fiesta movement

2014 Ford Fiesta ST

I remember as a kid, playing outside on my front lawn, there was a guy that drove this small hatchback. It was a 2nd generation all white Ford Fiesta. He drove that thing like it was a racecar, and I remember thinking to myself, “That guy seems like he’s having a lot of fun in such a small, cheap looking car.” Obviously, the Fiesta back then, was nothing like the current offering from Ford, and here in the U.S. they certainly didn’t offer a Fiesta to be more than an econobox for commuters. Turn the page to 20 something years later, and Ford brings its long sought after Ford Fiesta ST over to the U.S. Now, I always knew that countries overseas always had a better selection of sporty cars, and it wasnt until recently that automakers started to bring more of these fun offerings here. I had heard that the new Fiesta ST was a hoot to drive, but didn’t really want to believe the hype yet, considering Ford hasn’t really built anything “fun,” Mustang aside, since the good ole’ days of the Taurus SHO with the Yamaha sourced engine. Then I was given the keys to one for 3 days.
The first thing I notice is, man, this thing is small….but kinda cute.
The door opens, and I slip into the optional Recaro front seats. A little tight as first, and I’m not a huge guy. A little playing with the knobs and levers, and I finally get a comfortable position. Push the button to start the 1.6l EcoBoost 4 banger, and it lights up with a little snarl. Check my mirrors, engage the clutch, slip the gear lever neatly into 1st, and off we go.
The shifter on the Fiesta is surprisingly easy, with quick short throws, it was easy to find the gear you’re looking for. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the shifter in this car. It made for easy, smooth transitions, and if the gas pedal was a tiny bit closer to the brake, heel toeing to rev match would have been magical. Couple this stellar shifter with an engine made to rev and pull from the low rpm range, and you have quite a quick little toy.
While it’s not the fastest car, it does 0-60 in a claimed 6.7 seconds, it feels plenty fast. Having such a short wheel base, and low curb weight, this thing handles curves like a dream. You can also thank the Nürburgring tested suspension for that. While the suspension is mostly comfortable, yet sporty, if you have a bumpy ride to work, don’t plan on drinking your coffee on the ride in, as it will surely end up in your lap.
Ford claims the Fiesta ST to get a combined mpg of 29, 26city/35hwy, you’ll most likely see a little less. That pedal on the right likes to be pressed hard, and its very hard to resist. However, in my 3 days of driving, in what most would call spirited, I still achieved a modest average of 25mpg. That was mainly driving around town, and a couple trips on the highway.
Onto the interior. While this is no Mercedes, the quality of the interior is surprisingly nice. It’s by no means luxury, but for the price you’re paying the materials feel well put together. The soft touches are soft, and the hard plastics don’t feel cheap. Overall, it’s a very well put together interior. Now, if you’re tall, don’t expect your rear passengers to be complimenting you on the amount of legroom there is in the back seats, but if you’re of average height, there’s enough room in the back to fit a pair of adults comfortably for a short jaunt. Then there’s the trunk portion. While it’s not made to go on a Costco run, you’ll have no problem making a little grocery run here and there with more than enough room in the back to fit at least a weeks worth of groceries.
And now, back to my childhood days of seeing that 2nd generation Fiesta scooting down the street and around corners, tires squealing. While that Fiesta was nowhere near the performance and quality of this Fiesta ST, I can see why he looked so happy tooling around in that old Fiesta. This little Fiesta ST was a blast to drive. It’s honestly the most fun I’ve had in a car since I drove my Legacy on a track, and that’s saying a lot considering I put about $10,000 worth of performance upgrades into that car to make it handle and perform well for autocross events. I’ve never been a fan of front wheel drive performance cars, I can’t stand torque steer, but this car makes perfect use of the amount of power it has, and the electronic stability control makes torque steer pretty much nonexistent. So, if you’re looking for something small, kind of economical, and fun as hell, I’d surely recommend getting the Fiesta ST. I can’t really say there is anything out there that feels more complete for an everyday, fun-to-drive car on a budget.