This will have a lot of pictures so I just put it up in the pictures section.
I'll be doing some comparisons between my modified 2003 Ford ZX2 and the Fiesta ST because that's what I've been driving for the past 5 years.
Here's my review of it from the viewpoint of an everyday driver of a modified Ford economy car that enjoys driving cars and doesn't do any autocross or track days.
Some of you have already seen the previous pictures I've posted of the ST at my local dealership. I went back because it was closed on Sunday and Labor Day so I could actually get good interior pics and hopefully a test drive. Well they let me do a test drive right off the bat. I barely even got to look inside. lol I took about a 10 minute drive down a less traveled highway in the area. It was not hard to get the car to 80. This is the first turbo car I've ever driven. But I could tell right away when the turbo kicked in and it was quick. I was cruising down the highway in 5th gear and it seemed fine at about 70 so I shifted to 6th. Then I put my foot down. It still had some get up...at 70 in 6th. You can forget about doing that in my N/A ZX2 in 5th.
The sound symposer, or whatever it's called, wasn't overly loud like I thought it might be. It makes about the sound you'd want to hear when accelerating (I mean I'd assume if you want an ST you probably want to hear the engine noises) and quiets down when you're not on it. The cabin was pretty quiet on the highway (in my standards) for having low profile tires and generally being an econobox car. My ZX2 is lowered with 17" wheels and low pro tires and it's pretty hard to talk to the person in the passenger seat without talking loudly, and talking loudly is not my strong suit. I could talk to the salesman in a normal talking voice and he could hear me fine. Yeah it's got road noise still. If you happen to be coming from some type of luxury car with oodles of sound deadening, it's gonna be loud in comparison.
The shifter wasn't as short as I had hoped it would be. I don't really know if it's short at all since I've never driven the 5 speed Fiesta. I have a TWM short shifter in my ZX2 and it definitely makes a difference. I think the one thing I'd change on this car is swapping in a shorter shifter. Is it terribly long? No. But being that it's a performance oriented car in the first place, a short shifter belongs on this car no doubt. Like i've said in the past (and I even said it to the salesman), if I had a factory (stock, no mods) car with a manual transmission and I could only change one thing, the short shifter would be the one thing I did. That being said, my lowering springs for handling are my favorite mod on my ZX2...yes, that didn't make any sense...
Oh yeah, For those of you not in the know (I didn't know until I drove it), you pull up on the top of the shift boot and it disengages the reverse gear lockout. So you can't accidentally shift into reverse instead of first. That was one thing I was worried about.
Having driven a could 2012 Fiestas I got a test drive in a 2012 SES with a leather steering wheel. The leather steering wheel in my ZX2 is excellent. It feels good to touch and is soft. That 2012 leather wheel was absolutely horrid. That was the hardest most plastic-y leather I've ever felt and I was hoping beyond all hope that it didn't carry over into the future Fiestas and ST. Yay! The leather wheel on the ST is excellent. Great to touch, soft and not loose on the wheel either. My one complaint about the steering wheel (and it goes for all Fiestas and many Fords in general lately) is that I can't hold the wheel at the very bottom like I like to in my car. The middle of the wheel kinda comes to a point right there at the bottom so I gotta hold it at the top or either side of the bottom part. Really not a big complaint and I'd get over it quickly once I took delivery of an ST, but something to think about.
The AC controls were easy to use for me and I definitely had to use them, it's too hot out there. Might be a bit confusing for the less technically minded at first. I guess the knobs are all digital now so when you change the fan setting or temp setting there is that slight delay from when you turn the knob to when it changes on the screen and turns the fan down or up. Just something worth noting for people like me that have only used the mechanical AC controls. I didn't use the My Ford Touch unit, but it really seems fairly straightforward to use (again for the technically minded). All the vehicle controls were right where I thought they should be (fairly similar to my ZX2). BRGT350 complains about the armrest as the worst thing on planet earth...ok well maybe not, but he hates it because it's useless for him and he hits his arm on it while shifting. He's shorter than me. I'm about 5'10" tall or so. I didn't even notice the armrest being there. I don't care for center console armrests because i think they get in the way like he does. I don't know how useful it would have been as an armrest as you can see in the pictures where I have my seat is right up next to the armrest making generally useless with the Recaros. As long as I don't hit my elbow on it I really don't mind. The inside of the armrest sports the 2 USB ports and SD card slot and a small storage area. A great place to collect a bunch of junk...at least it has a cover so you can hide said junk without it looking unsightly. It has a powerpoint in the center console near the shifter and handbrake, and one in the rear by the rear cupholder. Like my ZX2, the rear cupholder doesn't seem real deep, so I'd probably refrain from using it for cups with liquid in them. Push to start is cool and you don't have to deal with pulling out your keys or your keys dangling by your leg, but it's not one of those necessary things. If it didn't come standard I'd likely skip it. On the subject of the keyless, the salesman got out of the car to move a golf cart and the car chimed and showed a message on the screen that the fob has left the car since he had it on him. I believe once you start the car you can go without the fob until you turn it off and turn it back on so if it happens to fly out the window while driving, just be sure to keep it running and keep the tank full.
The Recaro seats felt great. I had no problem fitting into them. I wear a 34 waist pants size for general reference. I have high thigh bolstering seats in my ZX2 as well and after a long drive it kills your back, your wallet is eating into your butt...in other words you're miserable and can't wait to get out of the car. While a 10 minute drive is hardly a 4 hour trek, I never felt any discomfort and i think I wouldn't have any problem driving the car for a long trip. The Recaro seats are a must for the ST. I didn't really think about sitting in the regular seats of one of the sedans they had to get a feel for the regular seats, I don't think they'd even hold a candle to the Recaros. The one big problem with them is getting into and out of the car I rubbed on the thigh bolstering. Unless you changed how you got into the car that would likely become a very large hole in the seat. I don't like leather because it tends to get hot in the sun and the car was sitting in the sun but the partial leather didn't really bother me. If it was all leather I'd probably have a different opinion.
The molten orange is a great color. I can't seem to take a great picture with it not looking so red, but believe me you have to see it in person; it's a great color (so long as you like orange).
The dual height floor in the hatch...I'm not really sure how it works. I put it down in the lower position, but it doesn't work like BRGT350 showed because the spare tire is too big. So I'm not sure how he made that work. The salesman didn't know either. I was the one who told him about it. I would keep it in the higher position anyway so I really don't care.
That's all I can really think of right at the moment. If I think of something or you have questions I can post it later.