I've had the ST 6 weeks now so I thought I'd do a quick review, specifically what it's like compared to my previous Fiesta. Before that, here's where the journey started...
Back in 2014 I decided that the Lotus Elise I'd been commuting in for the previous 9 years should become a weekend car for track days and club meets. I'd previously owned a 2000 Focus Zetec 1.8, and this time I wanted something quite new but low powered (I still had the Lotus after all) so I bought a 3000 mile 2012 Fiesta Zetec 1.25 in Race Red. When I went to pick it up with my wife we had to wait around in the showroom for a bit and ended up sitting in a brand new Fiesta ST. We both loved it. Fast forward to this year, and after 4 years of Fiesta ownership I thought it was time to finally get an ST.
So 6 weeks ago I picked up a 9000 mile 2016 ST-2 in Shadow Black with Navigation and Style Pack.
The ST is 4 years newer than my previous Fiesta, which was the pre-facelift model. I like both body styles but the aggressive styling of the Mk7 ST is, in my opinion, the best looking Fiesta Ford has produced so far. Obviously the 1.6 Ecoboost Turbo is light years (and 100 bhp) ahead of the 1.25 Duratec in terms of performance, and the heated Recaro half leather seats are fantastic. The lowered suspension and 17-inch alloys with Bridgestone Potenzas completes the look, especially with the anthracite paint and red calipers; but there's no denying that whilst the handling is much improved, the ride is firm and the road noise has definitely increased as a result. On the subject of noise though, I really like the induction and turbo noise of the ST. On a balanced throttle it's actually quieter than my previous Fiesta, but push the loud pedal (literally), and accelerating is quite an event in the ST.
Alongside the seats, the other ST-specific interior features are nice (kick plates, gear knob and steering wheel) along with the Sony DAB radio, navigation and Ford SYNC, even if it does use the same small 4 inch screen size. One minor irritation is how far away the seat belt is when you first reach to put it on. I guess it's down to the ST being 3-door instead of 5-door, but it's quite a stretch! Back outside there's something I never liked about either car - the ridiculously long aerial! Although I left it standard before, I've replaced it with a stubby Sparco aerial on the ST.
Road tax is only £20 more for the ST but insurance is about £100 more. I had a Ford Service Plan for my previous Fiesta which I transferred over to the ST and that only costs £1 more per month. It also got me £100 off the purchase price of the ST. I'm expecting tyres to cost about £40 more per corner for the ST.
So was it worth paying another £8,000 and trading in a Fiesta Zetec for? Definitely. Is it a worthy stablemate to a Lotus Elise? Yes I think it is. On track the Lotus still wins hands down, but on the road the ST is probably the superior car for everyday use.