The word bargain can mean many things to many people. It could represent £500,000 off of the original price of a stately home to a millionaire. It could mean paying £1,000 less for the Baroness’ favourite perfume. However, to the average chap a bargain represents fantastic value for money resulting in paying but beans and buttons for something that should really be beyond his reach. In reality such bargains come few and far between, but every now and then something becomes a bit of a steal… Today that is the Ford Fiesta ST.
0-62MPH in under 7 seconds, 197BHP on overboost, all in a swollen “boy racer” package that at the end of the day is still a Fiesta and can accommodate 5 people as well as a weeks worth of shopping. All of this can be yours for just £17,995! That is quite the loving spoonful of performance, yet enough practicality to sell the wife on the idea of the ST sitting in your driveway. You can even have it in this more subtle blue of our test car as opposed to ASBO orange.
Visually the ST is much more aggressive than the standard car with its more muscular bodykit, bonnet bulge and gaping front grill. The latter does give the car something of a menacing smile, something that foreshadows the look on your face when you hit the road.
Getting into this car you are greeted with a familiar interior and one that could be criticised for not being different enough from the standard car. Other than the body hugging seats and racey red detailed gearknob its not all that different to the car sat in your neighbors driveway. A shame, but it soon becomes apparent where Ford have spent the money when you fire up the 1.6 litre turbocharged engine.
On the road it is polite and relatively refined offering all of the great attributes of the standard Fiesta. That is until you step on the noisy peddle and then things get exciting! With a bellow of four cylinder fury the ST takes off like a scolded cat thanks to the turbocharged engine and near 200BHP. The sounds this car makes are just dirty. It farts, burbles and screams whilst you charge through the gears like a child that is just a little bit too excited. As you are pushed back into your seat under acceleration you can feel the front tyres through the wheel scrabbling for grip momentarily before they hook up. Ford have done a good job minimising torque steer, a blight of many high powered front wheel drive cars. This little hatch doesn’t weigh all that much and being built on a chassis that is already highly regarded in standard guise, the end result is a confidence inspiring balance of keen handling backed up by engine performance. Throwing the ST into a corner at speed, the weight is transferred beautifully allowing the car to be more settled through the bend. Though the suspension is a little on the firm side around town, when you are grinning from ear to ear on country roads, you know those springs and shocks are being put to their best use. Understeer is another issue with quick front drive cars but the Fiesta, almost magically, pivots around bends at silly speeds with next to no fuss at all. Yes, understeer does exist in this machine, but you would have to be driving like a complete pillock for it to bite you. Even if you did encounter it, how wide the car goes is easily trimmed by reducing the throttle. The Ford Fiesta ST is just one of those cars that you can relentlessly cane and it will simply thank you for it and ask for more. Everything from the direct steering to the brakes just ticks all of the boxes for driving enthusiasts.