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View Poll Results: Do you want a Fiesta ST
No AWD No Care 104 39.10%
Yes, with Recaros 79 29.70%
Yes 44 16.54%
No thanks I would rather be caught driving a Prius 24 9.02%
No three door, No care 15 5.64%
Voters: 266. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-05-2013, 06:06 PM   #226
Moof
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I'm also interested in hearing a review. Just picked up the brochure at the dealership and put myself on the notification list.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:21 PM   #227
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I've had a busy week with work and gigs so I've been able to get some good road time with it on side streets, freeways and twisties. Once I'm able to steal some time to sit in front of a computer I'll kick out a comprehensive review.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:21 PM   #228
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Faster than an ft-86 with a fatter torque curve (~200 @ 2000rpm) with more usable room, similar weight, yet pathetic FWD and hatch shape, for like 6k cheaper? Lol. Oh, and it has a turbo, which people always claim adds so much complexity and expense to a car.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:30 PM   #229
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Me and a few members from NASIOC drove a Feista ST and Focus ST at a Ford Eco Boost Challange. I knew the Focus was going to be fast. But I was blown away with the Feista. I have to say I like not having the stearing compensation in the Feista, that the Focus has. Atleast it didnt feel like it does.

I owned an Mazdaspeed 3 for two years. I was not to fond of it and went back to my WRX's and now STI. It drove like a lawn dart.

If these two cars had been an option for me at the time, I would have been happy owning either. Great shifting gear box, good brakes, nice stearing. With or without the Recaros, I was well positioned.

The big power is nice in the Focus. But I was just as fast in the Feista on the AutoX.

I dig how far Ford has come. I'm happy for them. I'm still waiting for Chevy to pull their head out of their ass.

Last edited by Cheveyboy; 09-05-2013 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:22 AM   #230
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I'll start off with addressing a few of the questions that were asked -

Q: So was the question "Will Ford step up to the plate" ever get answered?
A: In short - Yes. YES YES YES.

Q: What did you drive before?"
A: The car I drove previous was a 2011 WRX sedan (premium trim)

Q: Would you mind sharing what you paid out the door? Also, which seats did you go with?
A: I paid 23,551 OTD (this includes all TTL and fees, and also the $1k rebate). I went with the base seats (non-recaro). Will go into further details later in the review.

Before I get full-on into the review, a figure I'd go into little background about myself to shed some perspective on where I'm coming from. I enjoy driving - somuchso that I go to dealerships every so often to test drive cars that I've been following on forums or have been generating buzz in the auto community. Most recently, aside from the WRX, recent cars that I've driven that play a big role in my approach to this review are the 5.0 mustang, Ford Focus ST, Mazdaspeed3, BRZ/FRS, 2007 Subaru Sti, Honda Fit, Mercedes C-class and of course my 2011 WRX.

When I went into the dealership they had to FiSTs on the lot - A decked out Oxford White hatch with Recaros, moonroof, NAV and painted wheels. The whole shabang. I told the salesman that I was looking for a base model and he went inside to see if their other FiST was in base trim. I sat in the ST2 model and fiddled around for a bit. The Recaros were plenty snug. I'm 5'5" and though I'm not the biggest guy, I have wider shoulders so I couldn't imagine anyone much wider than me finding it comfortable on long rides. Which bring me to the point of why I chose the base seats over the Recaros. I drive and commute around - a lot. A lot of sitting in socal traffic. I also have a big family (not myself, but nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends) and while it's not their car, I'd like them to seem somewhat comfortable on the rides. My girlfriend also lives in San Diego, which is about 2 hours from me so I'd have to think about sitting in those seats at least for that long. So to sum it up, the Recaros would be great for the short term, but not the best option in the long run.

My salesman eventually led me to the Tuxedo Black FiST, base model, no frills or additions - exactly the trim I was looking for (albeit white was my first option in color, black being my second). The first thing I noticed when I sat in it were the seats. The base seats, in my opinion, are satisfactory, but nothing to write home about. There's slight bolstering, but not as much as the WRX, and the cloth material seemed like it'd hold up. You sit noticeably higher in the FiST, and even in the lowest setting you've still got a pretty good view over the steering wheel.

The steering feel is superb. Really well weighted and direct. The WRX's steering was light but communicative - but I always thought it was a little "too" light for my tastes. In comparison, I drove my sister's 2005 Toyota Corolla and was surprised by how much I liked the weight and feedback on that car a lot more than my 2011 WRX. Steering is highly communicative, similar in feeling to a BMW 3-series. A downside is that the turning radius isn't all that great for a sub-compact. U-turns are more difficult than it seems they need to be for such a small car. It's not terrible, but it's unexpected.

The clutch pedal has a really low engagement point. Pretty much the moment that I lift off, maybe a few inches, it catches. I'd say it's about halfway up to that of my WRX. The clutch weight is light, similar to that of the current VW GTi, but not overly light. The pedal spacing is fine, but I found that I'm unable to heel-toe in this car. It may be that the brake pedal is a little higher than on my WRX, but I was used to the configuration so it may be something that may take time to get used to, or maybe something I just won't be doing in this car.

The brakes are firm and the car is well sorted under hard braking/stopping. The throttle pedal feel, again, light but with good feedback.

Shifting in this car is effortless. The shift throw is short, but not FRS/BRZ short. I had a Kartboy SS in my WRX, so if I were to compare it to that, I'd say the distance of the throw was between stock 2011 WRX and the Kartboy SS. I can see people going for aftermarket on this one, but frankly, I don't feel that it's needed. The shift action is light, similar to a VW - I drove my brothers 2011 VW TDI for the summer, and test drove a GTi for fun. Very similar to action on those; very smooth but slightly notchy. Shifting in my WRX took a bit of muscle, but you knew exactly which gear you were in and what gear you were going into. In this car, you pretty much guide the shifter into gear with little effort and it gleefully shifts for you. Which leads me to the gearing.

There is a lot of low-end torque in this car, and a lot of torque available through all the gearing bandwidth. Somuchso that I've been cruising at 40mph in sixth gear and after a few minutes, I lose track of what gear I'm in since 40mph for me in my WRX was fourth gear. I usually am able to deduce that I'm in sixth as the shift-up arrow on my display doesn't tell me to shift. Again, there is so much useable torque in all gears that rev-matching almost seems unnecessary (though I still do it out of habit). The car is fine moving about at 40mph in sixth as it does at 80mph.

There is virtually no turbo lag that I could sense, and torque steer, if present, is minimal. I've felt the steering wheel pull slightly on a WOT run, but I wasn't sure if it was me pulling or the car - not very noticeable at all. The sound symposer that Ford has in this car is fine. I used to be against the sort of artificial amplification of the engine note, but the sound symposer gives you that grunt only when it senses more aggressive throttle action, and it pulls back, unnoticeable, when you are cruising around town. After a while, you sometimes find yourself leaning into the throttle just to hear the grunt of the 1.6 ecoboost just for the heck of it.

Acceleration is very linear. WOT delivers a satisfying growl of the engine and you can definitely feel the role the torque plays in moving this little hatch around. A really satisfying feeling, one that seemed to be the missing key when I drove the BRZ a while back. Handling is exceptional. While you sit fairly high, aggressive cornering is very stable as this car corners flat and digs it's way out when exiting. It's not the same feeling of the raw power of a turbo-charged 2.5 AWD car clawing it's way through a turn and punching out. I found myself comfortable with entering corners at speeds higher than the average bear would attempt, and the little hatch just gripped into the road and shot out the other end with no trouble.

There is not much front overhang on the car so entry points to ramps and such are a lot nicer than compared to the rex. Visibility throughout the cabin is fine, even through the rear window which slopes up, and is smaller than the WRX sedan rear window. The rear seat space is a bit cramped, but I wasn't expecting much in that department any way. It should be fine to fit 2 adults and 1 child back there, though 3 adults would be pushing it. The boot space is adequate, and there's actually quite a bit of space underneath the flooring right above the spare. I stored a couple pairs of shoes there as well as my roadside emergency kit.

The rear seats don't fold completely down, so I've yet to see if the car will take in all my gear for everything I need (I surf so I need to carry boards (will probably eventually get a rack) and gear, play in a couple bands so have instruments and amps to lug around, and swing dance so I always have changes of clothes and shoes for gigs), though only time will tell.

The interior materials are economy class. I wasn't all that impressed, and actually preferred the interior materials on my WRX. Yes, this is still an economy car, but you can definitely tell where Ford invested the money. Hard plastics throughout, and when I was adjusting the steering wheel column up and down, there was a little plastic hood, portion, right underneath the gauge cluster that was visibly being moved and shifting at odd angles as I tried to find the right position for the steering wheel. I do have one big gripe about the interior (aside from the materials), and it's the arm rest. It's in the way of my elbow as I shift, and have bumped it a few times when I first drove the car. It was worse in the Focus ST that I drove for some reason, and was almost a deal breaker (though it'd be simple enough to remove it). Anyway, I've adjusted to it and during shifting I no longer have much of an issue with it.

Now to the tech. I've never been a guy who's needed much tech in my cars. Give me AC, power windows and door locks, USB and AUX input (bluetooth is nice), and I'm a happy camper. I don't need NAV as I use the one on my phone, and though I'm a fan of music, I actually don't listen to much when I drive (On the twisties, I like to drive with no music or radio at all). Even in base trim, this car has plenty to please the technophiles. Push-button start (I could have done without it if it would've saved me 300 dollars). Some customized ambient lighting in the cupholders and underneath the driver and passenger leg area (again, I could've opted out of that if it would've saved me money). Bluetooth, AUX, 2 USB inputs standard. No keyholes in the doors. I must be old (I'm 31), but when did they stop putting keyholes in doors? Now that I think about it, my Keyfob doesn't even have a key. It's just a fob! (there's a joke there, but I'll reserve it for OT)

If you have the fob in your pocket, you just approach your car, click a little button and the doors open. There's also a button on the fob that opens the back hatch if you need it (you can also automatically open the hatch lift gate without actually pressing the "unlock" function. Just walk up to it with the fob in your pocket and press and lift the gate open). All of that is nice and convenient, but not necessary. Maybe I'm just old school.

The MySync seems pretty cool...I guess. I probably won't even delve into it. I still feel kind of strange calling out to people using bluetooth - you know the whole "Call Mom" and then it dials. Again, I must be old school. I just dial. well...press the "Mom" contact. There are three modes of traction control - On, Sport and Off. I haven't messed with it yet, but I will during the weekend when I have more free time to just lolligag. Hill Assist can be turned On and Off with a simple setting in the menu which is nice. The headlamps are very bright, and the fog lamps are fairly noticeable when engaged. I'll need some real fog to see if they actually do their job, but I'm starting to feel like "fog" lamps are cosmetic additions to cars anyway and have no bearing on actually being able to see in the fog. But I live in a place that doesn't see much fog, so maybe I'm biased.

All in all, I'm really satisfied with the car. It's an absolute joy to drive. The mileage for the car is rated at 26 city/35 highway. I'm currently at 24mpg (I would've been jumping up and down if I got that in my WRX). Not quite there, but hoping it goes up the more I drive it (I was sitting in the dealer lot with the engine on while the salesman gave me the rundown for 20 minutes, which I assume affected my avg mpg). I used to own a Honda Fit, and I really liked that car, the one big downside being that it was WAY underpowered. If it simply had the power that the FiST had, I'd have probably stayed in it. I looked at the competitors in the same class as FiST and none really had the "whole package". Chevy Sonic RS (underpowered, OK styling), Abarth (less practical, less horsepower, nice driving experience) , Veloster Turbo (vague/sloppy handling, polarizing styling), Mini Cooper S (overpriced, tight handling, polarizing interior style).

I guess that's all I've got to say after owning the car for two days. The car is fantastic - and I'd advise that before you judge it by some magazine or some FWD vs AWD vs RWD idealogy, that you actually go out and test drive it. Seriously (but honestly, I don't understand people who judge anything without actually having first hand experience with it.). I went and test drove the Focus ST when it came out. It was a good car, but I didn't think it was "great" (I think it may have been affected by the fact that I couldn't find the "perfect" seating position and that I kept hitting the arm rest when I shifted). When I went and drove the Fiesta ST, all I thought was "Yeah. I could see myself driving this car for a while".

A test drive is HIGHLY recommended. Happy hunting.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:57 AM   #231
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Extremely good and thorough review... well done! You have a relaxed writing style that is similar to my own, I really enjoyed reading it.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:15 AM   #232
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Excellent review! I will have to check this little rocket out. This is on my short list already with the BRZ and next gen Mustang (I know these are all different cars with all different characters). I take magazine numbers with a grain of salt and 0-60 and 1/4 mile times are not a priority for me. I guess I'm past the huge HP numbers and geared towards driving experience now. If I wanted huge HP, old school muscle/classic cars would be my preference. The BRZ put a huge smile on my face and really think this little hatch will too. Keep us posted as you get more time behind the wheel.

I wish they would offer the 3dr here too.

Last edited by subyski; 09-06-2013 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:08 AM   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benj182 View Post

The rear seats don't fold completely down
That is strange and kinds of ruins the hatchback design.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #234
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Good gosh am I interested in this car.......It figures this comes out now, the small, turbocharged 6-speed manual hatch, with some Euro sensibility, that I have essentially always wanted, at a time when I now need space. We just had to trade my wife's car in last week for a larger vehicle (a new 2014 Forester Premium, so I finally have a Suby back in the driveway) because our 13 month-old son is moving to his next car seat and we need more space. It would be hard to justify or even practically move from my current vehicle to a smaller hatch right now.......Argggghhhh.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:22 PM   #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benj182 View Post
Review
Thanks for the great review.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:37 PM   #236
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Nice review. Also, if it's like the Focus ST, there is actually a key hidden in the fob just in case you need it. Check your owner's manual.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:24 PM   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pre View Post

That is strange and kinds of ruins the hatchback design.
Agreed. Damn. How far from flat is it?
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:03 PM   #238
benj182
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I just debadged the Fiesta logo on the car and figured I'd take a few pictures and share. It's been a few days since I drove off the lot with the car and it's still just as fun as ever. I'm at the point where I'd rather drive the long and scenic route than the fast route, and have taken the car out up near me in the Palos Verdes hill just for kicks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delongedoug View Post
Nice review. Also, if it's like the Focus ST, there is actually a key hidden in the fob just in case you need it. Check your owner's manual.
You're totally right. After I had written my initial review, I was reading through the entirety of the owner's manual and came across the section regarding the fob and key. I also noticed the little keyhole in the door when I went to work the next morning. Ha.

Regarding the rear seats folding down, you can see in the photos how far they fold. Not completely flat. The rear head rests are also really obstructive when in the upright position, but you can fold them down to gain better visibility. A tech that I'm not used to but is really convenient is the auto headlamps. It senses when the headlights should be on and turns them On and Off when necessary. Small little convenience but I dig it.

















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Old 09-07-2013, 06:05 PM   #239
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:39 PM   #240
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Awesome, nice review and pix.

Does it look like it is possible to fit like a 6'3 shortboard in there with seats down?
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:35 PM   #241
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I'm digging the car for sure. The base seats actually look better than I anticipated. I didn't realize it was 4 lug until now. That's sort of a bummer.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:05 PM   #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endlesss View Post
I'm digging the car for sure. The base seats actually look better than I anticipated. I didn't realize it was 4 lug until now. That's sort of a bummer.
Honda did four lug for quite a while with cars of similar weight and power. Limiting, but not crippling by any means, I'm sure it's fine.

I saw the exact one I want on the street today: White, base interior, moonroof. None, none of the dealerships within 45 miles of me have any STs to not white. That's ok, I need to be patient like I normally am with car purchases, and wait a few months until more hit the lots.
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:19 AM   #243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Extremely good and thorough review... well done! You have a relaxed writing style that is similar to my own, I really enjoyed reading it.

too bloody right

now....if the bleedin bastards at fraud would only give us the 3 door version of this
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:32 AM   #244
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Regarding the rear seats.
Have you tried to flip bottoms forward first?
This is how they work in my Focus SE, Passat, Volvo S40.

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Old 09-09-2013, 05:08 PM   #245
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dex View Post
Does it look like it is possible to fit like a 6'3 shortboard in there with seats down?
It fits, you just have to squeeze the nose through center of the two front seats or tuck it in diagonally along the sides of the passenger front seat. Unless you have a board sock or bag, I'd probably just throw it on top of a rack (although it is super nice just loading up and driving off).
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:09 PM   #246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krzyss View Post
Regarding the rear seats.
Have you tried to flip bottoms forward first?
This is how they work in my Focus SE, Passat, Volvo S40.

Krzys
I don't believe so (or not in any way that I know of). I remember getting into a car once and the seat cushions actually detach so that the back of the rear seats could fold down flat. It may have been a Honda CR-V.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:20 PM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dex View Post
Honda did four lug for quite a while with cars of similar weight and power. Limiting, but not crippling by any means, I'm sure it's fine.
Thank god for your approval.....

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Old 09-10-2013, 02:19 PM   #248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benj182 View Post
I don't believe so (or not in any way that I know of). I remember getting into a car once and the seat cushions actually detach so that the back of the rear seats could fold down flat. It may have been a Honda CR-V.
Can't speak for the Fiesta but the Focus ST bottom cushion lifts up and then you can fold the seat down. The front seats then become a factor if they're too far back.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:22 PM   #249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endlesss View Post
Thank god for your approval.....


Did Ford's engineering team get back to you about your resume yet? I'm sure they'll be glad to have you on their team telling them what's best for their cars.

See? I can overreact and blow opinions out of proportion too.

Unrustle thy Jimmies.



Quote:
Originally Posted by delongedoug View Post
Can't speak for the Fiesta but the Focus ST bottom cushion lifts up and then you can fold the seat down. The front seats then become a factor if they're too far back.
From his pictures it doesn't really look like there would be room for them to flip up. The lower cushion looks pretty thick. I am going to go peek at these on Friday just to scope them out and try and get a test drive in. If any questions aren't answered in here, I'll attempt to get them answered when I go in. I may even bring a tape measure as I want to know if my surfboard or mtn bike will fit with the seats down.

Last edited by Dex; 09-10-2013 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:33 PM   #250
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yeah....lotsa older frauds had 4 bolt hubs..even the mushtang.....wasnt a problem until the 5.0 actually made some power
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