I had the chance to do a short test-drive of a Fiesta ST. I had a chance to drive it on the freeway and flog it on some surface roads and in a large parking lot.
The Fiesta ST is very good at some things: accelerating, braking, turning. It is a razor sharp little missile. However, there are some significant trade-offs and omissions in the ergonomics and controls department.
- Awesome powertrain. Powerful, sounds great. Lots of torque. This car really moves.
- Lots of lateral grip, sharp reflexes.
- Smooth shifter action.
- Excellent brakes, good feel and stopping power.
- Comfortable and grippy sport seats. Nice steering wheel.
- Well weighted steering which firms up nicely at speed. Car felt solid at high speeds, and was easy to steer in parking lots.
- Good fuel economy--I saw 41 on freeway and 29 flogging it on surface roads
- Sharp looking little car, the Fusion family front end looks properly mean and sporty.
- Jittery ride at highway speeds--seems to heave a lot. Not fun to drive at 70mph on less than smooth highways. Significant road noise at higher speeds.
- You feel every bump, crack, and ripple in the pavement. Michigan's cracked up roads are torture.
- MyFord Touch does not control climate system, instead the lower right panel shows you the date.
- Annoying up-shift indicator. In a top-of-the line sports model, I would assume the guy will figure out how to shift.
- Hard plastic center armrest, ouch. For the top-end model, Ford should have spent the extra few dollars and installed a padded center arm rest.
- Rear visibility, rearview mirror looks down for taller drivers.
Conclusion: The Fiesta ST is an efficient and fun little road carver--if you have good roads. I would not buy this car for a daily commuter in SE MI, the roads are just too rough for the suspension tune. In a place with good, smooth roads, it would be much more pleasant. This is a car for someone who values high performance at a modest price, and isn't as concerned with creature comforts.
I was't able to get high quality images of the bright red car I drove, but here are some images I stole from Ford's web site: