When we think of the Ford Fiesta, we envision a cute little econobox that gets good fuel economy and provides comfortable transportation. What we didn?t expect was a racy sounding, little hatchback that makes a 0 to 60 mph run in 6.7 seconds, has a top speed of 143 mph and still gets almost 30. The difference is the ST model designation.
Instead of the 120-hp 1.6-liter four cylinder engine or the optional 123-hp 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine that?s used in the S, SE and Titanium sedan and hatchbacks, the top level ST model has a 197-hp 1.6-liter EcoBoost (turbocharged) four-cylinder engine. The latest edition to the Ford ST (Sport Technologies) brand is also equipped with a precision and quick shifting six-speed manual transmission, sport tuned suspension, quicker steering, bigger brakes and other cosmetic and performance enhancements.
The Fiesta ST looks the part of a racy hatchback with its unique black grille, chin spoiler, rear diffuser and fascia extension. It also sports dual-exhaust tips, a high-mounted spoiler, and special 17-inch wheels. But unlike many manufacturer offerings that just look racy, the ST puts its money where its mouth is.
Inside tight fitting Recaro seats take the already sporty interior up a couple of notches by providing excellent passenger sticking power during hard cornering. We expected the Fiesta to be a rough ride, but were pleasantly surprised by the nice balance between ride comfort and handling.
The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST is also equipped with an enhanced electronic Torque Vectoring Control to reduce understeer during hard cornering, plus it has an electronic stability control which the driver can set to standard, sport or off allowing the driver to select how much electronic assistance he or she wants.
Designed to go up against competitors like the Mini Cooper S, Chevy Sonic RS and the Fiat 500 Abarth, the Fiesta ST is the top performer in the category.
The outstanding performance is backed up with a very good EPA fuel economy rating of 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined. We actually averaged 28.6 mpg during a week of spirited driving.
As the top model in the Fiesta lineup, the ST gets an extra dose of features and available options. Options we?d recommend are the Sync? with MyFord Touch and the navigation system with SiriusXM Travel and Travel line. They still have a bit of a learning curve, but once you master them they are handy tools.
Performance has its price however. That cute little econobox sedan that marks the start of the Fiesta line up starts at $14,460, including the destination charge. The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST pricing starts at $22,195 including the destination charge.
The addition of the navigation, the Molten Orange Metallic Tricoat paint, Recaro seat package and 17-inch painted wheels can take price to nearly $26,000. The price seems high, but we think the level of extra equipment and performance puts this car in a special class that justifies the higher price.