The new Ford Fiesta ST

2019 Ford Fiesta ST Review

The new Ford Fiesta ST
The new Ford Fiesta ST

Caroline drives the 2019 Ford Fiesta ST!

The last generation of the Ford Fiesta ST pretty much reached legendary status as the best compact hot hatchback you could buy. Now Ford is back with a new generation of the Fiesta ST developed by Ford Performance. So has the best just got better?

Pricing in Ireland for the 2019 Ford Fiesta ST starts at just €25,277 for the ST2 and €27,710 for the ST3 as tested here.

This time Ford is getting the party started under the bonnet of the Fiesta ST with a new engine. The 1.6-litre four cylinder turbo petrol engine has been replaced with a 1.5-litre three cylinder turbo engine. There’s a new turbocharger that uses an optimised turbine design to build boost pressure faster and minimise lag for a more responsive driving experience. Power is set at 200hp, while there is a boost in torque to 290Nm. This means that the new ST is good for the 0-100 kmh sprint in 6.5 seconds, going on to a top speed of 232km/h.

On the road in the 2019 Ford Fiesta ST

But numbers are just numbers. How does this new engine feel in the car? Blooming marvellous I’m happy to report.  There may be one less cylinder but the ST’s new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine performs in a way that certainly does not reek of deprivation. No, it’s responsive, delivering naturally high torque at low rpm and it’s all lavish burbles and pops and bangs as you are carried through the rev range. It delivers the youthful enthusiasm that’s synonymous with a young pup like the Fiesta ST.

The six speed manual gearbox is nice to use and further engages you in the driving experience. There are also selectable drive modes for the first time (Normal, Sport and Track) that adjust the engine, steering and stability controls.

The interior of new Ford Fiesta ST
The interior of new Ford Fiesta ST

In fact the whole experience behind the wheel of the Fiesta ST is one of tactile involvement and track bred athleticism. The best way I can describe the Fiesta ST is to say that it feels like an elastic band through bends – there’s an agility mixed with a tautness that keeps everything just super poised and precise. Granted my test car was fitted with a €950 option pack that added Launch Control (woohoo!) and a mechanical limited slip differential helping to optimise front-end traction during cornering. But on all STs, Ford-patented force vectoring springs support sharper turn-in and responsiveness and improve the stability, agility and responsiveness of the twist-beam rear suspension.

The trade off is a firm ride due to a stiff ST suspension setting that means that the ST can hop around a bit beneath you on what looks like a smooth road. But it’s not so unforgiving as to make it a nightmare for daily use on Irish roads.

Smart and sporty hot hatchback

The ST treatment transforms the Fiesta into a smart hot hatch. There’s a new signature colour called Performance Blue, pictured here. The Fiesta ST in my opinion looks rad in the metal with a lower, wider stance than more basic Fiestas. ST2 gets 17” alloys, while ST3 gets 18” alloys. There’s also halogen projector headlamps and LED daytime running lights, rear LEDs, unique ST-design full body-styling kit, large rear spoiler, dual chrome exhaust.

The Ford Fiesta ST goes on sale from €25,277 in Ireland
The Ford Fiesta ST goes on sale from €25,277 in Ireland

Inside the 2019 Ford Fiesta ST

Otherwise this is a relatively practical small car. The 2019 Ford Fiesta ST is available now from launch in both three-door and five-door body styles. It’s supermini sized – no less and no more.

Inside the most notable addition is a set of fantastic Recaro sports seats. There’s also an ST gearknob and flat-bottomed steering wheel with stitching that is replicated on the leather handbrake lever and gear-lever gaiter. The ST benefits from the new Ford Fiesta interior that debuted in summer 2017. Infotainment is centred around an upright touchscreen with smartphone compatibility.

Standard equipment includes cruise control, keyless start, heated front seats, ambient lighting, Ford SYNC 3 with 8” touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, NCAP pack including lane-keeping alert and lane-keeping aid, speed limiter, rear seatbelt minder, rear centre headrest and auto headlamps.

Fiesta ST 3 adds powerfold mirrors, partial leather Recaro performance seats, navigation, keyless entry, rear view camera, rear parking sensors, auto highbeam, driver alert and traffic sign recognition, auto wipers and auto dimming mirror, and leather steering wheel with red stitching.

What are the running costs like?

The Fiesta ST’s 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine features an industry-first cylinder deactivation system for a three-cylinder engine to improve fuel efficiency. It can shut down one cylinder under low load to reduce fuel consumption, for example when cruising on the motorway. Motor tax for the new Ford Fiesta ST is €280 per year. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 6.8l/100km.

The Ford Fiesta ST now uses a 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine
The Ford Fiesta ST now uses a 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine

After spending a week with the Ford Fiesta ST, I liked this car the most for its practicality while also offering a great hot hatchback experience with plenty of noise and power. The handling prowess of the new ST is also worth noting. Ford know how to make hot hatches that appeal to that primal part of the human condition that loves raw power, noise and agility.

It's good news that the 2019 Ford Fiesta ST is also improved on the aesthetic side of things, and it gains from a larger interior and improved quality and finish.

Losing a cylinder has not damaged the ST in my opinion; it's actually made the car even more beguiling. Rivals like the Polo GTI and 208 GTi are good, but they just don't quite have the same level of primal appeal as the Fiesta ST.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Ford Fiesta ST3
€27,710 (€29,100 as tested with options)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
200 hp
Torque: 290 Nm
6.5 seconds
Top speed: 232 km/h
CO2 emissions: 
Motor tax: 
€280 per year

The 2019 Ford Fiesta ST is rapturous good fun!
The 2019 Ford Fiesta ST is rapturous good fun!

2018 Ford Fiesta ST

New Ford Fiesta ST To Arrive In July

2018 Ford Fiesta ST
The 2018 Ford Fiesta ST

The new Ford Fiesta ST will arrive in Ireland this July priced from €28,120.

The 2018 Fiesta ST is powered by Ford’s all-new, 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine – the first three-cylinder engine ever to power a Ford Performance model – delivering 200 PS and 290 Nm of torque for 0-100 km/h acceleration in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 232 km/h.

Selectable Drive Modes feature on the all-new Fiesta ST for the first time, enabling engine, steering and stability controls to be configured to Normal, Sport and Track settings.

Irish pricing and specifications for new Ford Fiesta ST

The new Ford Fiesta ST will be available in two trims in Ireland: ST 2 (from €28,120) and ST 3 (from €30,270).

Standard features on Fiesta ST 2 include matt black 17” alloy wheels matt black, halogen projector headlamps and LED daytime running lights, rear LEDs, unique ST-design full body-styling kit, large rear spoiler, dual chrome exhaust, selectable drive modes, ST suspension setting, Recaro performance seats with blue stitching, cruise control, keyless start, heated front seats, ambient lighting, Ford SYNC 3 with 8” touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, B&O Play premium audio system with 360° sound, NCAP pack including lane-keeping alert and lane-keeping aid, speed limiter, rear seatbelt minder, rear centre headrest and auto headlamps.

Standard features additional to Fiesta ST 3 include magnetised machined 18” alloy wheels, powerfold mirrors, partial leather Recaro performance seats, navigation, keyless entry, rear view camera, rear parking sensors, auto highbeam, driver alert and traffic sign recognition, auto wipers and auto dimming mirror, and leather steering wheel with red stitching.

The all-new Fiesta ST is available from launch in three-door and five-door body styles.

Ford Fiesta ST200

Ford Fiesta ST200 Arrives In Ireland

As the Ford Fiesta celebrates 40 years in production, a new 200PS version of the Ford Fiesta ST hot hatch has gone on sale in Ireland, priced from €32,190.

“The Fiesta ST is truly beloved by owners and critics. The ST200 takes this special drivers’ car to a new level of power and performance,” says Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland.

The Fiesta ST200 is the most powerful production Fiesta model to date and delivers 10% more power (182PS vs.  200PS) and 20% more torque (240Nm vs. 290Nm) from a specially calibrated 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine. An additional 15PS and 30Nm of torque is available for up to 20 seconds using transient overboost.

The ST200 will sprint from 0-100 km/h in 6.7 seconds, going on to a top speed of 230kmh. It delivers faster in-gear acceleration for improved drivability and an even more fun-to-drive experience. Like the Fiesta ST, the ST200 sits 15 millimetres closer to the road than standard Fiesta models.

The Fiesta ST200 utilises recently upgraded Fiesta ST suspension and Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) settings to improve ride quality and driving dynamics. A rear twist-beam with 27% more roll-stiffness, and a front anti-roll bar increased to 21mm from 19mm diameter, support revised damper specifications for better impact absorption.

Fiesta ST200 driving dynamics are supported by Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control (eTVC) and 3-mode Electronic Stability Control (ESC). The eTVC system applies brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering to improve road holding and reduce understeer without affecting speed. ESC offers full system intervention; wide-slip mode with limited intervention; and full ESC de-activation.

Optimised braking is delivered with 278mm front and 253mm rear disc brakes, and a larger tandem brake master cylinder than standard Fiesta models.

The Fiesta ST200 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine’s low weight also assists handling and features technologies including turbocharging, high-pressure direct fuel-injection and twin-independent variable cam timing for high power alongside 6.1 l/100 km (46.3mpg) fuel efficiency and 140g/km CO2 emissions.

The ST200 offers bolder and more distinctive design and is offered solely in exclusive Storm Grey exterior colour with the distinctive 17-inch ST alloys wheels finished in matt black with polished rims.

Fiesta ST200 models also feature red painted callipers alongside the ST-specification large trapezoidal honeycomb grille, dynamic front spoiler and side-skirts, body-colour rear diffuser element and large rear roof spoiler.

An enhanced interior specification includes unique partial leather Charcoal Recaro front seats that are further distinguished with contrasting silver stitching, as are the seatbelts. Illuminated scuff plates incorporate the ST200 logo. Carbon fibre dashboard inserts, alloy-metal pedals and gearshifter, and an ST-specification steering wheel also feature for the atmospheric interior that contrasts dark materials and headliner with silver effect detail. Keyless push button start comes as standard as well as rear privacy glass and Ford SYNC infotainment.

The Ford Fiesta ST was launched in 2013 and quickly established itself as Europe’s leading compact performance hatchback, earning more than 20 awards around the world within its first year on sale. Ford has since sold more than 30,000 Fiesta STs in Europe.

Caroline Kidd

BMW M6 Gran Coupév

Dream 3 Car Garage

BMW M6 Gran Coupév
The BMW M6 Gran Coupé

A few weeks ago I did an interview for Revvbomb and one of the questions I was asked was to choose my dream three car garage.

Should be easy right? Not quite.

There are loads of cars I dream of owning so the challenge here was to pick three. I approached it quite rationally in order to narrow down the shortlist: these had to be cars I could live with, cars that would suit my lifestyle, cars that would sing to my soul, and cars that I could grab the keys to any one of them of a morning and feel completely comfortable and happy with my decision. This was a very serious matter.

Should I go for three supercars or high performance sports coupés? That would be highly impractical. And what about those days when I want to just be incognito?

We all know there are some insanely hot hatchbacks on the market right now but pick three of them? A three car hot hatchback garage would be kind of boring. The novelty would wear off pretty quickly I imagine.

My instinct was to go for some very expensive cars. But can I tell you something about expensive cars? They tend to be big. And I knew that would just cause more stress in my life when I want to drive into town. You can’t beat the nimbleness of a small car. But would it be a waste to pick something relatively cheap and cheerful?

See all the dilemmas I was facing? And remember it’s just three.

Ford Fiesta ST
The Ford Fiesta ST

The three I went for in the end were the Ford Fiesta ST, BMW M6 Gran Coupé and the Audi R8 V10 Plus.

I knew I needed a hatchback in there, a hot one, and yes I toyed with the new Focus RS (too brash!) or the Golf R (too subtle!). You could choose something like a Fiat 500 if you needed a shopping car but the Fiesta ST is the best of both worlds. It fills the gap for something small and nimble, has an average boot, can fit real people, and well it’s not slow either, is it?

For my second car, I toyed with the new Ford Mustang. I love what the Mustang stands for, the styling, the noise…but it’s not as chuckable as the way I like my cars to feel in the corners.  So instead I would go German and ultra-luxurious. I love the styling of the 6-Series Gran Coupé but why stop there when you could have an M6 Gran Coupé?

For the final place in the garage, I lost the head a bit and decided I would want a car that would make people’s jaws drop to the floor.  So I chose the Audi R8 V10 Plus. If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know I’ve had reservations about supercars before but I got a quick drive in the R8 a few months ago and it was the car that changed all that for me.  I love the 'racecar for the road' feeling of this car.

Audi R8 V10 Plus
The Audi R8 V10 Plus

What would be in your dream three car garage?

Caroline Kidd

Ford Fiesta ST

8 Cars To Beat The Winter Blues

1. Porsche Macan

The Macan is included on this list for aspirational reasons – everyone needs something to aspire to, especially in winter, and if you’ve got a spare €70,000+ down the back of the sofa you could do worse than put your money on Porsche’s compact SUV. It’s the 4x4 that handles like a sports car.

Porsche Macan
Porsche Macan: Always winter ready

2. Renault Captur

But if you can’t stretch to a Macan there’s always the Captur. Right so this is quite a comedown. It’s not set up for pace or performance or any sort of sharp handling, but it will trudge quite affably with the family on board. There are some great colour combinations to brighten up your life and I’m feeling hot already with the thoughts of Arizona Orange or Miami Blue.

renault captur
Renault Captur: If it were a human it would give great cuddles

3. Fiat 500

The 500 is a real feel-good car. It’s all about the style and it’s unashamedly cute with those big, round headlamps. Some of the interior colour schemes verge on the feel of the toy car you had when you were five.  What’s not to love about that? And it’s cheap thrills with prices starting at just €13,450.

Fiat 500
Fiat 500: Cheap thrills

4. Ford Fiesta ST

If you have a budget of around €26,000 and you don’t need a family wagon, then I think the 182bhp Fiesta ST is the car for you. It’s a super car on the road, and both the look of that body kit and the sound of the engine is going to get your heart going. Just imagine how great you’re going to feel in that Recaro seat.

Ford Fiesta ST
Ford Fiesta ST: If you don't need a family wagon, buy this

5. Mazda MX-5

Low, light and fast - Mazda hasn’t strayed too far away from a predictably hot formula, and whether you’ve got the roof up and the heaters on full blast or roof down wrapped in a duvet watching the stars on these frosty nights, there are few cars that evoke such legendary status as the Maxda MX-5.

Mazda MX-5 convertibles
Mazda MX-5: Low, light and fast - simples

6. Volkswagen Golf R

You could buy the ultimate Golf to beat the blues. The Golf R has got four wheel drive as standard so it’s well up for winter and will make all the difference when you attempt to put the 300bhp to the road on a crisp January morning. I reckon that’s going to be fun.

Volkswagen Golf R
Volkswagen Golf R: Dancing on ice

7. Opel Adam Rocks

The Adam Rocks bristles with attitude. He’s a tough little guy on the outside and you can spend those dark winter nights having loads of fun on the configurator making Adam Rocks your own. When you finally get on the road in your creation, let the explosive 1.0-litre turbo loose and you’ll soon realise that you’ve got a very tidy hot hatch on your hands.

opel adam rocks
Opel Adam Rocks: You could be having this much fun

8. Audi TT

A blast along some back roads in the Audi TT is sure to blow away the January cobwebs. It’s low slung and sexy, and there’s pure artistry in the design.  An expensive treat, and not very practical but you’ll be the envy of everyone.

Audi TT
Audi TT: Bye bye January blues

Caroline Kidd