fiesta STs it expects to sell in the UK each year – that’s about half of the European total, by the way.
And a fair few of those 5000 STs should find their way into the hands of company car drivers who will be hard pushed to find this much fun per pound in tax and other costs anywhere else in a company car comparison.
The Low Down…
|Doors and body style||3-door hatch|
|Engine/gearbox||1.6-litre 4-cyl petrol turbo/6 speed manual|
|Power/torque||182PS/240Nm (brief overboost to 200PS)|
…and what it costs
|Monthly business rental (ex VAT)||£188|
|Road tax (VED)||Band E|
|Company Car Tax Bands 2012/13 to 2014/15||18%, 19% 20%|
|Benefit in kind 2012/13 to 2014/15||£3028, £3196, £3364|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%)||£727/£61|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%)||£1454/£121|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (20%)||£606/£50|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (40%)||£121/£100|
|Figures correct at time of posting|
|For latest figures||Use our company car tax calculator|