Ford Fiesta ST Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, 5 hours and 200 kms later, I feel as though I can give an accurate review and summary of this little thing. I'll try to cover off everything, as I spent time going through everything today. This review will get a bit on the techy side too, and since I never think anything is perfect, it will be nit picky!


Rather than forcing people to read this whole thing before you get to the overall verdict, let me start by saying this little car is an epic drive. Having owned and driven V8s, V6s, naturally aspirated and turbo'd cars, I can say that for $30k, there is no better car out there when it comes to balance. My closest comparison would be the current MK3 Clio RS, but that costs about $7k more, and doesn't have a turbo. That doesn't mean it's a bad car. I love NA engines. But the modding potential is extremely limited.


I'll create a section for each component below, and try to explicitly list out the pros and cons within each. That said, let's get started.


Exterior:


Pros:
I'm not going to go into crazy detail on this part as looks are so subjective. Build quality is top notch though. Gaps between panels is minimal. The STs are manufactured in Germany, not in Asia. The colour coded bumper below the rear diffuser really sets the back of the car off.


Overall, it's a fantastic looking car, and black wheels set it off even more. Don't go copying me now!! :lol


Cons:
The rear wheel arch is a bit high. It could be lower personally. That's nothing a set of coils or springs couldn't fix though (more on that later). The high wheel arch makes it look as though the wheels themselves are too small for the car. Dropping it will for sure fix that up.


My car came stock with Bridgestone Potenzas. To me, not the best tyre, but they're decent.


There's also no factory tint. At all. On any window.

Interior:


Pros:
Picture a Focus ST minus a few items. If you think the Focus ST has a nice interior, you won't be too disappointed with the Fiesta. Again, since it's made in Germany, it benefits from a soft touch dash. That's where the soft touch materials stop though. The steering wheel feels nice. Everything is within reach. Soft roof liner, lots of cup holders, blah blah blah. I didn't buy this car for it's interior haha.


The stock sound from Sony is pretty damn good. I can't complain. That said, I'm too old to be concerned about blasting Katy Perry or whatever the kids listen to these days. Like others though, I can't seem to find the 7th and 8th speakers. I'm thinking one set of the speakers has both a tweeter and a driver, resulting in two speakers.


Sync seems to work OK. Took me a bit of fiddling to get my phone to work (HTC One). It kept dropping connection. Eventually, after unpairing and re-pairing a few times, in connected.


The keyless entry system is cool. Unlike the Focus ST where you just slide your finger over the door handle sensor, it's a physical button on the Fiesta. Push it and it locks/unlocks the doors. I'm not listing this in the cons section, but I'm of the type who likes turning an actual key to start the engine. I found myself still trying to do so when driving today. Particularly when turning the car off!! I'm sure I'll get used to it.


And Ford, thank you for 20km increments on the speedo! Why the Focus ST has 30km increments, I don't know.




Cons:
Personally, I think the general ergonomics and layout of the dash aren't all that sharp. The number of buttons on the stereo is confusing to say the least. Why we don't get the larger 8" unit the USA gets I don't know. That unit was developed by Microsoft with Ford USA though, and might have been sold/licensed only for their region.


Anyone who owns an HTC phone, you should know that you will not receive any track information when streaming music via BT. Nor will the steering wheel controls work to skip tracks. You can thank HTC for that one though. They haven't implemented the full A2DP protocol. Meta information is not transmitted. Nor does the unit receive input from the Sony BT unit. Sucks, but what can you do. Switch phones!


In addition to the phone, it might just be me, but I am not sure if I can use the steering wheel controls to search through my phone contacts, dialled numbers, etc. As far as I can tell that's only controllable through the actual head unit knob. A bit odd.


Seats:

Pros:
This one should be a short section. Super supportive Recaros. Plain cloth. Adjustable for height as well. Overall great seats. I could care less about the back seats as they will never be used :dance


Cons:
If you're of the plus size/Maccers generation like I am, you will find the seats rather...snug. Both the side bolsters and the leg bolsters. The leg bolsters more so though. The solution is to lose weight. I've been working on that. For the last 15 years. I'll get their one day. I still think it's baby fat I haven't lost yet.


Engine:


Pros:
OK , here we go. This engine is a cracker! You've all read reviews about the power output, and the overboost, so I won't go into that. What I will say is pick a gear, keep your RPMs above 1500, and feel the torque everywhere. I would say it does peak up at around 5500 though. With a redline of only 6000, that's fine for me. Just switch before and your powerband will never end. Gear ratios are quite well spread apart too, although you can't really hit 100 in 2nd. Would have been nice if they were a bit closer, but eh...not that big an issue. In gear though, this thing pulls extremely well.


A simple ECU tune (and I will be doing so) will see this engine put out even more, and it's fully capable of handling it. So is the rest of the chassis.


The Sound Symposer does a good job of transmitting the engine sound into the cabin. That said, I'm not sure if that sound is amped up a bit more than it should be.


Cons:
For what it's meant to be and do, I have no issues with this engine. It truly is fantastic. That said, don't expect it to completely pin you to your seat when you floor it. And perhaps the off the line acceleration could be a bit more present, but then you have to deal with wheel spin, torque steer, etc.


I would like to see a bit more growl from the exhaust. Especially since the Sound Symposer drowns out any noise it makes. Nothing that can't be fixed with a drill though :yelrotflm


Gearbox:


Pros:
OK. Be prepared here. This section will probably have the most negatives to it, but they are more to do with my affinity for the perfect gearshift. It's extremely important to me in a car like this. Actually, it's the most important factor for me. Most people will fine the stock shift fine, and it is. I am very picky though!


In general, the gearshift is spot on. Light. Silky. Slots into gear very easily. Almost to the point where you don't even have to try. It just goes. Again, gear ratios are well placed for the engine.


Cons:
Here we go haha. I should start by saying that I prefer short, heavy shifts. If you're like me, I am sure you will agree with my comments. Otherwise, don't think of these as negatives. Either way, they are things that can be fixed easily. Anyone who has driven a Ford GT or a GT-P will know how I like my shifts.


The throw is a bit too long for me. Not only from 2nd to 3rd as some have mentioned in reviews, but everywhere. It's also extremely light. Shifts are almost effortless, and I'm not a big fan of that.


That said, these things are nothing that can't be fixed with a short shift kit and a weighted knob. That's already in progress haha. I've ordered the Mountune Shift Kit and a TWM M1 Abrams knob. Anyone intersted, the Fiesta ST shares the same B6 gearbox as the Focus ST. Hence why the same short shift kit works.


Suspension:


Pros:
I really have no issues here. It's what I was expecting, and what I'm used to. Supple at low speeds. Firm when moving. Just how I want it.


Cons:
I lied. I do have say something here! It's not really a con. More that I would be hesitant in going with a set of lowering springs on this car, and rather opt for full on coilovers. The reason I say that is because the suspension is already quite firm as it is. I am not sure the stock dampers could handle any more stress. Nor could your back. Either way, I'd be confident in saying you'd be replacing the dampers after 20k. They'll probably bust.


Handling/Steering:


Pros:
If this is your first car with fully electronic steering (as it is for me), it will take a bit of time to get used to. At low speeds it's effortless, and I mean effortless. You could probably blow on the steering wheel and it would turn. Get it up to speed though and the off centre feedback is there, and gives you the feeling it's hydraulic. The faster you go the better the feedback feels.


Handling...pick a line, gun it, and you'll end up on the other side in one piece. It's that good. I didn't find a turn I couldn't take on today, at any speed. This thing cuts apexes like butter. The only other car I've seen handle this well at this price point is the MK3 Clio RS.


And yes, if you want the back to swing out, it'll happily do so. I managed to quite a few times today. What a great feeling. Who needs RWD!! That said, don't expect it to be Toyota 86 like. I am a fan of that car when it comes to handling. It's actually the benchmark in this price bracket. Is the Fiesta as good? Hard to tell. It's different. With the 86, you're at least confident in knowing that if you take the corner too fast, you'll just slide out and recover easily. With FWD, it's not going to be as forgiving, and chances are you'll end up oversteering into a ditch! But, if you're on a track against an 86, you'll be at ease knowing that when it comes to taking corners at speed


Cons:
Hmmm. It's electric. That's about it. Once you get used to that, it's not that bad.


Brakes:


Pros:
They're good. Not much else to say at this point. The true test will be when I get this thing on a track. And I will be doing so. I do think they'll end up fading quite quick. But for real world scenarios, they are more than adequate. Stopping power is great.


Cons:
It would have been nice to have discs all around, as I believe only the fronts (rears???) are? I would also have liked painted calipers, but again, nothing I can't do myself.


Summary:


A lot of little gripes. Nothing that is major, and nothing that I can't really do myself to resolve. All in all, a great little car. Sorry, a fantastic little car. The new Clio RS if you ask me. When it comes to pure driving pleasure and thrills, I can't think of anything that comes close.


And please don't shoot me here Focus fans, but I would go as far as saying that the Fiesta ST is better than the Focus ST, which I have driven many times. It's more raw, doesn't suffer from any torque steer, looks better, and is almost $10k cheaper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Haha. Ok that may have been a slight exaggeration. But if you're used to hydraulic steering good, this will take some bit of getting used to. It is very light when not moving.

Sent from my HTC_PN071 using Tapatalk 2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,235 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Nice review. Very informative. I can't wait to drive the little bugger now! And you're right: That base stereo must have a bad case of acne with all these buttons sprouting everywhere! I'm glad I spent just a tad more cash and got the MFT. It's buggy at times (Microsoft... what do you want)... but the rest of the times, it works perfectly and all those buttons are still nowhere to be seen. Isn't there a stereo upgrade you can get on the Fiesta ST? In North-America at least??? 'Cause Sony should be ashamed of the layout of that base radio. But still, it sounds very decent for a base unit... (in the Focus at least). BTW: My 8th speaker is in the middle of my dash (where the ST-specific gage cluster is). Maybe the Fiesta ST has the 8th speaker hidden somewhere in there as well? I have two speakers in the back doors, two in the lower part of the front doors and two tweeters up high on the front doors. So with the subwoofer that makes 8 of them.

And please don't shoot me here Focus fans, but I would go as far as saying that the Fiesta ST is better than the Focus ST, which I have driven many times. It's more raw, doesn't suffer from any torque steer, looks better, and is almost $10k cheaper.
What do you think the effects of 270lbs/ft would be on the Fiesta ST's front wheels? ;) I mean, de-tune the Focus ST (or take it easier on the loud pedal) down to Fiesta ST levels and I'm pretty sure the torque steer becomes pretty manageable. In fact, the rare people whom I let drive my car occasionally tend to use lower gears than really necessary because they're not used to having all that torque down low. I have way less torque steer issues and as much fun since I've understood that at least half of the torque steer issue is me. I mean, at first I would go down to 3rd gear when passing cars on secondary roads... out of habit. Now I know that I can get away with anything in 4th and that if there's plenty space to pass, 5th is all I need... and I can even leave it in 6th if I'm lazy. Torque steer? What torque steer? It's only torque... ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Nice review. Very informative. I can't wait to drive the little bugger now! And you're right: That base stereo must have a bad case of acne with all these buttons sprouting everywhere! I'm glad I spent just a tad more cash and got the MFT. It's buggy at times (Microsoft... what do you want)... but the rest of the times, it works perfectly and all those buttons are still nowhere to be seen. Isn't there a stereo upgrade you can get on the Fiesta ST? In North-America at least??? 'Cause Sony should be ashamed of the layout of that base radio. But still, it sounds very decent for a base unit... (in the Focus at least). BTW: My 8th speaker is in the middle of my dash (where the ST-specific gage cluster is). Maybe the Fiesta ST has the 8th speaker hidden somewhere in there as well? I have two speakers in the back doors, two in the lower part of the front doors and two tweeters up high on the front doors. So with the subwoofer that makes 8 of them.



What do you think the effects of 270lbs/ft would be on the Fiesta ST's front wheels? ;) I mean, de-tune the Focus ST (or take it easier on the loud pedal) down to Fiesta ST levels and I'm pretty sure the torque steer becomes pretty manageable. In fact, the rare people whom I let drive my car occasionally tend to use lower gears than really necessary because they're not used to having all that torque down low. I have way less torque steer issues and as much fun since I've understood that at least half of the torque steer issue is me. I mean, at first I would go down to 3rd gear when passing cars on secondary roads... out of habit. Now I know that I can get away with anything in 4th and that if there's plenty space to pass, 5th is all I need... and I can even leave it in 6th if I'm lazy. Torque steer? What torque steer? It's only torque... ;)
Yeah unfortunately the US is the only market that gets the fancy touchscreen headunit. The rest of us don't!!!! Then again, I didn't really buy this car for the infotainment system. At the same time though, Ford has made it almost impossible to replace their unit with an aftermarket one. That's a bit annoying, but no biggie.

I can tell you there is virtually no torque steer on the Fiesta ST. Actually, there is no torque steer. That said, the chassis can certainly handle more. I've yet to spin my wheels, encounter wheel hop, or really oversteer, but I haven't completely thrashed the car yet. I'm quite confident in saying this little car could handle more power to the fronts. Which leads me to wonder what it is with respect to the chassis on the Fiesta and the Focus that is different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I'm telling you mate: Bump the torque and HP figures on the Fiesta and you'll end up with torque steer as well. I am 100% convinced of that.

Then again, I know those 8" wide sports tires tend to amplify that trait. It is less present when my much thinner winter tires are on. In fact, the car tends to lurch around a lot on back roads with a lot of crowning... even when not under acceleration. That doesn't help alleviate torque steer at all... it just makes it a bit worst. That being said, once you get used to it, it's just another powerful beast you've tamed and can have fun with. ;)

You're right about the stereo: They sure seem to have made every effort so that we just won't be able to replace it! I don"t know what yours controls, but mine controls all of the A/C advanced options, manages Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in the car and is linked ot my steering wheel controls. Replacing this thing would be such a headache... not mentioning the astronomical cost! That sucks because I would have liked an Android-based touch screen system with a much better looking screen in there... :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Agreed on the stereo. I would have liked them to use a standard double din. But no! They had to use a non standard quadruple $? @@?

Sent from my HTC_PN071 using Tapatalk 2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Great, now my 4-6 week wait seems a lot longer. :p

I love the part about losing weight to fit in the seats. Most people probably just skip the recaros. I can't imagine a more constructive motivational health tool than the FiST.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
923 Posts
Enjoyed your review, kudos. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
690 Posts
Hey ConST, we need to get together and go for a cruise sometime. You and I, we'd be mates!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
I just picked mine up two days ago. I'm pretty sure our USA spec touch screen is 6.5", not the 8" found in the focus ST unfortunately. it's a SMIDGE far away from the driving position. I'm working on getting all the voice/button commands down, but until i do, it's a slight reach while driving (nothing I am too concerned with, i knew this during the test drive)
overall good review, I agree on much of it, except for one thing: you mentioned dropping the car even more? I think this car is pretty spot on from the factory, what type of handling gains do you think you would see dropping it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
I was gonna say we get the 6.5" in the USA as well.

Also, my HTC one used to display all song information through BT. I used Google play music though, I never tried the basic Music app. People complain about mft but to this day I have never had any kind of issue and am actually very impressed with the BT responsiveness, voice control accuracy etc.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Double post
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top