Ford Fiesta ST Review 2024

Ford Fiesta ST At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Ford could so have so easily misjudged the Fiesta ST but, fortunately, it hasn’t. It’s taken the already brilliant Fiesta hatchback and given it all you could ask for from a hot hatch costing less than £20,000

+Performance car bargain, there are few better hot hatches to drive at any price than Ford’s Fiesta ST, interior better than predecessor.

-Low speed ride is firm, cabin is a little humdrum next to key rivals.

New prices start from £19,495
Insurance Groups are between 19–30
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

Hot hatches are rarely better than when they come in perky, compact packages such as the Ford Fiesta ST. Relatively small size and low weight means you don’t need huge power to enjoy strong performance and great handling, and this ST is a prime example of this way of thinking. Its zippy three-cylinder engine has more than enough get up and go, while the handling is agile yet also delivers decent comfort. After all, a hot hatch has to work as a regular car most of the time, as well as a rapid back road entertainer.

The Ford Fiesta ST has had the more attainable hot hatch market sewn up in recent years. The last generation model is sure to go down in history as one of the best fast Fords ever sold, putting a huge amount of pressure on the firm not to get things very wrong with its successor.

There was an era when the hot hatch was a rite of passage for young drivers. As soon as they could afford the insurance, they’d chop in their old bangers for something that looked like a sensible hatchback but featured a large, naturally-aspirated engine under the bonnet.

But when you think of hot hatches these days, cars like the turbocharged Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS probably spring to mind. These are now extremely powerful with more than 300PS. But they’re also pricey, costing more than £30,000 and feel like the next level over traditional, easy-to-fling-about hot hatches. 

But this Fiesta ST actually uses a smaller engine. Powered by a downsized, three-cylinder turbo unit - a 1.5-litre petrol producing 200PS to be precise - enthusiasts were a tad concerned when it was first announced. Surely a diddy little three-cylinder engine couldn’t provide the same amount of fun as the previous four-cylinder engine?

Well, as you lift off the accelerator in sport mode (selectable drive modes are available on the Fiesta ST for the first time) and the exhaust pops on overrun, any doubt about the Fiesta’s fun factor are soon put to one side. But it’s not just this party piece that makes the latest Fiesta ST so desirable.

It feels genuinely quick. 200PS in a car this size is enough to reach 62mph in 6.5 seconds, while the handling is nothing short of superb. The steering - which errs marginally on the side of skittish - is quick to wind from lock to lock, providing bundles of feedback in the process. The driving position from the standard Recaro seats is good - not as high up as the previous model, fortunately - and the car begs you to drive it hard.

But those selectable drive modes mean the Fiesta ST will also happily sit on the motorway or whizz around town should you wish. It’s a versatile car, one that can comfortably be driven every day without costing the earth yet also punch well above its weight in terms of driving pleasure when the mood takes you.

Although the new model isn’t visually hugely different from its predecessor, the interior is a huge step up. Although it stops short of being as premium as a MINI, it’s easy to get comfortable and the 8.0-inch infotainment screen is easy to use.

It’s an absolute joy to drive, but also isn’t a compromise in other areas. The interior’s pretty good, and the running costs won’t ruin you.

Looking for a second opinon? Why not read heycar's Ford Fiesta ST review.

Read our First Drive Review of the new Ford Fiesta ST Edition on heycar

Ask Honest John

Dealer has added paint protection treatment without me asking for it, what are my rights?

"I have just purchased a Ford Fiesta ST, which I was pleased to find as the model is being phased out and the specific car and options combination may be hard to source in the run out period. On collecting the vehicle I discovered that it had been Diamondbrite treated at a cost of almost £300 despite no overt mention of this cost in the sales process (which was very amicable). The cost of that additional item was itemised in the sales order, which I signed electronically and did not scroll through as I had already rejected all dealer supplied insurances, and Diamondbrite is clearly mentioned in the list of ‘Other products that are available to you’ but not selected for purchase. I am waiting for a reply. Additionally, one of the B&O speakers (an option) seems to have a distinct bass buzz/rattle, which I will report to the dealer today. What would you advise I do with regard to the Diamondbrite ‘mis-sell’ please? And if the dealer is unable to fix the speaker issue in a lasting way am I within my rights to take the admittedly major step of rejecting the car for the failure of an expensive option to perform as it should, as the audio is currently unlistenable? I have no gripe with the dealer other than for selling me something I didn’t ask for, I just don’t want a quality issue to be my problem if I fail to act (reasonably) within my 30 day right to reject window."
If you have a record of not selecting the Diamondbrite treatment then Ford should dismiss the cost out of goodwill, but you really should have read the sales invoice before signing. It will be difficult to prove that you didn't select this item, whether the dealer sales manager added the treatment by accident or not. Regarding the speaker rattle we would expect the dealer to be able to fix this. If they don't first time, state clearly that you intend to reject the car if it is not resolved.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

Salesman told me my car had cruise control but it doesn't - can I reject the vehicle?

"The salesman told me my Ford Fiesta ST has adaptive cruise control but it doesn’t and it can’t be retrofitted. Can I reject the car? The manager says Terms and Conditions says specs can change, but surely they have to tell me rather that hide it."
Have you got it written down somewhere that it will have adaptive cruise control? Unfortunately, if you're going on the word of the sales person alone, you'll struggle to reject the car on this basis. If you keep complaining to your dealer, they might offer you something as a gesture of goodwill. That's probably the best you can hope for.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Ford Fiesta ST cost?