All I have to say is-- WOW.
First off, I was a moron, and forgot pics cause I was so excited. The car I drove was Black with orange (!) recaro interior. Actually looked pretty good, almost had a Porsche GT3 vibe to it with the color combo (lol).
OK. I'll just cover from top to bottom.
1.) Engine- Simply awesome. Sounds from this thing make my GTI sound like a muffled lawnmower. Intake noises, a load throaty roar under acceleration- this thing sounds MEAN. I was addicted. The engine itself is a dream- from my butt sensor, it felt just as fast if not faster than my GTI
. if anything, it felt faster because the TORQUE on this thing is basically available from 1K RPM.
Power band is broad, with only a bit of tapering-off towards the rev limiter. This thing has NO problem getting to highway speeds, passing at highway speeds, or gunning it out of a sharp corner. What a fierce little engine. Sure the mags say 0-60 in 6.9, but this thing just feels very very quick.
2.) Clutch/brakes/etc- Clutch was nicely weighted. Gears catch on pretty high up, but it's easily learnable. The gear throws are long and light. Too light for my taste. A short shift kit is needed
, but Mountune already has one. The actual engagement of the shifter felt nice and notchy. Brakes were perfectly fine during street use- I have no idea how they'll hold up on a track. I took an off-ramp way too fast, and the car did a great job staying composed as I firmly pressed the brakes. Lovely. The gas pedal is responsive- much more responsive than my GTI's
by-wire gas pedal, which has a noticeable delay in 1st/ 2nd gear. Wasn't able to tell how much rev-hang (if any) is present. Perfect
pedal placement for heel-toe (more like side of foot-toe) rev matching while downshifting.
3.) Suspension- Drove over some REALLY junky Connecticut roads, and the suspension soaked things up fine. Could NOT detect much body roll at all. This thing feels TIGHT and connected as glue. i really do mean it, people praise the GTI for a balanced suspension--well maybe it is more comfy than the ST's but it sure isn't as communicative. Highway cruising is FINE
- I do a lot of commuting and I can see the ST being admirable in this (there wasn't much droning at all from the exhaust at 65-75 mph).
4.) The Seats- Here we go
- my number 1 concern about the Fiesta ST going into my test. let me say this- I am 6'2" tall, 36 " waist
- I fit PERFECTLY in these Recaros. They were tight, of course, but not in a bad way! They felt like they were molded to my body! I LOVED sitting in these seats. Absolutely loved it. One of the most exciting things about this car is the way the Recaros make you feel
. I cant say enough good things about them. Seat heaters work well as well.
5.)The driving position
- another fear of mine------ was FINE as well! I wasn't all the way back in the seats, which surprised me. Maybe I have really long arms or something- but both arm rests worked perfectly
. The left arm rest was NOT too short, and the right / center console arm rest actually worked for me! I can see if you have shorter arms you might be bumping this thing with your elbows- but rest assured, tall guys, you WILL fit in this car! Some disappointments are that the center arm rest is hard, ugly plastic. I would ideally replace this with a soft arm-rest top, if it ever becomes available. Also, Left over-the-shoulder visibility seemed poor
. maybe it was the B-pillar right near the side of my heard, but I was not confident looking over my left shoulder. Thankfully the left mirror has a nice blind-spot convex portion which helps.
6.) Rest of the interior- Most of the materials in the car felt great. There were a few chinzy plastic bits, I especially noticed the cheap feeling window buttons. As mentioned the center arm rest is a big plastic brick that needs to be replaced. The plastic handbrake wasn't terrible, but I would replace that eventually as well. There is no sunglasses holder in the moonroof version
(in case you cared). The glove compartment is small. The cup holders work FINE for me- even with the springs. The steering wheel felt AWESOME- nicely thick, a little squishy, the buttons were firm and well-located. The actual shape of the shifter fit my hand nicely. The lack of a dead pedal really bothered me- I can see the carpet wearing away quickly
, so I would want to explore aftermarket options.
7.) MFT- this car had the newest
version. it was fast. Page swaps were fast. Voice control was medium speed when asking for things like, "I'm hungry" (and then a list of restaurants come up). Touching the MFT was not a huge reach, it was pretty comfortable. My biggest complaint is actually with ZOOMING the map--there is no knob for this, you must press a small zoom button that is VERY distracting- moral of the drive: set your nav system up before you are rolling
. The Sound System was equal to my GTI. The Nav screen itself was good- there is a 3d isometric view which I always choose if I can. There were a LOT of audio and other options, so I would need to sit down with this thing for a long time. but yes, MFT was actually fast and responsive--kudos.
8.) Storage room/Rear seats: These were a disaster
. let me say- the rear loading floor is one of the WORST executions of car design I've ever seen. In it's "normal" position, with the rear seats up, there is hardly ANY room in the back trunk-- even for grocery bags! When you fold the seats down, (they dont fold flat and you need to position the headrests down first), there is a BIG ASS GAP between the rear loading floor and the back seats! I can easily see things falling into the abyss there. If you try and LOWER the rear loading floor, the full-size spare gets in the way. I know this is a small car, but the storage space and the rear floor are the biggest disappointments by far
. My GTI beats this thing hand-over foot, which it should since it is a DIFFERENT CAR CLASS. however, I still would like to be able to do the occasional Ikea run, or fill the ST up with a bike or maybe 4 wheels. I dont know if it'll be able to do this! I really REALLY hope we can see some way to remove the damn plastic loading floor pegs, lower the whole loading floor down....I guess this will require removing the spare....
9.) tires- summer tires standard. Will have to buy some winter ones I suppose. That will suck.
overall the car blew me away. i'll gladly trade the terrible storage space for everything else about the car. it almost felt like a motorcycle-the way I was so connected with it. This car met all of my expectations, and I am glad my wait since 2011 was well worth it. i fully intend on trading in my GTI tomorrow, and having them ship over a white/smoke storm car to the dealer.