Cheap and cheerful: 2016 Ford Fiesta ST
In this weekís ďCheap and CheerfulĒ section, Iím highlighting what is arguably the most exciting car ever created. Built to a cost but designed with one goal in mind, to be as fun as humanly possible, Iím obviously talking about everyoneís beloved Ford Fiesta ST, the hottest of hot hatches.
In many ways, I donít think the Fiesta is a proper hot hatch at all. Iíd go as far as calling it a mini hot hatch, because it ticks all the boxes its larger siblings do, like the Ford Focus ST, but it does so in a much more affordable and compact package.
Fordís first attempt at creating a mini hot hatchback was in 2002, with the fifth-gen Fiesta. As brilliant as that car was, it wasnít until 2012, with the sixth-generation Fiesta, that Ford finally got into their stride with the ST moniker. Practically every automotive journalist who drove it praised it for its amazing handling and superb driving experience, something most hot hatchbacks struggle to achieve even today.
This particular example Iíve managed to find on our website is a 2016 example with just 29,000 miles on the clock, so itís barely been worn in yet. Bearing in mind that a brand new Fiesta ST will set you back over £20,000, a four-year-old example in great condition suddenly seems like the bargain of the century. This carís only had one previous owner, and it has a full Ford service history.
The regular Fiesta is a good-looking car on its own, but the ST treatment gives it that aggressive kick every hot hatch needs. Compared to a normal Fiesta, the ST gets bigger bumpers, a lower side skirt, and unique ST wheels. Itís also been significantly lowered and noticeably widened to accommodate those flared arches. Itís the sort of car which looks good but isnít over the top. To most people, it still looks just like any other Fiesta, but petrolheads know exactly what it is, and thatís what makes it so great.
Nearly every Fiesta ST for sale is either blue or white, making this red example quite rare and special. Traditionally, Ďconservativeí colours such as black and gray look good on executive saloons and SUVs, but Iíve always felt that a hot hatch needs a vibrant colour to express its true intentions and character.
Inside, the ST is much like a regular Fiesta. The design is the same and the materials are the same, but that isnít necessarily a bad thing. The Fiesta has one of the best cabins among any supermini ever created, and the fiery ST version is no different. The driving position is brilliant for instance. You can get the seat nice and low in the ST, paving the way for excellent car control and feedback. The seats themselves are great too, as they encourage sporty driving and hug you tightly in the corners.
The steering wheel is the right size and shape. All of the dials are clear and easy to read, despite the fact that theyíre two analogue circular clusters. The pedals are awesome for heel-and-toe, so much so that I feel like this is the best car to learn the fundamentals of driving a manual on. Elsewhere, itís just like a normal Fiesta. The rear seats are decent but nothing special, and the boot is adequate but not massive. As a city runabout or a commuter, itís brilliant though.
Engine and Performance
The Fiesta ST is easily one of the most involving cars to drive from any price bracket. Anyone whoís spent five minutes behind the wheel knows just how fun this brilliant little car is. The steering wheel is extremely sharp and precise, giving the front end this immediate bite, almost like youíre telepathically driving it. The gearbox is slick and sharp too, with short throws and a really pleasant grip.
The engine is a 1.6-litre EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder, producing 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, which are then sent to the front wheels only. That doesnít sound like a lot on paper, but the Fiesta is incredibly light compared to most modern hatchbacks. Itíll hit 62 mph in just under 7 seconds and go on to 136 mph. For something so compact and small, those are really good figures.
Sheer speed isnít the Fiesta STís strong suit though. The ST was always designed to be a great driverís car that will encourage good driving and reward it. It wonít rev-match for you like most modern hatchbacks would, so you have to do it all on your own. What it will do, is offer you a pure driving experience that you wonít get out of many Ferraris and Porsches, especially at sane and road-legal speeds.
Model: Ford Fiesta
Rating: 9 out of 10
The Fiesta ST has the best bang-for-buck ratio of any car in my opinion. Nothing else for sale is as quick, practical, and cheap to run, for such a low amount of money. For roughly £6,495, I think this Fiesta ST is a steal. You wonít get more car for your money even if you step up to £10,000, unless youíre prepared to deal with an older car or something antique.
Even if you have the money for a Ford Focus ST, Iíd suggest you still take the Fiesta because itís that much more fun and charismatic. Itís a real riot to drive. If youíre still not convinced, take one out for a test drive, and I guarantee youíll be grinning from ear to ear within the first two minutes. Find the perfect car by visiting DesperateSeller.co.uk where youíll find a wide variety of used Ford Fiesta cars for sale.