The growling Fiesta ST is finally arriving in American Ford stores! After a long run-up and many tweaks to the global three-door’s interior technology and body style, this five-door pocket rocket is finally on the Ford order books with a starting price of just $21,400. A hot body kit and the 2014 Focus ST ’s Rado Gray wheels with red calipers are available, as are Recaro bucket seats to keep you in place while pulling G-force in this monster go-kart.
Endlessly lauded by the English car mags, the Fiesta ST’s American debut was partially delayed by a Fiesta-wide nose restyle and revamp for this year. The two models launch together with deliveries starting in September to Ford dealerships nationwide – and both have an EcoBoost engine option for the first time.
The base Fiesta’s turbo-charged 1.0-liter triple marks a first in this modern age of fuel economy, but still lags nearly two seconds behind the potent ST’s 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder at the drag strip.
Power is only part of the fun with this flyweight sports car – the other half comes from its responsive corner attitude and impressive agility while changing direction quickly. Even the quickest luxo-barges like the Bentley Continental GT have nothing on the Ford when it comes to transient handling dynamics – like you need on the tightest of race tracks.
Is the ST’s rally styling even better in other colors? Does it even come in any colors that are not orange or red?
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST – including an exclusive graphic of the ST-exclusive paint colors offered.
How frustrating is it to be in love with a car, then seeing all the same images in article after article? Is tasty as Ford’s Race Red paint is, some of the louder shades are better at announcing the arrival of a fast Ford.
The 2011 Focus RS500 -inspired Kermet-the-Frog green is delicious, as is the World Rally blue shade.
Paired with the Fiesta ST’s deep body kit, spoilers and painted diffuser - even a white paint color helps the ST pop on the road. It’s new nose is intimidating and visually widens the car from the front - helping to show left-lane dawdlers that you mean business.
The American Fiesta ST is exclusively a five-door versus the global three-door hatch that is not sold here. (Insert Ford Aspire joke here)
The Fiesta ST’s relationship to previous small Ford abominations is non-existent thanks to its European design, and even the rear end of the ST looks pert and live. Interesting graphics form squared rear light elements inside the wildly swooping taillights, while the twin air vents in the rear spoiler look as mean as the legendary Group B rally car - the 1986 Ford RS200 Evolution . Flattering comparisons, to be sure.
Aside from the grey wheel choice, the scope for exterior options is very limited. The car is already bursting with ST-exclusive performance enhancements, as seen in the below equipment charts.
2014 Ford Fiesta ST – Exterior Dimensions:
|Track - Front (in.)||57.7|
|Track - Rear (in.)||57|
|Drag Coefficient||0.32, Est|
2014 Ford Fiesta ST – Standard Exterior Features:
- ST-Exclusive 17 alloy wheels
- ST-Exclusive Mesh Grille Insert
- ST-Exclusive Fog Lamp design
- ST-Exclusive Fascias, Sills and Bumper Diffuser
- ST-Exclusive Halogen headlamps with black-surround bezel
- ST-Exclusive Twin Venter Roof Spoiler
- Solar tinted glass
- Rear windshield wiper
- Acoustic-laminate windshield
2014 Ford Fiesta ST – Optional Exterior Features:
-* ST-Exclusive 17-inch Rado Gray with red brake calipers
The cabin is notably sportier than any previous Fiesta, thanks to an engine and exhaust noise ‘sound symposer’ under the dashboard.
The big news inside the Fiesta ST is a much higher level of overall finish and far better features than are even offered on the regular Fiesta as options. These elements include the sporty standard bucket seats and two colors of options part-leather Recaro front buckets and a host of other handy items. An auto-dimming rearview mirror is standard, as is push-button start and a tasty leather-wrapped wheel and shifter boot.
The shifter is an oversized metallic six-speed ball with leather accents on the lower portions for cold-weather driving. This European touch adds some credibility in the cabin even without the Recaro seats.
Standard MyFord Touch infotainment nails the last question most guys will have about the ST before laughing into the sunset on a roll of turbo boost. The cabin is
notably sportier than any previous Fiesta, thanks to an engine and exhaust noise ‘sound symposer’ under the dashboard. This device basically consists of a small hole in the firewall that pipes noise into the cabin.
It works. The Fiesta ST snorts and growls much deeper than any 1.6-liter Ford engine so far, helping to enliven the experience for man/boy racers.
A practical folding back seat and good front seat room all around still doesn’t hide the Fiesta’s size - the max load back there is about 26 cubic-feet below the window wells. This is small for a hatchback, which most U.S. shoppers will know only from the huge load areas of crossovers and SUV’s.
2014 Ford Fiesta ST – Interior Dimensions:
|Front Seating Capacity||2|
|Rear Seating Capacity||3|
|Headroom - Front (in.)||39.1|
|Headroom - Rear (in.)||37.2|
|Legroom - Front (in.)||42.2|
|Legroom - Rear (in.)||31.2|
|Shoulder Room - Front (in.)||52.7|
|Shoulder Room - Rear (in.)||49|
|Hip Room - Front (in.)||50.6|
|Hip Room - Rear (in.)||49.2|
|EPA Cargo Volume - Hatch Seats Up (cubic-feet)||14.9|
|EPA Cargo Volume - Hatch Rear Seats Down (cubic-feet)||25.4|
2014 Ford Fiesta ST – Standard Interior Features:
- ST-Exclusive Cabin Engine Sound symposer
- ST-Exclusive Electrochromic auto-dimming rearview mirror
- ST-Exclusive Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start
- ST-Exclusive Leather-Wrapped and Perforated Steering Wheel
- ST-Exclusive Race-inspired aluminum pedals
- ST-Exclusive Cloth Front Sport Seat with ST Logo
- 6-way manual driver’s seat, 4-way manual front-passenger seat, Front 4-way adjustable head restraints
- SYNC with MyFord Touch, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, HD Radio, Sony Branded Audio System
- Carpeted ST front floor mats Rear Carpeted Floor Mats with Embroidered ST Logo
- Unique ST logo front door sill plates
- Metallic trim on instrument panel registers, center stack and shifter bezel, Leather and Metallic Trim, Shift Knob with Metallic-Trim Insert, Chrome door release handles
- 12-volt auxiliary powerpoint – front, 12-volt auxiliary powerpoint - rear
- Automatic climate control with rear-seat air ducts
- Ford MyKey
2014 Ford Fiesta ST – Optional Interior Features:
- Heated Front Seats
- RECARO Partial Leather-Trimmed Seats in two color choices
- Power Moonroof
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The Fiesta ST is a front-drive, front-engine hatch that comes only with a six-speed manual transmission and grippy 17-inch tires. Among young people who can’t drive a stick shift, just stop whining and ask someone to teach you. The fundamental principles can be taught in about 30 minutes in a parking lot.
The slick six-cog shifter gives the Fiesta ST the ultra-short first few gears needed to get the turbo spooling to max boost right off the line. The Nissan GT-R employs a similar strategy to great effect.
Making 197 horsepower and 202 pound-feet of torque, the Fiesta ST is more powerful than any American VW Golf GTI or Honda Civic Si - so far all pegged at this same number. (Explanation: It is a round 200 in Euro measurements).
The Fiesta ST has completely re-done suspension and handling settings, but does keep the standard Fiesta’s pointy electric steering and electronic torque vectoring. The twist beam rear end is finely honed to play along well in the twisties - where its design actually makes the car’s rear end more interactive and playful.
The Fiesta ST’s most critical stat is a good one: 6.8 seconds to 60 mph. This is pace that Ford’s sports car shoppers have never before realized from a $22,000 hatchback. It is a busy run through the gears to get there, with shifts delaying progress that feels even more rapid than the numbers suggest.
2014 Ford Fiesta ST – Mechanical Details:
|Engine Size and Type||1.6-liter Turbocharged 16-valve I-4 With DOHC, Direct Injection And TI-VCT|
|Peak power (Horsepower)||197 @ 6000|
|Peak torque (Pound-feet)||202 @ 5000|
|0-to-60 mph||6.8 seconds|
|Top Speed (mph)||130 Limited, Est|
|EPA Fuel Economy MPG (City/Highway/Combined)||26/35/29|
The Fiesta ST benefits from all the changes applied to the normal 2014 Fiesta, some of which improve on the small car’s already-excellent safety record. A driver’s knee airbag is a final safeguard, while stability control and ST-exclusive four-wheel-discs safety bring things back to zero for stop lights.
2014 Ford Fiesta ST – Standard Safety Features:
- Personal Safety System: Seven Standard Airbags Including All Row Side-Curtain Airbags, Driver’s Knee Airbag
- 3-point safety belts for all seating positions, height-adjustable retractable front outboard safety belts
- AdvanceTrac electronic stability control (ESC)
- Child-Safety Rear Door Locks
- Side-intrusion door beams
- LATCH - Lower Anchors and Tether Anchors (for child-safety seats)
- SOS Post-Crash Alert System
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
- SecuriLock Passive Anti-Theft system
- Perimeter alarm
- Remote Keyless Entry
The Fiesta is a real performance bargain, with only a handful of options and accessories even available on this loaded hot hatch. The Recaro seats will bring long-term comfort rewards, and some of the colors in the swatch gallery are cost extras.
The Sonic RS is much more of an equipment and body kit upgrade versus the ST’s comprehensive performance makeover. The RS offers only the same 140 horsepower from its top engine, leading to a sluggish sprint pace that is not able to compete the the ST.
The Sonic RS does offer a more flexible interior cargo layout with the seats folded, and a similar but less-advanced MyLink touchscreen control unit for the audio and shared-screen navigation provided by the brains of the smartphone, but controllable by the Chevy’s wheel and touchscreen. They are priced very similarly, but with far heavier discounting possible from the bow-tie salemen.
Gallery Ford Fiesta ST
The Forte5 SX Turbo is a new contender out of left field from Kia. As the firm tries to define its sporty credentials, the Forte5 matches the power and sprint performance of the Fiesta ST in a slightly larger vehicle package - notably how much wider it seems than non-ST Fiesta’s on the road.
The Forte5 is also arriving between late summer and fall 2013, with LED daytime running light accents on the top of the headlights and even full-LED fog lights. The Turbo SX trim also comes with some premium-looking LED taillights that seem fresh out of Germany.
Gallery Ford Fiesta ST
The Fiesta ST has an uphill battle to cultivate hot hatchback fans in the United States - but luckily is has plenty of power to surge forwards and crest any peak. Such a potent turbocharged engine in a car weighing less than 2,800 pounds is simply a recipe for fun recognizable by any driver to grace the optional Recaro buckets of this Ford.
Some of the louder color choices are a welcome addition after getting bored with the red and orange paint colors, but the American model’s loss of the European ST’s LED and xenon front lighting option is a regretful change when crossing the pond.
If that helps this little slugger to be so reasonably priced at just $22,000 - so be it. Keeping them off the options list also protects the turf of the larger Focus ST - which makes the HID light option a pricey addition.
Where the Fiesta ST makes most sense versus a Focus ST is on entry price. Little separates the two in overall performance ability or driver satisfaction - which in itself is a huge achievement for the Fiesta ST.
Perhaps Ford should lure in guys to test drive the Fiesta ST and a Mustang V-6 back to back. Among car guys with an internal G-meter, the Fiesta ST will win every time.
|Driving||A||Incisive Corner Entry Speeds And Solid Highway Stance|
|Performance||A-||Pretty Quick Out Of The Box, But Also A Fun Tuner Possibility|
|Look||B-||The ST Looks Sharp And Lean But Quite Compact For Average Amercians|
|Value||B+||Avoid Temptations Besides A Fun Color And Recaro Seats|
|Overall||A||Quick, Nimble And Fun To Drive - Priced Right|
- ST-exclusive Engine Sound Symposer really works - there is much more grunty growl than four-banger twang under power
- ST-exclusive styling makes this the most grown-up Fiesta available
- Interior equipment and tech levels are near the class best - very impressive for a Euro import
- Wish the Recaro buckets were standard
- Value proposition out the door at anything about $25,000
- Not quite a versatile hatchback - more focused dimensions equal back seat pinch
2014 Fiesta ST pushes performance
- Fiesta ST is Ford’s newest contribution to the world of hot hatches.
A new high-output variant of the award-winning 1.6-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine propels Fiesta ST with an anticipated 197 horsepower and 202 lb.-ft. of torque. In comparison, Mini Cooper S makes do with 181 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft., while Chevrolet Sonic RS produces 138 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft.
Unlike the competition, Fiesta ST doesn’t simply look like a performance car; it’s got the guts to back it up.
Fiesta ST may be born with racing DNA, but there’s no price for that performance at the pump. Available exclusively as a five-door hatchback in North America and with a six-speed manual transmission, Fiesta ST is projected to achieve 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined.