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Ford fiesta st us specs
In Europe, if you want a watered-down espresso, you ask for an Americano.
And for practically forever, if you wanted a weaker version of a European hot hatch, you only had to wait for the Americano version to arrive Stateside.
A Motor Trend colleague had already tested the European version of the Fiesta ST in France, and then I got a chance to get behind the wheel of American version — which is almost exactly the same as the one Europeans have — in Michigan.
There are some differences, such as the rear fascia being a smidge longer to accommodate North American bumper requirements. There are some tuning differences on the suspension, but all of the bits and pieces are the same. Specific to the Fiesta is the honeycomb grille, a new chin spoiler, and a rear diffuser. The Fiesta ST also touts a unique hood, dual exhaust tips, 17-inch wheels, and a spoiler. Also, because of manufacturing limits, Americans will only get four-door models instead of the sleeker, 20-pound-lighter coupes offered Over There.
Not to worry, though — who really wants to have friends folding up the driver’s seat to climb into the back, messing up your perfect seating position in the optional Recaro racing buckets? You’re going to need those buckets, because this car wants to play.
Everything else about this car is just like its European counterpart. It’s fast, nimble, and smile-inducing through tight corners.
There’s the same 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that can produce up to 197 hp and 202 lb-ft of torque. The engine manages to get 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway and on Michigan’s back roads. Though, to be fair, when tossing this 2742-pound hatch around elsewhere, mileage may vary. Road noise seemed to vary as well. Asphalt is quiet; concrete harsh and loud. Lots of noise seeps into the cabin, and when you flog this car it can become quite loud. But that’s really the only complaint. And some of that road noise is cancelled by Ford ‘s “sound symposer,” which uses a resonator tube to pipe engine sound directly into the cabin. The engine sounds great, in that high-pitched sort of way.
Built on a solid platform, the Fiesta ST rides with two distinct personalities. The first exists below 3000 rpm and makes this car very livable. Its quick acceleration and easy shifts with the six-speed manual mean it can accomplish daily tasks without an issue. Its small size means it is easy to park and can zip through city traffic. Visibility is excellent in the cabin and the interior, which includes the MyFord Touch telematics system, Bluetooth connectivity, and other luxury appointments such as the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Additionally, the front of the cabin is extremely comfortable. My driving partner was 6-foot-4 and fit easily behind the wheel. Two adults can also fit well in the second row, which has 31.2 inches of legroom, though I doubt they would want to ride back there for a cross-country trip.
Start revving above 3000 rpm and the ST’s second personality comes to life. It’s where that 202 lb-ft of torque kick in, encouraging the driver to go faster. Ford has eliminated any torque steer you might expect when peeling out from a red light. It also holds itself well in hot corners.
Ford uses a simulated torque vectoring through its ABS, using the brakes on each wheel to keep the Fiesta ST in its line and reduce understeer. There’s a three-mode electronic stability control — standard, sport or off — that lets you select the right amount of brake nannies. The rack-and-pinion steering with electric power assist is exceptionally crisp with a nice snap back to center.
Whether on a curvy back road or open highway, the Fiesta ST is fun. It also doesn’t have much competition in the tiny hot-hatch category and arrives with a starting price of $22,195, undercutting bigger compact hatchbacks such as the VW GTI. Civic Si, and Ford Focus ST by thousands of dollars. The Chevrolet Sonic RS, one of the Fiesta ST’s espresso-sized peers, makes 59 fewer horses and 54 fewer pound-feet of torque.
The Fiesta ST, which arrives this fall at dealerships, proves you don’t have to go to Europe to discover a manual hot hatchback worth driving. It may be the four-door “Americano” version but there’s nothing watered down about it.
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