Ford Fiesta ST hatchback - Interior & comfort
The Ford Fiesta’s interior gets a sporty makeover, but outright comfort is not a priority
Those familiar with the standard Ford Fiesta will recognise most of the ST’s interior; it’s more or less business as usual, save for a few sporty touches. Chief among these are a set of very supportive Recaro sports seats (with an even more adjustable version as an option), which do a great job of holding you in place during fast cornering. The driving position is excellent, which is more than can be said of some of the Fiesta ST’s closest rivals, which often sit the driver too high up.
The Fiesta ST is more refined than ever before, but don’t expect this hot hatch to be the last word in comfort and relaxed cruising. The car’s sporty setup means that it rides fairly firmly; this can get uncomfortable over particularly rough tarmac at higher speeds, but generally the ST feels poised and controlled rather than pliant and cosseting. The car feels slightly fidgety on some roads, but that edge is exactly what many driving enthusiasts may miss from some of the ST’s rivals.
Ford Fiesta dashboard
The ST’s dashboard is carried over wholesale from the standard Ford Fiesta, albeit with a few small changes. Carbon fibre style trim, a flat-bottomed ST-badged steering wheel and a metallic-finished gearlever all feature, while optional shift lights sit in the dial cluster.
Build quality is good and materials are generally of a decent quality but neither are a match for the VW Polo GTI. It's a big improvement on the older model, though, with much more impressive tech. Most of the changes for the Fiesta ST Edition are mechanical but it does get unique blue stitching inside, along with some carbon-fibre-effect trim. There's also a new steering wheel with a shortcut button for the Sport driving mode.
There are two trim levels to choose from: ST-2 and ST-3. There's a comprehensive list of standard equipment, including ST-specific styling inside and out, sports suspension, Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system with DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, cruise control and Ford’s ‘NCAP Pack’, which includes lane-keep assist and a speed limiter.
The ST-2 trim also includes climate control, heated seats, blue seatbelts, a B&O Play stereo and a larger eight-inch infotainment screen are all added. Top-spec ST-3 versions get the largest 18-inch alloys, red brake calipers, sat nav, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and a suite of driver assistance systems that includes traffic sign recognition, automatic high-beam headlights and driver alert.
There are a few good-value options available for the Fiesta ST. Enthusiastic drivers would do well to choose the aforementioned Performance Pack for its limited-slip differential, launch control and shift lights for around £900; LED headlights and a Driver Assistance Pack are also good additions for £500 and £550 respectively. A panoramic sunroof costs £700.
Save for its ST-specific drive-mode selection functionality, the SYNC 3 infotainment system featuring in the sportiest Fiesta is as good as ever. The system’s screen positioning may look like a bit of an afterthought but it’s great to use; pinch-and-swipe gestures are recognised and the system’s wide range of functions means there are far fewer buttons than were found inside the previous Fiesta ST.