Ford loves their small cars powered by small engines that deliver performance. So do we. One of the standouts for Ford has been the Fiesta ST hatchback and they continue to make this baby hotter each year. We recently borrowed a 2015 Fiesta ST for a week to again experience one of the hottest cars in its segment first hand.
We were not disappointed in the weeks driving, but must confess to feeling a bit cheated in that Ford did not offer to send us to the free day of performance driving instruction from the ST Octane Academy at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah – that comes with every new Fiesta ST purchase.
The Good Stuff
Our 2015 ride and drive Ford Fiesta ST came fully loaded with a full load of standard features and convenience items plus the few necessary options to make it an ST. Some of the standard items included were the remote keyless entry with push-button start, ambient lighting with seven color choices, rear hatch window wiper, aluminum sport pedals, 12-volt power outlets front and rear, leather-wrapped tilt steering with audio controls, HD and SiriusXM satellite radio, cruise control and automatic climate control.
The base price on our test Fiesta ST was $21,435.
It came clad in the – new for 2015 on ST – Molten Orange tri-coat metallic paint (optional $595). The Recaro Package for another $1,995 finished up the performance interior with partial leather trimmed low mounted and heated front seats with matching Molten Orange inserts and ST badging plus heated exterior mirrors. With the hot exterior paint job and Recaro performance seating, our Fiesta ST added the right tires and wheels – the optional 17-inch Rado Gray painted aluminum wheels with bold red painted calipers for $375. To wrap it all up Ford added Navigation to the 80-watt Sony Premium Audio package for another $795.
With delivery and prep, our test 2015 Ford Fiesta ST priced at $26,020.
The Performance Stuff
The Fiesta ST is a seriously amped up compared to the Fiesta base model in several ways starting with the power plant. The ST is powered by a high-output version of the 1.6L EcoBoost turbocharged direct injection four cylinder engine that kicks out 197 horsepower with 202 lb.-ft. of torque managed through its well-tuned and integrated six-speed manual gearbox.
Running on 204/40WR17 Summer Compound tires and weighing in at just 2,742 pounds, the ST with its high-output power plant is quick off the line and fast through the full gear box around town and on the highway. We were not surprised at all finding ourselves pushed into the firm hold of the Recaro seating as we revved up and powered the ST from dead stop to highway speed in (what seemed) no time at all.
The Fiesta ST portrays a race track look with its unique grille, hood and chin spoiler with a rear diffuser and fascia extensions. It also features bright tipped dual-exhaust pipes and distinctive high-mount spoiler that, along with standard 17-inch wheels, complete the ST look.
Fiesta ST steering is more direct and responsive than the Fiesta base model. A unique ST specific suspension with modified front knuckle makes for a quicker overall steering ratio of 13.6:1. The rear axle has increased roll stiffness to improve stability through fast corners, while the Fiesta ST body sits 15 millimeters closer to the ground than the base model.
The Fiesta ST attacks the road with increased mechanical grip for hard cornering maneuvers through performance suspension improvements enhanced by electronic Torque Vectoring Control to reduce understeer. Three-mode electronic stability control – standard, sport or off – enables the ST driver to select the amount of electronic aid based on specific conditions or personal driving style.
Overall, we found that the 2015 Fiesta ST gave us – again – a great ride in a small package that was exciting and thoroughly enjoyable around town and on the highway,
And lastly, we would be remiss if we did not mention that the 2015 Fiesta ST also sounds good for the driver (and passengers) in the cabin. It features the mechanical version of the sound symposer (first used on Focus ST) to provide enhanced engine sound directly into the cabin adding to the driver’s experience behind the wheel.
2016 Ford Fiesta ST
Just having spent a week in the 2015 Fiesta ST, we see that Ford has released data on the 2016 version. As with the 2015 version, when you have it right – you do not mess with it very much at all and they haven’t.
There will be four new colors for 2016 including Shadow Black, Kona Blue, Magnetic and White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat. The Fiesta ST for 2016 gets more new technology and driver assist features including the all-new SYNC 3 enhanced voice recognition communications and entertainment system. It includes an available 6.5-inch center LCD touch screen with swipe and pinch-to-zoom capabilities plus AppLink and 911 Assist.
And again in 2016, because you really have to learn how to drive this baby right, customers who buy a new Fiesta ST get the complimentary day of performance driving instruction from ST Octane Academy at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.
What are you waiting for?