Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A pretty nice review that focuses on things car enthusiasts care about rather than cup holders.
Feb 13, 2015
The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST in 100 words.
Essentially a damn fast box on 4 wheels. Very submissive and inspiring to drive. Engine is extremely sweet and surprisingly explosive for its size. Perfect gear ratios for road and track. Extremely impressive as a hot hatch, yet mature for a daily. Immediate and zippy in urban operation. Suspension is firm and fit for purpose. Amazingly sharp and brutal road weapon that rewards the experienced but no tolerance for the not. Safe overall styling, nothing fancy. Interior build is uninspiring for its exclusivity. The Fiesta ST is a hot hatch in its purest form, full stop. Nothing extra.
Facts about The 2014 Fiesta ST
- Zerotohundred: 7 seconds (claimed)
- Top Speed: 230km/h
- Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L Direct Injection with Ecoboost
- Power: 182 @ 5700rpm
- Torque 240nm
- Weight: 1240kg
- Fuel: 5.9L / 100km
- Wheels: 17×7
- Price: RM149,888 on the road with insurance
- Official Website: http://www.ford.com.my
I am in love with the very rev happy engine in the Fiesta ST. The Ecoboost 1.6L direct injected turbo 4 cylinder is likely the main attraction here. There is plenty of meat all throughout its rev range, as opposed to the Clio RS’s engine that tends to dry out at the top end. Whereas the Ford is relentless with never-ending torque delivery. I find that it matches perfectly well with the Fiesta ST’s transmission, with taller ratios allowing it to take advantage of the superb engine.
Now this is where it gets subjective. It all depends how you translate the term handling. The Fiesta is very reactive, sharp and chuckable. If you wish, it’ll go right up to the edge with you. Where for example the Clio RS, is precise and tolerant. Some might say drama is what put the hot in hot hatches, so If you enjoy perpetual lift off oversteer, wiggly tail action and such, the Ford’s the one. But if you’re unsure, then such drama might prove tiring in the long run.
The Fiesta ST shifts without fuss. Its shift gate and linkages ensure precise transitions from gear to gear. However, the experience is marred by the micro-sized foot pedals. It is surprising that even in this day and age, car manufacturers just can’t seem to put more focus in this area, especially in a car of such pedigree. However, that disappointment eventually fades away as you get to know the pedals better. Still qualify as a great manual car nonetheless.
The brakes in modern hot hatches continue to impress me these days, and those on the Fiesta ST is worth mentioning. There’s immense stopping power working in unison with the well sorted suspension that allows just enough dive under braking. Every tap on the middle pedal provides crisp feedback. Although mild fading was experienced during my 3rd lap with it at Sepang circuit, there’s more than adequate braking power for anyone’s daily commute and weekend runs.
This is likely the biggest deal breaker for most. In countries like in the UK where the Fiesta ST costs less than 18K pounds it’s probably okay, but in this part of the world at RM149K, most would be hard-pressed to settle for a dash without a 7″ LCD in-car entertainment screen for starters. In fact, the tiny central multi function display on the Fiesta ST’s dashboard still feature dot-matrix style screen from the late 80s!
Nevertheless, It’s still a practical cockpit and if potential owners can look past this, there are other primary aspects of the Fiesta ST to take home. For consolation, you get a pair of Recaros that resemble overgrown child seats, that if you’re blindfolded could pass off as a high-end model. Still, these seats hug well and feel pretty good. Driving position is faultless as well. Will I get used to the interior and still enjoy owning the Fiesta ST? Yes.
Fiesta ST at Sepang Circuit
Off the shelf, the Fiesta ST feels like it’s bred for Sepang. I was able to clock a consistent 2:50 throughout my handful of laps in the scorching 12pm afternoon heat. With traction control off, it reacts to every lift off the throttle, the tail squirms and head points as you trail brake into the corner. Pure and unadulterated, just what discerning drivers demand for.
Watch the Fiesta ST in action at Sepang Circuit below, I do apologize for the noise.
On Board Video: Fiesta ST at Sepang Circuit
However, with such purity also mean that it hasn’t got any more special abilities under its sleeves. Still impressive, just not as multi-talented as compared to the ST’s closest rival, the Clio RS with its trick dual clutch transmission, chassis from heaven plus cockpit toys.
As a chronic manual hatch car nut, I love how I am able to immediately bond with the Fiesta ST right from the get go. It is very confidence inspiring and intuitive as you get up to speed. The Fiesta ST’s smaller, narrow physique has no adverse effects when driven. In fact it feels mature, planted and very at home, comfortably cruising at speeds past 170km/h on most highways, like it wants to. With 6th gear to spare on most occasions.
The Fiesta ST is immediate, executing all instructions without hesitation. There is no fancy auto, eco, race mode, pesky e-throttle modes to fuss about. In here there is only 1 mode. Manual. What more can one ask for?
Sometimes, I loathe having multiple driving modes in today’s cars. Say the Clio RS, driving it in the default auto mode is fine most of the time. But the constantly changing scenario of public roads often calls for the need for maximum available power in an instant, such as when overtaking or going for the chase. In the Clio RS, I would generally need to assess the situation, decide if I should reach for the RS button, then flick the downshift flappy pedal etc etc and by the time I’m done initiating the modes, the action’s gone.
Whereas in the manual Ford, It’s instinctive. All there is to do is clutch in, downshift to desired gear, jab the throttle and I have warp speed. Then it’s back to normal when I ease off. Effortless motoring. Just some of the intricate points I love about simple cars like the Fiesta ST.
All in all, I still think there is plenty more car in the Clio RS than the Fiesta ST, but the Ford is hard to resist. It’s a great toy car and I can go on and on about how pure it is, with every input undiluted and how edgy or fun it can be.
But in the end, it all comes down to choice and affordability, so If one can look past the bareness of the Fiesta ST and accept it being more primitive than the primary choices out there, then the Ford is definitely one hell of a hot hatch.